Priest defends Marian veneration

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PARAÑAQUE City, September 10, 2014—In a bid to dispel wrong views some people have about the Catholic veneration of Mary, a priest explained the “active role” the Blessed Mother plays in the Divine Plan.

In his sermon on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady on Monday, September 8, at the St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Formation House in Multinational Village, Parañaque City, Fr. JV Acosta, a Conventual Franciscan (OFMConv,), said the best way one can go to Jesus is through Mary, His mother.

He pointed out that while the All-Powerful God could have chosen any other means of entering history, He opted to do so through a humble woman who called herself the “handmaid of the Lord”.

Acosta stressed that if God Himself in all His majesty had condescended to come to humans through Mary, nothing should prevent them from going to God through her.

To make himself better understood, the priest invited his audience to reflect on this cooperative role of Mary in salvation history.

He emphasized that the beginning of the salvation of humanity rested on the Blessed Virgin’s “yes”, her “let it be done according to your Word”.

Due to her “fiat”, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a Church Father, gave Mary the title “New Eve”.

He said, “It was right and necessary that Adam be restored in Christ … that Eve be restored in Mary so that a Virgin, become advocated of a virgin [Eve], might erase and abolish the disobedience of a virgin by her obedience as a Virgin.”

The Filipino faith has always been marked by a strong Marian devotion. (Photo: CBCP News)

This title was also highlighted by the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) which mentions, “The Holy Fathers see Mary as not merely a passive instrument in the hands of God, but as cooperating in the salvation of human beings with free faith and obedience.”

“One cannot love Christ and hate His mother… If you love God, love whom He loves,” stressed Acosta.

According to him, Catholics only honor the Blessed Virgin because God honored her first, but this “honoring”—hyperdulia—should not be confused with the worship that must be accorded only to God.

He explained that in choosing Mary to be the mother of His incarnate Son, He raised her above all other creatures.

Echoing St. Polish martyr and Militia Immaculatae (MI) founder St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, himself a Conventual Franciscan, Acosta said, ““Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

Meanwhile, in a tweet posted September 2, Pope Francis shared, “The Christian who does not feel that the Virgin Mary is his or her mother is an orphan.” (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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