Why the angel showed reverence to Mary? St. Thomas Aquinas examines the reasons why the angel Gabriel showed such reverence to Mary, saying, “Hail!”
February 2, 2016 by
Why the angel showed reverence to Mary?
St. Thomas Aquinas examines the reasons why the angel Gabriel showed such reverence to Mary, saying, “Hail!”
In ancient times it was an especially great event when an angel appeared to men, so that men might show them reverence, for they deserve the greatest praise. It was written in praise of Abraham that he received angels hospitably and that he showed them reverence. But it was never heard that an angel showed reverence to a human being until he saluted the Blessed Virgin, saying reverently, “Hail.” The reason why in ancient times the angel did not reverence man, but man the angel, is that the angel was greater than man, in three respects. First, with respect to dignity, since the angel is of a spiritual nature, but man is of a corruptible nature, subject to death and decay. It was not then fitting that a spiri- tual and incorruptible creature should show reverence to a corruptible creature, namely, man.
Second, with respect to closeness with God. For the angel is a close assis- tant to God. But man is like an outsider, put at a distance from God through sin. Thus it was fitting that man should reverence the angel as one close to and familiar with the King. Third, the angel was preeminent because of the fullness of the splendor of divine grace. For angels partake most fully of the divine light. Therefore the angel always appears with light. But men, although they partake something of the light of grace, it is but little, and with obscurity.
For these reasons, it was not fitting that the angel should show reverence to a human being until someone should be found in human nature who exceeded the angels in those three respects. And this was the Blessed Virgin. In order to indicate that she exceeded him in these three things, the angel said, “Hail.” —St. Thomas Aquinas, “On the Angelic Salutation”
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do I show reverence to Mary? Does my attitude toward her display the honor and love that is due to the Mother of God and my mother?
From a hymn ascribed to Venantius Fortunatus: Hail, Mary, you who are “blest, in the message Gabriel brought; blest, by the work the Spirit wrought; from whom the great Desire of earth took human flesh and human birth!”
Read the source & comments: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicbookblogger/2016/02/02/why-the-angel-showed-reverence-to-mary-mary-day-196/
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This video presentations show about the Woman we love, Our Lady of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “She is acknowledged and honored as being truly the mother of God and of the redeemer…. She is clearly the mother of the members of Christ … since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head. Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church” (CCC:963).
Mary’s prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father’s plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ’s conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, his body (cf. Lk 1:38; Acts 1:14). In the faith of his humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance he had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made “full of grace” responds by offering her whole being: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” “Fiat”: this is Christian prayer: to be wholly God’s, because he is wholly ours. The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana, the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast (Jn 2:1-12); this is the sign of another feast – that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27), that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true “Mother of all the living” (CCC: 2617-2618).