Mary, Our Mother
Taken from the SECRET SCRIPTURE OF THE POOR
by Rev. John Henaghan
Imprimi potest -Joannes, Episcopus Midensis, 21 December, 1950
The Incarnation brought us the Man, jesus Christ, and Mary His Mother. Jesus came to win back a world that had gone astray. For that purpose He laid siege to the citadel of man's heart. He appeared before us as a Child in His Mother's arms, and as a Boy growing up by her side. In His dying hour we find that Mother standing by the Cross to which her Son was nailed. No honest, sincere, human heart can resist such an appeal or fail to be caught up in the impetuosity of such a love. Laws only bring about an outward reform; they do not touch the heart of man or change his nature. Christ achieved a victory, not so much by a renovation of man's intellect, as by an appeal to the heart, to those hidden sympathies that lie deeper than all arguments; and therefore along with Himself He gave us His Mother to soften the message of Calvary. Mary is, after Jesus, God's greatest instrument in winning back the truant heart of man.
She is part of the mystery of the Incarnation. The true God of true God is her Son. This doctrine keeps us from dreaming and drifting into vagueness about Our Lord: His features become clear and real when we know Him as Mary's Son. Those who today reject the Son began their infidelity by scoffing at the Mother. The Church has realized -----as has Satan too-----that she is essential to emphasize the full humanity and kindliness of God our Saviour. She is the tower to be taken, the tower of ivory; the house of gold for whom men do battle-----and around her is the armour of valiant men.
No human words or music could express what must have been her trembling joy when Jesus on her knees, in His Child's way, first called her -----Mother. Millions of Catholics bow in loyalty before her, but it is all as naught in comparison with the service and honours He gave in a little house in Nazareth. Between them there flowed a continual stream of love and understanding, so that no two souls were ever more closely knit-----one mind, one will, one heart, one agony of desire for the souls of men. With us, human love and sympathy repair the hurts and injuries of life. Many a poor man, misunderstood, contemned, inept, a butt for his companions, gains strength to endure because he knows there is waiting for him across the threshold of his home a love that understands him and crowns him. And in some such human way too was Jesus often consoled by Mary's love, when He was rejected, suspected and laughed at by men, for He knew that He should always find her faithful and true, that there was one soul on earth of whom He could be always sure.
What is Our Lady's place before Heaven and earth? Next to the human nature of Christ she is the most perfect work of God -----His masterpiece. To help us in our prayers, to confirm our hope, it is well that we see this truth plainly. No creature, not even the greatest of the angelic spirits before the throne of God, is equal in grandeur and sanctity to her whom we fondly call our Mother, who was one of us, one of our flesh and blood. She was in the secret of God, and stood in the full blaze of Divinity; the wonder is that any human soul could endure the splendours that beat down upon her. She had the fullest vision of the holiness and majesty of God that a created soul could have, and yet she walked this earth hidden and unknown with her tremendous knowledge buried in her heart. On peaks of honour where Angels had stumbled and fallen, amid intimacies closer than those of Angels, she walked with ease, by reason of her superb humility.
"When Jesus . . . had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His Mother: Woman, behold thy Son. After that He saith to the disciple: Behold thy Mother." In the darkening gloom of Calvary, when His Body and Soul were racked with pain, Christ gave His Own Mother to be our Mother -----Mother of sinners, Mother of outcasts, the joy of the world. Men need that touch of a mother: that sympathy that will understand, that pity that will make excuses, that love that will not abandon, that mother-instinct that is alive to the individual needs of every child. Mary mothers the world, her mother's eyes leveling all ranks and human distinctions. She stands for all that we mean by the word home-----love, refuge, retreat, sanctuary, pity, understanding. It is a Catholic instinct to look up to her; to love her as our mother is a test of the faith.
