We can distinguish in Mary a triple motherhood: her joyful motherhood at the bed, her rueful motherhood at the Annunciation and the Crucifixion, and her majestic motherhood in the Cenacle. At Bethlehem, she returned birth to Jesus according to the flesh; at the Annunciation and Calvary, she afforded birth to spirits at the cost of her crucifying agreement; in the Upper Room, she witnessed the birth of the Church and leader its first steps.
The Holy Spirit communicated Himself to Mary for the first time in the home of her mothers, Joachim and Anne, on the day of her Immaculate Conception. The second enormous effusion was in her humble consist at the Annunciation, when Mary uttered her fiat of immolation, which was brought to completion only on the hill of the odious gibbet where her Son moved in agony before the whole world. At Pentecost, again in prayerful solitude, the Holy Spirit ran out upon her the infinite riches of His grace. May we not is confident that, if her compassion for men moved the first supernatural of Jesus at Cana, it is again her enthusiastic desire that invites a swifter and more abundant coming of the Divine Consoler?
That is only a supposition, but one fact is certain: God willed to choose an same abode for the spiritual existence of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity and the sacramental presence of the Second Person. There was still, as we are familiar, two real presences: Jesus in the Sacred Host and the Holy spirit in a feeling in the state of grace.
This second attendance, common to the Father and to the Son, is shown visibly and more solemnly in the Upper Room than at Baptism, but is fundamentally indistinguishable in the baptismal infusion of the Divine Spirit in the spirit stirred Christian. The existence of the baptismal fonts constitutes our churches most perfect images of the Upper Room. Formerly, the same Upper Room was the sanctuary of the eucharistic advent of the Savior and the swoop of the Holy Spirit; now every parish church is a sanctuary of the sacramental coming of the Savior in the Host and of the spiritual coming of the Holy Spirit to the child being baptized.
A tradition expressing theological truth, and one that adequately clarifies the illustration by either Mignard or Lebrun and inspired by Father Olier, imparts the following detail of Pentecost: Mary and the twelve Apostles are united in prayer at the cherished website of the relevant institutions of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy spirit pitches, and it is she, the queen, who receives firstly and alone the deluge from on high. A single tongue of fire above her forehead fractions so that one part respites over the head of each of the Apostles. It is fitting to point out here all the glory showed thereby to Mary. The Holy Spirit comes to Mary, and God indicts her, the Mother of the human family, with the spread of all mercy. What is the issue of the effusion of the Holy Spirit on that day is equally true of every flow of grace: God generates nothing to earth without first confide it to Mary, without cause the knack to pass through her hands.
Is it possible to gauge the measure of the plenitude of the gues fullness in the spirit of Mary on that first Pentecost? Less than ever before! The stupendou plenitude of grace in Mary’s soul, unfathomable since her Immaculate Conception, has been increasing in a singular demeanour for fifteen years. It has been beyond measure since the superplenitude of the Annunciation — Spiritus Sanctus superveniet — a superplenitude that goes on increasing for thirty-three years, so that we might even say it comings the infinite.
What can the Holy Spirit add to the divine life that is already hers? Nothing, according to our way of thinking, but in the eyes of God, Mary has not yet contacted that severity of sanctity to which He wishes to raise her. That is why the Holy Spirit sinks upon her again, and He who is abiding Love, the Love of the Father for the Son, expands the heart of Mary, increasing its capacity beyond human restraints in order to enrich it immeasurably. It is not a matter of rich Mary’s heart for herself, but of improving it for us.
She has been the superhuman Mother of minds for thirty-three years, since the saving authorization of the Annunciation, when the Ecce Ancilla Domini was heard for the first time. Her maternal run was merely a influence then; now she is going to exercise it on behalf of the present and the future needs of humanity down through the ages. With what charity will she practise it!
Words neglect us in admiring such expanse. They expose us, they forsake us, they seek refuge in a reveal and forceful stillnes that prays . . . and in a prayer that is silent.
The effects of the coming of the Holy Spirit were more apparent in the Apostles than in Mary. They began to speak the various communications needed for those whom they were to convert. If the effects of the ancestry of the Holy Spirit were less prominent in Mary than in the Apostles, they were, nevertheless, more profound. The divine effusion reached her pass , not as the Twelve, from imperfection to holiness, but from one exalted degree of perfection to another even more sublime and which, according to the words of St. Thomas of Aquinas, attingit penalizes divinitatis, fringes on without quite attaining, of course, the limits of the perceive soul in God Himself.
