Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Calling No Man Father

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As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.  Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.  Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.  The greatest among you must be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:8-12)

The other day I was sitting in my office pondering Our Blessed Mother and thinking about the Litany to Our Lady Healer of Families.  And in a moment it struck me that one of the Dogma’s of our faith is Mary the Mother of God, or Theotokos.

Mary is the Mother of the God

Mary, who is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of the Son, all things related to God, but the preeminent definition of who she is in relation to God is Mother.  That is the essence of who she is and is a defined dogma.  I realized with my heart (not just my head) that this means she isn’t just the Mother of Jesus’ humanity (Nestorian heresy), but the Mother of his divinity, his whole person; and since by the action of the Holy Spirit, we receive His humanity and divinity in the Eucharist and Christ dwells in us, she is literally our Mother,  and not just spiritually.  The more we turn to her, the closer in union we become with God.

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

I knew God was trying to tell me something more.

Our existence is about our very relationship with God and how we relate to God extends outward to our fellow man.  When we recognize our source, and that it is a source outside of ourselves, but that dwells in us, we become Christ-like.

Our Relationships

The very first relationship we have is that of daughter or son.  This is a relationship of receiving.  We are young, weak, unable to care for ourselves, and so we must receive what we need in order to flourish.  A child that receives from his or her parents what is needed is a child that flourishes.

The next relationship we have is two-fold – it can be brotherly or sisterly – or it can be spousal.  These relationships are giving and receiving.  These relationships are intimate, not in a sexual way (though with spouses that intimacy is also physical), but in a way, that when the good of the other is sought, these people can know who you are and continue to give love and receive love from you.

The relationship with a mother or a father has with their children is one of giving.  When a child is in the womb and later born, they are completely weak and helpless.  They cannot give of themselves.  Mothering and Fathering require much sacrifice.

This is the ultimate expression of God in us because it requires total giving.

Motherhood and Fatherhood are life-giving.  I have written before of how women give life from their wombs and men, as Priests, give life to us in the Eucharist.

The relationship cycle is meant to purify us and draw us closer to God.  Throughout our lives, it is an ebb and flow of these relationships, but union with the will of God is Motherly and Fatherly.  It is self-giving love.

We need first to receive, and then give and receive, in order to be brought to this union of giving the way that God did.  When we walk this path, when we walk in the authority God gave us, we become confident Mothers and Fathers that the devil will flee from.  This self-giving love does not require actual Motherhood or Fatherhood, it requires the recognition that the Love of God is sacrificial and giving and can dwell within each of us.  It is true charity and does not expect a reward.

An Expression of God’s Love

Mary as Theotokos is the ultimate expression of the love of God.  Defining Mary as the Mother of God defines who Jesus is and how He wants to fill us and what we are to become.

If a society looks down upon Motherhood and Fatherhood the society will collapse because it is a society that doesn’t know how to give.

Jesus came as the Divine Child to show us the source of charity, to show us how to give.

Mary and Joseph were essential to this plan because they had to give of themselves in order for the rest of us to receive Him and grow into Mothers and Fathers whether literally or spiritually.

He started as a child to show us who we are to become.

Looking at the Divine Child you are looking at the source.

Which brings you back to the will of God;  The source, the giving tree, the Tree of Life.

There is a reason Satan attacks Motherhood.  There is a reason even Catholics are now attacking calling a Priest Father.

Destroying Motherhood and Fatherhood Destroys Charity.

In a twisted diabolical form, they claim to uplift women by attacking the very essence of what forms her in Love.  They take what Jesus said about calling no man Father and twist it to destroy what Christ is trying to teach us about Love.

The Fatherhood of the Priest is not a Fatherhood of man.  Remember no one is good but God alone (Mark 10:18). The Priesthood is the Fatherhood of God,   a Fatherhood of giving, a source of charity.  Priests are giving us divine life very literally. The devil wants nothing more than to destroy this.  And he is working inside the church to do so.

