Thought for the Day – 27 June – Thursday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor
Defender of the divine Motherhood of the Virgin Mary
Saint Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Bishop, Father and Doctor
An excerpt from his Letter 1
That anyone could doubt the right of the holy Virgin to be called the mother of God fills me with astonishment. Surely she must be the Mother of God if our Lord Jesus Christ is God and she gave birth to him! Our Lord’s disciples may not have used those exact words but they delivered to us the belief those words enshrine and this has also been taught us, by the holy fathers.
In the third book of his work on the holy and consubstantial Trinity, our father Athanasius, of glorious memory, several times refers to the holy Virgin as “Mother of God.” I cannot resist quoting his own words: “As I have often told you, the distinctive mark of holy Scripture is that it was written to make a twofold declaration concerning our Saviour – namely, that He is and has always been God, since He is the Word, Radiance and Wisdom of the Fatherand that for our sake,, in these latter days, He took flesh from the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and became man.”
Again further on he says: “There have been many holy men, free from all sin. Jeremiah was sanctified in his mother’s womb and John while still in the womb leaped for joy at the voice of Mary, the Mother of God.” Athanasius is a man we can trust, one who deserves our complete confidence, for he taught nothing contrary to the sacred books.
The divinely inspired Scriptures affirm that the Word of God was made flesh, that is to say, He was united to a human body endowed with a rational soul. He undertook to help the descendants of Abraham, fashioning a body for Himself from a woman and sharing our flesh and blood, to enable us to see in Him not only God but also, by reason of this union, a man like ourselves.
It is held, therefore, that there are in Emmanuel two entities, divinity and humanity. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ is nonetheless one, the one true Son, both God and man, not a deified man on the same footing as those who share the divine nature by grace but true God, who for our sake, appeared in human form. We are assured of this by Saint Paul’s declaration: When the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law and to enable us to be adopted as sons.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God
By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church
Hail, Mother and Virgin,
eternal Temple of the Godhead,
Venerable Treasure of Creation,
crown of virginity,
support of the true faith,
on which the Church is founded, throughout the world.
Mother of God,
who contained the infinite God
under your heart,
whom no space can contain.
Through you, the most Holy Trinity, is revealed,
adored and glorified,
demons are vanquished,
Satan cast down from heaven into hell
and our fallen nature again assumed into heaven.
Through you, the human race,
held captive in the bonds of idolatry,
arrives at the knowledge of Truth.
What more shall I say of you?
Hail, through whom kings rule,
through whom the Only-Begotten Son of God
has become the Star of Light
to those sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!
St Cyril of Alexandria, Pray for Us!