Monday, July 15, 2013

Aeiparthenophobia and the “Decalogic Burden”

No doubt there are many laying claim to a membership within the evangelical Catholic  Church of Augustana, who find the Marian devotion of the Society of Polycarp a bit odd, or medievally other-worldly, or  perhaps even as something  altogether threatening to the precious faith once given to the saints.

But there are no Societal calls to worship Mary or to pray to her, as you can plainly see from the Rule.  Certainly not, when our Lord and Brother Himself  invited, instructed and gifted us to pray to His (and our) Father, employing His most blessed Name.  Our Lady herself did not encourage the stewards at Cana to importune her, with a need for a wine to be wrestled from water; she directed them instead to seek out her Son, and do whatever He told them to do.   This is quite in keeping with the earliest icons of the Holy Child and His mother, for she is consistently portrayed as pointing to Him.  What do these then say to those with eyes to see, and ears to hear?  The spotlight, according to God’s mother own meek and demure hand, is to be steadfastly kept on the Giver of all good things … the Bread of Life.    Mary’s emphasis is solidly Christological and hence is, Q.I.D., inescapably  and totally orthodox Lutheran.

Her behavior is so stirring that she needs to be remembered and honored as a shining example among and to us Lutherans … not simply a blue-cloaked kneeling figurine dragged out of a storage box, designed to aesthetically fill up a gaping hole in a crèche, come December.

Although Mary is not the dramatic centerpiece of attention inside the Pauline, Petrine or Johannine epistles of the New Testament ...  or even that of James! …  she is prominently placed  at the Nativity of our Lord (of course), His crucifixion, the news-breaking events at the empty tomb, and yet another birth, this time of the Bridegroom’s Church at Pentecost.   Ever-virginal, Mary is ever faithful to her Son, God and Savior and in seeing her Son at work, from “start” to  “finish” (which finish keeps on going, to the end of time).

The de-emphasis or ignoring  of Mary , among most ”churchly” Lutherans as evidenced in their calendars and their liturgical prayers of the Church, is therefore mystifying if indeed not utterly scandalous .  The incarnate Christ, as already foretold long ago to Adam and Eve,  had a mother.  If He is our Brother in the flesh … if this testimony is fully grasped by the modern day Lutheran as being true … then Mary is our mother as well.   We honor our Father (Fourth Commandment), and rightly so, when we pray to Him for all our needs of  soul and body.  Ought we not then to honor our mother (Fourth Commandment), with the calendrical observances at intervals deemed wise and most laudable by Christ’s Bride … not to worship her, but to honor and love the one who was placed in the Apostle John’s care, the disciple who Jesus loved?  Are we too not the disciples, who Jesus loves?  Is Mary’s memory not in our care, today?   Do we fervently preach about the glories of earthly motherhood, in May; but then conveniently forget about a blessed spiritual motherhood that is miraculously  ours, too,  through our kinship with dear Lord Christ in August (and April,  June, and October)?

Do not worship Mary, as she with the serene face and the pointing hand would be severely stricken and distressed; but love her, love her as mother, as our Truth once declared her to be (Mt 13:50; Mk 3:35; Lk 8:21).  You see, His mother heard His Word, and pondered it in her heart, so as to keep it ;  and the brave little maiden surely did the will of the Father, when she unflinchingly acquiesced to carry His beloved Son in her virginal womb, without shame.   And Christ’s true brothers and sisters are those who follow His Father’s will … which will include, of course, the joyous task of honoring their mother.
Your (unworthy) servant,
Herr Doktor 

1 comment:

  1. "… not simply a blue-cloaked kneeling figurine dragged out of a storage box, designed to aesthetically fill up a gaping hole in a crèche, come December."

    Not that your entire post is not most worthy to be re-published and broad-sided to the corners of the Christian world... but the above (in my comment) copied words are priceless :)
    Thank you Herr Doktor for this evangel.
    Graced to Call Saint Mary, Ever-Virgin, my "Mother."
    Fr Jay Watson SSP