Mary is our air. Can anyone be more in a body than we are in the air which surrounds us, which we breathe and which keeps us in life?
In this way and in a better still, we are in God, for we are in God not only by our being but by our very principle of existence. By Him we live, but by Him first we are what we are. S. Paul says so, ‘For in Him we live and move and are.’ We are in God through His omnipresence and His all-power.
We are not in the same sense in Mary. That could not be, for Mary is not for us what God is.
We are in Mary in a different way, first because by her kindness as a Mother and her power as a Queen, she is with all Christians; because in her office of Co-Redemptrix she co-operates in the whole of the divine plan; because by her functions as Mediatrix, she is the universal and official Channel of all graces; because by her supernatural influence, she contributes to the formation of all the saints; because as a matter of fact in the Church today, it is difficult to sanctify oneself and to work out one’s salvation without her intervention.
But as slaves of love, we are in Mary by our act of Consecration and our condition of dependence, in a much deeper sense. This gift enables us to live in Mary more completely than the rest.
We find in Mary, as our bodies find in the air, everything that the life of the soul needs, not in as far as she is its principle but inasmuch as she contains it and gives it to us.
Air, to be good to breathe, must contain four substances: hydrogen and oxygen, nitrogen and carbon mingled in a perfect balanced proportion.
The air that we breathe in Mary and by which our souls live is grace; and Mary distributes it to us according to our needs and her will. This grace is a compound of various supernatural elements: knowledge, strength, repentance, zeal, fervor, love and so on. And these parts are infinitely multiplied according to the different needs of souls. But it is in Mary that we find them, that we breathe them.
The interior life is the life of the soul, habitually recollected in the presence of God, the life of prayer, of meditation, of faith, of fervor and of zeal, in a word, the supernatural life, the faithful correspondence to divine grace.
But where more than in Mary will the soul find the abode likely to shelter its recollection, the silence and the retirement of its interior life? Mary is all divine, all in God and God is all in her. Then the soul, the slave of love, who through his act of consecration and condition of dependence loses himself in her, finds as the fish in the water, the bird in the air, the elements favorable to his life, his expansion, his interior development.
In this propitious atmosphere, in the warmth and light of the grace given, the flowers of virtue unfold, good works shine forth, the fruit of merit ripens, the harvest grows, and with it the abundance of possessions, the soul is holier and God is more worthily loved.
(To be continued.)