[Read as subject of commentary: "'Jesus Saves' via Christianinsal.over-blog.com."]
Mama Mary and the Saints
I so too believe that the Blessed Virgin Mother is the Mother of Christ as presented in the scriptures.
A deeper meaning comes, that she is the Main Vessel of the Holy Spirit, best explained on the 'tool of salvation' on e-book inspired by the Holy Spirit, "Jesus is Real - An Attestation to the Truth ..."
She loves us so much as she has loved Jesus, her Son, who is the Son of God.
As Catholics, we honor Mama Mary as such as she has become the chosen one of God who would bear His Son, with the Angel Gabriel himself being sent by our Heavenly Father to give meaning to this great and joyful revelation, just as Jesus has been the chosen One of God to be the Son.
While the Blessed Virgin Mother has been so honored, just like many other saints who have lived with Christ and in Christ, contrary to what others insist that they are being worshiped when they are not, rather accept them as well loved intercessors to Christ Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit extended to them as they have all become one with Christ, and Christ is still, the one and only "Mediatrix of All."
Mama Mary was born 'sinless,' as her nephew, John the Baptist's parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth were also righteous and 'blameless' before God as in Luke 1:6. Mary was 'favored in fullness of God's grace' being 'with the Lord,' as in Luke 1:28. Nobody was worthy except her to become the mother of God in Jesus as this has been God's plan for her among all elect even before creation, that Jesus' victorious death and resurrection may be fulfilled. This special role is indeed worthy of great praise and thanksgiving as we are blessed in her holy presence ever guiding us towards the love of her Son, Jesus, as all the others saints, whether physically present or not in this life, have tirelessly and relentlessly continued to do so, inspiring us in our faith in Jesus.
It is no wonder that many miracles and apparitions have been credited and recorded to Mama Mary's name because of the love that she has shown for mankind and for those who believe in her Son, Jesus Christ, that their love for Jesus may grow.
If the love for Mama Mary can be so intense, it is because she personifies the ever loving mother we have in heaven, who from the beginning, has been ever faithful and obedient to our Heavenly Father, having been Divinely blessed and chosen by the love and grace of God, with a heart so pure and holy, living a life so simple, humble and true.
Will this not also true among the saints and beatified people, who, by their intense love of God in Jesus, have become instruments of the power of the Holy Spirit and have become vessels of God's love in Christ, with enormous miracles granted in their powerful intercession.
Let us not be divided by our faith in Jesus because some Christians insist that Mary is not to be worshiped which is a total misconception and is misleading as it is untrue and unverified. The Catholic Christian faith never teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mother and the saints are to be worshiped but honored.
Honoring the saints and Mama Mary should not mean we submit ourselves to the sin of idolatry, because the saints and Mama Mary are all instruments of the love of God in Jesus and they being intercessors, all point to Jesus through the Holy Spirit as the source of their power, love and blessedness.
Let us remember that Jesus does not want us divided in our faith, rather, to be ever strong, steadfast and united against all evil that continue to divide and deceive us to weaken our faith when divided, as we get confused and vulnerable through our pride and ego, through our self serving human intelligence which veers us from the truth in God's words in Jesus.
And when they are honored, it does not mean they are being worshiped through images made for them inside churches, rather, their spiritual bodies are honored and respected as in them is the true Temple of the Holy Spirit, as they remain pure and holy.
Yes, we do not have to kneel before statues and the Catholic Church also says this, but if some Catholic faithfuls want to kneel before images of Christ, Mama Mary and the saints, it is meant to worship God and glorify God, as we all know as true Christian believers, that Christ is the only way to the Father, and together with the Holy Spirit, he and God the Father are One.
This makes images as mere reminders of our faith, just as the crucifix is, not as statues or idols being worshiped or are ever to be worshiped.
I just hope and pray that no one puts malice in this practice as showing reverence and honor to Mama Mary and the saints can be expressed as humanly as possible and Christ, having lived among men, as the "word made flesh," can very much relate to this human expression of love of God through others.
And this too has been manifest in his first miracle when he turned the jars of water into wine at the prodding of his mother, Mama Mary, who meant nothing more than to provide life, joy and happiness in a great feast of love in itself, a wedding celebration in Cana.
