Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P., Parochial Vicar and Apostolate Director 4640 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119 Email: frmarianovelizop@preachmypsalter.comPhone: (504) 488-2651, #249

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mi abuela Mercedes Martínez Ruiz, una hija fiel de Nuestra Señora del Santo Rosario

       Cuando era un niño, de unos 7 años, me acuerdo haber visto y escuchado a mi abuelita materna, Mercedes, rezando el Rosario todos los días. A veces iba a orar sola y otras veces con la familia o amigos. Fui testigo de haberla visto hacer esto tanto en el hogar como en la iglesia. La primera vez que me acuerdo que le pregunte acerca de esta práctica diaria del rezo del Rosario, ella sólo me contestó : "Yo estoy ofreciendo rosas para mi madre." A los 7 años, yo no entendía lo que estaba diciendo. no entendía que estaba hablando de la Santísima Virgen, Nuestra Señora del Santo Rosario. Pensé que se refería a su madre natural, mi bisabuela, Tomasa. Pero poco después ella comenzó a ayudarme a comprender de lo que estaba hablando. Comenzó a enseñarme acerca de la Santísima Virgen, Nuestra Señora del Santo Rosario, a través de los Sagrados Misterios del Rosario. Como tal, ella me enseñó que la Virgen María no sólo es la Madre de Dios, sino también la Madre del pueblo de Dios, incluyendo a mi madre. Como resultado, ella me indicó que para honrarla como tal tendría que enseñarme el Ave María, el Padre Nuestro y el Gloria. Mi abuela me estaba preparando para aprender el Rosario.
       Después de recibir esta catequesis mariana de mi abuela, comencé a desarrollar un deseo en mi corazón para aprender a rezar el Rosario de la Santísima Virgen. En este sentido, me inspiré en la devoción mariana de mi abuela y la enseñanza. Quería honrar a la Virgen María como mi Madre a través de la oración. En consecuencia, puedo recordar el día en que empecé a rezar el Rosario por la primera vez en mi vida en la casa de mi abuela cuando era un niño de solo 7 años. Yo estaba solo en su sala de estar. Tenía la esperanza de rezar el Rosario correctamente tal y como yo recordara y creía que mi abuela lo rezaba, pero no fue así. Yo estaba rezando el Rosario de manera incorrecta. Estaba orando 5 Avemarías y 5 Padre nuestro de cada década del Rosario. Tampoco podía recordar todos los misterios de cada década. Sin embargo, hice todo lo posible. Después de darse cuenta de que estaba rezando el Rosario incorrectamente, mi abuela se ofreció a enseñarme a rezarlo. Le dije rápidamente que sí a su oferta, confiando en que ella me daría instrucciones. Por lo tanto, ella me enseñó a ofrecer rosas a la Virgen María, la Madre de Dios, rezando Su Rosario a la edad de 7 años. Al hacerlo, ella me ayudo a honrar como a mi Madre, a la Señora del Santo Rosario .
       En la providencia de Dios, esta formación que recibí de mi abuela durante la infancia como hijo de la Santísima Virgen María también me preparó para ayudarla a buen morir en Cristo muchos años después. Recuerdo el día, la noche del 30 de octubre del 2000, mientras permanecía postrada en su cama en su sufrimiento a causa del cáncer y parálisis. Mis familiares y yo estábamos reunidos alrededor de su cama. Yo los estaba dirigiendo en el rezo del Rosario, el Rosario que ella me había enseñado a orar años atrás cuando era un niño. A pesar de que sin duda podía ver y oír a todos los que orábamos por ella, había aparentemente perdido toda su capacidad de responder de manera significativa a dichos estímulos, al menos físicamente, afectiva y verbal. En consecuencia, su rostro estaba completamente en blanco con la barbilla apoyada en su pecho inmóvil. Ella estaba a punto de morir. Sin embargo, cuando mi familia y yo estábamos orando la última década del Rosario, de repente levantó la cabeza con una gran sonrisa hermosa, en su rostro mientras contemplaba algo glorioso y pacífico en la sala imperceptible para todos los demás. Creo que esto fue una gracia que recibió de Dios a través de la intercesión maternal de Nuestra Señora del Santo Rosario como una señal de que iba a morir una buena muerte en Cristo. En consecuencia, lo que ella estaba viendo era ciertamente celestial. Segundos más tarde, ella espiró su último aliento; Cerré sus párpados; y termine con mi familia de dirigir el rezo del Rosario por el eterno descanso de su alma. Que todos los seres humanos, todos los católicos, incluyendo a sus descendientes, abran sus corazones para enseñar  a sus hijos y a sus nietos a ser fieles hijos de Nuestra Señora del Santo Rosario, la Madre de Dios y Madre de los hijos de Dios.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Honoring Mary as the Mother of God

