- TOTUS TUUS MARIA
The oriental Orthodox tradition venerates Mary Theotokos more
than any other tradition, Latin included. The fast and feast
connected with the Soonoyo has been with us for almost 1500
years while the Roman Church declared the Dogma only in 1950.
Mary is our mother and mediator. She does not displace her Son
who is the unique mediator between man and God, but she complements
and supplements in a mysteriously supportive role. John who wrote the
Gospel to bring in perfection to the synoptics and to supply significant
omissions refers to the Cana Miracle as THE FIRST sign. That miracle
has two essential meanings besides what we always hear in sermons.
Firstly, the intercession operates only when we obey the intercessor,
in this case Mary, who commands us to do whatever her Son bids. Secondly
when we are asked to fill with water we have to fill to the brim.No space
is to be spared.To my mind the most tragic figures in the New Testament
are (1) the guy who smuggled himself in without proper clothes to the
durbar of the king and (2) the guy who was thrown out for keeping safe
the only talent he had been given! The second case is relevant when we
think of the second aspect I mentioned supra, " fill to brim". We should
hold nothing back. This morning I preached a sermon in a Catholic church
here and in passing said all of us Syrian Christians( Catholic, Orthodox,
Marthoma, CSI) can do with two names, Ananias for men and Saphira for
women, because we always hold back something. Let us this fasting season
introspect and ensure that we " fill to the brim". Let us use the next
12 days to assess ourselves how far we follow the 10 + 2 commandments
in our daily lives, using the Sermon on the Mount and the commandments
of the Church tradition as torches to illumine our interiors to check
whether we obey Mary's Son without reservation and whether we fill the
jars to the brim when he asks us to fill.
Mary is the Perpetual Virgin. Mary is the Mother of God because her
child was God. Mary is the unique intercessor with her Son. In our
churches we never see Mary portrayed alone; she is always with the
Infant. Also in our tradition we do not use the icon of the Holy Family;
in fact barring the one at Kottayam we have no St. Joseph's church
anywhere as far as I know. These features do not detract from the
position of Mary or Joseph. Mary is justified only if she is with the
Infant; without Him she may be holy and saintly but her uniqueness
comes from the Infant, the only "child" who had the power to choose
His mother; we may choose the mothers of our children but we have no
way to choose our own mothers; God had that opportunity and he chose
Mary " from all generations". And Joseph is sort-of "de emphasised"
not because we do not venerate him, in fact on all feasts of Mary in
the SAADEEKO we traditionally remember Joseph, but the de emphasis is
to re emphasise the virgin birth and Mary's perpetual virginity.
In our tradition the two recitals at the time of death are the Creed and
the Hail Mary. I recall how my wife died in my hands as I was saying the
Hail Mary and had come to, " and at the hour of death". Mary is our
strength. She is our refuge. She leads us to her Son in a way only a
mother can do. May her intercession help us, as individuals, as families,
as parishes and as church.
TOTUS TUUS MARIA
- Dear in our Lord,
I read the many letters posted in this site upholding the values of
christian witnessing in our society. All will agree that this is a shame on
all Christians but nobody is willing to to be patient and prudent.
The recent problems are created on the basis of the finding of the supreme
court that the election at the Parumala meeting was acceptable. This is in
continuation to the finding of the Kerala High Court in the execution
petition 2000 that the claim of the Catholicose faction that " the Malankara
Metropolitanship of Mathews 11 Catholicose was accepted by the SC in 1995
Judgement " was untenable. The above claim was grounded by the verdict of
the SC to conduct an election under an observor to find whether he had the
mandate of the people. This direction itself proves that the former claim
Now their claim that the SC has given Mathews 11 Catholicose all the
privileges to enter any of the parish churches is meaningless.
It is the age old tradtion of the Malankara Church that Any spiritual head
should be invited by the parish through its vicar for a visit. This right
itself is the core of all the privileges enjoyed by the parishes. Moreover
it is the most inappropriate move from a spiritual leader to seek the police
protection to enter a church agaist the wish of its members. Here all
propriety of the meaning of the term 'Bava' (beloved father) is lost.
Keeping aside all the legal claims and interpretations of the findings from
the courts, I will say it is against all the norms of the human
The most tragic part of the recent move is the after effects of the HATE
CAMPAIGN that is taking place in various places. This will release the anti
social and politicised elements in the community to utilise the oppertunity
to win their game at the expense of the church and the bible. The stand of
an uncontented UDF leader is the best example . He is using this oppertunity
to spit scandalous words agaist his rivals.
The media coverage for this unhappy episode also will at the end be agaist
the goodwill of the Christian works in the society.
Finally, the legal part should start again from the Additional District
Court of Ernakulam,Commonly known as the 'PALLY KODATHI'.This was suggested
by the HC recently that the Catholicose side can move an execution petition
intead of seeking police protection from the court and the government. There
is a pending execution petition filed as per the direction of the Division
Bench of the Kerala High Court in 2000. The Judgement of the Supreme Court
in 1995 should be implemented in its tatality and the implemenation is not
only the authority of the Malankara Metropolitan but other points like (1)
the spiritual supremacy of the Patriarch of Antioch, (2)The rights of the
parish churches, (3)The extent of meaning of the Throne of St. Thomas,(4)
The autocephaly of the Malankara Church! as it was claimed by the
Catholicose group,(5)Can the Catholicose group withdraw the acceptance of
the spiritual supreme of the church?, etc. are also dealt there. (If the
Catholicose group has any right to withdraw the relations with the Patriarch
why not the parishes too have that right to keep away from the faction
headed by the same Catholicose?)
The implementing should cover all the above points.
If someone of acceptance will come forward and find these facts and try to
make a converging point I am sure there will be meaningful peace in the
God bless us.
Kuriakose Corepicopa Moolayil