St.Mary and Success_ By Dr. Douaa Girgis

Success! Everyone strives for success! We go to and fro, fill the air with words, send out messages, demand to be heard, and sometimes even resort to underhanded and ungodly
means to achieve success?!

We measure success by what people say of us; how they treat us. But what about if GOD opened our eyes and we saw what HE thinks of our “success”; what the angels say of it; how the saints feel about it??? Are we successful in the sight of GOD by WHOM we will be judged for eternity???

The Virgin St. Mary figured this out very very early on in her life. Even as a child she understood that the world measures success in a far different manner than the LORD. She understood that it is the LORD’S opinion that truly matters! But how did St. Mary figure this out? She figured this out by being in tune to the LORD’S VOICE; by being in HIS word; by leading a life of prayer! Through the life of prayer and unity with the LORD, St. Mary‘s own will became that of the LORD’S. She aspired to remain a virgin to the LORD and even in her own personal goals and aspirations the LORD gave her success as she submitted her will to HIS! No one can ever do that without being in the LORD! This is evident in her Magnificant which she chanted after the greeting of Elizabeth.

“And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the LORD, and my spirit has rejoiced in GOD my SAVIOR.” (St. Luke 1:46, 47)

This chant sounds very much like one of King David the Prophet’s Psalms. It also sounds like Isaiah the Prophet as he said by the HOLY SPIRIT, “O LORD my GOD, I will glorify YOU; I will sing a hymn to YOUR NAME, for YOU have done wonderful things.” (Is. 25:1) When Archangel Gabriel appeared to St. Mary to announce the Birth of our LORD GOD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, she was not alarmed at his sight; it was obvious she had seen heavenly visions before! St. Mary “was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was” (St. Luke 1:29) because she counted herself unworthy to receive the greeting of “Rejoice, highly favored one, the LORD is with you; blessed are you among women!” (St. Luke 1:28) But that was GOD’S opinion of her!!! And the LORD chose her out of millions of women who lived and who will ever live to be HIS mother, the Theotokos!

Those who were godly also discovered her success. For example Elizabeth said to her, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the FRUIT of your womb! But why is it granted to me, that the mother of my LORD should come to me? For indeed as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (St. Luke 1:42-45) Therefore, St. Mary received praise from Elizabeth because she carried the LORD, and indeed she always carried the LORD in her heart, mind, and soul!

We can measure this success by the fact that St. Mary was protected by the LORD HIMSELF! She did not defend herself when Joseph found out that she was with child; “But
when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife,
for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’” (St. Matthew 1:20) Also at the cross the LORD left her with St. John the Beloved to care for her. Simon the elder understood St. Mary’s secret to success and encouraged her life of prayer by saying, “Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also.” (St. Luke 2:35) How could St. Mary have survived this sword of the crucifixion of her pure and innocent, only SON without being united with the LORD in constant prayer and supplication? The death of a child is the most difficult tribulation a parent can go through! What human mother could survive this without extrapolating power from GOD HIMSELF through a prayerful life!???

The disciples, the elders of the Church, also esteemed St. Mary as their mother as she continued with them in a life of prayer and unity; “These all continued with one accord in
prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of JESUS, and with the brothers.” (Acts 1:14)

The assumption of the body of St. Mary up to heaven–never in the history of humanity have we heard of this! The LORD did this because this was the precious body that loved HIM and carried HIM before the Incarnation and after! This was the body that worshiped HIM and pleased HIM at all times! This was the body that fed HIM before He was Incarnated with ceaseless prayer and after HIS Incarnation, physically! This was the body that gave birth to HIM physically and continues to give birth to HIM in the hearts of the believers! Therefore we pray in the Saturday Theotokia saying, “Hail to you O full of grace, hail to you who has found grace, hail to you who has given birth to Christ, the Lord is with you.”

Wherefore her prophesy was fulfilled when she said, “For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For HE WHO is mighty has done great things for me,
And HOLY is HIS NAME.” (St. Luke 1:48, 49)

“Wherefore we magnify as the Mother of GOD! Ask your SON to forgive us.”