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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

MARY, THE MOTHER OF THE WHOLE CHRIST

As Adam and Eve stood by the tree in the Garden of Paradise, having ruined the whole human race by their pride and disobedience, God promised a new Eve and a new Adam, saying to the devil: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” (Gn 3:15). So too, as the new Adam and the new Eve were together on Calvary, God spoke again and revealed the part of the new Eve in the promised regeneration. But this time, the new Adam was nailed to the tree of the cross; and it was He Himself, both God and Man, who gave utterance to His dying bequest, saying to the new Eve: “Mother, behold thy son,” and to the disciple, St.John, in whose person He addressed the whole human race: “Behold thy Mother.”

This was but the climax on earth of that association of Jesus and Mary in the painful work of Redemption, which first becomes evident in the humble and obedient virgin’s consent when the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the Mother of Christ. At the invitation of the fallen angel in Paradise to disobey, Eve, by associating Adam with her in her pride and disobedience, had ruined the life of her children; in Nazareth, at the angel’s word, Mary, by her humility and submission accepted her share in her Son’s work of restoration and thus commenced to fulfill her vocation as the new Eve and the mother of men. In that scene, as throughout all her life, she sets us an example of faith, hope, charity, humility, and abandonment to the will of God.

It is true that in a sense this association with Jesus began even at the very first moment of her own existence, for she was preserved from the stain of original sin, through the foreseen merits of her Son. Her sanctity, her merits, her life, and her work, were completely dependent upon Christ. She is his perfect work. She is the only one human person who was entirely and ardently subject to God’s will. She is the only one human person whose humility never failed for one instant to be perfect. She is the only one human person who never failed to love God with her whole heart and her whole soul, with her whole mind and with her whole strength. She is the only one human person who completely fulfilled God’s plan on earth, and whose being and life perfectly corresponded to the idea that God wished to realize in her, so that she could truly say of herself to St. Bernadette: “I am the Immaculate Conception!” For in her was God’s conception realized—immaculately!

The angels themselves cannot adequately sing her praises. We can do no more than to say that in Mary, God the Father found a worthy daughter, in her, God the Son found a worthy mother, and in her, God the Holy Ghost found a worthy spouse. If there is any human being who can truly be called “another Christ”—it is Mary, the Mother of Christ. We would even feel justified in saying that of her, more than of all others, it could be said “that in her there was one Christ loving Himself.”

She alone was exempted from the stain of original sin. From the very first moment of her conception she was “full of grace.” So much so, that many theologians believe that even then, her initial grace was greater than the final grace of the angels and saints put together. Certain it is that her life on earth gave God more glory than the rest of all creation—her son’s human nature alone excepted. So that if all else were lost, it would be no more than a drop of water beside the ocean of grace and glory that Mary represents. She is the Immaculate Conception in every sense of the word, and she alone would mean the success of God’s creation. But if we commenced to sing the glories of Mary, we should never finish, save through the despair that comes from complete failure. We must confine ourselves to considering her place in our own lives. There is no better way of summing that up than by saying that Mary is the Mother of the Whole Christ.

“The Whole Christ” is St. Augustine’s phrase for the Mystical Body. “All men are one man in Christ, and the unity of Christians constitutes but one man. . . . [145] And this man is all men and all men are this man; for all are one since Christ is one. . . . [146]There is but one man who reaches out unto the end of time. . . . [147] This is the whole Christ, Christ united with the Church.”[148]

Jesus Christ, as we saw, came on earth in the role of the new Adam to repair the ruin wrought by the old Adam. His method of including us in the fruit of His redemptive work is to make us members of Himself. For us was He born, for us did He die, for us did He sanctify Himself—that we might die in Him, that we might be born in Him, that we might live in holiness in Him. In that work of Redemption God followed a plan which ran in what we might call “parallel opposition” to the plan of the fall. With the new Adam there is associated a new Eve; and as Eve brought death to the whole race inasmuch as she was their Mother, so Mary, the new Eve, should become our mother in order to give us life. Pope Leo XIII cites in support of this principle, “the unanimous consent of all Christians in every age,” even referring it back to the fathers and the apostles.[149]Let us take the official statement of Pope Pius X:

