What’s in a Name???
In my previous article titled “Mary CHRISTmas!!!,” I promised an explanation for using Mary CHRISTmas in place of Merry Christmas. So on this last day of the CHRISTmas season, The Baptism of the Lord, I keep my promise (kinda like last minute CHRISTmas shopping!).
Now just to clarify – I have no problem using Merry Christmas. This traditional greeting expresses our desire for souls to experience the true joy of CHRISTmas. But in these idolatrous times, so many souls are blinded to the beauty of that most Holy Night and of the entire CHRISTmas season. So when the greeting is bestowed or received, many times there’s really no thought given to its actual meaning.
As the war to annihilate the true meaning of CHRISTmas in hearts and societies continues, it also attacks the dignity of Our Lady and her irreplaceable role in our salvation. As lovers of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, let us in return wage our own war to bring back into the light what Satan is trying to conceal!
Using Mary CHRISTmas is a simple way to help us and all souls focus more on the sacred realities of CHRISTmas. Here are just some of the many beautiful truths it illuminates while providing opportunities for us to evangelize souls into a deeper love of the Holy Family:
- Online – the colors alone make souls stop an extra second or two and take a closer look at what they’re actually reading. They won’t just glance over the standard Merry Christmas and move on to what comes next. I call this ‘holy trickery’ and do it as often as I can – using something subtle (and many times not so subtle) to draw the attention of souls to some part/truth of our most holy Faith.
- Online and in writing – souls will ponder why Mary replaces Merry and why CHRIST is emphasized in CHRISTmas. This immediately causes souls to pause and gaze upon the most Holy Name of Mary (oh how sweet and beautiful her name is!!!) and take note that CHRIST is the central focus of CHRISTmas!
- When asked, “What’s up with Mary CHRISTmas?”, then it’s time for us to evangelize!
- Blue is the color most associated with Our Lady, so that’s an easy one.
- Green symbolizes hope and eternal life, both of which Christ came to bring us.
- Red symbolizes the shedding of blood, which Jesus did willingly for our salvation.
- CHRISTmas means Christ’s Mass or Mass of Christ. The colors emphasize that in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the same Precious Blood of Jesus which was poured out on the Cross, is re-presented (not represented) in time and space on the altar of sacrifice; and then consumed in Holy Communion for eternal life!
- The Mary at the beginning reveals some very beautiful Marian truths of our most holy Faith:
- Just as the morning star always precedes and announces the coming of the sun, so Mary, the true Morning Star, always precedes and announces every advent (coming) of her beloved Son and God, Jesus Christ!
- He Who in eternity precedes time and space was preceded by His Mother in time and space! The perfect Mother preceded the perfect Child; the creature preceded the Creator! The Creator gave flesh, blood, and life to the creature and then in turn was given Flesh, Blood, and Life from the creature!!!
- Mary, in her immaculate purity, is the one always closest to Jesus. The closer we are to Mary, the closer we are to Jesus. The more united we are to Mary, the more united we are to Jesus. Mary always leads and unites us to Jesus!
- Mary can never be separated from her Son and God Jesus Christ! Whenever or wherever we find Mary, we always find Jesus! As St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, that fiery Apostle of Mary, teaches:
“So intimately is she united to You that it would be easier to separate light from the sun, and heat from the fire. I go further, it would even be easier to separate all the angels and saints from You than Mary; for she loves You ardently, and glorifies You more perfectly than all Your other creatures put together” (True Devotion to Mary, n. 63).
- Mary’s irreplaceable role in salvation history as the Virgin who fulfills the Old Testament prophecies announcing the Virgin Birth of the Messiah (Isa 7:14 and 66:7-8a,b). No Mary, no Jesus! Know Mary, know Jesus!
- We can only be as Christ-like as we are Mary-like; we can only be as Christian as we are Marian. Since we are all called to holiness by virtue of our Baptism, we are all called to be perfect disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since Mary is the perfect disciple, we are called to follow in her footsteps which are the very Footsteps of Jesus; right up to her ascent of Calvary.
- Jesus came to us through Mary; we are always to go to Jesus through Mary. “The Church, with the Holy Spirit, blesses our Lady first, then Jesus, ‘Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.’ Not that Mary is greater than Jesus, or even equal to him – that would be an intolerable heresy. But in order to bless Jesus more perfectly we should first bless Mary. Let us say with all those truly devoted to her, despite these false and scrupulous devotees: ‘O Mary, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.’” (St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, n. 95).
- Every artist receives the greatest renown from his greatest masterpiece. Before the Divine Artist revealed Himself in the Flesh, He first revealed His greatest masterpiece – to give us a foreshadowing of His infinite greatness, goodness, and glory! He revealed to us His most beautiful, loveliest, beloved, holiest, perfect, intelligent, pure, humble, modest, chaste, powerful, grace-filled, radiant, innocent, wise, awesome, subtle, awe-inspiring, sublime, unfathomable, generous, condescending, gentle, meek, mild, honored, exalted, praised, compassionate, sought after, glorious, spotless, sinless, virginal, untainted, incomprehensible…WORDS FAIL!!! They UTTERLY fail!!!
- The Lord our God, in His infinite power and might, poured everything He possibly could into His Mother; and exalted her far beyond all the angels and Saints combined!!! If He could have created a more glorious Mother, He would have; but He couldn’t!!! Behold the height of Almighty God’s transcendent power, glory, beauty, and majesty in a creature – MARY MOST HOLY!!! AVE MARIA!!!
Now some may ask themselves if this article gives too much praise, glory, and honor to the Mother of God, somehow in opposition to or detracting from the praise, glory, and honor that we owe to Almighty God (as if that were possible!). I would tell them to ask themselves the following questions:
- Is there any father who is offended when his most beloved daughter receives praise, glory, and/or honor?
- Is there any son who is offended when his beloved mother receives praise, glory, and/or honor?
- Is there any spouse who is offended when his well-beloved spouse receives praise, glory, and/or honor?
Then when Mary Most Holy receives praise, glory, and/or honor, are we to somehow assume that any of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity (Father, Son, or Holy Spirit) is offended?!?! Oh how much the Most Holy Trinity is perfectly praised, glorified, and/or honored when Our Lady is!!! I end this article in the words of the great St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church, who Pope Pius XII called “Doctor Mellifluus” and “the last of the Fathers”: