Category Archives: Divine Maternity

Mary and God the Father

Ave Maria!

I’m translating an excellent book on dogmatic Mariology. From time to time, I’ll post sections from it. Here’s the first:

a). – Through sanctifying grace Mary is the Daughter of the Father, an adoptive daughter certainly, not a daughter according to nature. But this adoption is so full and so perfect that it closely imitates real filiation. For grace was granted to Mary at the same time as nature at the first moment of conception, and she didn’t need, like other men, to be regenerated. Much more, as grace was due to Christ in fullness, because of His hypostatic union, thus grace was due to Mary in the same way for her divine Maternity, assuming, however her free election to this Maternity. This is why the Fathers often praise her as the beloved daughter, the unique daughter, the only daughter of God. This filiation, however, is related to God the Father only by virtue of an appropriation. In reality, it is referred to the three divine Persons. This is what inspired this song of Dante Alighieri: “Virgin Mother, daughter of thy own son.”

b). – Mary is associated with the Father in the generation of the same Son. The two generations, the eternal and the temporal, end in the same person. In the two generations, the Son is begotten of the substance of the One who generates Him, of the substance of the Father according to the divinity, of the substance of the mother, according to the humanity.

And as the generation of the Word is eternal, it occurs at every moment. And so, at the same moment in which the Virgin conceived Christ in His humanity, the Father also begot Him in His divinity. The generation from the Father, however, does not end in the Son according to the human nature. And the conception of Mary does not end in the Son according to the divine nature. That’s why these two acts remain entirely distinct. The one is always present. The other is past and was very brief.

c). – Because of this same association of the Father and the Virgin in the generation of the same Son, Mary is also sometimes called the Spouse of the Father. This expression is understood very well. But it is a delicate maneuvering, and it is better to refrain from it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the new Marian Resources Page.

 

 

 

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CXIX

In the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Wise Man tells us that God gave to each of the Jews rules with regard to his neighbor.  Blessed de Montfort, like a Wise Man of the Church, gives us in his treatises on devotion to Our Lady advice which is practical in a different way.  Just as the law of evangelical grace surpasses the law of Mosaic fear, even so do these Montfortian rules surpass those of the sages.  And what does he say?  He says: ‘Help your neighbor, but through Mary.’

Is this not indeed to love one’s neighbor perfectly?  Is it not the true way to convert sinners without fear of vanity and to deliver souls from Purgatory without doing anything really but what each is obliged to do by his calling, but to do it with the Blessed Virgin?

Read once more in the Treatise of the True Devotion what Blessed Louis says of the great benefit that this devotion secures to sinners and to souls in Purgatory.

To act thus makes us apostles, saviors and liberators of souls.  But we must beware of one fear: that of thinking that in fulfilling duties of charity, gratitude and even of justice, we could ourselves have to suffer from our disinterested despoiling of ourselves for others.  Some timid souls indeed are sometimes seized with scruples, fear and anxiety.  They say: ‘By my Consecration, I surrendered everything to the Blessed Virgin.  Then I can no longer say this or that prayer, apply this or that indulgence, have Masses said for a soul who is dear to me, and so on.’

But if you can, place your intention and your desire with the Ever Blessed Virgin and be at peace.  Mary will take better care of your interests than you could.  She will fulfill your obligation.  It will be more disinterested on your part and therefore more meritorious.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LIII

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.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – L

Who does not know this dvivinely beautiful passage of S. Luke?

The Angel appears, the bearer of the divine message: ‘Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee.’

Mary is troubled.  The Angel reassures her.  ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.  Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus.  He shall be called the Son of the Most High.’

Mary is still troubled, and objects with watchful simplicity: ‘How shall this be done, because I know not man?’

It is then that the Angel displays the magnificent and merciful plan of the Blessed Trinity, that he unveils the mystery of the tremendous act which depends upon the lips of the young Virgin.  Then it is that she shines forth in the unique place which divine Love has made for her, in close co-operation with the sublime design which is to bring her into the Divine Family by an alliance which will make of her, in the truest sense of the words, the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son and the Spouse of the Holy Ghost.

