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Posts Tagged ‘Mary’

Fiat

In 07 Observations on 2015/10/09 at 12:00 AM

The source of grace is Christ Himself, incarnated into our human nature having received His body though His mother by the action of the Holy Spirit.

There is no one on earth who was closer to Him who gave us spiritual life than His mother.

Hear and follow her two instructions she has given you: Let it be done to me according to His will and Do whatever He tells you.

Ask Mary to form Jesus in you so that you become like her Son.

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Assumption

In 07 Observations on 2015/08/14 at 12:00 AM

“The psychologist Carl Jung made the startling statement that Pius XII’s 1954 definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary, body and soul into heaven was “the most extraordinarily religious event since the Protestant Reformation.’ Jung was a Protestant but was appalled by the overemphasis of the merely rational in the Christian West of his day. The West had had become all too masculine, he said, and Nazism was the logical result of the overemphasis on masculine power, practicality, hard efficiency, scientific knowledge and quick results that can be priced! He regarded the Assumption of the prayerful Virgin to a very special place beside God as a healing symbol for a society sick with ‘practical’ masculinity.”

A Christian Without Mary is an Orphan

In Uncategorized on 2015/01/30 at 12:00 AM

On Saturday afternoon, in the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens, the Pope met with a group of young people from the diocese of Rome embarking on a vocational journey. “This visit to the Virgin is very important in our lives”, he said. “She accompanies us also in our definitive choice, the vocational choice, as she accompanied her Son on his vocational path which was so hard and so painful”.

“When a Christian says to me, not that he does not love the Virgin, but rather that it does not come to mind to look to the Virgin or to pray to the Virgin, I feel sad”, he said, adding that “a Christian without the Virgin is an orphan. A Christian needs these two women, these two mothers, two virgin women: the Church and Our Lady. And to ‘test’ a true Christian vocation, it is necessary to ask oneself, ‘how is my relationship with these two Mothers?”.

The Pontiff went on to remark that in today’s provisional culture, care must be taken not to lose sight of the definitive. “We are afraid of the definitive. And to choose a vocation, any vocation, including vocations that involve a ‘state’ such as marriage, consecrated life, the priesthood, one must choose with a view to the definitive. This is contrary to the culture of the provisional. It is a part of the culture in which we must live in this time, but we must live through this and conquer it”.

In conclusion, the Pope encouraged all present to sing the “Salve Regina” and imparted his blessing to all the young people and their families, asking them to pray for him.

VIS 14030

Mother and Child

In 07 Observations on 2014/12/25 at 12:00 AM

Jesus’ mother, Mary, is an essential and integral par of God’s plan for our redemption.

You cannot separate this mother from her child: Jesus and Mary go together.

Christ is given to us through His mother.

God chose to request a woman’s consent for His plan; what a testimony to God’s view of womanhood!

Praying Litanies

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/12/12 at 12:00 AM

Within our beautiful Catholic tradition of prayer we have litanies dedicated both to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. A litany, as you most likely know, is a form of prayer that consists of a series of invocations and responses meant to implore God’s grace and mercy or to ask for the intercession of a particular saint.

While there are a handful of saints with their own litanies as well, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (sometimes called the Litany of Loreto) and the Litany of St. Joseph are well known by Catholics and are often used.

The fact that the Church encourages the usage of these two litanies tells us not only that we should turn to both Mary and Joseph in our times of need, but that they are very willing and capable intercessors as well. That makes perfect sense, does it not?
If our Lord is going to grant the petitions of any of the saints in Heaven, isn’t it fitting that He should answer the prayers and petitions of Mary and Joseph above all others?

Of course it is fitting! Indeed, it is right and just that our Lord should give particular deference to His Immaculate Mother and His earthly father – and not just because they are His parents, but because of their heroic holiness.

We have focused a great deal on our Blessed Lady this Advent, and rightly so, for by having carried our Savior in her womb, Mary embodies the spirit of hopeful expectation for the Lord that is proper to Advent.

In her faith-filled yes to the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation, and through her patience as the mystery of our Lord’s Incarnation unfolded within her and around her, Mary – more than anyone else – teaches us how to live Advent and prepare for our Lord’s coming.
As the Litany of Loreto tells us, Mary is both Mother Most Pure and Virgin Most Faithful.