       Throughout her history, the Catholic Church has professed the revealed faith she has received from Christ through the holy apostles concerning the person of Christ Himself in relationship to His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  First and foremost, the Church professes her belief in the revelation that the child Jesus, conceived and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary as man in human history, is the Uncreated Divine Person of God the Son from all eternity.  As such, this Son proceeds eternally from the Father.  In this sense, He is not a creature, but He does have a created human nature.  For as the Uncreated Son of God, He created a humanity for Himself in becoming man. This means that He did not become a creature by His human conception and birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the contrary, He remained the Uncreated God as man.
       As for the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, she is a creature.  She is the greatest creature the Son of God ever created for Himself in all creation.  For He created her “full of grace” as a human being, as the All Holy Daughter of Israel, through her Immaculate Conception to prepare her to become His Mother “in the fullness of time”. Accordingly, from the beginning of her creation, she was fully sanctified, far above all other creatures, by a singular grace of justification, the immaculate grace of God, through the Gift of the Holy Spirit. As such, she received this grace from her conception as a human being in anticipation of the merits of her Son’s saving actions as man.  In this sense, He saved her through her immaculate creation. For this reason, she has a natural debt to honor Him in justice and charity as her God by offering Him prayer of latria or worship, for God alone merits such prayer as her Creator and Savior.  She is, in this sense, subject to Him.  She is subject to His divine dignity and authority.  For He is not only her Son, but also her God.  Nevertheless, in a certain sense, by His human conception and birth as man to the Blessed Virgin Mary, God the Son subjects Himself to her maternal dignity and authority. In becoming man through Blessed Mary, He establishes a relationship of nature, a relationship of consanguinity, with her. This means that as man He proceeds from the same substance or nature of Blessed Mary as to natural, bodily descent.  His humanity descends from hers.  Consequently, as a natural Son of Mary through His created human nature, He becomes naturally indebted to her as to filial justice and charity.  As a result, this is a debt He is morally required to pay her by nature.  For as her natural Son, He has a filial duty to offer her the just and loving actions she has merited for herself by conceiving and bearing Him as man. Accordingly, He honors her as His Mother, as the Mother of God, by such actions, for He is the Son of God who has become man through her. 
        All the same, in professing that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God through the human incarnation of God the Son in her womb, the Church is not saying that Mary is the "Mother of a human person." On the contrary, the Church is saying that Mary is the "Mother of a Divine Person," the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, who became man through His incarnation. For the terminus or end of the act of Mary conceiving God as man through the Holy Spirit is not the generation of a created human subject or person in her womb. There remains only one "personal subjectum" in the incarnation of God the Son as man. This subjectum, called the "suppositum" or "hypostasis," is the Uncreated Divine Person of the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.  As such, this is the subjectum that proceeds eternally from God the Father.  For this reason, the Church professes that the subject or suppositum of the created human nature of Jesus Christ is His Uncreated Divine Person.  In this sense, He remains "one and the same Divine Person" eternally in becoming man.  Accordingly, Mary’s conception of the Son of God as man terminates not in the creation of a human person, but in the incarnation of the Uncreated Person of God the Son as man through a created human nature.  As a result, God the Son acquires a "second nature or mode of being" in becoming man, not a second suppositum or person.  This means that He remains the Son of God in becoming the son of man.  For this reason, the subject of His created manhood or nature is His Uncreated Divine Person as the Son of God.  In this sense, He unites this second created nature or mode of being to Himself in the incarnation of His Divine Person.  This is called the "hypostatic union," the union of the divine nature and the human nature, in the One Divine Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Hence, the Blessed Virgin Mary is rightly called the Mother of God, not the Mother of a human person. For She is more than the Mother of a man.  She is the Mother of the Divine Person of God the Son who has become man.  She is the Mother of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity who remains fully God in becoming fully man.
       On this basis, St. Thomas says that as the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary has a certain infinite dignity by her maternal relationship to the infinite Good, God Himself.  As such, he says that there is nothing that can be conceived of as greater than Mary’s Maternity, because there is nothing greater than God as the end or terminus of this Maternity.  This is the basis for St. Thomas’s teaching concerning hyperdulia, a special honor or veneration due to Blessed Mary alone as Mother of God.  According to him, "hyperdulia" is the highest form of dulia, because the reverence or honor due any person increases with that person’s relation to God.  The greater this relation, the greater the honor due the person.  As a result, because the Maternity of the person of Blessed Virgin Mary terminates in the Uncreated Person of God the Son, she is personally due the greatest honor or reverance among human persons called hyperdulia through acts of justice and love.  This would include prayer of veneration and intercession.  Accordingly, during this Christmas season, I hope and pray that you will consider honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Divine Person of God the Son.