And through Christ Jesus, the true Messiah, as God made into Man, following him and putting our full trust in him through his words of love and in the forgiveness of sins, we may be saved.
As in 1 John 2:1-6, Saint John exhorts all men to walk with the light of Christ, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The many who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly complete in him. This is how we know we are in him. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
[Read on related hubpost designed to further enlighten us on our faith: Even in Death our Spirit Lives as we may Die in Christ, in God's Will, we Live]
Many times, we too, or anyone who so believes, become faithful intercessors of Christ Jesus whenever we help pray for the needs of our brothers and sisters, and believing that Mama Mary and the saints can become more powerful intercessors for our petitions through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit, this has further strengthened our faith in God as many of us have seen the fruits of this practice with the countless mind bungling miracles and blessings that have occured and continue to happen in this life, and many times, no ordinary human being or even the learned scholars or scientists can explain.
Will all these be welcomed with joy and happiness rather than with ridicule and speculation if it comes as a a message from God on the love of Christ Jesus especially to those who have learned to believe, that others too may see the truth in God's words?
For indeed, God moves in mysterious ways. And in all these, God is glorified.
[Read further on this related post: "Graven Images: Altering the Commandments?" from CNA.com for insights we may find helpful as we seek guidance with the truth in God's words.]
If kissing images is considered idolatrous, would kissing the picture of your mom, child, girlfriend, dad, wife, best friend or whoever you love be considered also idolatrous if God teaches us to show our love and concern for others, while keeping in mind that our love for God is never to be compromised because without Him we are nothing?
Would praying before God while in front of, or holding a picture of a love one we are praying for constitute idolatry?
Is asking for prayers through our family members and friends in our community be different from asking intercessory prayers from Mama Mary or the saints and the blessed yet holy people who are, nevertheless, deceased or departed?
Love in Christ
In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus said to the Pharisees in the presence of a crowd and his disciples on the question of what is the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law of the Prophets hung on these two commandments.”
Are not the first four commandments in the Ten Commandments referring to the love of God, while the rest, to the love of others?
And as long as we acknowledge and believe in our deep love of God and of others, more than anything else in this world, we are saved in the light of Christ.
Let us always pray that we do not fall into the trap of deceiving ourselves from the truth implied by this powerful commandment of God in Christ which is the love of God and the love of our neighbors.
Let the true meaning of the scriptures find their way into our hearts through the Holy Spirit as we reflect on the truth that God made everything out of His everlasting "love' for man.
Being able to avoid sins of lust and the lures of power and wealth make us stronger in our faith as we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, becoming stronger in protecting ourselves from being enslaved by things material which only make us weak in body and spirit as we become wordly.
Persevering in our faith, on the other hand, makes us whole with Christ and in Christ and no one can ever break that powerful bond in us.
If our great fore parents in Adam and Eve, the first man and woman created by God fell from sin because of eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of wisdom and knowledge, the apple representing material things, let us not fall too as an easy prey to the evil one by being overcome by our pride or by vanity and be carried away by human wisdom and intelligence that keep dividing us and tend to pull us away from the truth in the love of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior.
We must fully understand why Jesus, the Son of God, suffered and died for us on the cross, precisely so with his words of truth and love, and in his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, we too are saved from sin through the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life for those who believe in him, have faith and follow him.
What we have lost through the sin of Adam and Eve, we have regained in Christ through the gift of life eternal.
NDE or Near Death Experiences
Moving further, during the transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-9, did not the apostles Peter, James and John see Elijah and Moses, the latter two, despite their having already departed from this world, were seen talking with Jesus? If you believe in this, does this not reveal to us the truth in a living and conscious spirit even after our death?
It may interest you to note that in the presence of some doctors and learned experts in the medical world, after careful study and observation on some duly recorded near death experiences or NDE, they have made baffling discoveries about the consciousness of the spirit, and as an example, despite a brain dead patient - a spirit that saw his own body as he drifted away from it, went from room to room near his own room, saw and heard conversations among people in those rooms before returning back to his own body.
