VATICAN - AVE MARIA by Rev. Luciano Alimandi - “Mother of Mercy”; ““Jesus came into the world through Mary, through Mary He must reign in the world.”” (St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort)

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - We might ask what is the greatest urgency of our day, the most pressing necessity for the individual and for the whole world. Of course we could make a list of priorities but in the end we would have to select the priority of priorities. What would it be? Perhaps mercy? That unconditioned goodness which gives itself to others simply for the joy of it, receiving from God the strength to do it. How easy it is to speak of love and forgiveness (two main ingredients of mercy) but how difficult they are to practice! Yet, if we live mercy we are happy because without this unconditioned love we can neither enjoy life nor lead others to enjoy it. God who is Love and from love and out of love created us, sent his Son to us that we might be reconciled with Him and able to be truly good and to love one another. In fact fallen as we were it was impossible for us to love merciful Love, because we had rejected Him with our selfishness. So Jesus comes to restore that which was lost: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. ” (Jn 3, 16-17).
God achieves this redeeming Coming with the help of a Mother, chosen for a plan which neither man nor angel could ever imagine: to give earthly birth to the Redeemer without the intervention of a man. From that day onwards, every day thanks to Mary’s joyous and prompt acceptance we journey “through Him, with Him and in Him” towards the Kingdom of Heaven, towards the eternal Source from which we have received the gift of our being, our life of grace, our every breath and longing for freedom and truth. The Blessed Virgin Mary accompanies us on our way back to the House of the Father; Mary, His creature like us, His most beautiful and perfect creature, the most perfect of the creatures made by His creator’s hands. “He loved her and did great things for her (cf. Lk 49); “He loved her for His own sake, and He loved her for our sake, too; He gave her to Himself and He gave her also to us”. (Marialis Cultus, n. 56). With these words Paul VI summarised the mystery of God’s love for Mary. It is so sweet to ponder the fact that “He gave her to Himself and He gave her also to us”! The spiritual maternity of Mary is truly a gift of God’s merciful love for mankind, to render sweeter and more buoyant our steps behind the One who said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn 14, 6).
A Saint who had a profound understanding of the mystery of the maternal mediation of Mary was undoubtedly St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, whom many hope will one day be proclaimed Doctor of the Church. He begins his famous “Treaty on the authentic devotion to the Holy Virgin” with those synthetic words which were in fact the key to his profoundly Trinitarian and Christ-centred Mariological doctrine: “Jesus came into the world through Mary, through Mary He must reign in the world.” (n. 1).
This reigning of Mary in the world can be understood precisely in relation to the loving mercy of God, so needed by mankind. This was keenly experienced by Saint Faustina Kowalska, beatified and canonised by the Servant of God John Paul II. Mary, has received special power over the hearts of those who entrust themselves to her. This power of grace is a holy influence which is infused into the soul as maternal blessing and protection . We see this from the Saints of every era! Those who put their lives in the hands of Most Holy Mary experience in a special way God’s tender love for His creatures and His creation. It is as if the Mother helps us to open wide our eyes to contemplate the mystery of the inexhaustible Love of God! Sad to say we often fall asleep, into oblivion, and we beg elsewhere for love without finding it. This is why the Mother is given to us also and above all so we may discover God’s loving mercy, experience it more profoundly. John Paul II and then Benedict XVI in our day remind us that we can encounter this merciful Love in all its fullness in Our Lord Jesus Christ who said at the moment of his greatest clemency for the world, while he was Crucified, indicating Mary at the foot of the Cross: “Behold your Mother”! (Jn 19, 27). (Agenzia Fides 12/7/2006 - righe 49, parole 781)