As we grow older, we can have no greater refuge against the gathering sorrows of the years than a tender loving trust in Mary. She is the mother of the pitying heart, for there is not a pang that the human heart endures that she has not also suffered. Step by step she followed Jesus up the hill of sacrifice to the foot of the Cross. Therefore she is today the comforter of the afflicted, the consolation of those who have seen all they love torn up by the roots. She is the stay of the old who have nothing to lean upon; she is the comfort of mothers who have lost their joy; the solace of men who have no reason for living on. She understands absolute loneliness. She knows the solitary ones, the destitute. At her name the sinner lying in the deepest pit can lift his head in confidence knowing that he shall find pity within that heart.
Amid the mysteries of life, against the darkness of our own nature, she holds us by the hand. Spotless and innocent among the ruins of a fallen world, her office is to save, to help, to inspire, to bring all within reach of the healing touch of her son. She is our friend in court. Until we realize her power, her influence, we have not realized all that Jesus meant when he said from the Cross: "Behold thy Mother." [Emphasis added.]
THE ABOVE IMAGE BY CATHOLIC TRADITION IS AN ALL RIGHTS RESERVED IMAGE AND IS FOR PERSONAL
USE ONLY AS A DESKTOP. YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO DISPLAY IT ON YOUR WEB SITE UNLESS YOU ASK.
IF YOU ASK I WILL GRANT PERMISSION IN WRITING, FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION, PROVIDED YOUR SITE IS IN KEEPING
WITH GOOD CATHOLIC STANDARDS.
SOME VISITORS HAVE TAKEN OUR IMAGES AND COPYRIGHTED THEM, I AM SURE WITHOUT REALIZING
THAT THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THIS, WITHOUT CHECKING WITH US. OTHERS HAVE TAKEN
OUR IMAGES AND WITHOUT COPYRIGHTING THEM ARE SELLING THEM ON THE WEB, ALSO WITHOUT
VERIFYING THAT THEY MAY DO THIS, AT A PRICE I CANNOT AFFORD.
IT IS ONE THING TO ASSUME PUBLIC DOMAIN FOR THE PURPOSE OF A NON-PROFIT WEB SITE OUT OF A SELFLESS LOVE FOR OUR LADY
AND QUITE ANOTHER TO CLAIM THE COMMERCIAL USE OF AN IMAGE OR TO COPYRIGHT IT WITHOUT VERIFICATION. IN FACT I HAVE
BEEN TOLD -- OUT OF SHEER IGNORANCE, NOT MALICE -- THAT I DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DOWNLOAD MY OWN IMAGE!
I HAVE CHOSEN TO FORGIVE AND REMIT RATHER THAN RAISE A RUCKUS. I AM SURE THIS IS WHAT OUR LADY WANTS.
ACTUALLY I DON'T BLAME ANYONE SINCE THE LAW IS NOT CLEAR REGARDING FAIR USE; IT DEPENDS UPON THE ONE INTERPRETING IT,
I AM SPEAKING OF LAWYERS, WRITERS, ARTISTS, ETC., NOT YOU AND ME.
EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE PERMITS USE OF COPYRIGHTED IMAGERY; HOWEVER, AS I JUST RECENTLY LEARNED, GRATIS THE GIFT OF GRACE,
THE SIZE OF THE IMAGE MUST BE SO SMALL THAT IT IS USELESS FOR THE WEB, ACCORDING TO THE STRICT UNDERSTANDING OF FAIR USE:
I HAVE THUS REMOVED ALL IMAGES UNTIL I CAN ASCERTAIN THE RIGHT TO DISPLAY THEM. IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, BARRING A MIRACLE, SOME
DIRECTORIES WILL BE TRUNCATED OR NO LONGER EXISTENT.
THIS VERIFICATION PROCESS WILL BE DIFFICULT SINCE MANY COPYRIGHTS ARE HELD BY CORPORATIONS THAT ARE PART OF OTHER ENTITIES WITH
NO ADDRESS PROVIDED AND ALL OVERSEAS; ALSO, SOME IMAGES THAT BEAR A COPYRIGHT ARE ACTUALLY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AFTER THE HOLDER
LET THE COPYRIGHT LAPSE; HOWEVER, THE PERSON WHO HAS THE IMAGE HAS NO WAY TO DETERMINE THIS IF NO DATE IS GIVEN, WHICH IS A CLUE
AT LEAST. WHEN YOU CALL FOR PERMISSION, IF ONE IS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO LOCATE THE RIGHT OFFICE, SOMEONE IS ALWAYS GETTING BACK
TO YOU, AND ONLY IN THE RARE INSTANCE DOES THAT PERSON DO SO. IT IS CONTINUAL SUSPENSE AND SUSPENSION.