Is not Mary the Mother of Christ? She is therefore our Mother also. All must accept this principle—that Jesus, the Word made flesh, is also the Savior of the human race. Now, as the God-man, He possesses a human body like other men; but as the restorer of the human race, He has a spiritual or Mystical Body, as it is called, which is the society formed by those who believe in Christ. “We many are one body in Christ” (Rom 12:5). But the virgin did not conceive the Son of God solely in order that, by receiving human nature from her, He should become man; but also that, through the nature which He received from her, He should become the Savior of men. It was for this reason that the angel told the shepherds: ”This day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2: 17). Consequently in this same womb of this most pure mother, Christ both took to Himself flesh and also united to Himself a spiritual body, formed of those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary bearing the Savior in her womb, can be said also to have borne all those whose life was contained in the life of the Savior.

All we, therefore, who are united to Christ, and, as the Apostle says, are members of his body, of his flesh, of his bones (Eph 5:30), have issued from the womb of Mary as a body united into its head. Hence, albeit in a spiritual and mystical fashion, we are all said to be children of Mary, and she is the Mother of us all. She is our Mother, spiritually indeed, but truly Mother of the members of Christ, which we are.[150]

We are dealing with a mystery of which we have yet but seen only the beginning and whose fullness will hardly be revealed till we are one with Christ and His Mother in heaven. Three aspects of this mystery are noted in recent papal documents. First, Mary is our Mother because she is the Mother of the Head of the Mystical Body, the Mother of Him in whose life our life is contained. But the fact that she gave us Him who is the source of our spiritual life by no means exhausts the mystery.

Secondly, she is our Mother because of her cooperation in the Passion of Christ and of her special association with the work of Redemption. Pope Leo XIII writes:

As she is the Mother of Christ, she is also the Mother of all Christians, since on Calvary, amid the unspeakable sufferings of the Redeemer, she brought them forth.[151] There stood by the cross Mary His Mother who, moved by an immense love for us, and in order to receive us as sons, herself offered her Son to the divine justice, dying in her heart with Him, pierced by a sword of sorrow.[152]

Thirdly, our Lord Himself solemnly proclaimed and constituted her the Mother of Men as He was dying on the cross. Leo XIII leaves us no room to misunderstand the full significance of our Lord’s words: “Mother behold thy Son; Behold thy Mother.” He insists that our Lord addressed St.John as the representative of the whole human race: “In St. John, as the Church has always understood, Christ indicated the person of the human race;[153] Christ from the cross bequeathed her and appointed her as Mother to the human race”;[154] and he presupposes that our Lord is not merely announcing the dignity of Mary, but is giving her a function that is to be continually exercised in the future. He writes:

Mary has not brought forth, and could not bring forth, the children of Christ otherwise than in one faith and in one love; for “Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor 1:13). We are all bound, therefore, to live together the life of Christ, in order that in one and the same body “we may bring forth fruit to God” (Rom 7:4). It is necessary, therefore, that this same Mother, who has received from God the gift of giving birth to a holy progeny, should again bring forth to Christ as many as have been cut off by unhappy circumstances from this most holy unity. This is undoubtedly a result which she herself most ardently desires, and, on account of the most welcome garland of prayer [scil., the Rosary] which we offer her, she will invoke the help of the “vivifying Spirit” more abundantly for them.[155]

These are only, one might say, starting points. The mystery runs through the whole of history and the whole of the spiritual life, so much so that we are tempted to go back and rewrite the whole of this book in order to give Mary her due place in each of its chapters. It is only in order to avoid confusion that we have reluctantly refrained from indicating her role at all stages of the spiritual life. But this much may be said: that wherever Christ is concerned in the spiritual life, there Mary is also to be found.

The first appearance of our Lady in the Gospel story is in the familiar scene at Nazareth where the angel Gabriel announced to her God’s will in her regard. When God’s will was made clear to her, there was no hesitation or reservation in her complete abandonment to His designs. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38). To realize the generosity of this consent, we must remember that Mary knew well what it involved. She understood the Scriptures as no one else ever did; she was illumined by grace as no one else has ever been; she knew that the Messiah was to be the Man of Sorrows who was to live and die in untold suffering. She knew also that the angel’s embassy was to ask for her consent not merely to be the Mother of God, but also to be the Mother of the Redeemer and His Consort in the work of Redemption. Leo XIII tells us that even if Mary were not present at the pillar or in Gethsemani, she had known these sufferings long in advance:

