Sermon in a Sentence: St. Thomas Aquinas (April 2, 2014)

“The Blessed Virgin is more intimately associated with God than an angel is, since with her are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit–in a word, the whole Trinity….So no greater praise could be addressed to her than that which is found in the words, The Lord is with thee.” –From “Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotations on the Spiritual Life; Vol. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas,” pg. 160-61. Selected and Arranged by John P. McClernon.

+J.M.J.+

As a former Protestant, I sadly have not had very much time to spend with Our Lady. But I know she has protected me, and indeed, by her intercession, through the Holy Rosary, my conversion came. Protestants tend to have a very different view of the blessed woman that Catholics love and venerate as the Holy Mother of God. It is indeed a very sad view, a view too narrow, a view that does not allow for the fullness of truth, but only the part which they feel is ‘safe’. They look upon Mary as only the woman through whom Christ came into the world, not special in any way, not different from other creatures, not preserved from all stain of sin as we know to be true. The only time that her name is ever mentioned is around Christmas time, and only then in the oft-quoted verses of Scripture that speak of her. Never is she mentioned, never are her virtues and graces praised, never is her most priceless stature as the Holy Mother of God honored. She is cast aside as simply the human being through which Christ came.

Is this not a sad and highly deficient view? But their reasons for doing so hold a portion of the truth, just a tiny sliver, that keeps people clinging to it for dear life. You see, they are afraid…afraid of giving any part of the already small and deficient amount of praise they give to God to anyone or anything else. There is not enough love to go around. They are afraid that if they praise the saints, if they honor the Blessed Virgin as she ought to be honored, they will be taking something away from the worship given to God.

But that is just the thing. Worship alone belongs to God, yes. And this is the half-truth that keeps Protestants clinging to this lie. But honor and veneration belong to His saints, His holy people, also. And most especially it belongs to the Holy Mother of God, of whom Scripture speaks, of whom the angels salute, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!” But because Protestants lay claim to only a small portion of truth, they cannot handle the fullness of truth and all that comes with it, especially the honor of the Holy Mother of God, because she is second only to God Himself. They do not have room in their hearts for the Holy Mother of God, and thus they do not have room in their hearts for the blessed fruit of her womb, just as when the innkeepers turned Mary away as her time of delivery had come, so they turned away He whom she was to bear.

Protestants do not understand that we cannot accept and adore Christ without also honoring and loving His Mother. The two naturally and necessarily go hand in hand. God honored and elevated Mary above all other creatures in giving to her the most blessed title of Mother of God. He preserved her from all stain of sin, both original and actual. He filled her with grace and made His abode within her virginal womb. How can anyone, including Protestants, simply ignore these facts? Do not these privileges and graces, given solely to her, elevate her? Do they not make her deserving of our honor and praise? If God has so elevated her, should we not also?

Let us always make room in our hearts for the Holy Mother of God, praising her always with the words of the angelic salutation (not MAN’s words, I might add, but the words of a holy angel!), reminding her of all of her singular privileges and virtues, that the blessed fruit of her Womb may become incarnate in us, and that we may never be separated from Him or from her, whom He has given us as our Mother also.

+Deo Gratias!+

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