Friday, April 17, 2015

Pope Francis' devotion to Mary is "more personal" than Saint John Paul II's was?

From CNS:

"Mother and son: Pope Francis shares personal, intimate devotion to Mary

From Easter to Pentecost — and especially during the Marian month of May — Catholics recite the 'Regina Coeli' prayer 'with the emotion of children who are happy because their mother is happy' that Jesus has risen from the dead, Pope Francis said.

Although his devotion to the Mother of God is profound, it is simple in many ways: Mary is a mother to every believer; Jesus would not leave his followers orphans.

While his connection to Mary clearly is a matter of heart and mind, it is also physical. Whenever Pope Francis passes a statue or icon of Mary, he kisses it or allows his hand to rest tenderly upon it.

Honoring the Mother of God, of course, is a solid part of Catholic tradition and a mainstay in the devotion and teaching of the popes. St. John Paul II’s motto, 'Totus Tuus' ('All yours'), and the large M on his coat of arms were just the most graphic elements of a devotion that led to a whole body of teaching about Mary, her role in Catholics’ faith life and the importance of praying the rosary.

Pope Francis would not have an argument with any of St. John Paul’s Marian piety or discourse.

But there are differences.

'The sense of Pope Francis’ devotion to Mary is a little more personal, more intimate' than St. John Paul’s was, said Redemptorist Father Sabatino Majorano, a professor at Rome’s Alphonsianum Institute. Pope Francis expresses 'that feeling that exists between a son and his mother, where I think Pope John Paul’s was more that of a subject and his queen.'

The difference, he believes, comes from their roots: Pope Francis’ Latin roots — not just in Argentina, but also from his Italian family — and St. John Paul’s Slavic, Polish culture."

Francis' devotion to Mary is "more personal" than SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II THE GREAT?


Pope John Paul's approach to Mary was less personal and more akin to the relationship between a subject and his queen than a son and his mother?

Is this the same Pope John Paul II who wrote:

"After recalling the presence of Mary and the other women at the Lord's cross, St John relates: "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'. Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!’" (Jn 19:26-27).

These particularly moving words are a "revelation scene": they reveal the deep sentiments of the dying Christ and contain a great wealth of meaning for Christian faith and spirituality. At the end of his earthly life, as he addressed his Mother and the disciple he loved, the crucified Messiah establishes a new relationship of love between Mary and Christians.

Interpreted at times as no more than an expression of Jesus' filial piety towards his Mother whom he entrusts for the future to his beloved disciple, these words go far beyond the contingent need to solve a family problem. In fact, attentive consideration of the text, confirmed by the interpretation of many Fathers and by common ecclesial opinion, presents us, in Jesus' twofold entrustment, with one of the most important events for understanding the Virgin's role in the economy of salvation.

Jesus completes his sacrifice by entrusting Mary to John

The words of the dying Jesus actually show that his first intention was not to entrust his Mother to John, but to entrust the disciple to Mary and to give her a new maternal role. Moreover, the epithet "woman", also used by Jesus at the wedding in Cana to lead Mary to a new dimension of her existence as Mother, shows how the Saviour's words are not the fruit of a simple sentiment of filial affection but are meant to be put at a higher level.

Although Jesus' death causes Mary deep sorrow, it does not in itself change her normal way of life: in fact, in departing from Nazareth to start his public life, Jesus had already left his Mother alone. Moreover, the presence at the Cross of her relative, Mary of Clopas, allows us to suppose that the Blessed Virgin was on good terms with her family and relatives, by whom she could have been welcomed after her Son's death.

Instead, Jesus' words acquire their most authentic meaning in the context of his saving mission. Spoken at the moment of the redemptive sacrifice, they draw their loftiest value precisely from this sublime circumstance. In fact, after Jesus' statements to his Mother, the Evangelist adds a significant clause: "Jesus, knowing that all was now finished...." (Jn 19:28), as if he wished to stress that he had brought his sacrifice to completion by entrusting his Mother to John, and in him to all men, whose Mother she becomes in the work of salvation.

3. The reality brought about by Jesus' words, that is, Mary's new motherhood in relation to the disciple, is a further sign of the great love that led Jesus to offer his life for all people. On Calvary this love is shown in the gift of a mother, his mother, who thus becomes our mother too.

We must remember that, according to tradition, it is John whom the Blessed Virgin in fact recognized as her son; but this privilege has been interpreted by Christians from the beginning as the sign of a spiritual generation in relation to all humanity.

The universal motherhood of Mary, the "Woman" of the wedding at Cana and of Calvary, recalls Eve, "mother of all living" (Gn 3:20). However, while the latter helped to bring sin into the world, the new Eve, Mary, co-operates in the saving event of Redemption. Thus in the Blessed Virgin the figure of "woman" is rehabilitated and her motherhood takes up the task of spreading the new life in Christ among men."

Astute Catholics will observe how everything Francis says and does is painted in such a light that he is made out to be "better than all previous popes." His devotion to Mary is "more personal" than one of the greatest pontiffs who has ever lived,  raised to the altars, a Pope who consecrated his whole being and ministry to the Immaculata; He draws "larger crowds" to the Vatican than Pope Benedict XVI; he prays three rosaries (he says) every day.

John Paul II prayed 10 hours a day.  But we didn't know that until the mystic died.  Unlike the self-promoting Francis, John Paul II took these words seriously:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6: 5-6).

Francis is always saying that he cannot abide with Pharisees and hypocrites. Shouldn't he take Our Lord's advice then?

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