… I hate it when my writing gets so self absorbed I forget to mention what’s worth mentioning. The important stuff.
Today was the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And what about Her name?
In accordance with Jewish custom our Lady’s parents named her eight days after her birth, and were inspired to call her Mary. The Hebrew name of Mary (in Latin Domina) means lady or sovereign; this Mary is in virtue of her Son’s sovereign authority as Lord of the World. We call Mary our Lady as we call Jesus our Lord. When we pronounce her name, we affirm her power, implore her aid and place ourselves under her protection.
You know how we bow our heads at the mention of Jesus during the mass? How come the Latins don’t show His Mother the same honor? In the Divine Liturgy, Eastern Rite Catholics always cross themselves at the mentioning of Our Lady’s name. Every. Single. Time. I sometimes catch myself doing this at mass and think, oops, wrong crowd. Any one care to answer that one for me? It’s just something I’ve puzzled about before.
Back to Mary…
When we call upon the name of Mary, we’re not only invoking her aid as an intercessor to Christ, but as a conduit or dispenser of grace. When Mary assented to God’s plan of salvation, by saying “yes” at the moment of the Incarnation, she intervened on behalf of every human person. St. Thomas Aquinas notes that Mary’s acceptance by her free will to become the Mother of God at the moment of the Annunciation demonstrates the close spiritual connection between Christ and all of humanity. Only after Mary’s “yes” did Jesus Christ become a man and die for our sins. Therefore, far from feeling like devotion to Mary and her Holy Name pushes us further from God, we can continue to meditate and to examine how she binds us to Him all the more closely.
Isn’t that lovely? As lovely as the Litany of Loreto.