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Musings 2002/158

At this point, let me say

How clear, simple and wonderful
is our exquisite Penny Catechism
sadly so little used.

Sub-headings of the Marks of Christ's Church
The Universal Church teaches devotion to Mary as, of course, does Scripture. Over the centuries The Church has proclaimed various dogma regarding Mary; and from the earliest centuries, too.
Mother of God. Mother of The Church. Mary's Assumption into Heaven, body, soul, person. Mary's Immaculate Conception. And more.
The Church takes other honours about Mary for granted even if some are not declared to be Dogma.
Mediatrix of all of God's Graces. Queen of Heaven. And more.
Here, we find not only a wonderful
character or mark of The Church, but also of its members: that is,

devotion to Mary,

Woman of Scripture and our own Spiritual Mother.
Devotion to Mary, Mother of Christ, is a sure sign to look for when seeking His Universal Church. I will be musing more on this hereunder.
But if The Church is
apostolic, then we must also look for the results of this, that is to say, we would be looking for the present-day successors of the Apostles, the Bishops. We would, at the same time, look for support for, honour of and obedience to, these Bishops.
Most particularly, we would be looking for support for, honour of and obedience to, the chief of the Apostles, Peter, represented by today's great Pope, John Paul II.
Further, in locating this Catholic
character, we would also be given insight into who are those Catholic Bishops that deserve our every devotion. These would consist of those Bishops who pass on and themselves observe, this same devotion - support, honour, obedience - to the Pope.
No clear-sighted Catholic will knowingly give his devotion to an anti-Catholic Bishop.
So, we arrive at another essential character of The Church and of Her members, that is

obedience to the Pope.

A third character of The Church is one that the old sage mentioned last issue of Hearts are, 2002/156, and relates to the most Holy Eucharist.
Belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, and the natural progression of this belief:-

adoration of Christ in our Tabernacles.

Thus I present three characters of The True Church and of the children of this True Church: devotion to Mary, obedience to the Pope and adoration of Christ in the Eucharist and these, in turn, support the four chief marks.
Delegation and The Church
On pondering how God delegates His powers and authorities and responsibilities, it seems to me that here, we have a wonderful proof of the teachings of The Church.
For example, devotion to Mary and the Saints.
Patently clear it is, that much was delegated to Mary and in this fact,

we observe a sharing God
who, in delegating,
gives a sure sign
of His Own devotion
to His very Own Woman of Scripture.

The point is this:-

if God has devotion for Mary,
proven by the wonders He worked in her,
then so too should we.

If God has delegated wonderful things upon Mary, out of His great love for her, what is He to think of those who denigrate or belittle her or refuse her?
If God has given Mary certain powers and responsibilities, such as her Motherhood of The Church and of 
her children, the men who keep God's commandments and hold fast to the truth concerning Jesus, (Apoc. 12:17), then what is He to think about those who by-pass her, refuse her as their Mother and think they are praising God by going direct to Him without their Mother beside them?
They are refusing God's great gift to them -

their heavenly Mother.

They presume to come before God with their own virtues to delight Him or their own worthiness to seek His help!
Will they also refuse other gifts from God to them:- their Guardian Angels, the Saints who might be their patrons?
What about those other gifts to us, the Holy Souls in Purgatory? These Holy Souls are exquisite gifts to mankind, for God calls upon us to help them with our intercessions for them. God gives us a wonderful chance to do something for others and to gain great friends when they reach Heaven, perhaps on our prayers.
But no, we have Christians who just want to go straight to Jesus Christ - forget Mary, the Saints, the Angels and the Holy Souls who might have joined them before Jesus; who might have shared their own perfections upon them; who might have supported their cause even before they presented themselves to Him.
Surely Christ, on their lonely approach to and before Him, must wonder that they come alone in their disgraces and pitiful situations when He had provided so many friends for them!
Do they not add to their uninspiring state?
On the other hand, in this sure realisation that God delegates power and authority to His children, to all His creatures, we begin to perceive more clearly, just how grand are the doctrines of our Mother, The Church, which promotes devotion to Mary and the Angels and Saints and shows us how to help those in Purgatory
In fact, we see that a delegating God is yet another proof of the correctness of Catholic Doctrine.
Love for Mary
We find that many, many millions of good people around the world love Mary so very much. They make up the greatest army that has ever existed, in number, in zeal, in loyalty, in determination.
Yet, how amazing is the love for Mary of the great Saints?
On opening up random pages of the book
The Glories of Mary, I was quickly reminded about this certain fact - the great Saints, all of them, have a love for Mary that astonishes. Let me just quote a few lines from this book of St. Alphonsus de Ligouri:
PBehold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son: and thou shalt call His name Jesus.
And now, why this delay, O Mary? 'The angel awaits the reply' (says St. Bernard); 'and we also, O Lady, on whom the sentence of condemnation weighs so heavily, await the word of mercy;' we, who are already condemned to death.
'Behold, the price of our salvation is offered thee; we shall be instantly delivered if thou consentest,' continues the same St. Bernard.
Behold, O Mother of us all, the price of salvation is already offered thee: the price will be the divine Word, made man in

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