VATICAN - AVE MARIA - “Through Mary to Jesus” Rev. Luciano Alimandi
Vatican City (Fides Service) - God the Father has always had a magnificent plan for His creation, man in particular: He wishes His Son to be born and to grow in each of us that all may reach “the state of perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself” (Eph 4, 13). Just as the Incarnation of the Word was possible through the power of the Holy Spirit working in Mary, so too through the same Spirit and through the presence of Mary at the side of each person, Christ is engendered in us.
This profound theological thought is clearly expressed by Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, in his Treaty on True Devotion to Mary: this reflection is not only Montfort’s it was developed by other saints and doctors of the Church for whom Mary is the Mother who generated Christ to humanity and who continues to generate Him mystically in our souls. It is in the light of God’s Word and Church Tradition and teaching that we understand that Our Lady, united with the Holy Spirit, has such an important task in this process of Christ growing in us.
To adopt this vision of faith means to focus our theological reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation which is at the origin of our Redemption. How in fact could we have Jesus’ Resurrection without His Birth? This is why the Mother is continually present in the mystery of salvation. Her presence is with us not only at the beginning but all through life.
Christ whom we contemplate on Calvary, in the Resurrection, and in the Apostolate is the Christ given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Incarnation: true Man and true God! Mary is indissolubly united to Him since she is His Mother for ever: Mother at Bethlehem, Mother at Cana, Mother on Calvary, Mother at the Resurrection and in His glory. To understand the importance of Our Lady in the mystery of salvation, as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say, we need only make a simple equation: “no Mary, no Jesus”!
The Mother does not impose herself, she walks beside us, just as she did not impose herself on Joseph when she asked for the necessary light to understand the mystery. The Lord himself gave the solution to Joseph, an upright man of humble heart : “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 1, 20).
The same invitation is addressed to every disciple of Christ. The words “do not be afraid” remind us that Mary is a mystery of the Holy Spirit! The words “Do not be afraid” are most encouraging where the presence of Mary in the life of the individual Christian and the community is not yet clear. Certainly Mary is only a creature, but not simply a creature like us: Mary is God’s great mystery as Montfort reminds us. To enter into this mystery we must humbly implore the light of the Holy Spirit.
The most diffused Marian works of art portray Mary holding the Child Jesus. The Child does not wish to be separated from His Mother because her maternal heart is totally within His own Heart and, such a masterpiece of grace, could only be achieved by the Holy Spirit! Many attempts made in the course of history to separate the Two Hearts were totally unsuccessful. Every time she celebrates Christmas, the whole Church joins the shepherds and goes to Bethlehem to the Cradle of the mystery of salvation and unfailingly finds the Child and His Mother: the one demands the presence of the other because both are part of the august mystery of the Incarnation which St Joseph is called to protect. The whole life of Jesus, all the salvific events, all the historical events we read of in the Gospel, has its beginning in the mystery of the Incarnation. Here, from the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit forged Christ’s whole Humanity! In our life too as Christians there develops the mysterious dynamic of the unity of the Holy Spirit with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Paul VI in His “Marialis cultus” wrote: “some Church Fathers and writers… enriched with new developments the ancient theme of Mary-Church. Above all, they had recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin to obtain from the Spirit the capacity for engendering Christ in their soul" (MC 26). And the Pope encouraged profound reflection on the working of the Holy Spirit in the history of salvation: “Such a study will bring out in particular the hidden relationship between the Spirit of God and the Virgin of Nazareth, and show the influence they exert on the Church. From a more profound meditation on the truths of the Faith will flow a more vital piety.” (MC 27). Come Holy Spirit, come through Mary! (Agenzia Fides 14/2/2007; righe 53, parole 778)
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