Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Ninth Day of May

The Interior Life of Mary.


Mary adorned with all gifts, enriched with all virtues, perfect in all her graces, appeared to the world under a most ordinary exterior. There was nothing brilliant in her actions, her virtues were not striking, her life was passed in silence and obscurity, and the Gospel narrative says nothing of it. This was be cause Mary was to be the model of the life hidden in God with Jesus Christ, which we ought to honor and faithfully copy in our conduct. I wish to show that the law of holiness which God follows in our souls, is the same that He followed in Mary.

The Church sings of Mary: "ll the glory of the King s daughter is within." Such is the character of Mary s sanctity. Nothing exterior, nothing known, all to God alone and known to Him alone. And yet Mary was the holiest, the most perfect of creatures. More beloved of God than any other creature, the Blessed Virgin received from His goodness graces the richest and the best, gifts the most excellent. The Eternal Father communicated to her all the virtues of a mother; the Son, all the graces of the Redemption; the Holy Spirit, all the graces of love. But with all this Mary led only an ordinary life hidden and unknown. What must we conclude from this save that the hidden and interior life is the most perfect? And so it is without doubt. The active, outer life, although devoted to God, is less perfect. It was the same in Our Lord’s case. His life was much more hidden than exposed to the gaze of men. All the saints were formed on His model. To be a friend of God, one must be ground to powder, reduced to nothing, annihilated like Jesus and Mary.


Hence I say: Do we wish to be come saints? Then we must become interior. We are obliged thereto by our vocation of adorers. Without the interior spirit, how can we pray? If before Our Lord, we know not how to pass a single instant without a book, if we have nothing to say to Him from our own heart, why do we go to make our adoration? What! can we never speak our own thoughts? Must we always borrow the thoughts and words of strangers? No, no! Let us labor to become interior.

Every one cannot be like Jesus and Mary, but every one can be according to his own grace and his own virtue. Without that we shall never receive consolation and encouragement in prayer, we should be too unhappy at the feet of Our Lord. To be an adorer, one must be interior. We must talk when kneeling before Our Lord. We must ask Him questions, and listen to His answers. We must enjoy God. We must be happy in His company, happy in His service. We need His familiarity, so sweet, so encouraging. But in order to find the Heart and the love of Jesus, we must be interior. After all, what is it to be interior? It is to love enough, to be able to converse and to live with Jesus. But Jesus does not make Himself heard by the ears, nor seen by the eyes of the body. He speaks only to the recollected soul. Jesus is wholly interior in the Blessed Sacrament. He no longer enters into the heart through the sight, as during His mortal life. He now enters the soul directly and speaks to it alone. When our soul does not expand in His presence, it is because He does not act upon it, there is some obstacle between it and Him. Ah! let us not give the lie to Our Lord. He has said that His yoke is sweet, and His burden light, but that means sweet and light for him who carries it with prayer and the interior life. Without that it would be heavy and fatiguing. When we are not interior, everything goes wrong in our life. O how I should wish to see accomplished in us that word so fully realized in the Blessed Virgin: "The kingdom of God is within you," the kingdom of love, of virtue, and of interior grace! Then we would begin to be adorers and saints. The grass of the field dies annually, because its roots do not strike deep in the soil; but the oak, the olive, and the cedar stand year after year, because their roots are sunk deep into the bottom of the earth. To last, to be strong, we must sink, we must descend to the bottom, even to self-annihilation. There we shall find Jesus. He is annihilated: exinanivit; and it was there that Mary found Him. O may that perfect Mother of the interior life make us live as she did in Jesus! May we, like her, remain always in Him and never leave Him!

Practice: To live in recollection and in union with Jesus present in us, in imitation of our Mother.

Aspiration: O Mary, true daughter of the great King, all thy glory is in thy interior, because Jesus dwells therein!

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