This Child that you’ve delivered, will soon Deliver you

Here’s a little ditty that I composed this morning while yard-saling with my lovely mother, which I submit to you as a few words to keep my plants watered. It comes in response to our good friend Eugene, who seems to struggle with the concept of figurative speech, this time with the term for Blessed Mary, “the deliverer of the Deliverer.” He has had the good faith to delete my comment, so I will share it instead with you, dear readers. I am well prayed up and in a fine mood this morning, and will not let the short-sightedness of my dear brother steal my joy! My lumbering ogre of a thesis is still lumbering along, and with hope, I pray, he may be able to rest soon.

Adoration of the Shepherds

Gerard van Honthorst. Anbetung der Hirten (Adoration of the Shepherds). Oil on canvas, 1622. [Wikipedia]

The phrase “deliverer [note the lowercase d] of the Deliverer [note the uppercase D]” is a play on words — playing on the multiple meanings of the word “deliver.” Words sometimes mean more than one thing, no? Mary delivered (i.e. gave birth to) the Deliverer (i.e. the One who saves us). Nobody is saying that Mary did anything more than that. Christ could have entered the world any way He pleased — He could have just appeared — but He chose to humble Himself, to take on human flesh, to become a defenseless child, and to be born of a human Virgin — and for that, he needed the cooperation of the Virgin, to give herself up to God’s plan, and of her spouse Joseph, who together with Mary cared for Jesus and nourished Him and raised Him. Jesus didn’t have to do it that way — Mary and Joseph didn’t have to submit to it (God respects our free will) — but He did and they did, of their own choice and will, and that is why we honor them.

I also recall your attention to a few words of Pope St. Leo the Great, “Why Christ Was Born of a Virgin.” And to the words of another fine Christian, Mark Lowry:

5 thoughts on “This Child that you’ve delivered, will soon Deliver you

    • If you mentioned this too, I was not aware. I would certainly have given you credit if I had known! I think it was certainly apropos — one of the finest Protestant tributes to Our Blessed Mother that I know, that sums up in that line what it means to say that she “delivered the Deliverer.”

  1. When I hear this beautiful song I wonder if by “delivered her” the author meant she needed saving,.As Catholics we believe Mary was conceived without sin.

    • Hi, thanks for the comment! Mary nonetheless had to be delivered from sin. It wasn’t by any merit of her own that she was conceived without sin! Jesus just delivered her from the moment of her conception, in preparation for his coming.

  2. For what it’s worth, the Immaculate Conception does not imply that Mary did not need a Deliverer — only that God graciously delivered her from the power of sin preveniently even before her birth. To me, it makes the words in the song, which I always loved as a former Protestant, even more powerful.

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