The mother of fair love
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - February 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Now that we are in the month of love, it might be a good idea to revisit one of the titles of Mary, our Lady. She is also referred to as the Mother of Fair Love, and thus, a good teacher and a sure guide in our business of loving.


I suppose that Marian title has basis on some passages in the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) where they say: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.” (24,24-26)

These words, while written in the Old Testament, are applied to Mary, the Mother of Christ, since they find echo or sound similar to what Christ said of himself: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14,6)

I imagine that the similarity highlights the total identification of Mary with her son, who is the son of God and our redeemer, giving us the reassuring idea that it is possible for a human being to be totally identified with Christ. That possibility and ideal should not be regarded by us as something unreachable.

In other words, the similarity is meant to assure us that, no matter how impossible it may sound, we too can be totally identified with Christ who actually is the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity. We have to learn to feel at home with that truth of our faith.

The similarity is also meant to tell us that it is in love as lived by both Christ and Mary when we can be in the truth, the way and the authentic life meant for us. In other words, it is this love that summarizes and integrates the qualities of truth, way and life that are meant for us.

It stands to reason then that in order to love the way Christ and Mary loved, one great help that we can avail of is to have this devotion to our Lady under this title of Mother of Fair Love. She will teach us how to love the way she loved and continues to love God and us.

In fact, Our Lady, in that passage of the Book of Sirach, precisely told us to “come over to me…and be filled with my fruits.” We are given a very accessible way of developing the love that is proper to us.

And in these times of so many forms of fake love, I believe this is what is most needed. We have to go to Mary, Our Mother of Fair Love, so that we would know how to love in all aspects, levels, situations, circumstances, etc. of our life.

She will be the one to help us animate all our activities and concern with the genuine love of God and neighbor. We know very well that we can get easily confused and lost with regard to our duty of loving while we go about our daily affairs. Our loving, without her, can easily get entangled in the emotional, sentimental and worldly values alone that have no other alternative but to lead us to trouble sooner or later.

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