1. Today, the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church is just as visible as it was two thousand years ago. Her life began as a humble one, remaining docile to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Guided by the Spirit of God, she remained in the background during the life of our Lord, Jesus.
2. This course will teach that those who are humble as Mary was humble, can enjoy many spiritual gifts from God. It will unravel the mystery of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, allowing the believers to understand Mary, the most blessed of God's creations. In her was the fullness of God!
GIVING HOMAGE TO MARY
3. When Christians give honour to the Blessed Virgin Mary, they are actually adoring God. Such honour is in recognition of God's Divine accomplishments through Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. This honour recognizes God's Divine Plan in which Mary participates in the communion of saints who answered their calling, an invitation which God has extended to all the Christians as part of their purifying. As such, the respect shown towards Mary continuously contributes to the glory and praise of Jesus.
4. Whatever admiration one finds in the virtues of Mary, it is but a small reflection of the greatness that is found in the Divine Trinity of God. By the grace of the Heavenly Father, these virtues are gifts of the Holy Spirit. One's love of Mary is certain to direct the Christian towards the love of Jesus Christ.
THE VIRGINITY OF MARY
5. The virgin's name was Mary. [Lk. 1:28, 34] It is she who conceived and beared a Son who was to be named "Emmanuel" which means "God is with us". [Mt. 1:23]
6. Guided by the Holy Spirit and anxious to devote herself to the affairs of the Lord [1 Cor. 7:32, 35], in faith and hope against hope, the Virgin Mary gave herself totally to God's will. As the mother of the Saviour, she remained immaculate throughout her life, a virgin before, during and after her conception. (C.C.C. # 506)
FAVOURED BY GOD
7. Mary was full of grace, having been highly favoured by God. The angel Gabriel greeted her by saying, "Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you." [Lk. 1:28] Indeed, she had found favour with God. [Lk. 1:30]
8. By the grace of the Heavenly Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary was prepared for this special moment. In her was to dwell the fullness of the deity bodily. [Col. 1:19, 2:9] Mary was to become the Temple of the fullness of the Living God, the Trinity. Such an honour and glory to a humble subject of God required that she be full of grace, having been prepared by the Holy Spirit.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY
9. In preparation for this Divine grace, Mary was conceived without sin. (C.C.C. # 411) Her entire being, "spirit, soul and body," [1 Thess. 5:23] had been entirely sanctified as the immaculate Temple of God. Apart from Adam and Eve, Mary was the first human to receive the fullness of the indwelling of God within her. The Holy Spirit came upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her. The Child to be born will be Holy; He will be called Son of God. [Lk. 1:35; Mt. 1:20]
10. While Christians also enjoy the fullness of the indwelling of the Trinity of God, they can never enjoy the fullness of God to the extent that the Blessed Virgin Mary enjoyed it. The indwelling of Christians is spiritual. The indwelling of God within Mary was physical and spiritual! God physically dwelled within her for nine months!
11. Her joy is echoed in the Book of Zephaniah where it states, "Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; Rejoice and exult with all your heart." [Zeph. 3:14] Mary echoed these joyful words when she herself said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." [Lk. 1:46]
12. On behalf of the whole people of God, the Church, Mary thanked the Almighty Father for allowing her to be the co-redemptrix of salvation through Jesus Who dwelled within her. (C.C.C. # 722)
MARY SUBMITTED HERSELF TO GOD'S WILL.
13. The Annunciation to Mary signaled "the fullness of time" [Gal. 4:4], when God would fulfill His promise of a Messiah. Mary had been chosen by God to conceive the Lord Jesus. Mary was not asked by the angel if she would accept, nor was she commanded to accept this great honour. As a humble and obedience servant of God, she responded by asking, "How can this be since I am a virgin?" (C.C.C. # 484) Her Immaculate Heart was submitted to answering God's call without hesitation. Her response truly reflected a purity of heart, a great model for those who wish to serve the Lord without hesitation. Modeling after Mary, the question should not be, "Should I?" but rather, "How can I serve You my Lord?"
