Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's Wholly Understandable.

"Hail, Full of Grace!"

-St. Gabriel to Mary

Have you ever wondered what "full of grace" means? The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this: "In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne of God's grace." (CCC 490) In this and the next few posts, God willing, I am going to take these ideas in hopes that God causes your hearts to beat with excitement over His great wonders through Mary and to ignite a flame in you to realize your great dignity, take hold and join wholly the ride!

Mary should be talked about and we should grow in knowledge of her role and position in the Mystical Body of Christ, His Church. Especially as Catholic mothers, young and old; understanding her role and God's love for her aids us in realizing our meaning in life and the wonderful depth of God's love for us. So, lets talk...

Many people think that Mary was like us fallen humans; That she was just a vessel which God choose to use and then became unnecessary to Him.  This is a reflection of what too many women think of themselves. But it is not what women are and it was definitely not what Mary was or is. It is understandable that with our fallen minds we would overlook such things, but we need to rise above those limited perceptions and put on God's mind. We need to see that God rather made Mary to be the perfect "Temple" and "Ark" for His Son; AND to be forever useful to His Kingdom and His Children.  What does this have to do with you and me? If God used Mary to just be a vessel only, then He never intended us to be anything more then tools for His purpose either. And that is utterly untrue! Like Mary we too are meant for great things; uniquly different, but specific great eternal things. Not just here on earth, but for greatness in God's Eternal Kingdom. We are all meant to become...full of grace.  

But we ask again, what is "full of grace"? Grace is the very life of God. God's life! Think about that. Grace IS GOD's Life. "Sanctifying grace is a free gift of God which allows us to become children of God, to share in the divine nature, and to inherit eternal life." (from the Outlines of the Catholic Faith by Leaflet Missal) When a soul is in sanctifying grace it shares its life with God. St. Paul said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." That is Sanctifying Grace.

Mary was given this fully from her Conception as a free merciful gift to you and me, to the whole Church.  Why? 

I am no theologian, but this is what I have come to understand: Adam and Eve originally lived in Sanctifying Grace, fully sharing in God's life in them. When they were tested, they choose using free will to disobey God. Hence, the original sin. When humanity was given a second chance, (keep in mind this was purely out of God's merciful love, for He did not have to open the possibility for any of us to have a second chance) to be redeemed from our fallen nature. God's justice made it fair to us by giving us another woman, full of grace, to have the opportunity to obey or disobey God's will. So, like Eve, Mary too was purely in the full state of Grace. Hence, the Church in her wisdom has decreed True that Mary was Immaculately Conceived. First in God's mind, then in St. Ann's womb.

We should find this Truth a most precious sign of God's mercy on us. For what He gave freely to Mary is what He calls us all to become a part of: His Very Life----union here and then perfect union forever in Heaven. Mary is our model and proof that what God desires for humanity is True and given through His love. We only need to say, Yes.

 

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