÷ LEARNING FROM THE IMMACULATE VIRGIN MARY: LOVE FOR JESUS, HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL… ÷
“The Immaculata is the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the God-Man, the Bride and Sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. She is the prototype of creation: God’s original idea! Mediatrix of all Graces, Mother of Good Counsel, Help of Christians. She guides the soul that seeks and loves God towards its eternal goal, and stands by Her people in battle. Mary stands alone in Her perfection and power as God’s masterpiece!
MARY, THE NEW EVE
The role of Mary in Christ’s work of Redemption is unique. She takes part in it as the new Eve and Co-Redemptrix; She applies the fruits of Redemption to all Her children as Mediatrix of all Graces. She is the great sign in the heavens which leads the Christian army in battle against Satan.
Mary is victorious in all God’s battles. Particularly, during the latter times, She is present to us as the last means of Salvation, the final refuge that God gives the world. “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God” (Fatima). The little army that endures the supreme test and at last is victorious over the superior force that is arrayed against it, is the Battalion of the CHILDREN OF MARY!
GUIDED BY MARY, WE WILL NOT GROW WEARY
When the storm winds of temptation arise and we are headed for the cliffs of anxiety, look up to the Star, call upon Mary! When we are being swept along by the waves of arrogance or ambition, slander or jealousy, look up to the Star, call upon Mary! When anger, greed or pleasures of the flesh threaten to capsize the wee ship of our soul, look up to Mary! When we are in danger of sinking into the pit of sadness or falling into the abyss of despair, think of Mary! In dangers, doubt and need, think of Mary! Call upon Mary! Upheld by Her, we will not fall; shielded by Her, we have nothing to fear; guided by Her, we will not grow weary; favoured by Her, we will reach our goal!
MARY, THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
We can see the whole work of God’s creation as a great movement of love, which pours forth from God and flows back to Him again. This perpetual stream of love is the meaning and purpose of all creation; it is the essence of Heaven. After man’s fall from grace, the Father sent the Son to redeem Mankind. The first dwelling place, the first abode that the Triune God finds to dwell in when He condescends to be with His creatures, is the Immaculata! The Holy Ghost dwells in Her, living in Her from the first moment of Her existence and He will do so always throughout Eternity.
God comes to us through Mary and, the beginning of our return to Him, will be through Mary. Mary is the summit of creation and the bridge over which all FROM Heaven and TO Heaven must travel. Enkindled by the Spirit of Love, Mary’s Heart burns for Her children whom She bore on Mount Calvary amidst a thousand pains, and whom She desires to snatch, at all costs, from eternal destruction. Mary’s radiant Heart touches our world. From Her flows the entire love-filled outpouring of the Trinity into souls. In this great hour of tribulation, Mary comes to the aid of Christianity, drawing men to Her Immaculate Heart (CONSECRATION), leading them back to God (CONVERSION) and calling them to participate in the building up of Christ’s kingly reign (REPARATION).
‘LET IT BE DONE TO ME ACCORDING TO THY WORD’ (Luke 1:38)
Mary is not a passive, indifferent instrument of God; rather She is free and deiberate in Her decision, which God Himself waits for. The answer given by Mary in its momentous greatness is profoundly related to the creative Word of God Himself: In the beginning, God said, ‘LET THERE BE…’ And creation came to be. And now the creature Mary says, ‘FIAT… LET IT BE DONE UNTO ME’ and God was made man! Mary’s Fiat is so great, so total, so thoroughly in keeping with the truth and so humble. Her love is so immeasurably strong, pure and unhesitating that God is, so to speak, attracted by Her and comes to Her so intimately that He Himself becomes Man in Her, takes on flesh from Her flesh, blood from Her blood. His very Heart from Her Heart!
Mary is no longer just the purest of all creatures and God’s masterpiece of creation, not only God’s child, but what is more, MARY IS GOD’S MOTHER! Not only His adoptive Mother, but really and truly the Mother of God! [Since Jesus Christ is fully Man and fully God, Mary is His Mother.] This is a dogma of the Faith. Her title of motherhood will never change. In Eternity, God will say, ‘MY MOTHER’. Mary is drawn into the interior life of the Most Blessed Trinity. Because She possesses with the Heavenly Father the same Son, Mary becomes through Her motherhood a ‘blood relative of the Trinity’. It is the Will of God that we have everything through Mary. No one can become like Christ unless he follows His example and honours the Immaculata and devotes himself unreservedly to Her.
MOTHER OF MANKIND
Beneath the Cross, Mary appears as the new Eve who, together with the new Adam [Jesus Christ] brings forth the redeemed race. Here, She is appointed the Mother of Mankind; here, She suffers with Christ more than all other human beings together could ever suffer; here, Her Heart is pierced: here is accomplished Mary’s mission as Co-Redemptrix! On Calvary, Mary suffers in Her Heart everything Christ suffered in His Body and Soul. Two lives, two beings, two Hearts are united on Calvary in a single sacrificial offering, because Mary’s will had merged entirely with the Will of Christ.
There is no redemptive work of Christ without Mary’s compassion. In her sacrifice, ‘REASON’ (SELF) is cast into the darkest night and, as such, is offered up in charity and it is this sacrificial offering which is precisely what is lacking in Christ’s suffering today, this total gift of self. Christ’s mission in the mystery of Redemption consists in reparation, reconciliation and renewal: the complete annihilation of sin. The mission of the Holy Ghost which is that of Mary, His Spouse, is the outpouring of that Divine Love into the hearts of Mankind. Every conversion begins with the Mediatrix of all Graces.
GOD WORKS THROUGH MARY
In order that the soul might not lose hope out of fear of God’s justice, which sin has offended, God sends to man the ‘PERSONIFICATION’ of His Love, the Spouse of the Spirit of maternal love, the Immaculata. He entrusts to Mary the administration of His Mercy. Mary is all beautiful, all spotless, a daughter of man and a sister of human beings. Mary is all kindliness, sweetness, gentleness and mercy. Mary is the Mercy of God itself among men. God works in the Church through Mary and builds up His kingship through her queenship. Her apostolic mission is unique and universal. ‘Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for thou alone hast vanquished all heresies throughout the world!’
THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH
Mary’s Assumption into Heaven is an effective means of counteracting materialism and the corruption of morals, besides being a triumph of faith in the supernatural world. To Her belongs the great victory and honour of saving the faith today from the shipwreck which threatens it. In 1954, there were 36,000 chapters of the ‘CHILDREN OF MARY’ throughout the world. The fruits of this movement have been acknowledged by several Popes: THE TRANSFORMATION OF SOULS AND THE GRACE OF PURITY IN SO MANY OF OUR YOUTH.
KEEPING CLOSE TO MARY
Through Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lourdes, La Salette and Fatima, hundreds of thousands of souls were led back to the Faith. When humanity evades the influence of the Immaculata, this sets up an obstacle to God’s work in the world. Keeping one’s distance from Mary in the name of ecumenisn is one of the worst possible affronts to God! In times such as ours, Mary Mediatrix of All Graces will be for us a guardian of the Faith. A true child of Mary is never lost!
At the end of the world, God’s work will reach in Mary its culmination and perfection. He will give Himself to His children for all Eternity in the divine indwelling place that He has prepared in His tabernacle among men, in His Heaven: the Heart of the Immaculata! With Mary, EVERYTHING! Without Mary, NOTHING!”
– The above are excerpts from ‘Who Are You, O Immaculata?’ by Fr Karl Stehlin, published in ‘Dedicated Decades’ by The Universal Rosary Association, issue Winter 2012. Their website is http://www.philomena.org (external link).