14. While Mary had the complete freedom to accept or refuse this Divine grace of God, she remained obedient in faith to the will and Spirit of the Heavenly Father. (C.C.C. # 143-4) Never in the history of mankind has the consent of one person had so much importance! In the hands of Mary was the fulfillment of God's Divine plan of salvation. It is no wonder that she is called the co-redemptrix. (C.C.C. # 494)
OBEDIENT TO THE WORD OF GOD
15. Mary answered, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to Your Word" [Lk. 1:38] What a beautiful response! It reflects so many virtues of the Holy Spirit that are found in an innocent child who is prepared to obey a parent. In her response, the most Blessed Virgin Mary shined in infinite love, goodness, humility, obedience, piety, purity of heart, willingness to serve, etc... Indeed, she was full of grace. It is no wonder that she is called the Pearl of the Church.
MARY WAS BLESSED
16. Mary's cousin Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." [Lk. 1:42] Mary expanded on this blessing when she said, "Surely, from now on all generation will call me blessed." [Lk. 1:47]
17. "All generations will call me blessed." How true these words of Mary are from what shall be seen as we continue in this course. Throughout the centuries, many have tried to oppress the Virgin Mary as being unimportant, wanting to take away from her all the honours she deserves. Overcoming this by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the means of Church recognized apparitions and endless miraculous cures, God blessed Mary abundantly throughout history, generation after generation.
MARY WAS HUMBLE
18. Hearing the salutation of the angel, in her humility, Mary was confused by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. [Lk. 1:29] Knowing her reaction in advance, the Lord God looked with favor on the lowliness of His (Mary) servant. [Lk. 1:47]
19. In her humility, Mary was the perfect Temple for the Lord. For He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross." [Phil 2:7-8] By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary enjoyed the humility of Her Son Jesus. (C.C.C. # 724)
MARY IS THE MOTHER OF GOD
20. Mary's cousin, Elizabeth, was the first to proclaim that Mary was the Mother of God. Filled with the Holy Spirit [Lk. 1:42] she said, "Why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?" [k. 1:43] This beautiful truth is found right in the Bible! It is well known that all Scriptures are inspired by the Spirit of God. [2 Tim. 3:16] How truthful is the Spirit of God. [1 Jn. 5:6]
21. As the biological Mother of God's incarnated Word, the Virgin Mary is beyond any doubt recognized as having inherited the glorified title of Mother of God. In 431, at the Council of Ephesus, the Catholic Church proclaimed Mary as the Mother of God. This was in support of the fact that in Christ there is but one person, not two. In the Divine person of Jesus, there are two natures, one human and one Divine, therefore Christ being God and man. These natures are inseparable because of God's incarnation. Therefore, Mary is truly the Mother of God. "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God..." [1 John 4:2-3]
22. As the Mother of God, Mary was further honoured as the Queen of Heaven and earth. This inspired declaration through the power of the Holy Spirit was progressive within the Catholic Church. The full extent of the mystery of Mary would not become known until centuries later.
MARY WAS PIOUS
23. Mary enjoyed a spirit of prayer as is seen in the Magnificat. [Lk. 1:46-56] She thanked God for her blessings before having received them. She enjoyed the fullness of faith, believing what the angel had told her, hoping against hope. While all she was told was beyond human grasp, in faith and hope, she trusted in the messenger of the Lord. Her soul magnified the Lord, her spirit rejoicing in Her Saviour. [Lk. 1:46]
MARY GAVE BIRTH IN POVERTY
24. Of all places for the King of kings to be born, Jesus was born in a manger. "While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped Him in bands of cloth and laid Him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn." [Lk. 2:6-7]
25. What hardship Mary must have experienced in her Immaculate Heart! No one would open their door to a pregnant woman. By the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Joseph and Mary were truly guided towards a life of poverty.
MARY LIVED A DIFFICULT LIFE
26. During her holy life, Mary had her share of difficulties. She had to care for Jesus wherever they lived. She was full of anxieties when at age 12, Jesus went missing and was found in the Temple.
