By Laura Kizior
As Christians, we understand that Mary played one of the most important roles in the history of our salvation as the mother of our Savior, which is why we choose to honor her in a very special way with feast days throughout the year. As a pro-life people, we also turn to Our Lady for her help as we work to build a culture of life. Mary’s “yes,” her “fiat” to God, reinforces the pro-life message in so many ways.
Our Blessed Mother became the mother of God so that we might have eternal life. As Saint John Paul II reminds us at the end of his encyclical Evangelium Vitae:
“Mary’s consent at the Annunciation and her motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ came to bestow on humanity. Through her acceptance and loving care for the life of the Incarnate Word, human life has been rescued from condemnation to final and eternal death.”
Mary could have said no to God’s request, but she did not. Through her yes to God, Our Lady elevates the vocation of motherhood because it is through motherhood that our Savior came into this world to be born of a sinless virgin. She is the greatest example of motherhood in her role as the mother of God. She chose to make sacrifices and follow God’s plan for the sake of all of us.
As a people of life, we should never hesitate to turn to Mary in our fight to end the threats to human beings. As a mother, Mary experienced the joy of the preborn baby Jesus growing within her. At the foot of the cross, she saw her only son suffer and die. In the words of Saint John Paul II, Mary is the “incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for.” Through Mary’s example, we can understand how to treat every human being as a gift at the beginning and end of life.
Our Lady is more than just a great role model of Christian life; she is our mother as well. At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave her to us as our mother so that we might turn to her in times when we feel overwhelmed or discouraged in our mission to build a culture of life in society.
Mary, our mediatrix
We should look to the mother of God as a source of comfort during our trials and sufferings. Mary stood by Jesus at the foot of the cross and watched her only Son suffer and die. She reminds us that if we tie our sufferings to Christ, we share in His bitter passion and receive great graces. Our Lady is our “sure sign of hope and solace” in our mission to build a culture of life.
Saint John Paul II concludes Evangelium Vitae with this beautiful prayer to remind us to seek Mary’s help in building a culture of life:
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
As the pope so beautifully expresses in this prayer, we need to turn to Mary and ask for her help in building a culture of life and in bearing witness to the gospel. Today, especially on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we turn to the Blessed Mother. Mary is the best intercessor we have in heaven. How can Jesus not listen to His own mother?
Teach your children to seek Mary with the lesson Our Lady of Guadalupe: Honoring the Patroness of Preborn Children, or with either the Ladybug Warriors or Honoring the Blessed Mother lessons from the Culture of Life Studies Program. Pray and meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. Pray the Memorare and ask Our Lady’s intercession for an end to abortion.
For more ideas about how to honor Mary on her feast days throughout the year, visit our Pinterest board entitled Our Lady and the Culture of Life.
Laura Kizior is the digital media and communications manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on Verily.com, CatholicMom.com, LifeSiteNews.com, Celebrate Life Magazine, TeachersSavingChildren.org, and in the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance newsletter.
This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at cultureoflifestudies.com/blog.
image: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. via Flickr | CC-2.0