9. THE DUTY OF MARY MOST HOLY TOWARDS JESUS, THE PRIEST
Rome, February 6, 1947
In 1904, Pope Pius X wrote an encyclical in which he said: No one knew the affections and feelings of Jesus better than the Virgin, his Mother.1
Reflect on the role that the Virgin Mary had toward Jesus, so as to understand how Jesus has called you to a very sublime mission, very similar to that of Our Lady. You must look at her in order to imitate her and put your hope in her, for the help you need to carry out your mission.
God did not want man to be alone: Non est bonum esse hominem solum; faciamus ei adiutorium simile sibi 1 It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate. So God created the woman.
In every family, there is the father who is the breadwinner and there is the mother who has the moral authority over her children and to exert influence on her husband, so that the father and the children may be saved.
Likewise in the family of the Church: there is God the Father and there is Mary who is our Mother and the Mother of the whole Church. This Mother is not herself the source of grace; it is God the Father. Mary gained grace for us de congruo and she administers the treasures of the Redemption.
The father of a family says: Go to your mother. The Pope says: Go to Our Lady, ministra gratiarum (the administrator of grace)
1. What was Mary's attitude before the birth of her beloved Son?
She pined for the Redeemer. She pleaded for the salvation of humanity and her prayers went up to heaven. There was a great gloom, a lot of errors, scandals. Mary prayed that the One who was to call and lead men back to truth, justice and piety would come soon.
To truth, since Mary is the Teacher of truth: Seat of wisdom1
To justice, since Mary is Speculum iustitiae 2 (Mirror of justice).
Think of that little girl in the cradle, in the Temple, at home. Oh, what a prayer was hers! What a prayer was hers above all, at the moment of the Incarnation! It was a moment of great glorification for the Heavenly Father. Mary was asking for the Redeemer, the Savior, the Restorer, the high Priest, the Teacher of mankind. Meanwhile, through her humility, her virginity merited her to become the Mother of God. Virginitate placuit, humilitate concepit.3
Here is how vocations are earned: by prayers to God, but are made in virginitate, that is, prayers made by persons completely caught up in God and of undivided hearts. Then, through humility, because God superbis resistit, humilibus dat gratiam1 (resists the proudhearted and gives his grace to the humble).
2. How Mary waited upon her Jesus, the high Priest.
The Pope taught that the Blessed Virgin not only gave the Divine Host the flesh of his body for the sacrifice, but she also had the duty to prepare, to nourish, to grow it up, to defend and offer it up in sacrifice.1
You are to prepare the sacred vestments, the hosts, wine, candles and everything else that is to be used in the holy Sacrifice. This you do in union with Mary with the intention of contributing to the salvation of mankind, to the good of humanity.
Mary grew Jesus up with her milk; she prepared food for him, dressed him, helped him.
Here are the corresponding duties: to help grow, to nourish, to give assistance.
Consequently, there is the great merit every day, every time you fulfill these duties at the service of the priesthood, whether directly or indirectly
Our Lady had also the duty to defend Jesus. Think of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt. All this to save the life of the Son of God, because he had come to enlighten us, to give us example, to leave us the Gospel and then to die, by offering himself to the Father as a victim for the world.
Mary lived at home with Jesus. Mary was a partaker in all of Jesus' desires, aims, intentions and designs. Having this intimacy with the Sacred Host, you ought to grasp the secrets of the Divine Master's Heart more than the others.
Mary's heart was like the heart of Jesus so as to share his desires. She made his desires her own. Get into this intimacy with Jesus and with the Church. Daughters of the Church as you are, you have to understand the desires of the Pope, Bishops, Priests, God's Ministers, Missionaries and all those who give themselves to the apostolate.
Feel the thirst of Jesus Sitio1 and the desires of the Church especially in your prayers and in the Visit.
Mary offered the Host. Mary went to Calvary to offer up her Son. She would have endured more willingly herself all of Jesus' sufferings, but although in tears, she willed to offer up the great oblation of her Son in accordance with the Father's will. Indeed, it is said that Mary would have sacrificed Jesus with her own hands if she had known that such is the divine will.
May you also be generous and when faced with demanding sacrifices, say to yourselves: if this pleases Jesus, then I want it and I will do it willingly! Even though someone may have tears in her eyes and a sense of repugnance in her heart, she utters her fiat!
Offer the Masses, all the Masses that are to be celebrated today (put the intention now) and you are to offer them, so as to become also small victims who sacrifice and consume themselves in adoration and in love.
Mary offered her Son in view of us her children. This is where and how she became our Mother, in sorrow, on Calvary. Ecce Mater tua..1 (Behold your Mother...).
3. Mary after Jesus' death and ascension to heaven: she fulfilled her duty to the new-born Church. She was the Teacher of the Apostles, the greatest consolation for the faithful.
St. Thomas1 says: By her teaching she had the merit of the Apostles, preachers and writers.
She was a source of encouragement and enlightenment. Many persons went to her to be enlightened, guided and consoled.
The Pious Disciple must undertake such duty in relation to the Church: to feel with the Church, to honor her with a holy life and to be ever mindful of all the wishes of this Mother. Adveniat regnum tuum1 (may your kingdom come). May the Church reach out to the ends of the earth.
May you always keep in mind the two billion persons in the world: 480,000,000 are Catholics; and the rest?
Oh, what a meditation we must do on this argument! How many, how many souls are deprived of the benefits of Redemption!
May the Lord raise up Priests: one million six hundred thousand.
Take with you the desires and needs of the Church, especially
at this time when her enemies are rising up against her. In their ranks are found even those whom she nourished, brought up, helped the most. What an outright ingratitude this is! It was so also for Jesus: perhaps among those who were shouting crucifige,1 (crucify him!) there were those who had eaten the loaves when he performed the miracle to satiate their hunger.
1. Mary before the birth of Jesus.
2. Mary during the life of Jesus.
3. Mary after the death and ascension of Jesus.
May the devotion to Mary be established in the world and certainly, the world shall find Jesus.
1 St. Pius X, Pope. It seems to refer to the encyclical Ad diem illum laetis-simum of February 2, 1904, in the Acts of Pius X, vol. 1, pp. 147 ff.
1 Gn. 2, 18
1 From the Lauretane Litany
3 St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Super Missus est, Homily I, 5, col.59, ML 183: Et si placuit ex virginitate tamen ex humilitate concepit.
1 1Pt. 5, 5.
1 These teachings are in the encyclical of St. Pius X: Ad diem illum laetissimum of February 2, 1904.
1 Jn. 19, 28.
1 Jn. 19, 27.
1 St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church.
1 Mt. 6, 10.
1 Jn. 19, 15.