27. When Herod searched for Jesus to destroy the promised King, Mary had to flee to Egypt with Him. [Mt. 2:13] This flight is echoed in the Book of Revelation where it says, "The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of." [Rev. 12:6]
28. Considering the difficulties she experienced, Mary must have wondered many times if Jesus was truly the promised Messiah. Hoping against hope, she remained faithful to God's promises.
MARY TREASURED THE MYSTERIES IN HER HEART
29. When the three wise men came to visit and kneeled before Jesus, paying Him homage and offering Him gifts [Mt. 2:11-2], Mary must have wondered in her Immaculate Heart what greatness was planned for Jesus.
30. Considering everything that happened to her, she remained observant and quiet, keeping everything in her heart. Amazed at what the shepherds told her and Joseph that the angel had told them, "Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart." [Lk. 2:19]
31. When they listened to Simeon, Mary and Joseph were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. [Lk. 2:33] The words of Simeon told Mary that Jesus was the Messiah, the Saviour, confirming what the angel had told her.
32. Even when Mary has found Jesus in the temple, not understanding what He meant when He said that He had to be in His Father's house, again, she "treasured all these things in her heart." [Luke 3:51] Such a beautiful virtue of patience is seen in Mary, waiting for the day where Jesus would manifest Himself as God.
THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
33. After blessing the Holy Family, Simeon said to Mary: "And a sword will pierce your own soul too." [Lk. 2:35] Little did Mary realize that at the foot of the cross, her heart would be pierced. Her hope in God would truly be tested. She had to hope against hope, hoping that Jesus would resurrect and prove He is God.
34. Mary must have remembered the Words of Jesus when He said, "Who is my Mother?" [Mt. 12:49] In the eyes of whispering people, Jesus had to either be God or an insane person. In her heart, Mary knew the truth!
THE PREPARATION OF MARY
35. Having raised Jesus and having been near Him throughout His ministry, at the foot of His cross during crucifixion, witnessing His resurrection and being present at Pentecost, Mary did not become involved in any part of Jesus' ministry of spreading the Word of God.
36. During her days on earth, as a witness of the Christian faith, she was being prepared for her greater glories. Mary's lacks of means to become involved in the affairs of men, this including the role of ministering, was determined by her cultural heritage and her feminine gender. The reason for the ongoing close relationship that existed between Mary and Jesus since His birth had to serve a purpose. Such a mystery remained hidden from man's eyes for a period of time. Only later would mankind realize that Mary was the new Eve and the co-redemptrix.
37. The Immaculate Heart of Mary must have endured a powerful burning desire to reach out to the crowd of needy souls, longing to share in Jesus' self-sacrifice as the obedient Lamb of God for the redemption of mankind.
38. But the time was not ready for the Immaculate Heart of Mary to manifest her love for mankind. The burning desire in her heart could not perceive the fullness of God's immediate Divine Plan. Her burning desire had to continue to grow so it could reveal itself at a later time. By the grace of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Fathers of the early Church Councils gradually came to perceive the role of the Virgin Mary that had not ended at Jesus' death.
MARY IS THE MODEL OF CHRISTIANS
39. Christians who seek holiness only have to look at the example of holiness that is found in Mary. She is the Church's perfect model and source of all holiness. (C.C.C. # 2030)
40. Mary was the supreme model of faith. (C.C.C. # 273) She believed that anything was possible with God. Before her greatness had been proclaimed centuries later, she glorified the Holy Name of the Lord for having done mighty things for her. [Lk. 1:37, 49]
MARY WAS OF ROYAL BLOOD
41. Few Christians are aware that Mary was of Royal blood. She descended from the family of King David. Her ancestors are found in Luke 3:23. The ancestors of Joseph are found in Matthew 1:16.