It is why Mary is so needed right now.  And her sons, the Priests, who are also Fathers of God because they give us the source of charity in the Eucharist.  Look at the Divine Child.  The Divine Child mirrors Christ on the Cross and the Eucharist; a person totally in the hands and control of others. How will you love Him?

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10 thoughts on “Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Calling No Man Father”

  1. Mary was a full flesh and blood human being regardless of how perfect her relationship was with God. She is not part of the Godhead as Christ is. Christ is human and part of the Godhead at the same time. The Holy Spirit is fully Spirit who cannot be given in marriage to anyone. The language is inappropriate and misleading and is not official Church teaching.

    1. This devotional title of our Lady takes us back to the annunciations to her and in a dream to St Joseph. On both occasions, the angel gives assurance that it is the Holy Spirit who brings about the conception of the Son of God in her womb (Mt 1:18, 20; Lk 1:34; Catechism 484-6). The angel’s assurance overcomes any doubt about the possible cooperation of a human male in the conception: the Lord Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Mary. We confess it this way in the Nicene Creed: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

      The cooperation of the Holy Spirit in the conception of the Lord Jesus to the exclusion of a human male points to our Lady’s unique relationship with the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. With the Father and the Son, he kept her free from the stain of sin, and so by the Spirit’s intercession the Virgin is all-holy. The Holy Spirit also sanctified the womb of the Virgin Mary to prepare her to become the Mother of God, and filled her kinswoman Elizabeth when she greeted her (Lk 1:41). We recall also that she is there in the Upper Room with the disciples at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son (Acts 1:14). In a special way, all the key moments of her life feature the divine Spirit, in a similar way as the events of family life feature both of the wife and the husband together:

      Another great Church author much devoted to our Lady is the priest and martyr of Auschwitz, St Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941):

      “The Holy Spirit manifests his share in the work of Redemption through the Immaculate Virgin who, although she is a person entirely distinct from him, is so intimately associated with him that our minds cannot understand it. So, while their union is not of the same order as the hypostatic union linking the human and divine natures in Christ, it remains true to say that Mary’s action is the very action of the Holy Spirit” (Miles Immaculatae).

      Finally, too, you may be interested to know Pope Leo XIII mentioned the spousal relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin in an 1897 encyclical:

      “Let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relationship existing between her and the Holy Spirit, so that she is justly called His Spouse. May she continue to strengthen our prayers with her prayers” (Divinum Illud Munus/That Divine Gift, n.14)

      Answered by Fr Paul Rowse, OP

  2. Mary is the mother of God because she is the mother of the Word incarnate. If she were the mother of the Trinity she would be the mother of the Father and the mother of the Holy Spirit. This would be out of line. Spousal relationships are human relationships (Matthew 22:30). Mary is not the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

    1. The Litany of Our Lady of Victory, St. Francis, St. Louis deMonfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe all called Mary spouse of the Holy Spirit. Of the Blessed Virgin Saint Maximilian Kolbe and her relationship with God said this, “The creature most completely filled with his love, filled with God himself, was the Immaculata, who never contracted the slightest stain of sin, who never departed the least from God’s will. United to the Holy Spirit as his spouse, she is one with God in an incomparably perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.” And Pope Paul the VI let the faithful know that Kolbe’s teaching on this was sound.

  3. Wonderful. You may wish to be more careful though in the theology of Theotokos. It is, of course, de fide, that Mary is the Mother of God. But I have never read her referred to as Mother of the Trinity. As you state, she is the daughter of the Father and spouse of the Holy Spirit, but I don’t think you meant to say she is Their Mother. No, she is the Mother of the Son, who is God, second Person of the Trinity. The Nestorians taught that there were two persons in Christ and that Mary was the mother of Jesus as a human person. Mary is certainly the Mother of Jesus; that was not the Nestorian heresy. But to say that Mary was the Mother of a human person in Christ, THAT is the heresy.

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