In union with Mary

In order to revive this pentecostal experience today, we must ask ourselves what this close union between the Holy Spirit and Mary means for our concrete Christian lives. We have to understand what this union between the Holy Spirit and his instrument, the Most Holy Virgin, means to our way of life as Christians. We have also to discover the deeper meaning of this mutual love of which Christ is the fruit.

Mary, turned towards God, carries us along

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow …”

The meaning of the angel’s message was not restricted to the birth of Jesus alone – its magnificence resounds through the centuries. Mary understood this so well that she was able to sing: “For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” She knew that the history of the world was unfolding in her.

More truly than St. Paul and the other saints, Mary could say “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’. Thus her entire meditation has as its purpose to make us into “other Christs”, to fashion within us, trait by trait, the image of Jesus. By her whole being, she is the “Mother of Jesus”, her maternity operating also in us.

In every fibre of her body and her soul, she is the fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum that her lips pronounce. She wishes only to be open to the Holy Spirit, to acquiesce in his will and cooperate fully with his work. It is not she who takes the initiative, it is God who lifts her up to Himself, it is God who gives her the grace of this total gift of herself.

Mary is and remains turned towards the Spirit: this is the fundamental attitude of her soul. And it is in him that she sees us, in him that she loves us. Mary goes towards human beings in God, without for a moment averting her eyes from Him. She loves us with a most intimate love, her motherhood nourishing us droop by drop until we are fully grown!

But looking at Mary turned toward God, in the unique adherence of her fiat, there is yet another mystery left to discover. It is not simply as an individual that she responded. In her Amen resound all the amen’s which rise from earth toward heaven. Mary takes us along with her!

She is not one response, but the response of humanity to the love of God. And it is her maternal task to help us in everything that allows us to respond freely to divine grace. What a support for finding grace before the Most High, to be raised up toward Him by the one of whom it is said: “You have found grace before God”. Sheltered in her, we shall not weaken under the weight of an excessive love for our smallness, and we may dare to believe in the impossible.

If Mary is all these things, it follows that she is for us as well the path leading to the Holy Spirit.

About this mystery, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort tells us: “When the Holy Spirit, her Spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to Mary.”.

It follows, therefore, that the secret of all fruitful apostolates is to unite oneself fully to the one who had been so completely united with the Holy Spirit.

And fr. de Montfort continues: “It is a secret of grace ‘to perform supernatural works in a short time, gently and with ease: to empty oneself, to be filled with God…’ ”

Mary, grace for evangelization

To be an apostle is to allow Jesus Christ to be born and to grow within ourselves, and to bear Him to our brothers and sisters. Through our union with Mary, we extend the work of the Spirit in the Church. This union imposes itself on us, therefore, as if it were a law.

Mary precedes our efforts. When Mary is present in a soul, she gives it a more profound, more enduring love of humanity. It is the particular gift of mothers to perceive silent and undisclosed sufferings. She does not deal with humanity en masse, or in rank order.

She approaches the other with respect. One might say that Mary never treats anyone as inferior, nor as equal. She always speaks as an inferior to a superior. Because Mary always sees Jesus Christ in every soul who approaches her, and she remains forever in the unique attitude of a servant of the Lord.