Pure! Oh, certainly Mary was unadulterated, the Virgin of the Quomodo fiet istud! How much more transparent is her piety now in the eyes of God. Humble! Oh, certainly she was humble, the gentle Virgin of the exaltavit humiles! But how so much better humble now, after so many soul-stirring knows and richer contacts with God have extended her realization that all she is and has comes uniquely from Him who works within her. She abases herself in the knowledge of her own nothingness and of the infinite greatness of Him who is all-powerful.
Seat of Wisdom, Virgin most prudent, Mother most revered: she has been all that for a very long time. How much more now that the Spirit of sense, of prudence, and of holiness owns her as an immense sea whose tides rise ever higher, whose inhibit wavings surge uphill with high and increasing powers.
The Virgin, since her consecration to God at persons under the age of three, was filled with love for Him and souls, reverencing herself the servant of the Most High-pitched and of us all. But now who can conceive of her prodigious beloved for the Triune God, and for humanity, of whom she is the salvation, the consolation, and the refuge?
The Incarnation& the Eucharist
After Christ ascended to Heaven, Mary possessed Him merely as all Christians possess Him — in the Eucharist. Harmonizing to ancient knowledge, Mary retired to the home of St. John or to the neighborhood of another apostle where she could, at each celebration of the violate of the meat, participate in the renewal of the sacrifice and, by consuming the Victim, find again in Communion the ineffable hilarities of the intimate consolidation of the nine months predating the birth of Jesus.
The Incarnation was, in fact, the first association of the Virgin with the Living Bread come down from heaven. Not being a union through digestion, it is not generally referred to as Communion. Was not Mary the first chalice of the Blood of Jesus? Did not our Lord dwell in her during the course of its nine months of promise as in a veritable ciborium? How far richer was she than all the beautiful ciboria of golden or silver-tongued? At the Crib, was not Mary the first ostensorium of her Son, showing Him to the shepherds, to the Magi, and to the world?
Now she experiences the past under a different form; the consecrated Bread the Apostle locates on her lips is Jesus assembled from her own anatomy and with whom her body is again united. The child is something of its baby, formed as it is from her own essence. In receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus, she ascertains again something of herself, and this something of herself, formed from her own element, is the organization and Blood of the Man-God.
This Communion is absolutely unique in its kind and incomparably superior to any other union. We would try in vain to appreciate the benefit the Blessed Virgin received from each contact with her eucharistic Son. Ancient tradition mentions a special feast to celebrate the First Communion Day of the Blessed Virgin. History has recorded and tried to commemorate the value of the Communions of some saints, such as St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. What is the ardent love of the saints compared with the focussed desire of the Blessed Virgin at the relinquish of the Mass or at Holy sacrament? Catholic fervor will profit more by meditation on the elegance of the attachment that unites Mary to Jesus than by the mere commemoration of Mary’s eucharistic love in the whodunit of the altar.
The Eucharist is a sacrifice and at the same time a sacrament. No one denies that, as a relinquish, the Mass is identically the same oblation as that of Calvary: the Priest and the Victim are the same; exclusively the direct is different. Jesus, the sole Mediator, willed to associate Mary with the Cross as the co-redemptrix; and, because God is loyal, this plan continues. Then, at every spiritual renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross — that is, at each Mass — the oblation of the Savior is manufactured under the same conditions: Mary is present, restraining her depot with Jesus.
As a sacrament, the Eucharist has for its object to communicate life. This life, our Lord, the God-Man, owned because of the fiat of Mary, depending utterly on her free will. Again God is faithful, and His plan does not change. Each term Christ becomes represented in the paws of the priest, the life given to us by the words of consecration comes initially from Mary. Is it not, then, through a special intervention of the divine Mediatrix, the Blessed Virgin Mary, that this life is communicated to us?
It would, therefore, has become a basically Catholic practice at Mass to offer Jesus to the Father through Mary: therein would lie the rising of adoration; and, likewise, in Holy Communion, to ask for grace through Mary: thereupon would be applied the ancestry of favors and benedictions. We have Mary to offer, Mary to obtain; her intercession to raise to Heaven and her intercession to draw down to earth. At this moment and in the sacrament in which Jesus is most Jesus, would not Mary be active in the manner that would be most rightfully Mary?
This article is adapted form a section in Fr. Plus’s diary, The Little Book of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is available as an ebook or paperback from your favorite bookseller or online through Sophia Institute Press.
image: Madonna and Child in Gavello via Filippo Carlot/ Shutterstock.com
Read more: feedproxy.google.com