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Learning Our Lady

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (Nov 14, 2018)
This is the third article in a series on the Litany of Loreto. Every month, I will explain this popular prayer line by line, providing you with spiritual and theological insights.

View the previous article in this series.

Last month, we were introduced to Mary's virginal motherhood as Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins, and Mother of Christ. This month, we continue with the next line: Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us.

This title acknowledges that Mary is filled with grace, and as our spiritual mother, she passes it on to us. A person can't give what a person doesn't have. The grace with which God filled her overflows now from her to us.
Though she's the Mother of Grace, obviously grace is not a person. Still, she is the Mother of Divine Grace in as much as she is the Mother of Christ. By her "yes" at the Annunciation, she brought sanctifying grace into the world. So vast are the theological distinctions that define grace, you could write an entire book about them. But she's the Mother of elevating grace, sanctifying grace, of the grace of the New Covenant, which redeems us and makes us sons and daughters of God.

Mother Most Pure, pray for us.

Here, we are just calling upon her intense purity on every level. She remains pure not just in her body, but also in her heart. In every aspect of her being, she's got this unbelievable purity that gives her the privilege of being especially close to God. Remember when Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God?" (Mt 5:8). Since she is the Virgin Most Pure, she sees God. And that's a big deal, because then as the Mother of that purity, the Virgin Most Pure, she can share that vision with her children. She can invite us to wholeness, experience the greatness of God, and inspire us to want to be in His presence.

Mother Most Chaste, pray for us.

Everybody is called to chastity in a certain sense. Even married people are called to a certain form of chastity — being married doesn't give you the right to lust after your spouse. Chastity is an important aspect of Our Lady's role. She's such a chaste and modest woman that her beauty and her loveliness uplift us to remind us about the dignity of the human person — who we are in God's eyes. I think Our Lady is the model for chastity of the mind and of the heart, whether your vocation is to be celibate or married.

View the next article in this series.

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