MARY IN THE LIFE OF CHRISTIANS TODAY
42. Today, Mary searches for lost souls. Pointing to Jesus, she leads them to the Catholic Church that has all authority as the Body of Christ. Based on the role of Mary in the Church during the last two millenniums, there is sufficient evidence to state as factual that the Virgin Mary was commissioned a Divine role in the Holy Catholic Church, that of helping lost sinners.
43. When Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant.", by her consent, she was instantly commissioned to become the co-redemptrix of God's Divine plan of salvation. Without Mary's submission to God's calling, there never would have been a redemption. While Eve was responsible for the fall of Adam by her disobedience to God, therefore Adam losing favour in the eyes of God, the second Eve, Mary, was responsible for the raising of Jesus, the second Adam, who found favour in the eyes of God.
44. Through her Immaculate Heart, proven by her motherly love, Mary has persistently sought out the forgotten and lost sinners. She has led them back to her Son Jesus in the same way as the apostles, the evangelists, the healers, the missionaries, the prophets, the Saints, the teachers and the workers of miracles who through the grace of God have devoted their lives and were blessed by the Holy Spirit with spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ.
THE APPARITIONS OF MARY
45. Although it was not clear to the people while Mary lived, the Heavenly Father had a Divine Plan for her which was slowly beginning to unfold itself. As the centuries progressed, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church was blessed with numerous apparitions by the Virgin Mary.
46. Many of Mary's worldwide apparitions received Church recognition, the leaders of the Holy Catholic Church being inspired to proclaim that these manifestations were heavenly in nature. This led to the proclamation of a series of Roman Catholic Doctrines in support of a great number of feasts in the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To this was added the honours such as the christening of communities, Churches, educational facilities, hospitals, orphanages, and the list continues.
THE TITLES OF MARY
47. To name only a few, Mary enjoys a number of titles in her honour and glory. Every year, on January 1 st is celebrated the "Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God". This feast commemorates Mary's role in the incarnation and the redemption.
48. The feast of Our Lady of the Snow began around 352 A.D. when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a patrician named John. She asked for a church to be dedicated in her honor where she performed the miracle of the falling snow during the summer.
49. To commemorate the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy in 1218 A. D. by St. Peter Nolasco, in Barcelona, Spain, the Virgin Mary received the title of Our Lady of Ransom. In later years, this title was changed to Our Lady of Mercy.
50. On July 16th, 1251 A.D., Our Lady of Mt. Carmel appeared to St. Simon Stock. She showed him the scapular and promised spiritual favours and her protection to all those who wear it.
51. The feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin was instituted to commemorate the visit of the Blessed Virgin to her cousin Elizabeth. This event took place in the mountains about six miles west of Jerusalem. This feast was proclaimed in the 14th century by Pope Urban XI and Pope Boniface IV.
52. On December 9, 1531 A.D., the Virgin Mary appeared in Guadalupe, near Mexico City. There she left an Indian convert, Juan Diego, with a picture of herself impressed upon her cloak.
53. In 1571 A.D., when Don Juan of Austria gained his famous naval victory over the Turks at Lepanto, St. Pius V instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Because the intercession was done through Our Lady of the Rosary, Gregory XIII changed the title to Our Lady of the Rosary.
54. In the Fall of 1683 A.D., to commemorate the victory of King John Sobieski of Poland against the enemy near Vienna, Pope Innocent XI instituted the feast of the Holy Name of Mary.
55. In the 17th century, the devotion to the Pure Heart of Mary began. This feast was closely linked to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Permission to celebrate this feast was given in 1805 A.D. The feast was finally instituted in the Western Church in 1944 A.D.
56. In Paris, France, in 1830 A.D., Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal was instituted. Then, following the apparitions at La Salette in 1846 A.D., the title of Our Lady of the Tears was instituted.
57. On December 8, 1854 A.D., Pope Pius IX defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was based on the Biblical passages: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed" [Gen. 3:15] and, "Hail, full of grace" [Lk. 1:28]
58. On February 11, 1858 A.D., Our Lady appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes. On March 25th, when asked her name, Mary revealed that she was the Immaculate Conception. Countless miracles have been brought about through the intercession of Mary, Lourdes regenerating the Church during those days.
