龐貝聖母 Our Lady of Pompeii

"When you call Me by the name of the 'Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii',
which is closer to Me than all the others, I cannot reject you."
『當你以「龐貝神聖玫瑰經之后」的名號來呼求我時,由於它比所有別的名號更親近我,我是不能拒絕你的。』

January 1, 2018

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God (January 1) 天主之母節(1月1日)


On the very first day of every new year, January 1st, the Church appropriately honors the Blessed Virgin Mary with a Marian feast day and a Holy Day of Obligation. And the title by which she is honored on this day is also the first Marian dogma defined by the Church: Mary, the Mother of God. Today we celebrate the Motherhood of Mary as the vessel through whom the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature. This feast day also appropriately falls on the 8th day after the Nativity of Our Lord, or on the final day of the Octave of Christmas.

Many non-Catholics have a problem with Mary being called the Mother of God. But we must remember, especially on this feast day, that Mary’s title as Mother of God is not only an ancient one officially given to her by the early Church, but also that the title says more about Jesus than it does about Mary. In fact, this title of Mary was given precisely in order to reinforce the teaching on Christ’s nature handed down from the Apostles — that Jesus was truly God and truly man — in the face of a heresy that threatened it.

Mary was called the Mother of God from very early in the Church’s history. One of her earliest titles in the liturgy is Theotokos which translates “God-Bearer”. From this title she began to be called “Mother of God”. Among those who objected to this title was Nestorius, whose false ideas on the nature of Christ is labeled Nestorianism. Nestorius claimed instead that Jesus was born of Mary as human and not as Divine, thereby doctrinally dividing the nature of Christ. St. Cyril defended the title by affirming with the Church fathers that Mary did indeed give birth to the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who is called Jesus, who is simultaneously and completely both God and man from his birth. The Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) was called to settle the dispute between Nestorius and St. Cyril. The council rightly affirmed St. Cyril and declared Nestorius a heretic.

Thus the dogma of Mary as the Mother of God was established at the Council of Ephesus. From the decree: “If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh), let him be anathema.”  The decrees of the Council were then approved by Pope Sixtus III.

So there you go. The universal Church declared once for all that Mary is indeed the Mother of God, and this title was established to protect the true doctrine of Christ’s nature from every heresy that denies it. Don’t let anyone shame you for a belief in this true title of Mary that is handed down with the authority of the Church founded by Christ.

Now that we have defended the use of the title, we can glean from its depth of theological wisdom. In the Holy Father’s [Pope Benedict] homily on this feast day last year, he notes at least five ways that the title of Mary as Mother of God bears special significance for Christians:
  1. “Mary is the mother and model of the Church, who receives the divine Word in faith and offers herself to God as the ‘good soil’ in which he can continue to accomplish his mystery of salvation.”
  2. “The Church also participates in the mystery of divine motherhood, through preaching, which sows the seed of the Gospel throughout the world, and through the sacraments, which communicate grace and divine life to men. The Church exercises her motherhood especially in the sacrament of Baptism, when she generates God’s children from water and the Holy Spirit.”
  3. “Like Mary, the Church is the mediator of God’s blessing for the world: she receives it in receiving Jesus and she transmits it in bearing Jesus.”
  4. “The mystery of her divine motherhood that we celebrate today, contains in superabundant measure the gift of grace that all human motherhood bears within it, so much so that the fruitfulness of the womb has always been associated with God’s blessing.”
  5. “The Mother of God is the first of the blessed, and it is she who bears the blessing; she is the woman who received Jesus into herself and brought him forth for the whole human family. In the words of the liturgy: ‘without losing the glory of virginity, [she] brought forth into the world the eternal light, Jesus Christ our Lord’.”

Today give special honor to Mary as Mother of God, and do not forget to go to Mass and pray your Holy Rosaries!


