Saturday, May 08, 2004

On May 8, 1851
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
On Mary as Our Mother
"1. INTROD.-Our Lord from the cross said, 'Behold thy mother.' These words, spoken to St. John, have been considered by the Church to apply to us all.

2. When our Lord went up on high, He supplied us with all those relations in a spiritual way which we have in a natural way. He is all of them-our physician, our teacher, our ruler or pastor, our father and our mother. Explain how our mother-as bearing us in pain. 'Shall a mother forget her sucking child?' and in nourishing us with the milk of the Holy Eucharist.

3. And as St. Peter the one pastor, as St. John, etc., and the prophets and doctors [as teachers], as priests His physicians, so He has left His own mother to be our mother.

4. 'Behold thy mother,' etc. Month of Mary.

5. Now consider what is meant by this-a mother's special gift-fostering care, tenderness, compassion, unfailing love, so that whenever we would express what is home, and a refuge, and a retreat, and a school of love, we call it our mother. Our country is our mother: our schools, colleges, universities, etc., etc. Hence the Church.

6. This is what Mary fulfils to all who seek her care, and in a far higher degree than any mother can do; for,

7. First, many lose their mothers, or have unkind mothers, etc. Everything of earth fades.

8. Second, a human mother's standard of things may be wrong: it may lead from God, hence human affections keep so many from the Church.

9. Everything human has a chance of fostering idolatry. What is always present hides the unseen.

10. Our heavenly mother cannot fail and cannot err, cannot obscure her Son and Lord, but reminds of Him.

11. Let us try to get this filial feeling, though we can only learn it by degrees, and cannot force ourselves into it. "


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