The Mother of the Redeemer has a precise place in the plan of salvation, for “when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:4-6) (Redemptoris Mater, JPII, No. 1).
Today on X, formerly known as twitter, I read part of a thread between a woman defending the child in the womb, and those who attacked her. The back and forth was exhausting and I closed the app.
A memo from the FBI was released by former FBI agent Kyle Seraphin titled, “Interest of Radically or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology.” The memo directly sights a defamatory study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the subject “Radical Traditional Catholicism.” It seems that these Catholic radicals who believe in traditional marriage and family will not be tolerated.
Bishop Strickland, formerly the Bishop of Tyler, Texas, provided Lifesite News with this statement about the memo: “Sadly, the experience of Mark Houck (a father of seven arrested for praying outside an abortion clinic) provides evidence that this type of surveillance is not beyond the realm of possibility. Yes, committed Catholics will defend the unborn and others who are helpless, but attacks of violent aggression are antithetical to what it means to be a radically committed traditional Catholic. Let us pray for all in positions of authority and especially for those in law enforcement.”
Bishop Strickland has since been removed as the Shepherd of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Texas by Pope Francis. The Vatican has not divulged the reasons behind his removal. But for all the talk about dialogue and listening to the spirit coming from the Synod of Synodality it is clear that voices such as Bishop Strickland, Cardinal Raymond Burke and others will not be tolerated.
The times we are living in are dark. Yet we are people of the light, children of God. We must find our voice and have the courage to freely speak the Truth and choose the Good. Then God will send the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’
Make no mistake about it, we are in a Spiritual Battle that Sister Lucia, the main visionary of Fatima, clearly defined in her letter to Cardinal Caffara and John Paul II when she wrote, “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.’ Do not be afraid, she added, because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Then she concluded: ‘Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head’.”
“Our Lady has already crushed his head.” From the beginning of human history and despite Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, Eve receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living (Cf. CCC, No. 489).
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the Lord God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!” The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me the fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” The Lord God then asked the woman, “Why did you do such a thing?” The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”
The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living (Gen 3:9-15, 20).
The mother of all the living. Original Sin has left humanity with a fallen nature that is experienced more acutely today than perhaps at any other time in history. The “Essential bond between Truth, the Good and Freedom has been largely lost sight of by present-day culture.” Human reason, intelligence and free-will have become darkened by sin and the prospect of death. Hence, we not infrequently witness the fearful plunging of the human person into situation of gradual self-destruction. All around us we encounter contempt for the life of the child in the womb and for Christians who stand to defend it. Today objective Truth is rejected and freedom alone, uprooted from any objectivity, is left to decide by itself what is good and what is evil (Veritatis Splendor, JPII, No. 84.2). This has resulted in dramatic changes in law, culture, and popular opinion on issues of marriage, family, sexual identity, and gender.
Modern man finds himself in a conundrum. He has normalized sin and has accepted his fallen nature. As a result he has no solution to offer the staggering number of victims. Today there are 60 million adults, one in four women, and one in six men, the walking wounded, who are victims of childhood sexual abuse. To this the number add broken marriages, children born out of wedlock, the elderly with no one to care for them, the annihilation of the child in the womb, and the children being groomed and secularized in the public school system.
Men have forgotten God, but, God has not forgotten Men. His plan to bring good out of evil and offer fallen humanity another solution, the culture of life, is already in place. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” At a point in time the plan unfolds with the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother Mary, the new Eve, born without Original Sin. To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace” (CCC, No. 490; Lumen Gentium, No. 56).
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26-38).
“May it be done to me according to your word.” Our Blessed Mother’s ‘Fiat’! This marks the moment when the Holy Spirit, who had already infused the fullness of grace into Mary of Nazareth, formed in her virginal womb the human nature of Christ. (Redemptoris Mater, JPII, No. 1). God the Father told St. Catherine of Siena, “It was, therefore, necessary to join human nature with the height of My nature, the Eternal Deity, so that it might be sufficient to satisfy for the whole human race” (St. Catherine, ‘Dialogue’).
The love of our Father, who sends forth Jesus his Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit into our hearts, does so through a human woman’s yes, from whom the Redeemer is born, so that we might each be joined, in our own divine filiation, in the family of God. So “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
The Mother of the Redeemer is already prophetically foreshadowed in the promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after their fall into sin (cf. Gen 3:15). Likewise she is the Virgin who shall conceive and bear a son, who name shall be called Emmanuel (cf. Isa. 7:14; cf. Mic. 5:2-3; Matt. 1:22-23). The Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin. The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life. (LG, Nos. 55-56).
“Behold the handmade of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Thus Mary, a daughter of Adam, consenting to the divine Word, became the mother of Jesus, the one and only Mediator. Embracing God’s salvific will with a full heart and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son, under Him and with Him, by the grace of almighty God, serving the mystery of redemption. As St. Irenaeus says, she “being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race” (LG No. 56).
Archbishop Fulton Sheen summarizes the teaching of countless saints and mystics when he proclaimed: Now we’ve always thought, and rightly so, of Christ the Son on the cross and the mother beneath him. But that’s not the complete picture. That’s not the deep understanding. Who is our Lord on the cross? He’s the new Adam. Where’s the new Eve? At the foot of the cross. … If Eve became the mother of the living in the natural order, is not this woman at the foot of the cross to become another mother? And so the bridegroom looks down at the bride. He looks at his beloved. Christ looks at his Church. There is here the birth of the Church. As St. Augustine puts it, and here I am quoting him verbatim, ‘The heavenly bridegroom left the heavenly chambers, with the presage of the nuptials before him. He came to the marriage bed of the cross, a bed not of pleasure, but of pain, united himself with the woman, and consummated the union forever. As it were, the blood and water that came from the side of Christ was the spiritual seminal fluid.’ And so from these nuptials ‘Woman, there’s your son’ this is the beginning of the Church.
On the Cross, Divine love has not only been perfectly poured out of a human heart, but also perfectly received by a human heart, and perfectly returned. The nuptial mystery is consummated! Christ gave himself up for her, the Church, his Bride, “that she might be immaculate” (see Eph 5:27). This is our hope!
Today take a moment to kneel with Our Blessed Mother, look up at her Son, the Eternal Bridegroom, and proclaim your Fiat! “May it be done to me according to your word.”