Source: https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/january-1-mary-mother-of-god/

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前言
「天主聖母瑪利亞,為我等罪人,今祈天主……….」相信我們都常誦念著這幾句經文。聖母經是我們讚美和祈求聖母的經文。我們讚美她,因為她是天主之母,是我們的完美模範;我們祈求她,是希望她會為我們代禱、轉求於她的兒子耶穌基督。

全無疑問的,我們都相信瑪利亞是天主之母。然而,關係著許多問題。例如:聖母是何時成為天主之母的?又聖經中對「天主之母」這名稱有過什麼的啟示?這端信理的演變歷史等問題,都是很值得我們探討的。

天主之母的信仰,已有很長久的歷史,在公元第一至第四世紀時,教會對於天主之母的信仰,雖未確立為當信的道理,但在教會內一般的信徒早已如此相信;直到第五世紀時,教會才正式宣佈其為信理。現在就讓我們稍為探討這端信理的形成過程及背景。

(一) 聖經的啟示

在聖經中,我們很難找到「天主之母」的名稱,但這並非說,這端教義在聖經中沒有啟示的基礎。早在公元五十七年時,聖保祿宗徒曾對迦拉達教會的信友說:「當時期一滿,天主就派遣了自己的兒子,生於女人」(迦 4:4)。在致羅馬人書中,亦有一讚頌詞說:「按血統,基督是生於猶太人,他是在萬有之上,世世代代應受讚美的天主,亞孟!」(羅 9:5) 當聖母領報時,天使對聖母說:「你所生的,要稱為天主的兒子。」 (路 1:35)

從以上的聖經章節裡,可見聖經中雖沒有「天主之母」的名稱,但天主之母的事實,卻隱含在聖經啟示中。

(二) 教會的傳承

在宗徒時代的教會裡,信徒已深信天主子是生於瑪利亞,一位著名的教父聖依納爵,他來自安提約基雅,在他寫信給厄弗所的信徒時,曾說:「我們的天主耶穌基督,乃降生於瑪利亞。」第二世紀時,教父儒斯定在其護教書中說:「聖言從童女,照天主之旨意降生成人。」此外,尚有其他教父也有類似的言論。

在初期教父時代,對瑪利亞是天主之母的信仰十分肯定。當戴爾都良教父面對「幻象論」的異端時,肯定耶穌基督的身體是由瑪利亞所生,是真實的身體。所謂「幻象論」,是一種異端,主張耶穌的身體並非是真實的,只是一形像。此外,面對「嗣子論」的異端時,初期教父亦肯定:「天主所生的聖言也生於瑪利亞。」「嗣子論」的異端剛好與「幻象論」相反,它認為瑪利亞所生的是一個真人耶穌,他後來由天主收為兒子,換言之,否定了耶穌基督是真天主。到公元第五世紀時,教會為了針對奈斯多略(Nestorianism)異端,在厄弗所召開了一次大公會議(公元四三一年),當時宣佈了聖母為天主之母,成為教會當信的道理。

(三)「天主之母」對今日信徒的意義

若詳細探討領報時天神對聖母所說的那番話,發現天主是願意聖母以童貞之身作母親。故此,在領報時,天使帶給了聖母一個使命,就是「做天主子的母親」,但天主願意聖母達成這使命的方式,卻是特殊的、矛盾的,她要以童貞之身生產耶穌。

「這事怎能成就?」「童貞」與「母親」是一個矛盾,從人的理性來看,這件事非常不合邏輯和衝突。天使給聖母帶來了一個理性的難題,可是,聖母卻以一句充滿信德而又很簡單的話 ---「願你的話成就於我吧!」--- 穿越了這個困難,化解了矛盾。自從在領報中接受了第一個「童貞與母親」的矛盾之後,在聖母的生命裡,她不斷地,一次比一次更深地被投入類似的矛盾中。其中最大最難穿越的,恐怕就是「十字架與天主子」的矛盾。試問這位有血有肉,分明是被列於罪犯之中的兒子,又怎可能是天主子?在十字架下,門徒動搖了,伯多祿也跌倒了三次,然而,聖母的信德卻擊破了十字架的矛盾,在完全絕望的境況中,她成為了我們的「聖望之母」。她一生伴隨著耶穌,經歷了貧窮、凌辱、失落等各種遭遇;但聖經卻沒有告訴我們,聖母曾經有何抱怨。從這種「無怨尤」的態度,可見聖母信之深、愛之切。

我們很容易想到「天主之母」這個名銜的尊榮,但我們實在無法了解,從接受這個做童貞式的母親使命的那一天開始,她是如何不斷地被投入一連串的矛盾之中。這些矛盾,為人的理性是一團黑暗,只有聖母那種堅定不移的信心,才有能力穿透這種種的衝突與矛盾。無怪乎在教會內,有些教父稱這位天主之母的信德,比亞巴郎還要完美。聖母在信德生活上的完美,不僅是在於「不懷疑」地對天主的忠信,更在於她那份「無怨無尤」的愛德。

資料來源:www.hkcccl.org.hk/page/course/course-d07-04.doc