Mary is not only a mediator for us but also a model to be imitated in our life.
The greatest gift Jesus has given us is the gift of the Holy Spirit. No doubt, the second greatest gift is His own mother. He has not simply recommended His mother for helping us, but in his great generosity we were elevated to the status of her dear children. Therefore, as her children we can freely approach her for all our needs. That is why we pray to mother Mary.
To imitate Mary’s love we best contemplate the activity of the Holy Spirit within her:
1. By Understanding she understood God’s holiness and loved Him as a Father. May the light and joy of the Daughter of the Father also motivate us to praise and glorify God supremely.
2. By Wisdom, Mary the Virgin consecrated herself unconditionally to God in the service of the Kingdom and became the Mother of God. Let us also desire the coming of the Kingdom and surrender ourselves wholeheartedly to divine providence.
3. By Counsel Mary, the Handmaid of the Lord discovered her vocation and obediently accepted to become the Mother of the Redeemer. May she, our Mother, help us discern and love the will of God as it becomes manifest in our vocation and daily life.
4. By Science, Mary, Jesus’ first disciple, accepted whole-heartedly the Gospel of the Cross. May her self-renunciation in following Christ enlighten us concerning the necessity of the Cross and sacrifice as the only way to salvation.
5. By Fortitude, the Sorrowful Mother stood courageously beneath the Cross and prayed for us. May her example inspire us to be true friends and helpers to those in need.
6. By the Fear of the Lord Mary was most solicitous to please God in all things. May her loving example teach us to love the Law of God, and see in it less a restraint of freedom than a simple but profound way to express our reverent love and docility before God.
7. By Godliness Mary, the Bride of Christ, lived a perpetual union of hearts with Christ as the Temple of the Holy Spirit. May her love warm our hearts to dare to aspire to such a union of love with Christ that we might become one with Him, even as He is one with the Father (cf. Jn 17:21-22).
Mother Mary: The Co-Redemptorist
We have to recognize and honour Mary for her role as co-redemptorist in our salvation. While seeking her blessings, have we ever bothered to know what Mother Mary has to say to us? We expect that our prayers be answered but when there is delay or no response to our prayers we should try to examine why it is so.
In fact without even approaching her, our dear mother intervenes in our problem as we see her at the wedding feast at Cana. The hosts there did not approach Mary to solve the problem. She herself sensed it and acted accordingly. What did Mary tell the servants there? “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn. 2:5). That’s all she said. In order that our prayers are answered, we should also do whatever Mary’s son tell us to do. In other words, we must become His true disciples and obey his commands. “And now, I give you a new commandment; love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples” (Jn. 13:34).
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (Jn. 15:10). Jesus also told that; “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me” (Jn. 15:5). He also taught us as to how we should pray, fast, judge others, love one another and a host of other behaviours in our daily life, to become perfect like him. “You must be perfect just as your father in heaven is perfect” (Mt. 5:48).
We have to control all our emotions by the love of God and fellow beings as taught by St. Paul in Ephesians 5:2, “Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us and gave his life for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice that pleases God.” Our dependence on God must be total as that alone will help us and give us strength to carry our little crosses.
We should also be humble and meek like the Lord, as “the Lord resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Prov. 3:34). Let us therefore, pray to our dear mother Mary to help us to respond to God, like her, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it happen to me as you have said” (Lk. 1:38) and lead a humble life of faith.
– – – written by N. A. Thomas, Chennai