But today, through our Gospel story, Holy Mother Church focuses our attention on goodSt. Joseph, the just one who served as our Lord’s father during His earthly life.

While we often refer to St. Joseph as the foster father of Jesus, in Hebrew society andculture, there was no real distinction between an adoptive father and a biological father.

In Joseph’s time if a child was accepted by a man and taken into his home to be caredfor, that child became the real child of that man. The man’s acceptance of the child was the determining factor.

Adopted sons gained not only a father, but also the father’s ancestry. This is animportant point, for St. Joseph was of the house of David.
Thus, as St. Joseph was His earthly father, we can refer to Jesus as the Son of David,fulfilling the messianic prophecy that a Messiah would be born of David’s line, a prophecy that St. Paul mentions in our second reading today.

We hear a little bit about the messianic prophesies of Isaiah in our first reading today.This story of King Ahaz took place about 700 years before the birth of Christ, and Christian tradition has always interpreted it as a prophecy about Jesus and Mary.

Certainly, it seems quite right that our Lord, who by His Incarnation comes to redeemall mankind from sin, should be born of a sinless woman of virginal integrity.

But our Gospel story makes it clear that Mary could not carry out the task of bringing the Messiah into the world all on her own. She needed a husband, but not to conceive the child. Rather, she needed a husband to protect and guide her and her child.

Considering the circumstances surrounding our Lord’s conception, our Lady needed a husband who was a man of faith, a man of justice, a man who would be wholly obedient to the will of God. And so in his Litany, we pray to Joseph Most Just, Joseph Most Faithful, and Joseph Most Obedient.
Moreover, in his own holiness, St. Joseph recognized the holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, even though she was pregnant by means of someone other than himself. We can see St. Joseph’s holiness shine through the way he decided to deal with Mary.

St. Joseph decided to divorce our Lady, not out of anger, but simply because he was faced with an unexplainable situation. No doubt divorcing her seemed only logical to him. So he proceeded to do so, but in a charitable way that would not bring her shame.

Keep in mind that our Lady made no explanation for herself. In her humility and faithfulness, our Lady remained silent and did not defend her honor – even to St. Joseph. Mary simply surrendered herself to God’s providential care.

Because our Lord knew that Mary would act in this very virtuous way, He gave Mary to St. Joseph’s care – who was the man in all of history that our Lord trusted above all else – the man our Lord knew would do right by her and by His Son.

So what we see in our Gospel story today is the beauty of virtue, the beauty of true holiness being lived out in perfect accordance with God’s will – even through the terrible trial of emotions that both Joseph and Mary must have suffered in this situation.

And that’s precisely the point! Our Gospel story today shows us that in seeking God’s will and acting with virtue, our Lord rewards us with understanding and peace, just as he rewarded St. Joseph with these things in his dream, even though he must have had to suffer first.

Trials of faith are the ways our Lord tests us to see just how much we love Him. It’s the way that He strengthens us to be more like His Son.
Ultimately our Gospel story shows us that Christ is worth waiting for!

For the past three weeks, we have been preparing ourselves for Christ’s coming(hopefully) by our prayer, our fasting, and our penances. We’ve invited a little extra suffering and discomfort into our lives as a means of preparing for the Gift to come.

Very soon, my brothers and sisters, our Lord will come to us once again at Christmas.He will come as He always does with His mighty gift of salvation, with a peace that surpass all understanding, and with a love that surpasses all knowledge.

If we have placed all of our hopes in Him this Advent Season, then we will be filled withjoy at His coming, regardless of what may or may not be under our Christmas trees.

Following the example of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, the Mother of our Savior and yet the Virgin Most Powerful, as well as that of St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Mother of Godand the Diligent Protector of Christ, may we learn to be steadfast in our faith and hope in the Lord so that we may know His love for all eternity.
21 December 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

Mary, Mother of God and the Mother He Gave Us While on the Cross

In 07 Observations on 2014/04/11 at 12:00 AM

Detailed notes taken by Aida Tamayo on Fr. Robert Barron’s Catholicism Series

Mary, the Mother of God and Our Mother; her role in the plan of salvation was written in Genesis way before her birth.  When Adam and Eve sinned they were banished from the Garden as their disobedience introduced disorder and a breach between humanity and God. Barely had man transgressed, when God warns the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)  And thus Mary is given a role in salvation history.  Marian doctrine includes: The Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption. She is the Mother of God, and of the Church.  She is our Mother.

