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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Mary - Mother of a New Humanity

Mary is mother of a new humanity, a humanity whose state is in communion with God. Her birth indicates an important characteristic of this divine work. Just as her birth is historically hidden, secret, humble, so too the great work the Lord will accomplish through her faith. So too in each of our lives individually and together in the Church. In all its apparent powerlessness, the power of God is made perfect in this new humanity. The old humanity was a humanity that had lost God and subject to a forgetfulness of that love from when it came. Without God, we live with a longing for something which the limitations of our nature seem to prevent us from attaining. Without the Word of the Father, we are constantly haunted by a peculiar disease with ourselves and the world, a sense that things are not the way they ought to be. And without the Risen Lord, even our most noble efforts to try to relieve this longing and guilt are subject to the futility of death. Yet even old humanity doom though it was had remnants that promised its current plight would not be the last word to its ancient story. Something in our spirit resists accepting the purposelessness which weighs upon our existence. Even when we are very far from God, even when we find ourselves engulfed to dehumanizing misery, something still deeper in our hearts wants to call for help, wants to ask for mercy. This primordial prayer emanating from the heart's core echoes even when we try to neglect, reject or renounce its goading. There is sewn deep within us, we who are fashioned in the image and likeness of Someone not of this world, an inclination to hope and to seek help. This propensity to make an appeal to Someone beyond ourselves is evidence of the primordial origins of humanity's nobility. What is good, tender and beautiful about humanity is more fundamental, more true than all those liberty depriving decisions whose compound effects compromise, diminish and betray our dignity. For the very fact that we try to cry out for help suggests that what is most true about the human condition is not our failures or voids or inadequacies—what is most true is that we are loved and awaited by Love. In the limitlessness of this Love we find the limits of evil. The great sign of this human hope was born when God brought the sinless Virgin Mary into this world. This flower of humanity was never without God and would become humanity's great "yes" to his Word. She was born humanity's prayer, the heart of humanity that lifts up its voice to the Lord.

She anticipates the new state of life offered to us in Christ. Her longing found rest in the longing of Lord. In Him, she knew the harmony that humanity was meant to know with itself and the world. By clinging to Him, even the death would be overtaken by the substance of her hope—for by obedience to the Word she forever ponders the doom of humanity through the eyes of Love stronger than death.

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