Chapters 15, 16 and 17 The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God 1

A few quick points this week with the busy days of Christmas and New Year’s vying for time! First, I love the vision Sheen offers on the enduring identities we are marked with in life. He speaks of how a woman can be a wife for given period of time, either until the death of her spouse or herself, but if she is a mother, that role is eternal!  If there are parts of our lives that are eternal, we would do well make them a priority in this earthly life! What other parts of who we are, are taken with us into eternity? An avid reader…golfer…stamp collector…etc.? What in our lives will last for eternity?

Second, Sheen shares with us a statement from an Indian woman who says, “your religion is a religion of love; ours is one of fear.”  While other religions may make placating an angry god the motive for a good life, Christianity is a religion of loving God, ourselves and our neighbor. However, I think some folks still approach Christianity with the fear motivation. Do we keep holy the Lord’s Day out of fear or are we eager to be with others in our Sunday worship to experience this taste of heaven? Do we avoid sin because we fear Hell or because we love God, ourselves and neighbor and only wish to deepen that love through our words and actions?

Finally, Sheen explores other religions. He tells us that while Jesus may not be accepted or acknowledged as the Son of God, Mary fills the gap and, just as she did 2000 years ago, prepares this world to receive her Son. Sheen says, “as Christ is the Mediator between God and man, so she [Mary], is the Mediatrix between Christ and us. She is the earthly principal of love that leads to the Heavenly Principle of Love.” May we always seek Mary’s help and guidance that leads us to share in the Divine Life of her Son.

Please share your thoughts and comments.

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One thought on “Chapters 15, 16 and 17

  • Mary French

    Whew! I don’t know where to begin for these three chapters. A little comment on each.

    Chapter 15: I rather enjoyed the explanation of the difference between equity and equality for one basic reason — the illustration that man and woman are complimentary, ‘lock and key’, justice and mercy. And I find the point that he makes concerning all love demanding inequality as something that makes perfect sense. We are definitely different, man and woman, and God in His infinite wisdom intended that it be so, for very good reasons that Sheen touches on in this chapter.

    Chapter 16: Speaking about Mary as ‘preparation’ for Jesus, the one who leads us to Him, sets us up for what Sheen will tell us in subsequent chapters. But here he gives us some perspective on how Mary is a model (in one way or another) in various cultures around the globe, that is capable of serving as a bridge for those who have yet to find Christ. She is there, waiting to lead you to the other side, even when Christ is an unknown. A stepping stone.

    Chapter 17: This chapter, for me, was a natural follow-on to Chapter 16. Sheen has already laid the groundwork for understanding Mary as a method and means of evangelization and here he applies that understanding to Islam and the ever growing number of followers to this particular world wide religion. I think Sheen does an excellent job picking out the aspects of Islam that reflect Christianity and Judaism and then drives home the point that Mary is perhaps the one element of Christianity on which Christians and Muslims can agree to a great degree. So many beliefs (and even dogmas) that are shared! But of all the ‘ah-hah!’ moments that overflow in this chapter, the greatest for me was the connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Fatima the daughter of Mohammed. Never before had I encountered this connection and I can’t believe that it didn’t occur to me on my own. I hope that Sheen is right and that our Blessed Mother is going to prove to be the way in which Muslims will find their path to Christianity. And when I finally have some free time, I’m going to investigate further what Sheen says the Koran holds concerning Jesus and his mother Mary.