“Mondays with Mary” – Mary, the Gate of Heaven

Since tomorrow is the feast day of Our Lady of Loreto, and one of the titles for Mary in the Litany to Our Lady of Loreto is “Gate of Heaven,” I though I would focus today’s “Mondays with Mary” on this specific title. So why and how is Mary the “Gate of Heaven”?

First, it has to do with our death. There are two moments in our life that that the Church teaches us to call upon Mary – now, the present moment, which is in our power, and “at the hour of our death,” which may not be in our power, however, with the help of Mary we may be given to the chance to enter Heaven. Second, Mary is called the “Gate of Heaven” because she leads us to Jesus Christ, who is in Heaven and that is where we want to end up. The “Gate of Heaven” isn’t just for those of us on earth, the Church Militant, but she is the gate that also leads those souls suffering in Purgatory, the Church Suffering.

Second, Mary is the “Gate of Heaven” because her Our Lord, who entered the world through her, allows her to lead us closer to Him. Along with the Sheep Gate (John 10), Mary as the “Gate of Heaven” works with protecting Heaven and leading the sheep of the flock ever more closer to Jesus. There is nothing more that Our Lady wants but to lead us all closer to Jesus Christ.

St. Bonaventure says, “Mary is the called gate of heaven because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her. Furthermore, St. Bernardine of Siena says the following, “As every mandate of grace that is sent by a king passes through the palace gates, so does every graces that comes from heaven to the world pass through the hands of Mary the Gate of Heaven.”

To conclude today, here are five quotes from Pope St. John Paul II regarding Mary as the “Gate of Heaven” –

“We are going to turn to Mary, our Mother. I am sure that the children here present pray to her often. And you parents, you set great store by training them, from the earliest age, to prayer, to religious acts, to the Good News of the Gospel. Even better, you deepen your faith with them and pray with them. Let us ask Mary to lead you to full knowledge of her Son, Jesus, to be his disciples and his apostles.”

“What can I wish for you but that you will always listen to these words of Mary, the Mother of Christ: ‘Do whatever he tells you’? And may you accept these words with your heart, because they were uttered from the heart. From the heart of Mother. And that you will fulfill them: ‘God has chosen you…calling you to this, with our Gospel, for possession of the glory of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.’”

“As the Apostle Paul says: ‘We know that our home is in heaven, where we also await our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior, who will change our vile body that is may be fashioned like his magnificent body’ (Phil 3:20-21). Holy Mary has already reached her heavenly home, and after exile on earth gained entrance immediately to glory. So, let your sufferings, your anxieties, your hopes be directed toward her…”

“…[T]he Second Vatican Council emphasizes in the last chapter of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church that “in her life the Virgin has been a model of motherly love with which all who join in the Church’s apostolic mission for the regeneration of mankind should be animated” (Lumen Gentium, 65).

“Moreover, the effectiveness of our pastoral mission depends on our holiness of life. Let us not be afraid, for the Mother of Jesus is with us. She is in our midst today and always. And we are strong through her prayers and safe in her care. Regina Caeli, laetare, alleluia!

Mary, Gate of Heaven…Pray for Us

Our Lady of Loreto…Pray for Us

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for Us

A Whole Lot of Writings on Our Lady of Sorrows

Today in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the Marian memorial known as Our Lady of Sorrows. This traditional devotion, which helps us understand Mary’s role in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ, began in 1814 by Pope Pius VII. Many of the Church Fathers and other saints wrote on how Mary is united with Christ in his suffering and how we are to suffer with Christ as well. In this Apostolic Letter, Salvific Doloris, Pope St. John Paul II said,

“Suffering is also an invitation to manifest the moral greatness of man, his spiritual maturity. Proof of this has been given, down through the generations, by the martyrs and confessors of Christ, faithful to the words: “And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.”

If you don’t know or haven’t realized it yet, suffering is very much a part of the Christian lifestyle, and although following Christ brings us happiness and joy, suffering is something that we all must learn to embrace. We are reminded of this every time we walk into a Catholic Church and see the crucifix in the sanctuary. As she is in all things that pertain to the Christian faith, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect example for us when it comes to suffering. Although she was free of all sin because of her Immaculate Conception, she still had to endure great pains and great suffering as she watched Her Son and Our Lord suffer to and on the cross.

Our Lady of Sorrows by Carlo Dolci

Our Lady of Sorrows by Carlo Dolci

So for today’s blog post on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, here are the many blog posts I have written in the past that speak about the Blessed Mother as the Mother of Sorrows –

1. “Mondays with Mary” – 7 Quotes by Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Sorrows

2. “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Sorrows 

3. “Mondays with Mary” – Marian Reflections from St. Alphonsus Ligouri

4. “Mondays with Mary” – The Burial of Our Lord, and the Loneliness of the Blessed Virgin

5. “Mondays with Mary” – The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Mary at the Foot of the Cross

6. “Mondays with Mary” – The Suffering of Mother Mary

7. “Mondays with Mary” – Jesus, Mary, and the Cross

8. “Mondays with Mary” – Mary Under the Cross

9. “Mondays with Mary” – The Method of Praying the Rosary of the Mater Dolorosa

10. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope St. John Paul II on the Suffering of Mary 

11. “Mondays with Mary” – The Prophecy of Holy Simeon

12. “Mondays with Mary” – Litany of the Mater Dolorosa

Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for Us.