For when she as God’s handmaid consented to be God’s Mother, she did so as consort [consors] with Him in His painful expiation for the human race. So that there is no doubt that she shared deeply in the cruel agony and torture of her Son.[156]

So even then in her fifteenth year, this little maid of Nazareth was filled with a maternal solicitude for the whole human race. St. Thomas gives a further significance to her consent; for he sees in the Incarnation a spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature, and since marriage needs the consent of both parties, the angel sought the consent of Mary as that of all human nature.[157] She therefore spoke in our name as well as her own. Just as our natural Mother sends us to be baptized into Christ without waiting for our consent, so Mary, our supernatural Mother, pledges us in advance to live the life of Christ by our abandonment to the will of God. Is it not noteworthy that the one precept she gave to men was: “Whatever he shall say to you, do ye?” In fact, its significance can hardly be exaggerated if we note that she is to give us life as a Mother, and if we remember that “he that doth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 Jn 2:17). That she was only teaching what was her own practice is clear from the extraordinary reply of our Lord to the crowd when He was told that His mother and brethren were seeking Him: “Who,” He exclaimed, “is my mother and brethren! . . . Whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mk 3:33, 35). For her union with Him by the supernatural abandonment of her will to His was closer and more real than ever was her natural union with Him as His Mother.

We cannot here enter into the details of our Lady’s life. She only appears at certain critical moments in the life of her Son. It is on Calvary that we would consider her, standing beside the cross, where, in the words of Benedict XV:

She suffered with her suffering Son, and almost died together with Him, and abdicating her maternal rights over her Son, she, in so far as was in her power, immolated Him for the human race, that justice might be satisfied, so that it may truly be said that she with Christ redeemed mankind.[158]

Recent popes have all indicated this close association between Jesus and Mary in the work of redemption and meriting grace, for as Pius X tells us:

Since Mary surpasses all in holiness and in union with Christ and has been taken into partnership [adscita] by Christ in the work of human redemption. She merits “de congruo,” in the language of theologians, what Jesus merited for us “de condigno,” and she is the supreme minister of the distribution of graces. By this communion of sorrows and of will between Mary and Christ, she merited that she should be a most worthy reparatrix of the fallen world and therefore the dispen-satrix of all that Jesus won for us by His Blood and by His Death.[159]

Theologians are still discussing Mary’s share in the Redemption. The title Co-Redemptrix has been applied to her, and she has a perfect right to it; but the title must not be misunderstood. It does not imply that Christ’s work of Redemption was incomplete, or that there is a single part of the whole plan of Redemption that does not depend upon Him. Even the act by which we enter into our share of His grace depends upon a grace coming from Him. The title means that God freely and without any necessity decided to associate Mary in the Redemption so that she should share in the glory of it. But every single act by which she cooperated drew all its value from the merits of Christ the Redeemer and was vivified by His grace. Independently of Christ, Mary could contribute nothing to the Redemption. Everything she did was done through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. In no one is the life of the Mystical Body of Christ so complete and so perfect.

Because of the fear of seeming to derogate in any way from Christ’s position as Redeemer, there is as yet a certain hesitation, and even difficulty, in formulating Mary’s part in His work. One thing may be said. Apart from her own redemption, Mary has a role to play in all the rest of the work, so that no grace comes to us without her cooperation. Leo XIII writes:

She, who has been assigned so important a part in the mystery of man’s redemption, was destined likewise to hold the same important place in the application of graces thus merited, there being vested in her a power almost boundless.[160]

And the Holy Father selects from the titles most rightly given to her, the following: Our Lady (Domina); Our Mediatrix; The Redemptress (Reparatrix) of the whole world; She who obtains for us the gifts of God.[161]

Elsewhere Leo XIII makes his own the principle announced by St. Bernard that God willed us to obtain all through Mary; and, noting the fact that her consent to the Incarnation was given in the person of the whole human race, with which Christ was entering into a spiritual marriage, he continues:

From which one may no less truly and properly affirm that nothing whatever of that immense treasure of grace which the Lord produced . . . nothing is given to us except through Mary, for such is the will of God. And just as no one can come to the Supreme Father, except through the Son, so almost no one can come to Christ except through Mary.[162]