THE ANNUNCIATION – Mary was invited, even courted by God’s messenger, the angel Gabriel, and when she questioned this visit, even her curiosity was encouraged.  When convinced this is from God, she accepted without hesitation God’s Will, totally trusting in the Lord not knowing the full implications of it all.  With full humility she gave her consent (FIAT) in a most beautifully trusting way “Be it done unto me according to Thy word”.  Contrasting Mary to Eve we see Eve doing the opposite, giving in to the temptation to cease godliness.  Eve was totally submerged in the Garden and the goodness of God when the devil came to her.  Mary was totally submerged in the world and its evil when the angel of God came to her.  Adam and Eve had been given full reign in the Garden, everything submitted under them, so why the prohibition?  God wanted them to fall in love with Him not with themselves and the Garden where they reigned.  That is also true for us.  Mary and Eve were both conceived without sin.  When tested Eve fell but Mary’s obedience reversed the disobedience of Eve.  In Spanish Hail Mary is Ave Maria and Eve is Eva.  Since medieval times, the Ave (Hail) Maria was a symbol of the reversing of the actions of our First Mother Eva.

AVE Maria, the new Eve, the one that will bring us back to God, the advocate of the human race.

EVA the mother of all living whose action separated us from God.

Mary’s role in salvation couldn’t have happen without God’s intervention.  Mary represents Zion; who God had been preparing for centuries to receive the Word of God.  She is the fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant in the temple since she became in the most realistic way possible the bearer of the Divine Word.  She is Israel at its best, faithful, quick to respond to God’s promptings.  Everything she does point to her Son.  The Gospels record few of her words and her last words written in the Gospels were at the wedding feast of Cana: DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU.

Mary is not a sentimental figure, she is an cunning young woman, questioning the angel, hasting to her cousin Elizabeth, and moving thru the history of salvation with courage and simplicity.  She is not sentimental but strong always following the Divine Word, the first disciple of her Son. This world cannot regain what was lost, Christ, preparing to go to his death on the cross, makes it clear that the full restoration of man lies in heaven that his Kingdom is not of this world.   But for his followers, his Kingdom starts here and Mary is the model for all of us.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – Mary needed to be saved like the rest of humanity but by a singular special grace of God, she was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception by the merits of her Son’s sacrifice (remembering that eternity is outside time) and was filled with God’s grace thus the greeting of the angel, Mary full of grace.  God wanted to prepare a fitting vessel for the reception of His Word.  She would be tightly joined to the mission of her Son therefore it would be fitting that she too would be without sin.

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY.  Mary is present in body and soul in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Salvation is a transfiguration of the body and soul into Heaven.  In the case of Mary being in perfect union with God, she was elevated body and soul to heaven at the time of her earthly death, an elevation of the entire person into the dimension of God.  It is a definitive salvation, the resurrection of the body.  The one promised to all of us at the second coming.  What would it be like to face death sinless?  As a rule we approach death as something horrible, with fear because we are alienated from God.  But a sinless person, utterly responsive to God’s will, at the end of this life would fall asleep in the Lord (her death is also known as the dormition of Mary).  Her salvation is complete.

THE MOTHER OF GOD – Jesus dying on the cross gave Mary to John.  John took Mary to Ephesus and they both ended their earthly days there.  Throughout different councils it was finally decided in the council of Ephesus in 431 that Mary was indeed the Mother of God.

MOTHER OF THE CHURCH – She is the Queen of all the saints and her mission is to draw people into fellowship with Her Son.  In the year 1531, Juan Diego, a Mexican indigenous and a recent convert to the faith saw Mary appear to him as the Mother of God.  Known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, she left her image imprinted in the amazing tilma (that would be another story in another e-mail).  Her apparition in Mexico caused the conversion of an entire nation to Catholicism.  Guadalupe is a Spanish deformation of Quatlasupe – She who crushes the head of the serpent, the message predicted in the book of Genesis.  Mary’s willingness to magnify the greatness of the Lord made of her a matrix of life.

