The Vatican released a new book for the Roman Catholic faithful, and as expected they have their mariology game on point.
Titled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – a Sure Support in Time of Trial”, the publication was created to offer comfort and divine assistance to Catholics during the COVID-19 crisis. It offers prayers for the sick and the suffering, explains how Catholics can continue their faith while being absent from their sacraments, and reflections by Pope Francis about the whole pandemic affair. From the forward:
“[This book] is intended to be a little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude and in fear.
This book, which the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communication decided to prepare and make available to all, has a fundamental characteristic: it will be constantly updated with new homilies and other interventions made by the Pope, and the “rediscovery” of other treasures from our ecclesial tradition.”
Now, in all fairness, these are pretty mild compared to some of the stuff out there that Catholics have come up with. It’s not like it’s this prayer to Mary from Pope Pius XII, which is pretty up there in the echelon of blasphemies.
“Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.
Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven,
He crowned you Queen of the Universe. O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!
But still. Let’s take a look at what we have and focus on the elevated language Mary gets. Let us consider the superpowers and special abilities she is ascribed and the role and responsibilities she is given that should rightly be attributed to Christ and the Holy Spirit.
1.“May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, Health of the Sick and Help of Christians, our Advocate, help suffering humanity, saving us from the evil of this pandemic and obtaining for us every good necessary for our salvation and sanctification.” Page 56
2. “May Mary Most Holy and Saint Joseph obtain for us abundant graces of reconciliation and salvation, in attentive listening to the Word of the Lord, which he repeats to humanity today: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46: 10), “I am with you always” (Mt 28 :20).” Page 60
3. “Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. Page 153
4. “Let us pray for the deceased in the light of paschal faith. Everyone is present in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our prayers. May we learn from Mary, that inner silence, that gaze of the heart, that loving faith, so as to follow Jesus on the way of the cross that leads to the glory of the Resurrection. She walks with us and sustains our hope.” Page 165
5. “May Mary, the silent witness of the death and resurrection of her son, Jesus, help us to believe strongly in this mystery of salvation: when it is welcomed with faith, it can change our lives. This is the Easter wish that I renew to each of you. I entrust it to her, our Mother, whom we now invoke with the prayer, the Regina Caeli.” Page 178