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A Very Special Love: The CFC HOLD Marian Conference 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inspired by the teachings of St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose feast day was celebrated last August 14, the CFC Handmaids of the Lord honored the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, during the HOLD Marian Conference held last August 9, 2014. More than 2,000 HOLD leaders and members from Metro Manila and nearby provinces attended the annual conference on Mama Mary, held at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City.

Edythe Avendaño, HOLD Coordinator for Metro Manila, main speaker of the conference, opened the session explaining the special relationship of the Blessed Mother with the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

This relationship of Mary as Spouse of the Holy Spirit is unique, and not like the marital relations between a man and a woman as the faithful know it, explained Avendaño. But like in any marriage, there is the presence of three essential qualitites. First, there is love. Mary being the favored one was chosen even before her birth, having been conceived without original sin. She being the Immaculate Concepcion, Mary was hand-picked to play a role in the salvation of humankind.

The union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all. The Holy Spirit filled her and Mary was immersed in the spirit, fully obedient to His will, allowing Him to act fully in her life. This intimacy in their relationship made procreation possible—the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, chose Mary’s womb to be the dwelling place of the Savior.

Thus, the role of Mary, the Spouse of the Spirit is more than just to bear and give birth to the Son of God. Her role is the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation by bringing forth Jesus the Redeemer. She also brings men into communion with Christ. (CCC)

Mary’s role as bearer of life, and light, are manifested in many incidents in her life in the Holy Spirit: the visitation to Elizabeth (where the Spirit manifested in quietness when the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt upon hearing Mary’s greeting); the birth of her Son (light came into the world during Jesus’ birth); Jesus’s presentation in the temple (Simeon recognized Him as the promised Messiah and prophesied that she would have to share Him with both Jews and gentiles); the wedding feast in Cana (bring light in a bleak situation); passion and death of Jesus (picture of calmness as she witnessed the suffering and death of her Son became an inspiration to the seemingly hopeless disciples).

Personal testimonies from HOLD leaders Ophel Tuazon, Maricel Lim, and Letty Jayme illustrated the various stages in the life of Mama Mary in their own lives—in silence, in adoration, in obedience, in beholding and pondering the events in her life, in walking with eyes of faith, in letting go and letting God. Mini-session speakers Myra Respicio, Elizabeth Marcelo, Bing Santos, Baby Valle and Evelyn Ylagan led the delegates to moments of reflection on each stage.

The Holy Spirit was the driving force of Mary’s life, with Mary completely yielding her will to His. The key to this very special relationship is Mary’s faith.

“We can never be the Spouse of the Holy Spirit like Mary, but we are all called to live in the power of the Holy Spirit,” Avendaño stated. She added, “This can only be possible if we have a deep and abiding relationship with Him, founded in our faith in and love of God. By surrendering to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, we allow ourselves to  be ransformed into the sons and daughters God wants us to be. Hence, like Mary, we should be able to radiate the light of Christ to others.” (Alma Alvarez)


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