ATTACKS ON MARY
Just as the devil saw how
successful he was in destroying the human race by merely attacking the first
woman, Eve, he has willed to destroy the rest of the human race by attacking
the WOMAN. But unable to corrupt the WOMAN as he had done to Eve, he is
content on removing the thought of the WOMAN from the minds of men.
By removing Mary from one's
spirituality, the devil knows that mankind will be like a ship tossed about
by a storm without the stars to guide him.
God made Eve to be a helper of
man. But through the devil's machinations, she who was meant to be of help
became the source of a great disaster to her husband and children. Mary was
made by God to be a helper to man again. Uncorrupted, she can fulfill this
role most ably if mankind invokes her name.
And so, even from the earliest
times of Christianity, the devil's tail is evident in that Mary's role was
questioned, argued and rejected , more specifically in the THEOTOKOS
debates. And through the Reformation up to the present, amongst the
"born-again", her role is not only relegated but the very thought
of her is hated. But clearly the gates of hell have not prevailed against
devotion to her. Her attackers have merely hurt themselves.
Liturgy is one of the better
sources of Catholic beliefs where devotion to Mary, specially showing her
role as a great help to salvation, abound. First and foremost is the feast
of Christmas, a popular feast of our Lady.
In the Egyptian Liturgy, about
the second century, the Divine Motherhood's feast was widely celebrated. In
the third century the Sub Tuum Praesidium was part of the liturgy.
The popular feasts of Our Lady
were the Meeting of the Child Jesus and Simeon or the Purification and
Presentation, the Dormition, the Annunciation, and the Nativity of Our Lady
(a feast taken from the Apocrypha.) All these feasts formulated her
important role in the history of salvation and were observed by both Eastern
and Western Churches.
The Constitution on the Liturgy
declaring the essential link between doctrine and liturgy states: "In
celebrating the annual cycle of Christ's mysteries, Holy Mother Church
honors with special love the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, who is joined by
an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son." Thus, the Concilium,
while assigning all Sundays as the Lord's day, also assigned all
Saturdays for the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Pope Pius XII, in Mediator Dei,
emphasized the fact that whatever is in the Liturgy makes up the Catholic
Faith in as much as it is a public profession of faith in the Church. And
the Church Liturgy has always honored Mary and acknowledged her invaluable
help in the work of Christ--the salvation of man.