Category Archives: Jesus Christ

Mary and God the Son

Ave Maria!

a). – Mary is first and foremost the Mother of God the Son. This already supposes the greatest intimacy, especially at the time of gestation and childhood. “During the months which separate the Annunciation from the Nativity, Jesus lives literally from the life of His Mother. The blood which flows in His veins, which makes His heart beat, which brings the increase to His little members, this blood has completely passed through the heart of His Mother; this is the purest blood of the Immaculate Virgin. And after having nourished Jesus, it returns to the heart of Mary, where enriched by new nutritive juices, it returns to Jesus. Is there not, in this uninterrupted exchange, in this vital commerce of every instant between the Creator and one of His creatures, a mystery of divine condescension and a mystery no less astonishing of human elevation? Could God do more to honor a creature, and could a creature do more to serve her God?”

b.) – Mary is also justly called the Spouse of the Word. On the one hand, her exquisite holiness and fullness of grace give her right to this title which all holy souls bear as well. On the other hand, because of her virginity, she can, like all virgins consecrated to God, be called the spouse of Christ. To these two reasons, which apply to everyone, but are applied above all to Mary, it is appropriate to add two others to them, particular to this good mother. The Incarnation being like a spiritual marriage between the Word and human nature, represented by Mary, it is the Virgin herself who consented to this union on the day of the Incarnation. It is therefore she who is the spouse of the Word. Finally, Mary deserves this title still because of her association, as the new Eve, to Christ, the new Adam, in the whole work of reparation.

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Solemnity of the Annunciation

Today we celebrate the Eternal Word’s becoming incarnate in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Here are some photos from Nazareth, which will be separated by a chapter from a book I am translating: The Communion of Mary. The chapter is entitled: ‘The life of the Most Blessed Virgin was a perpetual preparation for the Incarnation and Holy Communion’. Enjoy!

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“In the counsels of eternal Wisdom, Mary having always been present in the thought and heart of God, the Lord could not destine her for a higher end than to create her to have through the Incarnation His Word made flesh for her Son, and the same Word made flesh for food through the Eucharist. God is the most perfect being. He cannot, therefore, refer Mary to an end higher and more divine than Himself. Now, through the Incarnation, Mary is united with Jesus Christ the Word of God, as a mother to her son whom she engenders and whom she feeds with her milk, and by Communion she is united with the same Jesus Christ as to His Father who feeds her with His body. The Incarnation and Communion are then the two ends to which Mary is referred. God could not, therefore, form greater intentions on Mary than to create her to engender His Son through the Incarnation as mother, and to receive Him through Communion as her food, like the faithful. In this wonderful design, His power is exhausted and His wisdom cannot go further.”

Here are some photos of the upper church.

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“Now such is the order which God keeps in all His works. He raises up to a high dignity only those whom He has worthily disposed. Having thus determined in His eternal counsels to give to Mary in time His Son, Who is His Word, to be both her son and her food, He raised her to these two divine functions only when she was worthily prepared for them. In her, I find two preparations, the one on the part of God as the principle, and the other on the part of Mary as co-worker.”

Nazareth at night

Nazareth at night

From the roof of the basilica

From the roof of the basilica

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“God who sees future things in the present, He whose knowledge plans the future, arranges in His wisdom the means to the end for which He intends things. The body of Jesus Christ being formed to be our victim on the cross and our food in the Eucharist, the heavenly Father in forming it in the womb of His mother gave it all the dispositions fitting for these two mysteries, just as He Himself affirms: O my Father, You disposed and arranged My body for the end for which You destine it.”

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“God, Who does not act at random, still less in blindness, had to hold the same conduct towards Mary. This holy Virgin, having been created to receive Jesus Christ in her womb, both as her son through the Incarnation and as her food through the Eucharist, God, in creating her body which had to be the sanctuary of His Son, had to think of these two great mysteries for which He intended it. It is in this foreshadowing that He enriches her with original justice in her immaculate conception, fills her with a plenitude of grace, and ennobles her with a virginal purity. So that She can say, as well as her divine Son: You arranged my body and my soul for divine functions; the Most-High sanctified His tabernacle. This preparation can be called remote, having begun from her Immaculate Conception.”

“From this moment, Mary herself, as a faithful co-worker in the intentions of God, cooperates in them from the very moment of her Immaculate Conception. Mary’s life was a continual preparation for these two great mysteries. In the mystery of the Incarnation principally, she produces all the lights of her spirit, all the affections of her soul, all the movements of her heart: everything in her is referred to an end so divine, to a mystery so adorable.”

