by Ken Rolheiser
Great things and October as Mary’s month

If you possessed more tongues than there are leaves and blades of grass, stars in the sky and grains of sand in the sea, you could not add anything more to describe Mary than “Mother of God”, said Martin Luther. Luther went on to speak of “great things” that God has done for Mary.

There are many daily reflections shared on line at A Moment with Mary by those who have witnessed apparitions by Mary (Subscription is FREE). Here is an example:

“In Poland, after the fall of Warsaw a hospital was crowded with wounded Russians and Poles. We isolated two serious tetanus cases, a 17-year-old Polish boy and a 40-something Russian man. Hania, the Polish nurse, counted her phials: there were enough for one patient, not two. She hesitated—which one should she choose?

“The Russian showed Hania a medal of the miraculous Virgin: ‘Who is the woman on this medal that I found on the floor?’ he asked. Hania was offended. She said to herself, ‘So this is how low the Russians have fallen with their atheism!’ – ‘That lady is Our Lady! She is the Mother of God!’

“Hania was about to share the injection between the two patients, but the Russian noticed. ‘Don’t do that! You don’t have enough for two.’ He pointed to the young Pole: ‘He’s young. I'm old. He has a mother. I have neither father nor mother. So let me choose for you.’

“During the night, a slight noise startled the nurse who had dozed off. The Russian was staring at the corner of the room. His eyes were riveted in one place. Suddenly he spoke softly: ‘Oh! She smiled at me! She’s calling me! But who are you, Madam? Yes, I’m on my way... Mother of God!’ And with this exclamation, he expired...”

I realize I can only scratch the surface of the marvellous ways God has communicated to us through Mary. The greatest thing we can do is say a devote Hail Mary.

One day, Saint Matilda, who loved the Virgin Mary dearly, was trying to compose a beautiful prayer in her honour, when Our Lady appeared to her with the angelic salutation written over her breast in golden letters: "Ave Maria, gratia plena" [Hail Mary, full of grace]. And she said: "My daughter, no prayer you could ever compose would give me as much joy as an Ave Maria."

Saint Jerome said that "the truths contained in the Hail Mary are so sublime and so wonderful, that no man or angel could fully understand them."

Father Suárez, a Jesuit scholar, said that at the time of his death he would gladly trade all the books he had written and all the works he had done, for the merits of a single Ave Maria recited with devotion.

One should consider with deep reflection what it means to be the Mother of God:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death.

(529 words)