‘And so it is,’ concluded Blessed de Montfort, ‘that as the child draws all its nourishment from its mother who gives to it in proportion to its weakness, the elect also draw all their spiritual nourishment and all their strength from Mary.’ A beautiful comparison which illustrates in an admirably concrete manner the maternal function of Mary. Take the child; there are two ways of nourishing it. The first is that in which the mother for some reason that seems to her sufficient and necessary confides it to a nurse. The second, indubitably in every way the best, the noblest, the worthiest and the most natural, is that in which the mother herself nourishes her child. Then the child, according to its capacity, really draws all its food, its substance and its life from its mother.
Are there various ways of living the Christian life, interior, supernatural, religious, sacerdotal, of sanctifying oneself, of arriving at our particular degree of perfection? Yes, doubtless, but remember that in this case, as Blessed Louis says elsewhere, ‘it will be by many crosses and persecutions.’ Let us also remember that even so, it is impossible to escape from the influence of Mary, God’s chosen Treasurer and Dispenser of all graces, in a word, the universal Mediatrix between Jesus and us.
No saint, whoever became one, sanctified himself without the intervention of the Blessed Virgin. The best training for the interior life, the best school of sanctification, is Mary’s. Then this good Mother, having born us into the Christian life, herself undertakes to furnish us with our spiritual food, to make us grow speedily in strength and supernatural health. For this purpose, she communicates to us, identifies with us, her intentions, her feelings, her inclinations, her aspirations, her desires, her virtues, her merits. She gives to us of the love of her Heart, the light of her Soul. She shows herself as a true Mother, our Mother, distributing to us food for our need, help for our weakness, and always at the right moment and on the most suitable occasions.
Sometimes she seems strong and vigorous with souls who are hardy, bearing them as the mother eagle bears her little ones, to contemplate the Sun of all-holiness, feeding them with the generous wine of crosses and sacrifices. Sometimes she seems tender and gracious with natures whose will is good but who are weak and timid; these she takes by the hand, tempers the trial according to their strength, and measures grace according to their needs, feeding them with the milk that we give to young children.
Such a one is a Mother, and this is Mary’s way of training souls.
(To be continued.)