Monday, June 27, 2011

Cyril Of Alexandria On Mary's Divine Motherhood


One of the most difficult points of faith for many Protestants is Mary as Mother of God in as much as giving her the honor that is due her in this regard. They may believe that she is the mother of Jesus, but feel that Catholics err greatly in honoring her as the Mother of God; in their eyes they see it as us taking away the honor that is due God alone.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. We do not worship Mary (or any of the saints for that matter), but honor her and seek her intercession. No one is closer to God than Mary and no one can obtain the graces we so desperately need from God the Father through Jesus, the Son of God. Mary herself would be appalled if we attempted to worship her, for worship rightly belongs to God alone. Mary wants only to point us and bring us closer to Jesus. At the wedding feast in Cana, she tells the wine stewards: "Whatever He tells you; do it!" She tells us the same thing.
Today is the feast of St Cyril of Alexandria. He is an early Church Father and Doctor of the Church. He lived in the 5th century and was bishop of Alexandria for 32 years. During this time he defended the orthodoxy of the Catholic faith against the heresies of Nestorius who looked to strip the Blessed Virgin of her Divine Motherhood and thereby making Christ two separate entities: one divine and the other human. Cyril proclaimed Mary as Mother of God long before it became an official dogma of our faith. His feast is celebrated mainly in the eastern churches (June 9), but is also on the Roman calendar as well for today.
I always learn so much from reading the writings of the Church Fathers and Doctors. Their deep faith and insight always edify me and deepen my own faith.
Here is an excerpt from Cyril's essay The Blessed Virgin Mary is Truly Theotokos, Mother of God.


"That anyone could doubt the right of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God fills me with astonishment. Surely she must be the Mother of God if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, and she gave birth to him! Our Lord's disciples may not have used those exact words, but they delivered to us the belief those words enshrine, and this has also been taught us by the holy fathers."






Prayer
Heavenly Father,
the bishop Cyril courageously taught
that Mary was the Mother of God.
May we who cherish this belief
receive salvation through the incarnation of Christ your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

More on the life of St Cyril
Related post by Fr. Joseph Homick: Love Your Mother (don't miss this one!)

*excerpt and prayer courtesy of Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio at Crossroads Initiative


4 comments:

mary333 said...

Well said, Karin! If you strip Mary of the title "Mother of God" you strip Jesus of His Divinity. I can certainly understand the difficulty my Protestant brothers and sisters have with this as well as other Catholic issues concerning Mary. I don't argue when I am accused of "Mary worship" - I simply explain that this is a fallacy. If they come up against my beliefs of Mary's sanctity in a great way I just ask the Holy Spirit in prayer to give them light and help them understand her unique position as Mother of God in the salvation of the world and that without her "yes" we would be in big trouble :)
Great post!

Karinann said...

Thanks Mary. That is a great way to handle people's opposition to Mary; only the Holy Spirit can open their hearts.

Daily Grace said...

Wonderful post Karinann,

I learn so much from you and I am grateful.

Thank you!

Karinann said...

Thanks DG, I love sharing what I learn as well. It's the teacher in me- I can't help myself :)

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.