*BEST OF DTB #43* The Catholic Defender: Mary, Mother of God

Posted by John Benko - December 29th, 2012

It was 29 December 2004, I received a Red Cross message informing me that my Mother was dying.

The Doctor and Hospice all were confirming Mom’s status with the Red Cross. I was informed that my Mother was coming in and out of consciousness and she had been calling for me.

I was serving in New Orleans working at the Military Enlistment Processing Center (MEPS) as the Medical Element NCOIC.

I arrived home from work and that is when I was notified by my wife of the situation. My family in Missouri alerted us before the Red Cross message arrived to my unit.

My Command was afraid to let me respond to my Mother’s wish because the next day was for the Recruiters, the opportunity to floor Applicants all day. I was able to work out support from my Element, but my Command would not budge.

I was able to fly to Missouri the following evening after the mission was completed. My Mother’s persistence kept her alive as long as she hoped I was on my way home.

I finally arrived at home in Southwestern Missouri at 23:00 the following night. I flew wearing my Class A uniform. Mom had never seen me in uniform through out my military career. I always went home in civilian clothes, but on this trip, in honor of my Mother, I was determined to wear my uniform.

A friend picked me up at the airport and they briefed me what was happening. Mom had been in a coma for nearly 5 days, she has not had anything to eat or drink so she was dehydrated. They had to put a diaper on her because she was not conscious. When I arrived there I could see her skin tone was pale, her eyes were sunken in, her joints were swollen from lack of circulation, her vital signs were practically non-existent and her breathing was raspy.

I sat down at the foot of the bed and simply observed what was happening. One of my Aunt’s was there with my Sister-In-Law and Brother who were trying to make Mom as comfortable as they could. After a few moments, everyone left the room leaving my Brother and me alone with Mother. Mom didn’t know who I was, she was in a coma state. As we both sat there with Mom, my Brother began to sing a Johnny Cash song to break the ice.

I kind of just listened and watched. There was no response from Mom not even a twitch. When he paused, I began singing a song that came to mind, “Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing….” At this point, Mom began to respond to what I was singing. I began singing every verse I could think of. Mom began to sing with a voice that seemed to come deep from within her chest and she became stronger the more I sang.

I was singing every song I could think of as Mom seemed to be coming out of this death trap. We ended up singing praises to God for 30-40 minutes after which, Mom was alert, could see me and I was able to explain my medals on my uniform to her.

This was the most amazing thing, everyone there was scratching their heads as I was very excited.

The following morning, Father Bill arrived (childhood Priest) to give Mom the Anointing of the Sick.

As soon as Father left, Mom was able to get up and use the rest room, she sat down at the table and was eating chicken, chili dogs, and pizza. Again, everyone was scratching their heads trying not to get too excited about this.

I was only quoting James 5:13-15, “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven”.

This healing would take place on New Years Eve, the day before the the Feast of “Mary, Mother of God” celebrated on 1 January, or New years Day. This beautiful feast day has a long history in the Catholic Church.

Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council renamed the Feast celebrated 1 January from “Feast of the Circumcision” to “Mary, Mother of God”:

In the revised arrangement of the Christmas season, we should all turn with one mind to the restored solemnity of the Mother of God. This feast was entered into the calendar in the liturgy of the city of Rome for the first day of January. The purpose of the celebration is to honor the role of Mary in the mystery of salvation and at the same time to sing the praises of the unique dignity thus coming to “the Holy Mother…through whom we have been given the gift of the Author of life.” This same solemnity also offers an excellent opportunity to renew the adoration rightfully to be shown to the newborn Prince of Peace, as we once again hear the good tidings of great joy and pray to God, through the intercession of the Queen of Peace, for the priceless gift of peace. Because of these considerations and the fact that the octave of Christmas coincides with a day of hope, New Year’s Day, we have assigned to it the observance of the World Day of Peace (Paul VI, Marialis Cultus, Feb. 2, 1974, no.5).

It is interesting that the original celebration, “Feast of the Circumcision”, had a long history on 1 January.

If you believe that Jesus was born on 25 December, Luke gives 1 January as the day of the Circumcision.

This is more evidence of the Churches belief of December 25th as the actual day of the Lord’s birth.

Origen of Alexander first documents about 230 A.D. of Mary as “Theotokos”, Mother of God.

In 431, the Catholic Church declared this as truth to counter the Nestorian heresy that questioned the nature of Jesus.

The Catholic Church proclaimed that Mary was Mother of the whole person of Jesus. Jesus was true God and true man as one person.

The Nestorians rejected Mary as Mother of God. In truth, the doctrine is all about Jesus, but Mary is being honored because she is in fact Jesus Mother.

Some people have tried to mislead others that Catholics worship Mary, that the Church deifies Mary with such titles. However, anyone who evaluates the reality of this teaching will find this is a great abuse of misrepresentation trying to spread hatred for the Church.

I encourage both Catholics and Protestants to really take a good look at what the Catholic Church is teaching and I believe that this solemn Feast will enrich your faith.


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