The Holy Father makes his own the words of St. Bernardine of Siena:

Every grace which is given to this world comes by a threefold way. For it is given by God to Christ, by Christ to the virgin, by the virgin to us, in an ordered dispensation.[163]

And he makes the strong statement:

In her hands are the treasures of the Lord’s mercies, for God willed that she should be a source [principuim] of all goods.[164] . . . For God willed us to have all through Mary.[165]

We have quoted at length from these papal documents to avoid seeming to base our notions on the enthusiasm of piety or on sentiment. Compared with what some of the fathers and doctors of the Church say, what we have quoted above could be called understatements. It is clear that the beginning of the formation of the Mystical Body was an intimate union between Christ and Mary, in such a way that for its further development, they formed, as it were, one principle, she always in complete dependence upon Him. Medieval piety tried to illustrate this fact by comparing Mary’s part to that of the neck of the body, joining it to its Head, from which it was then thought all life and energy came. The metaphor, however, has not proved popular, nor does it seem sufficient. For just as each action of any member of the Body depends on Christ for its initiation as well as for its performance, so also, though not in the same way, it depends on Mary. Every single member, therefore, must be in vital contact with Mary. Mary’s role is best described by calling her the mother of the Mystical Body, even though she herself is its most important member.

There is a very close parallel between Mary’s part in the formation of the human body of Christ and her part in the formation of the Mystical Body of the “Whole Christ.” The human body is formed from the fruits of the earth and the flesh of its animal inhabitants, from all that can be regarded as food and drink. For the first nine months of Christ’s human existence, it was Mary’s function to take these elements of food in the natural state, prepare them as food, and, then consuming them, to change them into her own flesh and blood, and thus to minister them to the embryonic Christ, by whose soul’s action they were transformed into His own Flesh and Blood. And even after that intimate physical union between Christ and His Mother had been severed by the birth of Christ, He still remained for a time dependent upon her very substance for His nourishment. When His growth as a child gave Him a fuller independence of His Mother, it was still her hands that transformed the raw materials and prepared His food, and cared for His growing body.

So it is with His mystical Body. The aim which Pope Pius X set himself at the beginning of his pontificate was “to re-establish all things in Christ, so that Christ should be all and in all.”[166] Shortly afterwards he set devotion to our Lady before the faithful, as a means to this end; and he writes:

For, there is no more certain and steady way of uniting all to Christ and of reaching that perfect adoption of sons so that we should he holy and immaculate in the sight of God, than by Mary. . . . For since it is the will of divine providence that we should have the God-Man through Mary, there is no other way for us but to receive Christ from her Hands.

And stressing the communion of will and of life that bound Mary to Christ, he continues:

There is no one more capable of joining men with Christ.[167]

Just as the fruits and animals of the earth are the food of the human body of Christ, so ourselves, our lives, and our actions, are the food of the Mystical Body. And just as the food of the human body of Christ was prepared by Mary and made her own before becoming part of His body, so we ourselves, with our lives and our actions, have to be prepared by Mary, and in some mysterious way made hers, in order to become members of the Mystical Body of Christ. There is, however, a great difference between the natural and physical order to which pertains the formation of the human body of Christ, and the supernatural and spiritual order to which belongs the formation of His Mystical Body. The manner of action is quite different and the duration is of an entirely new sort. When food is eaten in the natural order, it is soon disposed of once and for all, and what is really nourishment in it is more or less permanently incorporated in those who consume it. Our incorporation in Christ is not permanent, inasmuch as it can be destroyed by the sin of infidelity; nor does our membership of His Body ensure that all our actions belong to Him as they should. This perfect incorporation of ourselves in Christ, even though it begins and is—in one sense—complete at baptism, is not fully perfected until the end of our mortal life. It is the work of a lifetime. Each single action has to be molded according to God’s will and handed over to Christ.

Thus Mary has a continual part to play in our lives; and our relation with Mary is not sharply divided into the three stages of dependence that we indicated above. Her spiritual operations in our supernatural life, which correspond respectively to her cooperation in the embryonic, the infant, and the more developed stages of our Lord’s human life, are performed both simultaneously and continuously where a member of His Mystical Body is concerned. In fact in all stages of the spiritual life, we are, in a measure, just as spiritually dependent upon Mary as the divine Child in her womb was naturally dependent on her for the growth of His natural life. There are, of course, many services that Mary renders us that are better illustrated by what we may call her “housekeeping” activities. But they must never blind us to the infant-like—in fact, the embryo-like—dependence that binds us to our spiritual Mother.

