To Jesus through Mary
3. CREATION AND RESTORATION IN THE WORLD; THE INTERVENTION OF MARY
“Here is a mystery which I desire to reveal to you,” said the eternal Father to St. Magdalen of Pazzi. “Even if Adam had not sinned, the Word would nevertheless have become incarnate. But He would not in that case have enjoyed the title of Victor nor would He have enjoyed the honors of triumph. The glory which you would have then received would be only partially merited … and My goodness and mercy would not have shone forth so brilliantly. Moreover, eternal glory and the beatific vision and all the goods which flow therefrom would not have been granted you to such a high degree. The blood of the Word, flowing over your souls, has made them much more pure and beautiful and at the same time, much more suitable for the divine union. The sight of that blood moves Me to bestow on you still more love and to communicate to you a greater knowledge and more perfect enjoyment of My divinity. … There is the same difference between the glory which I now give you and that which I would have given you had my Word not died in satisfaction for your sins, as there is between the merits of the Redeemer, which are the sole basis of your hope, and those merits which are purely human. … So, you see, My much loved daughter and beloved spouse of My only-begotten Son, how useful Mary has been to you through her fiat by which she gave the Word to you. She was for you a source of very great blessings”. (Our Lord God to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi given in Servant of God John Arintero’s Mystical Evolution Vol. 1)
Last month I had the pleasure of listening to a teaching on the prophet Elijah given by Fr. Robert Altier for the Avila Foundation’s Avila Army. It was near the end that the Holy Spirit poked me as he explained a bit of tradition linking Our Lady of Mount Carmel to this time period. Elijah had a vision on Mount Carmel of a cloud arising from the sea in the shape of a man’s foot (1 Kings 18:44). He considered it a sign of the virgin who would give birth to the Messiah. [The virgin was later prophesized by Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14), “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman* shall conceive and bear* a son, and shall call his name Immanu-el.”] It is said he had a devotion to praying for the coming of this virgin which he passed on to Elias. Hermits began living in caves praying for the coming of this virgin mother.
I thought about how their end goal was salvation. They knew to pray for the coming of the mother of our Salvation, the woman who would be the vehicle through which Salvation would come to us. This seemed to shed new light on the Catholic adage “To Jesus through Mary”.
This devotion and dedication of one’s whole life to prayer for the virgin to come is striking. These hermits had the foresight to pray for the mother to bring their redeemer. We, on the other hand, tend to decide what end-goal needs to take place and then pray for that. I wondered how often I pray for an end-goal that I think is the ‘right one’. I noticed how this is centered in my thinking. How might my life change if I dedicated myself to her, asking that she bring Salvation Himself to me, and me to my true end-goal: Jesus?
Unlike the biblical hermits, we have the blessing of that virgin mother already having come. Her virtue chronicled in scripture and ancillary writings gives us a lived example to follow. Jesus giving her to us as our mother, and her assumption into Heaven, make her available to us in the here-and-now. Rather than the hopeful devotion of the Old Testament prophets, ours can be a present-day lived relationship. And because Mary is full of grace, wherever she is so too is her spouse the Holy Spirit.
Moms carry the weight of special challenges that make it difficult to spend time with God. Yet it is precisely these challenges that drive more fervently their desire for that time with Him. God has equipped us for these challenges:
- Moms have that unnerving 360˚ vision and nothing misses their eye
- They have the uncanny ability to accurately predict the unfortunate outcome of all our choices
- And they are equipped with mom-ears that hear the unspoken, the voice of the heart of each child.
So too with Mary, Mother of God and our mother. How might her 360˚ vision guide me each day? And am I ignoring her warnings in even the smallest of my choices? In Mary, we each have a mom who has ‘heart hearing’, just waiting to help.
“The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven.” (On the Rosary, His Holiness Pope Leo XIII, September 8, 1894)
The saints had a devotion to our Mother Mary, and I am sure it helped many of them keep their sanity under unspeakable duress. This month is full of saints such as the historical St. Godelieva (July 6). At age 18 she was married to a man who abandoned her in the midst of her marriage celebrations…yikes! She lived with his mother who abused her brutally, then escaped to return to her own parents. The bishop intervened, commanding her husband to return home. He then plotted her murder by having his servants drown her in a pond with a tong tied around her throat. They put her in her bed as if she had died there. Many miracles took place thereafter upon invoking her intercession. Perhaps the greatest miracle was that her husband repented and did penance the rest of his life in a monastery.
We have thousands of saints to talk with every day, just pick one! Ask their help to stay focused on our real end-goal, Jesus. The saints didn’t live their holy life on their own. They too prayed for the mother of our Salvation to come to them. Never underestimate the response you will get by simply praying like the saints!
Mother of Mercy,
watch over all people,
that the Cross of Christ
may not be emptied of its power,
that man may not stray
from the path of the good
or become blind to sin,
but may put his hope ever more fully in God
who is “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4).
May he carry out the good works prepared
by God beforehand (cf. Eph 2:10)
and so live completely
“for the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:12).
To Jesus through Mary, for the greater Glory of God. 😊
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