Blasphemy of fostering contempt for the Virgin Mary in the hearts of children I

The world of human economics is a world of tit for tat, give to get, an economy of calculation. We need to begin learning instead the lessons of the divine economy. The divine economy, the economy of salvation, is an economy of pure gift, an economy of abundance, an economy of communion. St. Paul writes, You know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Cor 8:9)  Jesus Christ, who possesses the true wealth of his divine nature, took on the poverty of our humanity in order to share with us the wealth of his divine life.

At the heart of the divine economy is found the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, the poor and lowly woman who was filled with the wealth of divine grace, the fullness of grace. The Virgin Mary is the recipient of the greatest abundance of God’s gifts, the treasure house of his grace; but the gifts and grace of God are not given as private treasures, but for communion. So it is that as the recipient of the greatest abundance of God’s gifts, Mary is the mother of fair love and of holy hope (Sir 24:24 Vulgate); the mother of the communion of the saints.

Today, let us turn our attention to the 4th blasphemy against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a blasphemy that takes its origin in a narrow and calculating spirit, the blasphemy of those who seek openly to foster in the hearts of children indifference or contempt or even hatred for the Immaculate Mother.

Love and devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary is to be passed on with the whole faith, from one generation to the next; if the life of faith is to be planted in the hearts of the next generation, the children, then devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary must be planted as well. Where children learn to love the Virgin Mother, faith flourishes; where they are deprived of the knowledge and love of Mary, faith withers and dies.

When, however, a narrow and calculating spirit contaminates the life of faith, knowledge and devotion to the Blessed Virgin begins to fade away.

Why? Because that narrow, calculating spirit is so opposed the spirit of the divine economy. The narrow and calculating spirit wants to limit God’s abundant generosity; the narrow and calculating spirit leads to a narrow and reductive view of the letter of sacred Scripture, a reductive view that cannot grasp the richness of the interior meaning, the interior meaning of expressions like ‘full of grace’.

So it is that limiting God’s generosity and limiting the meaning of Scripture, the narrow and calculating spirit denies the Blessed Virgin’s fullness of grace, regards her as no more than another sinner like ourselves, no one special, and thus cuts her out of her unique role in the whole economy of salvation. The narrow and calculating spirit thinks that Jesus and Mary means less Jesus; the spirit of communion realizes that Jesus and Mary in communion speaks of a greater abundance in both of them.

Once the narrow and calculating spirit cuts the Immaculate Virgin out of the economy of salvation, it can hardly pass devotion to the Virgin on to the next generation. Neither can this narrow spirit abide that others pass devotion to the Virgin on to the next generation. Hence the blasphemy of opposing devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary by fostering indifference, contempt, or even hatred in the hearts of children.

The narrow spirit of calculation even entered into the Catholic Church in the wake of Vatican II; it was not a result of the Council, which handed on a rich and abundant teaching on the role of Mary in the whole economy of salvation; rather it was the result of the ‘smoke of Satan’ mentioned by Blessed Paul VI; it was the work of the red dragon, the ancient serpent, enraged by the public glorification of the Holy Mother of God that resulted from Pope Pius XII’s proclamation of the dogma of her bodily Assumption into heaven. (cf. Rev 12:1-6) As a result, in this country, a generation or two of Catholic children were deprived of devotion to Mary and instruction in the Catholic faith. (to be continued)

 

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Fr. Joseph Levine graduated from Thomas Aquinas College and after a long journey was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Baker, Oregon. He currently serves as pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles on the Columbia River.