Solemnity of Mary, Mother of
full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
Why is Mary "Full of Grace"?
we are taught by Holy Mother Church, "is a participation in the
life of God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, §1997)
— and Mary, the Angel Gabriel declares, is filled with grace!
Filled with the life of God, participating
in the life of God as no other human being in history.
She alone is full of grace, she alone participates
consummately in the life of God — even before she bore His
she was to bear His Son. It was from Mary that Jesus took His
Sacred Humanity. It was from Mary that He took His flesh, becoming like
us in every way but sin. 1
closer can a human being be to God ... than to have given Him His very
flesh ... enabling, yes, enabling God to become man!
flesh was not different from Mary's — it was
Mary's! — just as his Divinity was not different
from God's, but was, is, God's.
that a while ... and look at Mary anew, and her place in the scheme
of things, in what theologians call, "the economy of Salvation."
not just "highly favored" as many current biblical translations
inexplicably corrupt the Latin text:
The Latin literally means, "full of grace."
was highly favored by God. Moses was highly favored
by God. David was highly favored by God. But neither Abraham
nor Isaac, neither Jacob nor David, and not even Moses, were "full
of grace" — that is to say, fully possessed of that participation
in the very life of God with which Mary was endowed through her Immaculate
Conception in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. She was to bear, to
give flesh that was untainted by sin, to the Son of God
possibly be closer to Jesus Christ both in Heaven and on Earth? Who
is — ever will be — more one with Him ... than Mary,
whose flesh is one flesh with Him since the moment of His conception
in her womb, His Incarnation — and will be for all eternity?
like unto Mary? No man. No other woman. Only her Son.
should love her, who loved Him most, is loving Christ Himself in His
Sacred Humanity, a humanity inseparable from His Divinity.
In Him is Mary as she is in no other; in Mary is Christ
as He is in no other!
love Mary enough. Nor can we separate her from her Son any more than
we can separate the Divinity of Jesus from His sacred Humanity.
Mary anew! And if you do not stand back in stupefaction, you are a stone.
full of Grace!
ad Maria! Go to Mary!
unto the Son, the Mother, and like unto the Mother, the Son!
for the Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
"favored one" (oddly enough, the New American Bible
used by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB),
had rendered it,
of grace! The Lord is with you"
— while translating
exactly the same text, from the same version, chapter and verse,
one! The Lord is with you."