And when he got up vividly recounting every detail of what he saw, heard and experienced, all the doctors and medical experts were amazed yet convinced of their conclusion about the consciousness of the spirit despite a brain dead person.
With the consciousness of the spirit away from its brain dead body, does this not give essence to prayers passed on to saints for intercession, where the power of love in prayers really matter?
Those who experienced NDE have claimed to have seen their deceased relatives and the consciousness in their spirit.
Will this not give credence to Catholic Christian beliefs of praying for the dearly departed that they may enjoy eternal bliss and happiness with God in heaven, and so they too can pray for us and return the favor?
No wonder I have felt protected too, and so with my family, with my brush with death in previous car accidents, mild heart attack and mild stroke, as I continue praying for my son who passed away just two days after birth, about whom I am always proud to claim we already have an angel in heaven, for my Dad who passed away at the age of 63, and for my many friends and relatives whom I pray for that our Heavenly Father grant them eternal peace in heaven.
In Matthew 22:30, Jesus said to the Sadducces who questioned him on marriage and resurrection, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage, they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead – have you not read what God said to you? I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
And being with Christ make us ‘like angels’ when we die, and like angels, we are no longer dead but living as one with God in life eternal, forever.
In Christ, we overcome death as we overcome the wages of sin which is death.
[Read our related post on the power of prayers: "Prayers Can Move Mountains"]
And going back to kissing pictures and holding pictures of our love ones in prayer, is this not just a show of human affection and physical attachment that we are prone to do for our love one, and not idolatry?
Do not sportsmen kiss their trophies or winners and champions in any kind of human activity of event do that too, but are they worth of our condemnation or judgement of being idolatrous? Is this not being merely human and purely a normal human reaction as we live in the realities of this life we need to savor the fruits also of our labor or arduous training to also give meaning to and celebrate God's gift of life?
Less we become overwhelmed, perhaps, that we forget that in all these, God needs to be glorified, including everything that we are blessed with in this life.
Isn't it so that because of God and with our God given talents we excel and prevail in activities we allow ourselves to be a part of?
Aren't we allowing the evil one prey on our weakness whenever we forget to honor God as due? Are all these including our talents not coming from God? If so, do we not allow ourselves to become a pawn of the devil whenever material things matter more than the One who created us all, our Heavenly Father?
While we respect other religions which do not believe in the Holy Trinity - ie, the worship of Three in One God namely, the God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - we still pray for their conversion and enlightenment through the Holy Spirit that they too may see the light in Christ.
While I may obviously be biased in my faith, is it not Christianity which promotes love and respect to life, forgiveness of sins, belief in only One True God, freedom in the practice of other religion and respect to others' faith, promotes love of God more than love of worldly and material things, belief in one True Messiah in Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, and the amazing truth in his wonderful miracles of healing, driving out demons, calming the sea, raising the dead to life, great miracles performed out of faith in Jesus and those made in his name through the Blessed Mother, the saints and the faithfuls, the power and truth in his words and teachings on top of the many miracles performed by God the Father as recorded in Holy Bible as He has prepared man for the coming of His Son in Christ, our True Redeemer and Savior.
Indeed we are blessed with the saving grace in Christ Jesus.
Reading from our link on "'Vision of Hell' as shown to Sister Faustina Kowalska or Saint Faustina, you will see how God revealed to Saint Faustina the truth about Hell while guided and protected by an angel in the presence of angry devils so "no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no Hell."
Reading through it, do you not see how and why we already see Hell around us as we live this life, that with the absence of God in our life and the absence of love and the lack of it, we are rendered weak in health, fail in our relationships, and suffer in depression, sadness, loneliness, too much anxiety and fear, with some of us ending in hospitals, rehab centers, psychology clinics, mental hospitals, jails and in other God forbidden places?
Sister Faustina also mentioned, on top of the seven kinds of tortures, about "the caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another," designed for particular souls depending on how they have sinned.
Even in the earlier recorded revelation of God to Saint Catherine of Genoa, in her divinely inspired writings on "The Treatise of Purgatory," I can see a relation of this revelation to that of Sister Faustina as they complement each other.