OUR MOTHER – Adam and Eve were the only humans in the history of humanity without a mother, and that didn’t go well.  As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, God would save humankind, and salvation would have a mother.  St. Paul expresses his supreme fascination with the fact that the Son of God had a mother: “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman…so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).  Our Blessed Mother gave Our Lord consolation by being at the foot of the Cross and He in turn gave her to us.   St. Teresa of Avila writes: “I remember that when my mother died I was 12 years old or a little less. When I began to understand what I had lost, I went, afflicted, before an image of our Lady and besought her with many tears to be my mother. It seems to me that although I did this in simplicity it helped me. For I have found favor with this sovereign Virgin in everything I have asked of her, and in the end she has drawn me to herself” (Collected Works).

The Siblings of Christ?

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2013/08/09 at 12:00 AM

Converts to Catholicism from Protestantism often experience doctrinal problems with the role of Mary as the Mother of God and the devotion shown to her by the Catholic Church. Part of the reason is that Mary has very little status in the Protestant Church beyond the acknowledgement of her maternity. When Luther started the Protestant religion, he was reacting to the abuses in the Catholic Church at that time. What he failed to understand is that moral abuses cannot be corrected by doctrinal deviations. Thus, he rejected, among other traditional beliefs, the doctrine of the saints. Protestantism today has almost no interest in saints, preferring to put all their emphasis on Christ and the Father. This is not wrong in itself, but it is incomplete. Modern Protestant Sunday practice, with few exceptions, consists of a song and a sermon with emphasis on Christ and little else.

In the matter of Mary, she is just about invisible and unknown except as a typical Jewish woman who had one unusual experience (the birth of Christ) and then went on to make a family with her husband, Joseph. Thus, Protestantism has taught that Mary had other children which meant that Christ had siblings. While the Protestant emphasis has been on the other children of Mary, they failed to see that, if there were other children, there would also be presumably grandchildren and descendants. There is no evidence or even mention of this natural progression in the Protestant world.

The Catholic Church teaches that Mary did not have other children, and that the Biblical word the Protestants translate as “brothers” can be translated as “cousins” just as accurately. “Brother” is a frequently used religious term of address in both the Protestant and Catholic Churches, suggesting in no way genetic family relationships. Baptists often address one another as “brother” or “sister”, and Catholics have a type of religious group known as “brothers”. Priests often address their congregations as “brothers and sisters”. No one understands the words literally.

If Mary and Joseph did have children, they would not be siblings of Christ because Joseph was not the real father of Christ; they would only be half-siblings.

Can we really imagine a house full of children, one of them Divine God Himself, and not be a source of some kind of turmoil? A sinless child among normal children? It would not be a usual household at all.

The Bible is very generous with names of significant persons. It seems reasonable that siblings of Christ would be named as were Mary and Joseph. Lesser personages, than those siblings would have been, were named: the Apostles, Jairus, Pilate, Simon of Cyrene. Why not the literal “brothers” of Christ?

At the time of the Crucifixion, Our Lord designated St. John as the guardian of His Mother. It would have been more normal and reasonable for one of the siblings to have taken that role. Evidently there were no other children to assume that role.

Mary and Joseph were legally married, and there was nothing in law or nature to prevent them from having children. That’s what everyone did normally. But perhaps, since they both had experienced extraordinary events with the Divine, it would seem anti-climactic to produce human children after being so favored by God. They would have known that normal children would create unusual problems for all concerned because normal children would be sinners in a family of three persons unusually close to God. (In fact, one was God, and the other was Mary, who according to the Catholic doctrine, did not have the taint of Original Sin.) Mary and Joseph knew that they were unusually privileged people, and it would be reasonable, understanding that gift, that they knew life for them was not be lived in the ordinary human way. Thus, it can be inferred that after a divine child was born to Mary, a human child would not seem appropriate. Contemporary culture cannot fathom that a couple would choose not to avail themselves of marital rights; therefore, they must have.

