Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of Christians

From the sermons
of
Blessed Abbot Guerric
[ c.1070 – 1157 A.D. ]
The first Eve is not so much a mother as a stepmother since she handed on to her children an inheritance of certain death rather than the beginning of light. She is indeed called the mother of all the living, but she turned out to be more precisely the murderer of the living, or mother of the dead, since the only fruit of her child-bearing was death. And as Eve was incapable of fulfilling the vocation of her title, Mary consummated the mystery. She herself, like the Church of which she is the type, is a mother of all who are reborn to life.Mary bore only one Son. In heaven, he is the only-begotten of the Father; on earth, likewise, he is the only-begotten of his Mother. She who is the only Virgin-Mother, she who glories in having borne the only-begotten of the Father, embraces that same only-begotten of hers in all his members so she can truly be called mother of all in whom she sees that Christ her Son has been formed or is being formed.
  She is in fact the mother of the Life by which everyone lives, and when she brought it forth from herself she in some way brought to rebirth all those who were to live by that Life.
  Thus the blessed Mother of Christ, knowing that she is the mother of all Christians by reason of this mystery, shows herself a mother by her care and loving attention. For her heart is not hardened against these children as if they were not her own; her womb carried a child once only, yet it remains ever fruitful, never ceasing to bring forth the fruits of her motherly compassion.
  In short, if the Servant of Christ by his care and heartfelt tenderness bears his little children again and again until Christ be formed in them, how much more is this true of the very Mother of Christ? Paul begot his children by preaching the word of truth through which they were born again; but Mary in a manner far more holy and like to God, by giving birth to the Word himself. I do indeed praise the ministry of preaching in Paul, but far more do I admire and venerate that mystery of generation in Mary. Then again, is it not true that her children seem to recognise her as their Mother by a kind of instinctive devotion which faith gives them as second nature, so that first and foremost in all their needs and dangers they run to call upon her name just as children run to their mother’s breast? So I think it is quite reasonable to understand of these children that promise of the Prophet to her: ‘Your children shall live in you’; provided that the prophecy is always understood to refer principally to the Church. Already we really dwell in the help of the Mother of the Most High; we do live in her protection, as if under the shadow of her wing. And afterwards in participating in her glory we shall be cherished as if in her bosom. Then a single cry of rejoicing and thanksgiving will be heard addressed to this Mother: ‘The dwelling place of all of us who rejoice and are glad is in you, holy Mother of God.’
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