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Ave Maria Meditations

Mary’s life of faith

Our Lady’s life was not easy. She had to contend with trials and difficulties; but her faith overcame all obstacles and gained in strength with each victory. Mary teaches us as a mother does, and being a mother, she does so quietly. We need to have a sensitivity of soul, a touch of refinement, in order to understand what she is showing us by what she does more than by what she promises.

She teaches us to have faith. ‘Blessed art thou for thy believing,’ were the words of greeting uttered by her cousin Elizabeth when our Lady went up into the hill-country to visit her. Mary’s act of faith had been a wonderful one: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.’ When her Son was born she con­templated the greatness of God on earth: a choir of angels was present, and not only the shepherds, but also important men of this world came to adore the Child. Afterwards, however, the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt in order to escape Herod’s murderous intent. Then, silence: thirty long years of simple, ordinary life, just like that of any other family in a small village in Galilee.

Mary’s faith shines silently in the years of her life in Nazareth. The Son born to her is a child who grows and develops like any other human being. He learns to walk, to talk, to work. Yet she knows that this child is the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah. She knows that the help­less one in her arms is the Almighty; that those first halt­ing words are pronounced by him who is infinite Wisdom; and that his childish games, and later on, his work as a boy and a young man, are the actions of the Creator of heaven and earth.

The Blessed Virgin looked at her son with love as her child and with reverence as her God. Her faith shone in the everyday events of her life. Her life of prayer grew in intensity through intimacy with Jesus; and thus she was able to give a supernatural meaning to all the events of her life, and sanctify the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant or insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives.

Mary’s faith reached its crown at the foot of the Cross. There, silently, she fulfilled God’s Will with the fact of her presence, and manifested the brightness and splendor and steadfastness of the faith in her heart. All of our Lady’s life was lived in the obedience of faith. When we contemplate her, we can understand how to believe means to abandon oneself to the truth of the wont of the living God, knowing and humbly recognizing how unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways. Mary, who by the eternal Will of the Most High stands, one may say, at the very centre of those ‘inscrutable ways’ and ‘unsearchable judgments’ of God, conforming herself to them in the dim light of faith, accepting fully and with a ready heart everything that is decreed in the divine plan.

We lack faith. The day we practice this virtue, trusting in God and in his Mother, we will be daring and loyal. God, who is the same God as ever, will work miracles through our hands. Grant me, dear Jesus, the faith I truly desire. My Mother, sweet Lady, Mary most holy, make me really believe, make me look at all the events of my life with a serene, unshakable, and operative faith.
Fr. Francis Fernandez

Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Author Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Our Lady found this unworthy lukewarm person and obtained for her the grace to enter the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. May this person spend all eternity in showing her gratitude.

More posts by Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

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