In the Gospel story of Mary and Martha of Bethany, there is a lesson to be drawn that experiencing divinity is better than not experiencing it, and that mundane household chores, good in themselves, fade away in comparison to contemplation of the divine. Martha was not told that she was doing anything wrong, but only inferior to what Mary had chosen. Intimacy with God changes a person from merely human to a special relationship with God. Mary of Bethany deemed it better to be with Christ than to do chores, and Christ confirmed her choice. At the same time, he undoubtedly ate the meal that Martha had prepared. So also, Mary, the Mother of Christ, had this special relationship and could not be content with anything lesser.

Consider all the men and women saints of the Catholic Church who had direct, personal and visual interaction with God or His Mother: St. Margaret Mary (devotion to the Sacred Heart), St. Faustina Kowalska (devotion to the Divine Mercy), St. Bernadette (of Lourdes), Sr. Lucia of Fatima, St. Catherine of Siena, St.Teresa of Avila, and many more whose lives were intimately involved with God and the things of God. Once they had experienced God, their lives never went back to “normal” and they devoted their whole life to things divine, the better choice. So, too, it can be implied ever more strongly that Mary of Nazareth would respond in an even stronger way by contemplating God for all of her days.

But does it really make any difference? The Catholics say Mary was a perpetual Virgin, and the Protestants claim she had a normal family life with other children. Modern culture would say, “You believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want. Everybody’s happy.” That sounds so generous and tolerant, but there is a contradiction involved, and that means one side is wrong. To be willing to live on the wrong side is not a sign of the tolerance our culture so applauds, but a sign of weak thinking or the unwillingness to think.

It does matter, because the things of God MUST be dealt with as He wants them dealt with, not according to the whims of humans. There is an answer.

Christ promised his Church divine protection and guidance until the end of time. There is no way whatsoever to explain the continued existence of the Catholic Church, in spite of all her problems, both internal and external, for 2000 years except by divine protection. The Protestant Church lacks this protection and guidance, and that is why there are 30,000+ sects within Protestantism while there are no doctrinal divisions in the Catholic Church. (This not to imply that the Catholic Church is full of saints … far from it.) The Church has always believed that Mary was a perpetual Virgin. If the Holy Spirit guides the Church, the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity must be true because the Holy Spirit does not make mistakes.

We can be assured that Mary of Nazareth is everything the Church says she is. Therefore, she is worthy of the great devotion shown to her because she is a truly unique woman; veneration (not worship) of her is not uncalled for, but raises poor souls to a higher degree of piety. Most men respect their mothers, and most men favor anyone else who respects them. I doubt if Christ frowns upon the devotion shown to His mother, but He may frown on the lack of it in the Protestant Church.

I’ll grant that I have made inferences based on the Bible narrative of the New Testament. But inferences are not false if they are based on reasonable evidence. The evidence for Mary’s other children is slim to none beyond the dubious translation of a word.

We should embrace devotion to Mary because, as the story of Cana shows, Christ does what His Mothers asks … and she is the holiest of all humans who ever existed. If she is on our side, we are in good hands.

The siblings of Christ? The preponderance of evidence indicates there were none.

Oh, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Thought Provoking Excerpts From Bishop Sheen

In 14 Book Corner on 2012/10/06 at 9:11 AM

I would highly recommend your reading THE WORLD’S FIRST LOVE by Bishop Fulton Sheen.  Hopefully, some of the excerpts below will encourage you to read it.

“The egotist magnifies himself, but Mary magnifies the Lord….As our ego inflated, the need for God seems to be less; as our ego deflates, the need of God appears in its true hunger.”  P. 41

“Obedience to the law of nature produces physical maturity; obedience to the law of parents produces mental maturity; obedience to the will of the Heavenly Father produces spiritual maturity.”  P.104

“Mary’s sorrow was not what she suffered but what He had to suffer.  That was the tragedy.  Love never thinks of itself.” P. 244

“Eden reversed: Three things cooperated in our fall: a disobedient Man, Adam; a proud woman, Eve; and a tree.  God takes the three elements that led to the defeat of man and uses them as instruments of victory: the obedient new Adam, Christ; the humble new Eve, Mary and the tree of the cross.”  P. 256

