After invoking her with the title: “Mother of Christ”, next, the Church goes on to invoke her with the title: “Mother of Divine Grace”, and this becomes our topic for today. What does this title mean? Does this mean that she is the source of divine grace such that she becomes equal to God? Or does it mean that she possesses the same power as that of Christ in dispensing graces? Or is she greater than God’s graces, being the mother? What can “Mother of Divine Grace” mean?
The Blessed Virgin Mary is called “Mother of Divine Grace”, first of all, because She is the Mother of Jesus Christ. It is Christ of whom St. Paul refers to as the ‘Grace of God’ revealed to save the whole human race (cf. Titus 2: 11). Who is St. Paul talking about in Titus 2:11? Who is the Grace of God if not Jesus Christ himself, the Way, Truth and Life? Thus, Jesus is the divine grace promised by God, and since the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Woman who provided the “Divine Grace” a real human body, it cannot be denied that she is the mother of Divine Grace. Little wonder when describing the great mystery of the incarnation of the Eternal Word, St. John the evangelist refers succinctly to Christ as “Full of Grace and Truth” (cf. Jn. 1:14). As such, God deemed it fit for Mary to enjoy the state of sanctifying grace all through her life (‘Kecharitomene’ – Lk. 1:28) in order to be a worthy aqueduct of the “Divine Grace” – our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, whenever we pray the “Hail Mary, full of grace…”, we are saying that our Lady is full of the life of God since she was his most generous co-worker and humble servant of the Lord. Put differently, Mary freely cooperated in the work of the salvation of humanity, in deep and constant harmony with her Divine Son.
To invoke Mary as the “Mother of Divine Grace” means to feel the need for the gift of the Father – our Lord Jesus Christ, who was given to mankind through her instrumentality, and also be ready to welcome her (the channel through which God’s graces flow) with an open heart.
The Dogmatic Constitution On The Church: “Lumen Gentium” summarizes our thoughts on Mary’s predestination to be the Mother of God in the following words:
“Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way, she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultic, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator. For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer (…) The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.” (L.G. #61-61)
Above all, by invoking Mary as the “Mother of Divine Grace”, we feel how much She is our Mother in the order of grace. Therefore, with Jesus, in Jesus, for Jesus, through Jesus, and depending on Jesus, she generates divine grace in us, maternally bringing Jesus to our souls.
May our Lady, the “Mother of Divine Grace”, continually pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?