THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
God’s Masterpiece, Our Mother
Dear friends, I was doing my spiritual reading the other day ago and the following words penetrated my soul such that I decided to share it to you as well so we could grow more in love with Our Lady and thank the Most Blessed Trinity for giving us Mary, His Masterpiece, our Mother.
It is an excerpt from a wonderful homily given by St. Josemaria. Hope it would be of help to you. Take care and God bless!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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“289 Children, especially when they are small, give very little thought to what they should do for their parents and are much more concerned about what they hope to get from them. As children, we tend to be very self-interested, although our mothers, as we have already mentioned, do not seem to mind really, because they have so much love in their hearts and they love with the best kind of affection: that which gives without expecting anything in return.
The same is true of Mary. But today, on the feast of her divine Motherhood, we should try to be more attentive than usual. If we find there have been times when we failed to be gentle and kind towards this good Mother of ours, we should feel sorry. I ask you now, as I ask myself, how are we honoring her?
Let us return once again to our everyday experience and see how we behave with our earthly mothers. What does a mother want most of all from her children, from those who are flesh of her flesh and blood of her blood? Her greatest desire is to have them close to her. When the children grow up and it is no longer possible to have them beside her, she waits impatiently for news from them, and everything that happens to them, from the slightest illness to the most important events, concerns her deeply.
290 Look: in the eyes of our Mother Mary we never cease to be little, because she opens to us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven, which will only be given to those who become little children. We should never separate ourselves from Our Lady. How should we honor her? By keeping close to her, talking to her, showing her that we love her, pondering in our hearts the scenes of her life on earth and telling her about our struggles, successes and failures.
When we do this we discover the meaning of the Marian prayers, which the Church has always used, as if we were saying them for the very first time. What are the Hail Mary and the Angelus if not loving praises of her divine Motherhood? And when we say the Holy Rosary, which is a wonderful devotion which I will never tire of recommending to Christians everywhere, our minds and hearts go over the mysteries of Mary’s admirable life which are, at the same time, the fundamental mysteries of our faith.
291 The liturgical year is adorned with feasts in honor of Mary. The basis of this cult is the divine Motherhood of Our Lady, which is the fount of all the gifts of nature and grace lavished on her by the Blessed Trinity. Anyone who fears that the cult of veneration given to the Blessed Virgin could in some way lessen the cult of adoration given to God shows scant knowledge of his Christian faith and very little filial love. Our Mother, the model of humility, sang, ‘from this day forward all generations will count me blessed; because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders. He has mercy upon those who fear him, from generation to generation.’
When the feasts of Our Lady come round let us not be sparing in our tokens of affection. Let us raise our hearts to her more often, asking her for what we need, thanking her for her constant, motherly care and entrusting to her the people we love. Though, naturally, if we really want to act as good children, every day is a good day for loving Mary, just as every day is a good day for those who really love one another.
292 Perhaps some of you might be thinking that the ordinary comings and goings of your working day are not going to help you much to stay close to someone as pure as Our Lady. But I would just ask you to reflect a little. What are we looking for all the time in things we do, even without thinking about it especially? If we are motivated by the love of God and we work with a right intention, then we are seeking whatever is good and clean, whatever brings peace to our conscience and happiness to our soul. Yes, you might say, but don’t we still have our faults? Indeed, but it is precisely by acknowledging our faults that we are able to see, more clearly than ever, just what our goal has to be. What we are looking for is happiness; not a momentary happiness, but one that is deep and lasting and both human and supernatural.
THERE IS ONE CREATURE WHO ACHIEVED SUCH HAPPINESS HERE ON EARTH BECAUSE SHE IS GOD’S MASTERPIECE: OUR MOST HOLY MOTHER MARY. SHE LIVES NOW AND IS PROTECTING US. She is there, body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. She is the same person who was born in Palestine, who gave herself to God while still a child, who received the message from St Gabriel the Archangel, who gave birth to our Savior and who stood beside him at the foot of the Cross.
In her, all ideals become a reality; but this should not make us think that her sublime greatness makes her inaccessible to us. SHE IS THE ONE WHO IS FULL OF GRACE AND THE SUM OF ALL ERFECTIONS; AND SHE IS ALSO OUR MOTHER. HER POWER BEFORE GOD IS SUCH THAT SHE CAN OBTAIN ANYTHING WE ASK FOR, AND, LIKE ANY MOTHER, SHE WANTS TO ANSWER OUR PRAYERS. LIKE ANY MOTHER ALSO, SHE KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS OUR WEAKNESSES. SHE ENCOURAGES US AND MAKES EXCUSES FOR US. SHE MAKES THE WAY EASY FOR US AND, EVEN WHEN WE THINK THERE IS NO POSSIBLE SOLUTION FOR OUR WORRY, SHE ALWAYS HAS ONE READY TO OFFER US.
293 IF WE TRULY GOT TO KNOW MARY OUR MOTHER, HOW QUICKLY THE SUPERNATURAL VIRTUES WOULD GROW IN US! LET US NOT BE SHY ABOUT REPEATING SHORT PRAYERS AND ASPIRATIONS TO HER THROUGHOUT THE DAY. There is no need to say them out loud, we can say them in our heart. Christian devotion has gathered together many of these loving words of praise in the Litany which accompanies the Holy Rosary. But each one of us is free to think up new ones, and address new praises to her, telling her with our heart — with a holy bashfulness that she understands and approves — what we would not dare to say out loud.
Finally, I would recommend that, if you haven’t already done so, you find out for yourself by personal experience the meaning of Mary’s maternal love. IT IS NOT ENOUGH JUST TO KNOW SHE IS OUR MOTHER AND TO THINK AND TO TALK ABOUT HER AS SUCH. SHE IS YOUR MOTHER AND YOU ARE HER SON. SHE LOVES YOU AS IF YOU WERE HER ONLY CHILD IN THIS WORLD. TREAT HER ACCORDINGLY: TELL HER ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU, HONOR HER AND LOVE HER. NO ONE WILL DO IT FOR YOU OR AS WELL AS YOU, IF YOU DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF.
I GIVE YOU MY WORD THAT, IF YOU SET OUT ALONG THIS WAY, YOU WILL QUICKLY DISCOVER ALL THE LOVE OF CHRIST: AND YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF DRAWN INTO THE INEFFABLE LIFE OF GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. You will draw strength from it to put the Will of God fully into practice, and you will be filled with desires of serving all men. You will be the Christian you have sometimes dreamed of being: full of works of charity and justice, happy and strong, understanding towards others and demanding on yourself.
This, and no other, is the kind of faith we want. Let us have recourse to our Mother Mary; she will accompany us and help us make firm and constant progress.”
HOMILY SOURCE: St. Josemaria, “Mother of God and Our Mother,” in “Friends of God”, nn.289-293
PHOTO SOURCE: Spoleto (painter), Maria Assunta, in http://www.sistemamuseo.it/data/immagini_musei/gallery/album_148/20130810102458_img_bbb72.jpg