The Archangel says: ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, and therefore the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’

Could there be anything more clear and exact?

Meditate upon these profound words and the decisive, so long expected act which followed.

Then Mary said: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.’

And when the divine act of Incarnation took place, Mary immediately entered close relationship with the Blessed Trinity, she became officially the Daughter of the Father, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the Son and of the predestinate who were afterwards to be born of her.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XLVIII

7. Because it is through Mary that the Holy Spirit produces the predestinate.

With the whole Church the Blessed de Montfort calls Mary the Spouse of the Holy Ghost.  And he describes in a few lines all the doctrine of the formation of Jesus Christ and of the predestinate in Mary, by the vivifying breath and beneath the mysterious shadow of the divine Spirit.  This thought runs as it were through all his teaching.  It is its basis and its end, for what is its purpose?  To form souls in Mary after the example of Jesus.  This is the whole sun of his doctrine.

The Holy Ghost,’ he writes, ‘having never repudiated Mary whom He espoused, and in whom, by whome and from whom He produced that masterpiece Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, continues daily in a mysterious, but nevertheless real manner, to produce in her and by her.’

In these words there are two things, two degrees of formation.  When beneath the waters of Baptism and at the word of the priest, the little child is born to the supernatural life, the same moment which makes him a child of God, makes him a child of Mary, and Mary’s acceptance of her double Maternity, at the word of the Angel, becomes a reality.  Mary then will be and must be the Mothre according to grace of this child, born into the supernatural life.  But there is more.  That is the first step.

Behold the second.  Mary is the Mother of all souls born to grace.  But there are some in whom she strives to develop yet further the likeness to Jesus.  And that is Mary’s true work, the training of the individual souls to holiness, to the perfection desired by God.  Mary’s training is intensive, ceaseless, according to the degree of grace and of correspondence to that grace, a training which under her influence will make souls more and more like Jesus Christ, members worthy of such a Head.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XLV

Now when the Eternal God decreed the Incarnation, when the Word was made flesh in the womb of Mary, the whole Body of Christ, physical and mystical, was included in this conception.  The whole was conceived, born, grew, developed, at the same time.  And when the personal and visible Christ should have finished His work and have returned to His Father, He would continue to act, to live, to be perpetuated and completed in the Church, in the members of this Church, that is the mystical Body of Christ.  And it was for this mystical Body, Jesus and the Church, for its conception, birth, upbringing, development, that God chose a Mother, Mary.

It was in the thought of God at Nazareth.  It was not on the evening of Good Friday but at the dawn of the Annunciation that her double function took rise and began to be carried out.  And the touching and unforgettable scene of Calvary is only an amazing and solemn confirmation, an official and public consecration of the mother’s part, already accepted and inaugurated by Mary at Nazareth.  This is why Mary, with a divine and admirable reality, is really our Mother and more, the Mother of our souls according to grace whilst our mothers can only be so according to nature.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXXVII

Redemption is then the counterpart and the magnificent replica…but how far superior…of the Creation.  ‘Male and female He created them,’ says Genesis.  If that is necessary for the production of natural life, how much more so for the flowering of the supernatural life.  There must always be a mother bending over our cradles.

Two groups present themselves to our eyes, both at the beginning of an era of life, but they are two opposite groups: the one is guilty, it has failed in its task; the other is innocent, it retrieves the disaster.  In the one are Adam and Eve.  Created just, they disappointed God’s expectations, they destroyed His plan, they fell into sin, disobedience and disgrace, carrying with them into their ruin all posterity.  With physical life they inoculated the soul with supernatural death.

In the other are Jesus and Mary.  Created just, they have remained so.  They by divine decree are to repair the supernatural order.  Just as at the origin of human life, Adam cannot do without Eve, even so at the origin of the divine life, Jesus cannot do without Mary.

When we meditate upon the envy of Jesus into the world, we see Him in His Mother’s arms.  When we think of Him finishing His work upon the Cross, we hear Him make His will and confide to us His Mother who accepts us.

(To be continued.)

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