But in the town of flowers, beneath the flat roof of the holy home, in which the hard-working youth of the unknown Savior came to maturity, in the sweet shadow of the authority of Mary and Joseph, God saw pressing forward out of time and space and round the First-Born, the Divine Brother, beneath the same outspread wings, a multitude that none can number of other children. Qui sunt isti? Who are these? The children of men who have become the children of God, the sons of wrath and sin, now the sons of love and grace, redeemed by Jesus and now engendered by Mary. And for them too, God laid in the heart of the universal Mother treasures of tenderness and love, a marvelous vocation for Motherhood, the gentle authority of a Queen ‘to nourish them and make them grow in God.’
If there is in the child’s heart a natural instinct which urges and casts it irresistibly into the mother’s arms, there is also in the mother’s heart a feeling of tenderness, love, devotion, untiring, disinterested, constant, fierce, sublime, inexhaustible, braving fatigues and dangers, ever growing and rising sometimes to the wildest extravagances, to the most tragic and poignant heroisms.
Now if this natural love of the child and the mother is so strong, what must we say of the supernatural love drawn by grace from the heart of God?
Mysterious and yet actual wonder: there is from his baptism in the heart of every Christian, a mysterious love for Mary. It is the inborn impulse of the Christian soul which explains this natural need of a Mother. And just as the child as soon as its little lips begin to move utters that word so sweet in every tongue, because it is the first cry of the heart, Mother; even so the child of God, conscious of his supernatural rank, says to God, ‘Our Father Who art in Heaven,’ and thus the child of Mary instinctively gives her this name, for him a reassuring caress, ‘My Mother, who are in Heaven.’
But reciprocally in view of her future functions, God has concentrated in Mary’s heart a unique ineffable love, composed of all tenderness, goodness, devotion, energy, potentiality.
‘Throw, if you can,’ says Blessed de Montfort, ‘all the natural love which all the mothers of the world have for their children into the one heart of one mother for one only child. Surely that mother will love that child immensely. Nevertheless it is true that Mary loves her children yet more tenderly than that mother would love that child of hers.’ Yes, this love is supremely beautiful and incomparably superior because it draws its ardor and its power from the infinite Home of all love, from the very Heart of God Who created it and whom she bore.
(To be continued.)