All graces and perfections were distributed to her in good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over. Is this not the meaning of the Archangel’s words: ‘Hail, full of grace‘?
According to a great number of spiritual writers, God makes use of three meaasures in distributing grace and other supernatural gifts.
Good Measure, granted to all the Saints and to all the elect generally.
Measure pressed down and shaken together, distributed to a small number of privileged souls.
Measure running over, the right of Our Lord and granted freely to the Blessed Virgin: superplena.
Mary is then truly full of grace. Jesus is full of grace by nature. Mary is full of communicated grace, for the Christ and for souls. Mary received the fullness of grace into her nature, that is to say, her whole nature was filled with all the graces and the gifts of the divine life: sanctifying and actual graces, gifts, beatitudes and fruits of the Holy Spirit. She was favoured with all angelic and human perfections. She was full of grace to the utmost capacity of her being, because she never opposed it in any way. And this capacity is immense, since God Himself fixed its limits and its boundaries. It is His Ark which He has filled with treasures and with Himself. Mary received the fullness of grace for the whole of her life, that is, for every moment of her existence. She was conceived and lived ever immaculate, spotless.
She grew as Jesus did, in age, in wisdom and in grace without diminution, without fail, without rest, to that fullness of holiness which delighted the heart of God.
(To be continued.)