‘Whoever,’ adds Blessed Louis, ‘wishes to be a member of Christ, full of grace and truth, must be formed in Mary by means of the grace of Jesus Christ, Who will live in her in all His fullness, to be communicated in fullness to the true members of Jesus Christ, and her true children.’
It is always the same thought which returns and to which Montfort reverts. In order to be members of Christ, we must be children of Mary. But here another idea is added, that of the communication of grace. In that Jesus is God and its Author, He possesses grace in its absolute and infinite fullness. Mary possesses it in a fullness which is communicated, relative but overflowing, and almost limitless as regards time and space. Souls possess grace in indefinitely varied degrees and strengths.. But it is the same grace, the principle of the same life which must circulate in all. Now in Christ as in Christians, in the Head as in the members, it is Mary who must be the only channel of the same vital grace.
‘I am the life,’ said Our Lord. And He gave this truth a concrete form when He said, ‘I am the Vine, you the branches.’ The life of the branch is the same as the life of the vine. It is the same sap which nourishes it. And the Mother of the Vine must be the Mother of the branches, for the stem and the branches are all one Vine. The Christian and Jesus have the same grace, the same life, they form a whole. The Christian then can say: ‘I am one with Christ and the Mother of Christ is my Mother.’
Jesus is in eternity the eternal and necessary Son of God; Jesus is in time, the Very Son of Mary according to nature. The child grafted on Christ by baptismal grace, partaker of the divine nature, becomes actually the child of God and Mary, the brother of Jesus, a branch of the divine vine, a living member of the mystical Body of which Jesus is the Head.
This is theological reality, a sweet and consoling doctrine.
And we may close with these words of Père Lhoumeau: ‘If we call Mary our Mother, we do so not alone out of a feeling of gratitude and love in return for her love and care of us, but because she is as really our Mother in the order of grace as she is the Mother of Christ in the order of nature. This spiritual maternity of Mary, the consequence of her Divine Maternity, is one of the truths on which the devotion of Blessed de Montfort is founded.’
(To be continued.)