Ave Maria Meditations
All deeply religious persons aspire to union with Mary; perhaps they cannot analyze the motives which prompt them to seek this union, but they are convinced that in constant intimacy with the mother of Jesus they will experience a distinct joy and will gain great advantage for their spiritual life. This conviction develops ordinarily by degrees, by reason of experience.
What is the purpose of the union of our will with Mary’s? It is to do the will of Jesus always. Mary does not exist, breathe, or act except for Jesus, and her will in our regard is that we, too, live only for Jesus, that in everything we do His will. Instead of the formula, “to do the will of Jesus,” Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus referred another, “to cause Jesus pleasure.”
Those formulas are practical equivalence, inasmuch as we always please Jesus in doing His will and without it we cannot cause Him pleasure. The formula, “to cause Jesus pleasure,” is perhaps more catchy because it adds to the idea of obedience to Jesus that are bringing Him joy. He showed us so much human affection, He worked and suffered so much for us, that the prospect of giving Him a bit of pleasure in return powerfully stimulates our will to obey.
This perfect practice is at the same time extremely simple. With Mary it is easy to surmise what will procure the most joy to Jesus. Whether there is question of doing something, fulfilling a duty, of rendering a service, of imposing a sacrifice upon oneself, reciting an extra prayer, or a question of avoiding something, a vain word, a petty revenge, certain company: if we demand of Mary what will cause Jesus the greater pleasure, she will make us understand at once.
If I am solely tried, she invites me to unite my suffering to the sufferings of Jesus to console Him. If I am in bad humor, or perfectly listless, or I may even have can committed a fault: “Mother, what am I to do?” Come to Jesus with your mother, with your misery and your confidence, and you will bring Him a threefold joy.
Perhaps these efforts and renunciations will cost for nature plenty. If I ask myself, should I do such an act of virtue, perform such a sacrifice? My good old human nature will find a dozen pretexts to excuse me. But if I ask Mary, what can I refuse her?
Besides, the pleasure that I am sure to be giving to Jesus and to her renders my sacrifice easy. We sense that this preoccupation of always pleasing Jesus in the name of Mary should greatly aid our souls to live continually in joy and generosity, and in intimacy with Jesus and Mary.
+Fr. Emile Neubert