In the Grotto of the Annunciation

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“But, since the Incarnation, where she became the Mother of God, communion with the body of her Son through the Eucharist being the highest end to which she can be referred, her life was a perpetual preparation for this divine action. “I am not afraid of asserting,” said one of the most learned interpreters of Sacred Scripture, “that the Blessed Virgin having been instructed by her Son about the ineffable mystery of the Eucharist, had to produce all her actions and all the practices of her virtues to prepare herself worthily for the communion which she had to make. Indeed, Mary was not going to receive Communion without light and without knowledge of what she did; but, being perfectly instructed about the dignity and the holiness of this august mystery, she prepared herself for it in a manner truly worthy of the Mother of a God and of a Sacrament so divine.”

"Here the Word became flesh."

“Here the Word became flesh.”

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Ascension of Our Lord

The little Chapel of the Ascension is on the top of the Mount of Olives and marks the traditional site of the ascension of Christ. A rock (the last picture in this set) within the chapel, built by the crusaders, has what are said to be the footprints of Our Lord.

Chapel of the Ascension

Chapel of the Ascension

Interior of the chapel

Interior of the chapel

Here are what are said to be the footprints of Christ.

Here are what are said to be the footprints of Christ.

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLII

This is not all.  Our Lord founded a Church.  And in this Church, that it may reach and bring about the purposes of each of its members, He instituted seven sacraments, the ordinary and official channels of grace, that is, of sacramental grace, the precious and fruitful source of many other special graces.

The sacraments are the instrumental and physical cause of grace.  Does the Ever Blessed Virgin act in them for the awarding of grace?  It would seem so, for when the saints tell us that all graces come through Mary, they make no exception.  And the Church by establishing a special Feast with the title of ‘B.M.V. Omnium Gratiarum Mediatricis,’ seems to have thoroughly authorized the lawfulness of this teaching.

Now grace is in all the sacraments which are its cause.  This grace, then, passes through Mary; that is only law.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLI

There are other means of obtaining grace: alms, sacrifices, all good works.  Clearly of themselves these acts have a real and special efficacy, productive of grace.  But how much their productive power increases, if we pass them through the hands of Mary, who purifies them, adorns them, multiplies them and makes them acceptable to Jesus.

And so it is with all the acts of our lives which, if they are subjected to the necessary conditions, are always productive of grace, merit and glory.  But as we have said, if the hand of Our Heavenly Mother purifies them, vivifies them, sanctifies them, what a sum of spiritual good may they not bring forth in the interests of God and of souls, in favor of the living and of the dead and of ourselves?

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CL

But God, knowing our needs and wishing that we should make them know to Him, has determined official means for the obtaining of the graces which shall meet them.

By Holy Baptism, He makes us a free gift of the first grace which purifies our souls and makes them just and pleasing in His sight, so that they become His dwelling place.

But there are a number of other graces which will be precious, useful, necessary, in the normal course of our spiritual life.  God has promised us and always grants us grace sufficient for our salvation, but we must ask Him for it; we must ask Him especially for those graces which are indispensable for our growth in perfection and our union with the supreme Holiness.  And the usual means is prayer.

How much more effectual will our supplications be, if we make them through Mary.  And besides, even if we do not actually pray through Mary, it is none the less true that the graces which are distributed to us, have, all the same, passes through this divine and necessary channel.  Supported by the honor and the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin, they are almost infallibly certain to be heard.  It is the teaching of S. Bernard and Blessed de Montfort.  Has not Montfort sung in the quaint phrase of the seventeenth century:

‘Je vas par Jésus à son Père,

                        Et je n’en suis point rebuté;

Je vas à Jésus par sa Mère,

                        Et je n’en suis point rejeté.’

Those are the two steps to be climbed: Jesus Who leads to the Father, by redemption; Mary who leads to Jesus, by intercession.  Begin with Mary as Jesus Himself did; then you will go first to Jesus; and thence, Jesus will take you to His divine Father.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CXLIX

Furthermore, this devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a means of intercession with Jesus.

Upon the words of Blessed de Montfort quoted above, Père Lhoumeau makes the following commentary: ‘This does not mean that we cannot speak directly to Our Lord in contemplation, prayer and so on, nor that it is necessary to think actually and definitely of the Blessed Virgin at the beginning of each action.  Though Blessed de Montfort has said that clearly that an act of offering or consecration, even if renewed each month, each week (and we might say even each day), if it is but a passing act, does not establish us in the spirit of this devotion, which is that it be habitual.  He also observes that this turning towards Mary need only be “a general and imperceptible glance,” and it is clear that a virtual intention is sufficient.’

Blessed de Montfort has told us that Jesus is our Mediator of Redemption and that Mary is our Mediatrix of Intercession.  The two offices, the two positions are quite clearly defined.  Our Lord, by His whole life, His sufferings and His death, has merited for us all graces.  Mary by her intercession and her influence obtains for us all these graces, applies to us all these merits, while adding them to her own.

Thus the Montfortian doctrine is no other than the traditional Catholic doctrine of the Redemption and the attributing of the merits and graces of Jesus Christ through Mary.

(To be continued.)

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