DIFFERENT WEB SITES PROVIDE VARIED INFORMATION THAT IS IN CONFLICT; WHAT A TANGLE! FOR INSTANCE, A SACRED HEART IMAGE CAN BE
IN PUBLIC DOMAIN WHILE THE MATCHING IMMACULATE HEART BY THE SAME ARTIST AND SAME DATE, IS STILL COPYRIGHTED OR VICE VERSA!
SUPPOSEDLY ANYWAY! THEN THERE IS THE KNOTTY CASE OF TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF SACRED IMAGERY FOR POPULAR PIETY IN CHURCHES. ONE IS
PERMITTED TO DO SO AND DISPLAY THE PHOTOGRAPH ON ONE'S WEB SITE; THE SAME IMAGE, IF PURCHASED AT A CATHOLIC SHOP, IS NOT
PERMITTED TO BE DISPLAYED UNLESS IT IS THE SIZE OF A POSTAGE STAMP. THE DISPARITY FAVORS THE ONE WHO HAS A CAMERA! THIS MEANS IF YOU
PAY YOUR HARD EARNED DILIGENTLY SAVED MONEY TO ACQUIRE A TRADITIONAL PIOUS IMAGE YOU DON'T REALLY OWN IT, CAN'T SHARE IT.
YOU PAID FOR IT, YET, IT IS NOT YOURS EVEN FOR NON-COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPT WITHIN THE CONFINES OF YOUR HOME. BUT, IF SOMEONE TAKES A
PICTURE OF IT THEY CAN USE IT TO THEIR HEARTS' CONTENT, BUT YOU CANNOT! IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF PHOTOBUCKET OR FACEBOOK,
FOR INSTANCE, YOU CAN, IF YOU HAVE A NON-PROFIT DEVOTIONAL SITE YOU CAN'T!
THIS IS MADNESS!
ANOTHER DISPARITY IS THAT PHOTOCOPY SHOPS WON'T LET YOU PHOTOCOPY AN IMAGE YOU BOUGHT, A PHOTOCOPY FOR YOUR OWN USE.
BUT IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO PURCHASE IT BUT TAKE A FREE [SO TO SPEAK] PICTURE OF IT, YOU CAN PHOTOCOPY AND SHARE ALL YOU WANT.
SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE. THE LAW HAS US HELD HOSTAGE TO PECULIARITIES THAT APPEAR IRRATIONAL AND DISCRIMINATORY.
THE IMAGE OF THE MADONNA [OUR LADY OF SCHOENSTATT] IS PUBLIC DOMAIN AS FAR AS I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
DETERMINE SINCE THERE WAS NO COPYRIGHT ON THE ORIGINAL COPY OF THE PAINTING, EXECUTED IN 1915: IT WAS
THE PROPERTY OF A DEAR FRIEND FOR MANY YEARS UNTIL SHE SURPRISED ME WITH THE PICTURE AS A GIFT LONG AGO.
THE PHOTO OF THE SUNSET SKY USED FOR THE BACKGROUND AND GOLD HALOS ARE THE WORK OF CATHOLIC TRADITION.
I HAVE RECENTLY TAKEN UP PHOTOGRAPHY, AN ENDEAVOR WHICH I HOPE TO IMPROVE ON. THE PROBLEM HERE IS
THAT CHURCHES ARE CLOSED EXCEPT FOR MASS OR CONFESSION. GAINING ACCESS IS LIMITED.
WE DO NOT SELL IMAGES AS OUR SITE IS EDUCATIONAL AND REPARATIONAL ONLY, IN ORDER TO PROMOTE TRUE DEVOTION TO
JESUS AND MARY AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH AS TRANSMITTED AND PRESERVED THROUGH TRADITION.
PLEASE REMEMBER US IN YOUR PRAYERS.