While Saint Catherine writes about the truth in Purgatory, Sister Faustina shares with us her vision about the tortures in Hell.
Saint Catherine tells in her biography that as early as in this life, she has learned to endure the pains of cleansing and the purification of her heart and spirit, dying to her 'self,' as she dedicated the latter part of her life in the love and service of others while caring for the sick. And for her, living in the love of Christ was incomparable as she was blessed with great and unexplained joy and happiness.
[Refer to our post on: "The Truth in Purgatory as Seen in the Vision of Saint Catherine of Genoa"]
In Matthew 5:22, Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool,’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
May we learn to avoid bigotry and hatred towards our misguided brothers, rather, peacefully guide them to Christ, less we wish to endanger ourselves into the fires of hell.
And in some NDE, there were some who mentioned of struggles or a downward pull to darkness before they saw the light, and as they prayed to God or Jesus, they were brought to the indescribable light of God and love.
Is not this a fitting revelation of how true God and Jesus is? And with God's mercy and forgiveness, we are given the chance to renew ourselves and be a light to others.
Anyone who had this NDE experience and having seen that bright awesome light - usually attributed to the presence of the Holy Spirit as seen by Saint Paul before Jesus revealed himself to him temporarily blinded for three days before setting forth to witnessing Christ's resurrection and the truth in his words - is considered very fortunate and blessed as one is given another chance to life and another chance for renewal and redemption. This may become an encouragement for others as one becomes a living witness to the truth in God's words in Christ.
Alas, for the weak in faith who still remain blind and cannot see the true message and meaning of this experience comes real misery.
But for those who have surrendered everything to God and have the Holy Spirit in them, in humility, kindness and the presence of Christ in their hearts, all these bring them true joy and happiness for they have accepted the truth in Christ and have considered this life as temporary leading to what greater glory there is into eternal life.
This life, therefore, for those who believe, becomes no more than a stepping stone from materialism to life everlasting, from death to immortality, from darkness to light.
Praying for guidance through the Holy Spirit while onto our linked sites in this post can better prepare us to understand the essence of the NDE and on Sister Faustina in the light of the truth in the love of Jesus, and to be careful not to be deceived by some elements in NDE claims as some may be fraudulent with the absence of filtering mechanisms on the site. We pray, nevertheless, that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us for those which veer us away from Jesus and his words.
Truly, God moves in mysterious ways. I can see how many people in NDE have been made instruments to make us realize the truth in the afterlife and the truth about the living light that engulfs one with the enormous love of God, some of them seeing or hearing and feeling Jesus, the Son of God.
We Christians are indeed fortunate to have Christ reveal the truth in his words, and it is up to us to live them and to share them with others that they too may be saved.
In Philippians 1:21, Saint Paul writes as he rejoices in God’s words and in his overwhelming faith and love in Jesus, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Let us be enlightened, my dear brother, that Jesus is the Son of God, made human by God precisely so we can better relate to God through him.
We both know that Jesus suffered enough, my brother, more than enough, to save us from sin, and from all sins that man can think of including sins of pride, arrogance, anger, hatred, slander and murder, lust, greed, sins of omission, of non forgiveness, of retaliation and vengeance, gossips, malicious thoughts and intent over others and all other sins of the flesh or of material things that no one can ever take with him when he dies.
And so long as you put your heart and soul for him and to live your life in him and with him, then you are saved, yes, we are all saved in Christ Jesus, by the grace of God in faith, doing good deeds and become a shining witness of the truth in God's words.
In James 2:26, Saint James said, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
And in Romans 8:36-39, Saint Paul makes it clear how we, as believers, become more than conquerors: " As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, no any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Further in Colossians 3:5-14, Saint Paul states his message on idolatry and the need for unity among all Christian believers, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
And in 1 Corinthians 3:16-23, Saint Paul makes it clear to all followers of Christ, and to even those who are learning to know Christ, to respect and love one another as not to boast against each other as he tells them, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are the temple.
"Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of age, he should become a “Fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”
Let us, therefore be one, my dear brothers, in worshiping God as due, through the light of Christ and spreading his love and the truth in him here and around the 'wide wide world' through his words, and put a stop to our unnecessary debates of judging each other.
