Tag 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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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLVIII

But let us not believe that God or ourselves will lose anything by this proceeding.  We know that Mary never allows herself to be outdone in generosity, that she conscientiously administers the interests of God and souls, our own and those of our loved ones.

What do we seek by this gift?  Definitely the glory of God, the salvation of our souls and those of our brethren.

And Mary is only a temporary and secondary end, although wonderfully perfect, adequate and indispensable.  And by this practice we give more glory to God and to Jesus Christ in a month than by any other in many years.

If, as says S. Bernard, ‘After Christ, everything was made for Mary,’ it is also correct and permissible to reverse the factors and to say that Mary only exists for the glory of God.  She keeps nothing for herself of all that is surrendered to her.  And Blessed de Montfort in his Treatise of the True Devotion, when he speaks to us of the great glory that this practice gives to God, writes a magnificent page, which is so to the point of what we are discussing that I quote it in full.

‘You never think of Mary without Mary in your place thinking of God.  You never praise or honour Mary, without Mary praising and honouring God.  Mary is altogether relative to God; and indeed I might well call her the relation to God.  She only exists with reference to God.  She is the echo of God, who says nothing, repeats nothing but God.  If you say Mary, she says God.  S. Elisabeth praised Mary and called her blessed because she had believed.  Mary, the faithful echo of God, at once intoned: Magnificat anima mea Dominum…My soul doth magnify the Lord.  That which Mary did then, she does daily now.  When we praise her, love her, honour her, or give anything to her, it is God Who is praised, God Who is loved, God Who is glorified.  We give then to God, by Mary and in Mary.’

This action on Mary’s part, shows plainly, that she is only our secondary end, and that God alone is for us, as for her, our sole, supreme and ultimate end.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLVI

But Mary, what are her rights, her rank, her purpose?  S. Bernard says: ‘After Christ, everything was made for her,’ and Blessed Albert the Great: ‘Jesus died for the glory of God and of Mary.’

Following the example of God and of Jesus, it is, then, neither bold nor out of place to take Mary as the end of our actions.

But clearly she is only a secondary end, an intermediate means for attaining the supreme and final end.

In God the cause and the end are one, for He is our all.  In Mary, in proportion, it is the same thing.

She is the efficient and secondary cause for the production of grace in us.  She is the exemplary cause which makes of us copies of Jesus.  He is our Model; we must approach Him, and in order to do this, look at Mary, go to her, act for her,

She is the Mold of God, ‘forma Dei.’  She must be that for us too, but in a moral sense.  And therefore, we must remain in her power, beneath her moral influence.

Since we belong to Mary by an official deed of gift, Mary will put upon us the seal and stamp of her ownership; ‘ut signaculum super cor meum,’ to love her: ‘ut signaculum super brachium meum,’ to work for her glory.

She is our final cause.  ‘Behold thou shalt do after the law which was given thee in the Mount.’

The slave then must imitate his Mistress in order to be as far as possible another such, in order to resemble yet more Jesus, the eternal archetype.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLIV

(dTo act for Mary.

Lastly we must do everything for Mary.’  This is a point of the Montfortian teaching which must be well explained and well understood, if we would avoid errors of interpretation, misleading of conscience, and the deflection of our acts.  Blessed de Montfort defines it forthwith and clearly, ‘as we are the slaves of this august Princess, we must work no more but for her, for her profit and for her glory as our immediate end, and for the glory of God as our last end.’

A necessary scale of values, essential and definite.  This indispensable distinction is part of the infinite difference between the Creator and the creature, between God and Mary.  On the first page of his Treatise of the True Devotion, Blessed de Montfort clearly lays down this principle in order to avoid any misunderstanding.  We will quote it.

‘I avow with all the Church, that Mary, being but a mere creature that has come from the hands of the Most High, in, in comparison with His infinite Majesty, less than an atom, or rather, she is nothing at all, because He only is.  “He Who is,” and thus by consequence that great Lord, always independent and sufficient to Himself, never had, and has not now, any absolute need of the Holy Virgin for the accomplishment of His will and for the manifestation of His glory.  He has but to will in order to do everything.’

We with Montfort do not write these words to depreciate Mary; far from it.  But it is rather to show to what almost infinite height God raised her in the plan of Redemption and in her office of Mediatrix.

God alone is the necessary being and must alone be the only supreme and final end of every creature without exception.  And He Himself, God as He is, cannot escape this necessity.  He is obliged, having created us, to possess us and to draw us to Himself.

God then attracts everything to Himself by the essential power of attraction which is part of His Being, and nothing can escape this centre of gravity.

Jesus, inasmuch as He, like His Father, is God, partakes of this irresistible attraction.  He is, equally with the Father and the Spirit, our only supreme and final end.

Once this indispensable principle of the primacy of God and of His Christ has been laid down, we know where we are with regard to the Montfortian teaching and our duties toward Mary.

God is the final end of our actions; Mary must be considered and used as the mediate end, as an intermediary and as a means.

(To be continued.)

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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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