We and our lives are the food of Christ’s Mystical Body. But we are free agents. And our full cooperation is necessary for complete union with Christ. If one may be bold enough to summarize the lesson of a pope’s encyclical, we would say that the lesson that Pius X teaches us, is: “That true devotion to Christ demands true devotion to Mary.” And there is no better exponent of true devotion to Mary than Bl. Grignon de Montfort, whose canonization, we understand, is already (1945) assured. This true devotion to Mary consists firstly in a complete and permanent consecration to her of all that one is, or has, or will be, or will have, in the natural and in the supernatural order, in time and in eternity; and secondly, in living in habitual and entire dependence on Mary by complete and cheerful abandonment to her maternal care. In this way we belong completely to her. She can dispose of the value of all our acts, our satisfactions, and our prayers, of all our spiritual and temporal treasures, even the prayers that are said for us; she can apply all to whom she will. She can use our prayers as she likes; for although we still express our “intentions,” it is always with the understood condition that she may change each intention to her own. She may influence God’s providence to do what she wishes with us; we are completely in her hands. We are all hers, and all ours is hers. What then is there to prevent her making us completely Christ’s? Is not this consecration the perfect cooperation in her maternal office of uniting all things in Christ? Is not this the short cut to sanctity? Bl. Grignon’s two little books will give the reader a fuller account of this devotion.[168] He promises us that “she will make our souls live for Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ live in us.”

But let us be clear that this promise is not attached to a mere passing act, such as the recitation of a formula. It requires a life of complete abandonment to Mary, and through her, to Christ. She herself has given us an example. For at every moment of her life, we find in her the perfection of faith, hope, charity, humility, and abandonment to God’s will. In that we have only to imitate her. And there is nothing in the life of Mary that in some measure we cannot imitate. We hear of no miracles, or of no extraordinary penances, in her life. Her external life can be summed up in three words: “Ordinary, obscure, and laborious.” But her interior life is something that only God can know. For even that most intimate union of body and life that preceded the birth of Christ was only a shadow of the complete union of heart and soul, which persisted throughout every moment of Mary’s existence. From the very beginning of her consciousness—even, some say, from the very first moment of her conception—she gave herself completely, with every fiber of her being, to God, cleaving to Him in an utter abandonment of love and humility that cannot be conceived.

Mary then is our Mother—not merely in name or in sentiment, but in actual reality. In fact, her motherhood of us in the spiritual order is something more real than the natural motherhood which gave us our human life. Devotion to Mary, then, is an integral part of Christianity, and essential for the spiritual life. It is not a question of a side chapel devotion which may be omitted at pleasure, and which is only something ornamental or, at best, just helpful for our spiritual life. It is an integral, one could almost say essential, part of true devotion to Christ.

Modern theology tends to divide her motherhood of the whole Christ into two stages. The first concerns her share in the acquisition of grace, and in this respect, with certain reservations, she is called the Co-Redemptrix. The other concerns her part in the distribution of grace, and in this regard she is called the Dis-pensatrix and Mediatrix of all graces. Neither of these offices have yet been the subject of a solemn declaration of the Church. The doctrine, however, of the universal mediation of Mary, insofar as it implies that no grace is given to us without the intercession of Mary, is proximo fidei. That she is our spiritual mother is de fide. It must be clearly understood that in making her thus a partner in the acquisition and distribution of the fruits of the Redemption, God was yielding to no necessity, for Christ is a sufficient and perfect Redeemer and Mediator. But he wished in the liberality of His Mercy to make Mary the associate of His Son, so that she might share in His glory and joy in Heaven. It was the perfection of her loving abandonment and faith-inspired humility that made it possible that a creature should be given such an amazing share in the divine work of restoration without any risk of injury to God’s plan or detraction from His glory.