59. After the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was raised above the main altar at Saint Alfonso Church in Rome, on May 5th, 1866 A.D., Pope Pius IX asked to Redemptorists Fathers to see to it that Our Lady of Perpetual Help become known throughout the world. Mary has also flourished under this title.
60. Following the apparitions at Knock, Ireland in 1879 A.D., the title of Our Lady of Silence was instituted.
61. When Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the children in Portugal in 1917 A.D., she asked that the world be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. In 1942 A.D., Pope Pius XII fulfilled that wish. In 1945 A.D., the Sovereign Pontiff set aside this new feast to promote devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
62. In 1931 A.D., Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a commemoration of the 15th centenary of the Council of Ephesus which took place in 431 A.D.
63. Mary was also given the title of The Virgin with the Golden Heart following the apparitions at Beauraing in 1932-3 A.D. She was given the title of Our Lady of the Poor following the apparitions at Banneux in 1933 A.D.
64. On November 1, 1950 A.D., Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary in the Munificentissimus Deus. In honour of the tradition which teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary was promised to God by her parents, the Church also instituted the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary.
65. Each of these proclamations hold a beautiful message behind their historical development for the Christians who wishes to further advance their sanctification.
THE SIGN IN THE HEAVEN
66. "A great and wondrous sign appeared in Heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head." [Rev.12:1] This passage in Revelation speaks of a woman, identifying her with the sun, the moon and twelve stars. Who is this woman?
67. For those who do not realize it, the miraculous medal is bordered by twelve stars as was seen by the children in the apparition of the Immaculate Conception in 1830 A.D. Does this imply that Mary is the woman spoken of in Revelation? When examining religious pictures of Our Lady of Fatima, it is observed that Mary's head in this apparition is also surrounded by a ring of twelve stars. Is this mere coincidence or a sign of Divine Providence?
68. Our Lady of Fatima is also known as Our Lady of the Sun because of the miracle of the sun which she performed before thousands on October 13, 1917 A.D., in Fatima, Portugal. Is the miracle of the sun related to the passage in Revelation? But what about the moon?
69. The message of Our Lady of Fatima involved a request to the faithful to renew their commitment to wearing the scapular. The lady above a moon refers to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel who gave the scapular to the world. This is seen on religious pictures of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
70. Through the apparitions and request at Fatima, Mary combined eight centuries of Marion revelations; the message of the Rosary to St. Dominic (1170-1221 A.D.), the message of the Scapular to St. Simon Stock in 1251 A.D., and the message of the Miraculous Medal to St. Bernadette Soubiroux in 1858 A.D.
71. It is now clear that the woman mentioned in Revelation 12:1 is a reference to the Virgin Mary because of the three references of the moon, the sun, and the twelve stars, each one relating to one of the three gifts that Mary gave to the world.
THE THREE MARION SACRAMENTALS
72. The Sun refers to Our Lady of Fatima emphasizing the recital of the rosary to the world. The twelve stars refer to the Immaculate Conception giving the miraculous medal to the world. The moon refers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel who gave the scapular to the world.
73. These three Marion sacramentals, the Rosary, the Scapular and the Miraculous Medal were given to the Church and have been liturgically honoured in the history of the Holy Catholic Church.
74. These powerful spiritual shields were given to the faithful by Mary to safeguard them against the evil forces, her assurance of protection as the Mother of God. These three gifts were hidden in the Bible, ensuring the preservation of the meaning of Rev. 12:1 until the appropriate time. Because of this fact, it can be seen that God had a progressive plan regarding the blessings of the Virgin Mary.
75. Throughout the centuries, Mary has taken sinners under her care, protecting them and guiding them towards her beloved Son, Jesus Christ. In the process of accomplishing these individual deeds, the hearts of those sinners experienced a transformation by the co-labouring power of the Holy Spirit. Their hearts were ignited by a spark of Mary's pure burning love for her Son, Jesus.
