From Ave Maria Meditations
Let us celebrate the motherhood of the Virgin Mary;
let us worship her Son, Christ the Lord.
(Liturgy of the Hours)
Mary has looked upon the face of the Incarnate God.
In one glance she has read there voluminous wonders of heaven, and yet sees that its loveliness is inexhaustible. The vision has surpassed all expectations, even such expectations as hers. She gazes; and as she gazes, she can understand how the mightiest spirits of angels and of men in the full-grown stature of their imperishable glory will unfold themselves in the sunlight of that beautiful countenance, and feed forever on the manifold expression of its sweet worshipful solemnity.
A change comes over her… She is no longer the tabernacle of the hidden God. God changed his position toward her, and so her graces were changed with the only kind of change they ever knew-an incredible augmentation. She was suddenly clothed in a new purity for Jesus had again magnified her spotlessness by the manner of ?his Nativity, as he had done before by the manner of his Incarnation. She looks upon his Face, and grows more like Him by looking.
As at the moment of the Immaculate Conception, as in the hour of the Annunciation, so was it at the Nativity. The Mother began for the third time a new life of gigantic sanctities.
She worshipped his Sacred Heart, with all its sanctified affections. She saw his immense love of herself therein, and penetrated the wonders of which that love was full, and how gloriously the human and divine were blended in it and were one unequalled and unprecedented love. She beheld also the place which each of us occupied at that moment in his all embracing Heart; and it would seem to her that there was nothing about him more adorable than his inexplicable love of sinners. She adored his Soul, with all its many operations, and its depths of wisdom and of joy. Nothing was omitted in that act of worship. Every thing found its place, everything came in its right order. To every thing its due honor was paid, so far at least as a mere creature could pay what to God. Such was Mary’s first act of worship.
The distinguishing characteristic of her worship of Jesus was its humility. Those who are raised on high have a lower depth to which they can stoop. Mary’s humility has no parallel among the saints. It distantly approaches to that unutterable self-abasement which belongs to our Blessed Lord himself, grace to which he still clings in the Blessed Sacrament. It was through her humility that she became the Mother of God.
His flesh is hardly a mother’s arm-full. Yet by an astounding miracle it is the food of all other flesh in the grand Sacrament of the altar. It is our Lord’s body with which we have most to do on earth. It is his Body which is prominently worshiped rather than his soul, in the Blessed Sacrament. It is His body which is preeminently entrusted to our keeping, and which resides among us in the tabernacle.
Joseph likewise draws near to adore. The earthly shadow of the Eternal Father rests softly on the Child. Joseph draws near, that most hidden of all God’s saints. His soul is an abyss nameless graces, of graces deeper than those from which ordinary virtues spring. We can give no name to the character of his sanctity. We cannot compare him with any other of saints of God. As his office was unshared, so was his grace.? It followed the peculiarities of his office; it stood alone.
He stood to Jesus visibly in the place of the Eternal Father. The human soul of Jesus must have regarded him not only with the tenderest love but also with deep reverence and an inexplicable submission. Meek and gentle, blameless and loving as St. Joseph was, it is not possible to think of him without extreme awe, because of that identity with the Eternal Father which belongs to him ?We cannot describe his holiness, because we have no term of comparison. It was not only higher in degree than that of the saints but it was different in kind. But it was eminently hidden in God.
from “Bethlehem” by Father Faber
When the Blessed Virgin said Yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature, with a rational soul and a body, formed in the most pure womb of Mary. The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person: Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man: the only-begotten and eternal Son of the Father and, from that moment on, as Man, the true son of Mary. This is why Our Lady is the Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to himself forever, without any confusion of the two natures. The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loud and clear by the name that expresses her highest dignity: Mother of God.
(St. JoseMaria Escriva)
Mary, Glory of Mothers:
You are blessed among women, 0 Co?redemptrix! Blessed one selected in pref?erence to all who are blessed! Chosen One, singular among all who are chosen! Priceless Pearl that belongs in the treasury of God’s wisdom! Mother, you are the Glory of Mo?thers!
We seek you, Lady, and in all sincerity turn to you in prayer. Help us in our weak?ness; turn away from us all disgrace. Who is more worthy of entreating the Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ than you, blessed Mary, who live with your Son and speak with Him?
Speak, Mother, for your Son listens to you; and whatever you desire you will receive. In?voke His holy name in our behalf.
She has had a decisive influence on our lives. Each of us has his own experience. Looking back we see her intervention behind every problem, driving us forward and with the definitive push making us begin anew. Whenever I get down to thinking about the numerous graces I have received from Mary, I feel like one of those Marian Shrines on the walls of which, covered with ‘offerings’, there is inscribed only: ‘Through grace re?ceived from Mary’. In this way, it seems that I am written all over: Through grace received from Mary’.
Every good thought, every good act of will, every movement of my heart: ‘Through grace received from Mary’.
(St. Leonard of Port Maurice)
24. Thus we find ourselves at the very center of the fulfillment of the promise contained in the Proto-gospel: the “seed of the woman…will crush the head of the serpent” (cf. Gen. 3:15). By his redemptive death Jesus Christ conquers the evil of sin and death at its very roots. It is significant that, as he speaks to his mother from the Cross, he calls her “woman” and says to her: “Woman, behold your son!” Moreover, he had addressed her by the same term at Cana too (cf. Jn. 2:4).
How can one doubt that especially now, on Golgotha, this expression goes to the very heart of the mystery of Mary, and indicates the unique place which she occupies in the whole economy of salvation? As the Council teaches, in Mary “the exalted Daughter of Sion, and after a long expectation of the promise, the times were at length fulfilled and the new dispensation established. All this occurred when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that he might in the mysteries of his flesh free man from sin.”
The words uttered by Jesus from the Cross signify that the motherhood of her who bore Christ finds a “new” continuation in the Church and through the Church, symbolized and represented by John. In this way, she who as the one “full of grace” was brought into the mystery of Christ in order to be his Mother and thus the Holy Mother of God, through the Church remains in that mystery as “the woman” spoken of by the Book of Genesis (3:15) at the beginning and by the Apocalypse (12:1) at the end of the history of salvation. In accordance with the eternal plan of Providence, Mary’s divine motherhood is to be poured out upon the Church, as indicated by statements of Tradition, according to which Mary’s “motherhood” of the Church is the reflection and extension of her motherhood of the Son of God…
And so, in the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of “birth from the Holy Spirit.” Thus she who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes-by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit-present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: “Woman, behold your son!”; “Behold, your mother.”
(Pope John Paul II: Redemptoris Mater)
Holy Mary, Mother of God: Pray for us sinners-now-
and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Sancta maria, Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc,
et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.