Why Do We Need Mary?
Karen in Dallas, Texas, listening on
Guadalupe Radio. It’s open forum on Catholic Answers Live and
Tim staples is taking your questions. Karen, what is your question for Tim? Hi, I
have a question about the Glorious Mysteries; we end it with the
Assumption and the Coronation of Mary. And so I was wondering, why do we
do that and where does that originate from? Yeah, great question Karen let’s
start with the “why.” It’s so important that we understand, when we
talk about our salvation as Catholics, we don’t look at things–and I should say
the Bible doesn’t either–we don’t look at things the same way, say, a
Fundamentalist or Evangelical or even most Protestants, that it’s all about
just me and Jesus; but we believe that we are members of a body, that when we talk
about salvation we’re talking about much more than just me and Jesus. I mean, to
say that our salvation just relates to me and Jesus would be like saying the
finger on my hand has nothing to do with the rest of the body. In fact, my finger
could jump off my hand, it doesn’t need the rest of the body–no! My finger needs
the rest of the body. St. Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 12:12 to 27 and
Romans 12, we’re a body! We need each other for salvation. So salvation we see
as a corporate reality, not just a one-on- one thing. And so when, you know, when
we’re talking about the the mysteries of the rosary, we’re talking about God’s
plan of salvation, and within that plan includes the Blessed Virgin Mary, in a
particular way because this is a Marian devotion, but Mary’s Assumption and
Coronation serve as sources for hope for you and I. This is why we say in the Hail
Holy Queen, “Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!” We’re not denying, of course,
that Jesus Christ, as Paul says to the Colossians, is the hope of glory. Christ
in us is the hope of glory, of course. But we see in
Mary the grace of God perfected and fulfilled and we can look to her–
“Hey, if God did it for her, he can do it and he will do it for me.” So we see the
Assumption and finally the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as very much
relating to the glory of God. “Wow, look what God did!” in Mary and also
as pertaining to us, because she serves as that source of hope. And you know what,
I’ll say this, Karen, as well: Cy can be a source of hope for us.
I look at Cy and I see the joy of the Lord and such–sometimes–
I’m trying to work it up right now, so you will see it.
But really we do, we become sources of hope and inspiration for each other. You know, I–
Karen, I just quoted earlier 1 Corinthians 4:14-15, where St.
Paul says, “Even if you have ten thousand instructors in the Lord Jesus Christ, you
have not many fathers…I become your father, for I begot you through the
Gospel.” In the next verse he then says, “I urge you therefore, brethren: be imitators
of me.” Right? Man, to my Protestant ears that sound–that that would have sounded
almost blasph–“What do you mean, imitate you? Man, I imitate Jesus!” No, he says,
“imitate me.” Now that’s a pretty bold statement; I don’t know if I’m there yet, Cy…
I know I’m not. That’s right. Especially with my driving. Don’t imitate me.
But you know what, we need brothers and sisters in Christ. We need
Mother Theresas and Pope Saint John Pauls and St. Pauls and St. Peters and
all the lives of the saints that we can look to for inspiration;
much like, Karen, basketball players will look to Michael Jordan for inspiration,
right? “Wow! Like Mike, if I could be like Mike,” remember those commercials?
I do not, but that is so much fun listening to you sing it. That’s right! See, and so that’s, I mean, in
a nutshell, Karen, that’s what it’s about; of course this is a Marian devotion, so
it’s focusing on Jesus and the life of Christ as it relates to the Blessed
Virgin Mary, but really we enter into that great mystery as well, because
Mary is really the archetype of what it means to be a Christian.
So we imitate her, just as, you know, we imitate St. Paul and St. Peter. Now, as
far as when, when did those mysteries develop–that is a great mystery. There
are different theories as to when, although our friend, Father Donald
Callaway, just wrote a great book on the rosary which I’m just making my way
through and it’s blowing my mind. I’m actually– Really? Oh yes, I mean he’s…it’s
very interesting, but Karen, there are different theories within the Church
as to when the rosary developed, how developed was it by the time of St.
Dominic and such, but just put it this way, Karen: it’s a very ancient tradition in
the Church, it goes back a long long way, it developed over time, no doubt, but it
is a beautiful tradition that has the approbation and the blessing of the
Church and it has produced scads of saints over the centuries. Thanks
Karen, thanks very much for that call.