Mary, Our Mistress in the Cenacle.
"Disciple, behold thy Mother." When Mary heard from Jesus lips these words so consoling to us, she could have died of sorrow. Alas! the disciple instead of the Master, John instead of Jesus, the creature instead of the Son of God! But the divine Mother lovingly accepted the substitute. She covered us with Jesus blood and merits, and began to love us with a boundless love, so far as to be happy in tarrying still twenty-four years here below, in order to nourish us with her love and incomparable favors, and in spite of her intense desire to be at once united to her Son in glory.
Mary’s mission will be to superintend our Christian education. Jesus acquired all the treasures of grace. Mary will have but to draw from them, to distribute the bread that He left us, to make us follow the law that He gave us. Jesus could not remain among us in His glorified state. We should have been afraid of Him. He remains, indeed, in the Sacrament, but His love deprives Him of all exterior action, whilst keeping Him there to render Him more attractive, more accessible to all. But behold our Mother, who is His, also. She possesses the secret of His Heart and of His life. She is going to bring Jesus virtues down to our level, showing us under that amiable and easy aspect how to imitate what a Mother alone knows how to present.
O how beautiful and touching will be the words of Jesus repeated by Mary’s lips! How amiable, how easy of imitation are His virtues, so sublime in them selves, going to become when explained to us by Mary! How beautiful and lovely Jesus will be when painted by Mary! How easy will our education be under so good a Mistress!
She will conceive, will form and perfect Jesus in us. She conceives Jesus in us, she gives Him to us. The Father has delivered to her His Son, that she may give Him to us. The world was unworthy to receive the Word directly from God. Mary was our Mediatrix in the Incarnation, and she continues to exercise that function. No one comes to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and embraces His holy law, no one obtains the Faith that saves, but by Mary’s prayers. Her mission, and she is faithful to it, is to give Jesus. He must be received from her hands, and in vain shall we seek Him elsewhere. Moreover, Jesus will increase in us only by Mary. All the graces of spiritual progress will come to us only through her. It was under her maternal direction that He grew at Nazareth, and He wishes us to follow the same law. We see in the Gospel, also, that all His principal favors were granted through Mary and with her. By her He sanctified St. John the Baptist; He glorified His Father, and constituted Himself our Model at Nazareth under her eyes; He strengthened at her prayer, the faith of His disciples at Cana; lastly, on the Cross, He solemnly charged her with the duty of forming us. It is, in short, by Mary that He will perfect Himself in us. The perfection of Jesus in us is properly the work of the Holy Spirit. But as the Spirit of Love willed to make His Masterpiece, the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, in union with Mary, so to establish in us the perfect image of the Savior, to transform us into other Christs, He claims Mary’s co-operation. The more of Mary he finds in a soul, the more powerfully He works therein. Ask all the holy souls in whom reigns sovereignly the love of Jesus, whence they drew it, and they will tell you that it was from Mary. Is she not the Mother of beautiful love? Has she not the secret of the Spirit of Jesus? She has it in plenitude.
It is for Mary to give us the family spirit, if we may so say. For that she takes all the qualities of Jesus, all His virtues, and passing them through her maternal heart, she renders them sweeter and easier, and thus encourages us to imitate them. By Mary’s love, we proceed even to the sanctity of Jesus. By living of Mary s holiness, we live of Jesus sanctity.
How beautiful it would be to study Mary instilling into some little child the idea of Jesus, rousing some youth to generosity in the service of Jesus, preparing him for First Holy Communion, and leading him to make choice of a holy and suitable state of life! By the sentiment of her love and piety she makes an impression on his heart that even future disorder cannot efface, a habit of respect and of love for her which will last even in forgetfulness of God. Mary’s grand and winning presence accompanies us everywhere in life. Happy he who has received from her his first education! Mary will be to him a lever to raise him from evil; her name will always rouse in his heart a thrill of love.
It is, again, Mary who educates the Christian maiden. From infancy she inspires her with her own piety, her own love for Jesus. She lights in her heart a noble flame. She excites in her a divine ambition. She shows her her own immaculate lily, and, making of it a crown for her, she presses her to her motherly bosom. Kissing her with a chaste and maternal kiss, she says to her: "O my daughter, be a lily, be the spouse of my Divine Son! Give Him thy heart, and receive His virginal ring. Look at my crown, the reward of my love for virginity, and be doubly my daughter."
Thus Mary forms virgins, guards and defends them. Adducentur virgines post eam. Mary is their Queen.
This is the education that Mary gives. She makes piety sweet and easy. What she did in the first days of the Church, she still continues. Like us, the Apostles had the Eucharist. But the first education is not given by the father. An education destitute of maternal tenderness, always shows the want. Sanctity fashioned by Jesus alone, is more austere. That which Jesus and Mary form together is more winning, witness St. John and St. Paul. Let Mary lead us to Jesus, let her make us know and love Him as she knows and loves Him. In that consist sanctity and happiness.
Practice: Pray to Mary that all in their last agony may receive Holy Viaticum worthily.
Aspiration: Hail, Mary, celestial Cloud, which sheds the Eucharist over the world like a beneficent dew!