76. Through Mary, to Jesus, those converted believers found a new meaning to the word Christianity. Then, Mary gradually reduced her presence from their lives, leaving her Son Jesus to care for the newly converted followers who were regenerated by the Holy Spirit, now being prepared to proceed with their sanctification. After all, is Jesus not more qualified to redeem and sanctify souls, He from whom nothing can be hidden and He who has the final authority to judge, to reward or to condemn the souls on the day of judgement?
77. Having said this, it should be appreciated that Mary has played an active role in bringing back to our Lord Jesus, God's children who had gone astray. Thousands of times, this has been recorded throughout history. It is a principle of faith which the believers should accept as being divinely effected.
THE MESSAGE OF MARY
78. Throughout the centuries, with more frequency during the last two hundred years, Mary has appeared mostly to uneducated and poor people, many of them being innocent children. This served the purpose of validating her apparitions. Her revelations have always been in accordance with Biblical teachings. In Church approved apparitions, her prophecies have always come to pass.
79. The main message of Mary has always been to remind sinners that they are offending the Lord, imploring them to pray daily and repent before it is too late! Mary could not have accomplished these acts of immense love without first having being commissioned by the Heavenly Father to do so.
80. In His Divine plan of love and mercy, God provided sinners with a second chance at their salvation, through the blessed Virgin Mother of the incarnated Word. Faith in the Almighty power of the Heavenly Father provides the Christians with the knowledge that if God had not commissioned Mary to perform her miraculous wonders, He would have intervened without any further delay to cease the apparitions. Her physical and spiritual miracles would not have been in such a great number. In fact, the thousand of miracles that have been granted through the intercession of Mary would never have occurred had it not been the will of God.
81. Because they have occurred, it is safe to conclude through faith and reason that the spiritual works of the Virgin Mary have been commissioned by the Heavenly Father as part of a greater Divine Plan. Having been commissioned by the Heavenly Father as previously concluded, Mary has maintained an active and important role in the Holy Catholic Church since the day of her Assumption.
82. She has represented sinners, acting as their Heavenly advocate before the Throne of her Heavenly Son, Jesus Christ. She has interceded for mercy on their behalf. She has officially guided the sinners towards their spiritual rebirth, their sanctification and their redemption. As co-labourer, this role has earned Mary the honours and titles of co-mediatrix and co-redemptrix.
83. As previously demonstrated, these apparitions and revelations of the Virgin Mary throughout the centuries were part of the Divine Plan. The Holy Spirit of God dwelled within the Holy Catholic Church, progressively guiding it for centuries to declare the numerous feasts in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, these having been executed in preparation for what God will reveal next.
THE OFFSPRINGS OF MARY
84. By the Will of God, the Virgin Mary has been elevated beyond all human perception for the glory of the Heavenly Father. In Genesis 3:15, God said, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers." When reviewing this verse, it is realized that there is something mysterious about it.
85. If 'offspring" literally means children, it only applies to the woman because Satan, as an angel cannot have children. Angels are neuter, do not marry, and do not beget children. [Mk. 12:25] In order to apply to both, the woman and Satan, it must mean something else. The 'offspring' is therefore symbolic of 'something that results from something else'. As such, the offspring must be the labour of the woman and of Satan.
86. Reflecting on this meaning, the scripture would then be read as, "I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your labour and her labour." The questions that then follows are, "What is the woman's labour?" Would her 'labour' be in reference to the labour of her Son "Jesus Christ"? It could mean two things.
87. By accepting her commission to be the Mother of Jesus, Mary became the co-redemptrix of mankind for without Mary, there would have been no redemption plan.
88. Secondly, the meaning of the verse can exactly mean what it says in the Bible, "I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your labour and her labour." In this meaning, the 'labour' becomes the efforts in the battle between good and evil, led by Mary and Satan, on earth and in the spiritual world.
