‘A sculptor,’ says Blessed de Montfort, ‘may make a statue or may represent nature in two ways. First with the help of good instruments, he may by his skill, strength, hard work and professional knowledge, chisel it out of some hard and shapeless material, or secondly, he may cast it in a mould.’
Of the two, the statue sculptured from a block of marble or the effigy modelled in a mould, which will be…I do not say the richer…but the more beautiful, the more artistic, the more sought after? It is a matter of opinion. You may reasonably maintain that a statue, chiselled in gold or silver, hewn out of marble or granite, by a clever workman will have intrinsic and artistic value, having regard to the material and the skill, greater than that of a plaster or bronze presentment cast in a blind, uniform and unvarying mould. Granted; but I ask you to note that it is not from this point of view that we must look at the question.
From the supernatural point of view it is the soul which is to be formed in the image of Our Lord. It is, then, of importance to know if by personal efforts, unskilled, painful, spasmodic and slow as they are, we shall be able to produce an image of holiness, as adequate and as like Jesus, as if we cast ourselves entirely in Mary as in a mould, by means of a perfect devotion.
The most beautiful work that Mary achieved was Jesus. Even if a Saint could ever have formed himself in the image of Christ without the intervention of Mary, he would only be, for all his perfection, a pale and distant copy of the ideal Exemplar formed in Mary. And what would such a one be by the side of the giants of Mary’s school: S. John, S. Augustine, S. Bernard, S. Francis de Sales, S. Jean Eudes, Blessed de Montfort, the Holy Curé d’Ars? But you will not find this hypothetical saint. Since Jesus, it is Mary who, of necessity, trains the saints and the predestinate.
(To be continued.)