Otherwise, do we not become unwilling and weak instruments of the evil one as we are dividing ourselves from the love of God which only benefits evil because that is the only way that the devil can further his claim to his own truth?
In Ephesians 4:29-32, Saint Paul writes to the Ephesians about being careful with what comes out of our mouths, out of which should come love and compassion instead of evil and malice, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
If we believe that all material things are foolish things in this world, as written in the scriptures, should we worry about idolatry which refer to things that are also material, and is not dwelling on this issue, therefore, foolish and divisive as this cannot save our soul more than the love that we show for each other can?
And is it fair to talk against the Mother of Jesus, when she has shown many times her love and concern for us through her recorded Marian Apparitions in different parts of the world which includes Medjugorje 1981, Lourdes 1858, ,Ponmain 1871, Pellevoisin 1876, Gietrzlwald 1837, Knock 1879, Fatima 1917, Guadalupe in Mexico 1831, Banneux 1933, Beauraing 1932, La Salette in 1846, Rome in 1842, Paris in 1830 and Syracuse 1953.
Have you ever experienced the love of a mother? If you did, you may understand me when I say, "there is nothing that can compare with the kind of love a mother filled with grace can ever give and offer to all her children."
No wonder for some smart kids, they find it wiser to ask what they need from their dad through their mom, huh, lol.
But on a more serious and truthful note, the more love we project through our prayers, that love multiplies through all intercessors to Christ Jesus.
And for Mama Mary, we are all her children and as such, her love for us abounds with care, compassion, protection, understanding and forgiveness.
And in praying the Holy Rosary, made from within our hearts, Catholic faithfuls ask the Blessed Virgin Mother, and the saints as they may be included in the litany, to intercede for us as our vessels to Christ and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins, for love and unity in the family and the community and for all other petitions it may be personally designed to address.
However we may design our prayers, for so long as they are said from within our hearts and express our love of God through our love for our fellowmen, the more God listens to us.
Whether you support this or not is not for me to demand, but to learn to love our Blessed Mother as we love our own mother, ever thankful of the sacrifices they went through while showing the kind of love only a mother can give, and the saints as well, as they have become true witnesses of God's goodness through Christ, the way we are taught by Jesus to love our neighbors and one another, is my humble prayer.
And for my hope, that for unity in our purpose.
For is not love that which conquers all a higher and deeper goal than what our intelligence dictates?
Is not love higher that anything else, and yes, higher than the law of the universe, because God is love?
In Romans 13:10, Saint Paul, after exhorting the Romans to 'love others as yourself,' and states further, “Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
With our divisiveness are we professing our love for others because we base our judgment on what we know and what we believe as human intelligence? Is not human intelligence limited to what we read, hear and see and is not of the Holy Spirit?
May 'love' in God's words fill our hearts and soul as we seek the truth in the Holy Spirit.
And in 1 Corinthians 13:8, Saint Paul in the love of Christ stated, "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."
We may not realize it, but the evil one siphons to his side those who are lost in this world and make them his, namely, all those who are weak in their faith and are prone to take their life because of the lack of it, and those who do not know and believe in Christ, or the anti-Christ as Jesus would call anybody who denies and refuse to believe in him.
And with the truth in the love, mercy and forgiveness in Christ, may all be enlightened to draw ourselves, and the unbelievers to open their eyes and spirit that they too may learn to know him, be nearer to him and learn to thank God in Jesus and glorify him in all good things and in all circumstances, for it is from God, that all good things come, and it is in Christ that we abide by God's will in us.
[Read and get further inspiration from our post: "'Love' by Saint Paul, Love of God and Self-Pity"]
Let us, therefore, challenge ourselves and pray for unity of purpose and believe, as we are one body in Christ Jesus, and pray for those who have not accepted Christ yet in their life.
And together, we can be stronger as we spread the love and the truth in Christ around us, that we all can be saved.
And as Saint Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, "If God is with us, who can be against us."
[Read further on an enlightening post for our children: "Teaching Children About Love and Obedience In and With Christ Jesus"]
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