For us, too, a similar principle holds good. God wills to make us share in the work of our own salvation and to cooperate in the salvation of others. In fact, Christ Himself wills to share all His work with us; and so does Mary, the Mother of Christ. Since the first motive of all that work is the glory of God, humility is the first condition of our admittance into a share of it. The rest of our part consists in the loving performance and acceptance of God’s will. This, too, is the very means by Christ to share in the Maternity of Mary: “Whosoever shall do the will of God, he is . . . my mother!” (Mk 3:35). By doing the will of God in humble love in the ordinary things of life we bring forth Christ in ourselves, and, through the Communion of Saints, in others also. The very acts which unite us to Christ unite us to His Mother and make us share in the work of each of them. As St. Augustine writes: “Every faithful soul doing the will of the Father with a most fruitful charity is mother to Christ, in those whom he quickens until Christ is formed in them.”[169] If with St. Paul we can say we fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ for His Body, the Church, so also we can say we fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Mary for the Body of her Child, which is the Church. We are called to live in a close union of will and life and function with both Jesus and Mary. And the closer we keep to Mary, the closer we shall be to Christ.

There is nothing extraordinary required of us in external works. Our Lady is the perfect model of the Christian. But what a rebuke to our notions and to our standards! She had the best-equipped mind that ever lived in Christendom. She was enlightened as no prophet ever had been enlightened. She had a power of intercession of which no one can determine the limit. She had a zeal for her Son’s glory and for her Son’s work that burned more fiercely than the zeal of all the great souls of the Church. Yet what was her life? Ordinary—obscure—laborious! The wife of a village carpenter, she takes care to lose herself in the crowd. The Mother of the far-famed Messiah, she appears but once in His public life, between Cana and the Passion. The most enlightened and zealous member of His Church, she is invisible to our eyes from the day of Pentecost. She gives but one message to men in words and preaches a lifelong sermon in obscurity and silence. All her desires seem to have centered on her own effacement. Even the active work of preaching Christ and teaching His doctrine she left to others, although tradition has it that the disciples found in her a gentle instructress and calm inspiration for their ministry. There would be much more holiness, as there would also be much more happiness, in the world if her Christian sons and, especially, her Christian daughters, were to imitate her example.

It is just as impossible to come to an end of treating of Mary as it is impossible to treat of her adequately. We have relied principally upon papal documents for our presentation of her place in God’s sphere of things and her claim upon our devotion. If we might presume to state our own view, we would do so, not by appealing to Scripture or to the writings of the fathers and the doctors of the Church, but, at the risk of scandalizing the sober, by summoning to our aid the services of those “inspired” men (for of course they must have been inspired!) who wrote fairy-tales. For there is no fairytale so improbable or so far-fetched as the truth; and, while to those to whom the spiritual life seems a drab, dreary, impossible burden, we would suggest the story of Beauty and the Beast,while begging Christ’s pardon for any implication that the title may seem to contain, to the others we would say, if you would know the truth, read Cinderella! For if there was ever a “Prince Charming,” it is the Son of God come upon earth to seek His bride. And if there was ever a fairy god-mother who can and will make a fitting bride for Him out of the ragged kitchen maid that we are—is it not Mary, the fairy god-mother of the whole Christ?

For that is what we must confidently expect from Mary, that she will transform us into a fitting bride for Christ. Let us never forget that she understands better than anyone else that what she does to us is done to her Son. Let no one then say he is too befouled by sin to go to Mary. Was any child ever too dirty for its mother to wash it? And if that child were Christ—and we are Christ in her eyes—and if that mother be Mary, is there any filth of sin which would deter her from joyfully cleansing the dirt and foulness with which we have befouled the Body of Christ? Nor need we be afraid that her immaculate purity will make her repel us. She is the Refuge of Sinners; and despite her purity, or perhaps because of it, she has a wonderful understanding and sympathy for the weakness of human nature. She is the Mother of Fair Love, and will give us a love of her Son that will more than atone for any sin. She might be called the throne of grace to whom we must go with absolute confidence. It is impossible to have too much confidence in Mary. The Church applies to her, the words of Scripture: “I was with him forming all things. . . . He that shall find me shall find life and shall have salvation from the Lord” (Prv 8:30, 35).

She is the Mater Admirabilis—the fairy god-mother, who will make us worthy brides of the Eternal Prince, the Son of God, to whom we are to be so closely united in the Mystical Body that “there shall be one Christ loving Himself.”

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