The Solemnity of Mary, The Mother of God. What a Great Way to Celebrate the New Year!
"Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?"
(Elizabeth asks upon her visit by Mary)
Today the Church recognizes Mary's role in salvation history by celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Here they go again, those Catholics! It's always about Mary and how they take glory away from Christ by these silly proclamations and feasts! Don't Catholics realize how dangerous it is to elevate a mere human? Isn't Jesus enough for Catholics? I guess not because they always have to go and add stuff, like calling Mary the Mother of God. (Though nobody seems to notice that Elizabeth essentially did that in the gospel of Luke)
Without the benefit of understanding the history of the Church, you can't blame folks for having these thoughts. I know I did for many years. Once I discovered the truth behind why the Church declared Mary the Theotokos at the Council of Ephesus, I was humbled and in awe.
I now see how the Holy Spirit continued to guide the Church in all Truth via these councils.
Here's the story in a nutshell:
Nestorius, a bishop of the Catholic Church was speaking against the title 'Theotokos' and proposing that Mary bore only the human nature of Christ, not the divine.
Orthodox Catholic theologians recognized that Nestorius’s theory would fracture Christ into two separate persons (one human and one divine, joined in a sort of loose unity), only one of whom was in her womb. The Church reacted in 431 with the Council of Ephesus, defining that Mary can be properly referred to as the Mother of God, not in the sense that she is older than God or the source of God, but in the sense that the person she carried in her womb was, in fact, God incarnate ("in the flesh").(Catholic Answers)
The effect of the Council of Ephesus was to protect the doctrine of the Incarnation and once again reinforce to the faithful, the core beliefs regarding Christ's nature. The purpose and net effect of the Marian doctrines of the Church is always to glorify Christ, the Incarnation, born of the ever virgin (but certainly not divine) Mary.
Prayer from The LOTH:
Grant that we may feel the effects of her intercession for us,
for it is through her that we have received your Son, the source of life.
He lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.