The Virgin Mary: Because We’re Mammals

We Catholics love Mary partly because we Catholics are mammals.

As I was praying the Rosary last night, I had this great sense of divine favor on our family. We were praying for a priest who is having a difficult time. We prayed for my son who had a concussion on the playground. But in the midst of this I just had this great wellspring of love for the Blessed Virgin Mary who is praying for our family and with our family.


My heart said, “Why do I love you so much, Mary?”

I looked across the room and in the darkness I saw my wife nursing our three month old daughter Elizabeth. So beautiful.

It hit me. The very fact that we are mammals means that the beginning of our lives begins at the breast. The word “ma” is the only universal word in all languages, meaning mother, because it relates to the way the lips of infant attach to the breast (“Why all babies say mamma”).

Our feeling of love, warmth, attachment, and joy begin right away with that amazing mammal practice of nursing at the breast. Unless the mother dies, the love of the mother is our first experience in life.

Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that “grace perfects nature.” It is perfectly reasonable that God would provide a “mamma” for his redeemed rational mammals – human persons. We don’t crack out of eggs. Each of us was born from a mother and grew at her breast.

That God should appoint a loving mother to raise humanity to Himself is almost too obvious! Of course mammals would need a mother in the supernatural order. It makes perfect theological sense. We are born again in Christ. In Christ, we share His divine Father and His human Mother.

“Behold thy mother.” (John 19:27, D-R)

Of course our Savior would proclaim this as He died for our sins…

Question: Do you think of Mary in this intimate way? A tender mother nourishing you on your way to maturity in Christ? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you’re interested, please take a look at the status of Mary as Mother and Queen from a Jewish point of view in:

Rabbi Look Inside

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