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Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Holy lives of inspiration

Today, at the beginning of a new calendar year, it is so important to remember that Mary “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” These things are the great blessings bestowed upon her and the whole human race by the Triune God.

First a word about blessings, then a word about Venerable Patrick Peyton as a Passionate Son of Mary. Finally, a word of encouragement to bestow blessings upon others.

There are two kinds of words, one to communicate information; the other to accomplish what it signifies. The Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament demonstrate this clearly when God says, “Let there be light, and there was light.” No sooner spoken than it happens. Cain killed his brother Abel because God blessed Abel’s offering and not Cain’s. Jacob and Esau fought furiously in the womb and after to get their Father’s blessing and inheritance. Once the blessing is bestowed it cannot be revoked.

We call Mary the Blessed Mother because God prepared her to be the Mother of his Son with so many blessings. He preserved her from the stain of original sin by the future merits of her Son. He redeemed her as perfectly as possible; not by healing or multiplying bread or changing water into wine but by keeping her free from the stain of original sin, even venial sin before it touched her soul for even an instant. Once Mary knew God’s will, she accomplished it quickly, gladly and fully. Because of this, her dignity, goodness and beauty surpass that of all the other saints combined. No wonder she kept all things, pondering them in her heart.

On this New Year’s Day, we can take heart and hope from Mary. Venerable Patrick Peyton certainly did. Listen to what he says about Mary:

"The blessing is an awareness, consciousness of Mary’s reality; Thanks be to God, Mary is real for me; she is alive; she is somebody’s daughter; she knows what it is to be on this earth of ours; she knows what sorrow is, what fear is, what poverty is, what deprivation and destitution are.

Mary is for me a great strength; she is my spirituality; she is my peace; she is my prayer; she is my purity; she is my sureness; she is my defense, my protection. From her heart and from her arms and with her strengths I respond to the Most Blessed Trinity and to our Lord Jesus Christ, and to my fellow-man; her strengths are mine-my feeble strengths become strong in hers.” {Father Peyton in Nazareth, Israel, May 24, 1971}

Finally, because this is a new year and because of the performative power of blessing, every single one of us, especially parents, can call God’s blessing down upon our brothers and sisters at all moments: morning, noon and night. Let us never miss an opportunity to shower each other with blessings. Finally, at the end of each Mass, we have the immense privilege of receiving the apostolic blessing and commission to go forth and proclaim the Good News of the Lord, Mary’s Son.

I would like to extend, from the bottom of my heart and in the name of our entire team at Holy Cross Family Ministries, a Happy and Blessed New Year to all of our friends, benefactors, collaborators in our ministry to help families pray. It is my joy to call down God’s richest blessings upon you and your families for the entirety of the coming year 2020. 

May God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Bless You Now and Forever! Amen!

About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.