89. Therefore, the reference in the scripture is a reference to the Virgin Mary who received her commission by God in the battle against evil. This is the magnitude of Mariology which has been concealed from mankind for centuries.
90. The many apparitions which have taken place during the past two thousand years were all leading to a mysterious Divine plan that is now unraveling itself before the world. It could not have been known until now, when her latest apparitions had taken place. Indeed, Mary has been blessed throughout every generations!
MARY IS THE NEW EVE
91. When the Blessed Virgin Mary accepted her Divine commission in free faith and obedience, she became the new Eve, the mother of the living. (C.C.C. # 511) By the power of the Holy Spirit, in free faith and obedience, she accomplished what Eve had failed to do in the Garden of Eden. Through faith and hope, Mary corrected what Eve's disobedience had done to this world. Because of this, it is said that death came through Eve, life coming through Mary. (C.C.C. # 494)
92. While Satan deceived the first Eve in disrespect of God's glorious Plan for mankind, God chose Mary, an Immaculate Virgin, a human being, as the second Eve, to participate in the redemption of mankind. Through Mary, to Jesus, Satan has been robbed of his false dignity and of many redeemed souls which he thought he had conquered.
93. Since Satan deceived the first Eve to disrupt God's Divine plan of eternal life, God commissioned Mary as the second Eve in His Divine plan for the salvation of mankind. While the fruit of the tree of knowledge that Eve gave to Adam [Gen. 3:20] served the purpose of leading mankind to its downfall, the fruits of Mary's tree serves the purpose of shielding the souls from evil in order to gain eternal life through their sanctification. The fruits of Mary's tree are the Rosary, the Scapular and the Miraculous, these being the outcome of Mary's commissioned works.
94. The first Eve disobeyed the Divine Will of God, acted without authority, [Gen. 3:13] and was the cause of the fall and loss of God's friendship with mankind. Mary, the second Eve, acted with authority, obeying God's commission [Lk. 1:38], and was the perfect Eve who restored God's friendship with mankind.
95. The first Eve beared her children in pain because of her disobedience [Gen. 3:16]. Mary did not endure pain at the birth of Jesus, being a virgin before, then and after for the glory of God. This is echoed in the Book of Isaiah. "Before she was in labour she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a Son. Who has heard of such things? Shall a land (Christianity and the Church) be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor, she delivered her children." [Is. 66:7-8] Through Mary, as co-redemptrix, mankind was delivered through the Redemption of Christ.
96. Eve's first son Cain took a human life [Gen. 4:8]. Mary's firstborn Jesus gave His life for the salvation of all humanity. [1 Cor. 15:22]
97. While Adam named Eve "the mother of the living" [Gen. 3:20], Eve "was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner" [1 Tim. 2:14]. Mary was the true "Mother of the living" by right of having given birth to Jesus (Jesus means "God Who saves"), she having remained immaculate throughout her life.
98. Each similarity serves to remind Satan that the most glorious of females, the Virgin Mary, was being elevated for eternity, over and above all possible honours that Satan could have acquired in his eternal angelic life had he remained obedient to Almighty God.
99. Through the first Eve mankind was condemned to death [Gen. 2:16-19], afflicting every human being with the original sin. Through the faithful and immaculate second Eve who hoped against hope, many lost sinners realized their salvation by returning to Jesus Christ.
100. All these facts serve to prove that Mary was commissioned by God to perform spiritual work. This work begun after her Assumption. If the Blessed Virgin Mary deserves one more glorious title that is greater than all her other titles, it is the title of "Our Lady of the Divine Commission". This honourable title includes all her earthly and worldly characteristics and works. Blessed is she for all generations! [Lk. 1:48b]
This ends the beautiful course "Reflecting on the Virgin Mary". Our ministry prays that this course has increased your understanding as to why the Blessed Virgin Mary is so highly regarded in the Catholic Church. It is hoped that you will pursue your spiritual growth, registering for another course to increase your spiritual knowledge of the Bible.
To COMPLETE the Exam for this course, please click on EXAM