“Mary’ Fiat was one of the great Fiats of the universe: one made light, another accepted the Father’s will in the Garden, and hers accepted a life of selfless fellowship with the Cross….Our will is the only thing that is absolutely our own; hence it is the perfect offering we can make to God….There is only one thing in the world that can prevent finding each (God and one) and that is the human will.  We must will to find God; otherwise He will always seem to be the hidden God.”  P. 258

“It is not that God has abandoned the world but that the world has abandoned God and cast its lot with nature divorced from nature’s God….The new name for nature is science.  Science rightly understood means reading he wisdom of God in nature.  Science wrongly understood means reading the proofs of the book of nature while denying the book ever had an Author.”  P. 270

“The child, by making himself wiser than his mother, discovers his stupidity.  Man, by making himself a god, discovers the painful agony that he is not God.  When the first man made this discover, Scripture describes him as “naked”.  Naked, because the man who neglects or rejects God has nothing.  He may cover himself for a while with the fig leaves of “success,” “art,” “science,” and “progress” or by rationalizing his conduct, saying that there is not truth.  But he knows that these are but inadequate shred and cannot cover all his wants.  This is modern nudity – to be without God.”

Sheen, Fulton THE WORLD’S FIRST LOVE.  Ignatius Press.  http://www.ignatius.com/Products/CategoryCenter.aspx?SearchTerm=The+world’s+first+love

“Mary is a Mother who will never abandon us”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/03/28 at 10:05 AM
You are not alone. Neither you nor I can ever find ourselves alone. And even less if we go to Jesus through Mary, for she is a Mother who will never abandon us. (The Forge, 249)

It is the moment to turn to your Blessed Mother in Heaven, so that she may take you into her arms and win for you a glance of mercy from her Son. And try at once to make some practical resolutions: put a stop once and for all, even though it hurts, to that little defect that holds you back, as God and you yourself know so well. Pride, sensuality and a lack of supernatural spirit will combine forces to suggest to you: ‘That? But what a small and insignificant little thing it is!’ Don’t play with the temptation. Instead, answer: ‘Yes, in this too I will surrender myself to the divine call.’ And you will be right, for love is shown especially in little things. Normally the sacrifices that Our Lord asks of us, even the most difficult ones, refer to tiny details, but they are as continuous and invaluable as the beating of our heart.

How many mothers have you known who have been the heroines of some epic or extraordinary event? Few, very few. Yet you and I know many mothers who are indeed heroic, truly heroic, who have never figured in anything spectacular, who will never hit the headlines, as they say. They lead lives of constant self‑denial, happy to curtail their own likes and preferences, their time, their opportunities for self‑expression or success, so that they can carpet their children’s lives with happiness. (Friends of God, 134)

Daughter of Zion

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/12/23 at 9:11 AM

Some gleanings from Cardinal Ratzinger’s book: Daughter of Zion.  (Ignatius Press)

The portrait of Mary includes the likeness of the great mothers of the Old Testament like Sarah, Hannah.  Into that portrait is woven the whole theology of daughter of Zion, in which the prophets announced the mystery of God’s love for Israel.

 In the Gospel of John: the figure of Eve, the “woman” par excellence is borrowed to interprets Mary.

The figure of Eve as necessarily the opposite pole of man, Adam.  In the Old Testaments’s history of promises: Sarah-Hagar; Rachel-Leah; Hannah-Penina: fertile and infertile stand opposite each other and in the process a remarkable reversal in values is achieved.

St. Paul developed his theology of spiritual birth from this: the true son of Abraham is not the one who traces his physical origin to him, but the one who in a new way beyond mere physical birth, has been conceived through the creative power of God’s word of promise.

Near the end of the Old Testament canon, a new entirely original type of theology of woman is developed. The great salvific figures of Esther and Judith, judge Deborah – both oppressed (embody defeated Israel)- the woman as savior the embodiment of Israel’s hope, thereby takes her place among the unblessed-blessed mothers; not as a priestess, but as a prophetess and judge-savior.

In the theological short-story type of the woman-savior, the covenant relation of Yahweh to Israel is a covenant of marital love.  Israel as a woman, who is in this relationship with God is, at once virgin and mother.  The existence of each individual as Israelite is expressed interpersonally in the fidelity of the marriage covenant.