Before his death on the cross Jesus desired to entrust his most precious treasure that He still possessed, His beloved Mother, to each and every one of us in the person of John, the only apostle that remained faithful to Him till the end. In this exchange of sons, Mary became the Mother par excellence, and from that moment on, John, the Gospel says, took her into his house. We, too, in this new series of reflections that we are about to start, would like to meditate on Mary’s role in our lives in order to understand better how we, Apostles of the Interior Life, Collaborators of Your Joy, and all of you dear friends who are reading these monthly meditations, can “live” Mary and learn from her the secret of the interior life; a life that as a spring of water allows the “seed” of God’s word to grow even in the desert of our western society. Lately, I have read the spiritual notes of a French priest, Father Thomas Philippe who with Jean Vanier is considered one of the co-founder of L’ Arche, the organization that for years has been working with disabled people. In his notes, Father Thomas says that in this materialistic world that has lost every spiritual value, God in His mercy and for a kind of “divine vengeance” desires to communicate His graces of intimacy to human beings in a way even more special than in the past. He doesn’t seem to look at the state of life of people and He grants His gifts of intimate love both to those who live in the silence of cloisters and to those who are in the midst of the most intense active life. And from everybody He seems to ask to become docile to His Mother, and“take her into their home” as a point of reference, a guide, and a teacher.
Mary teaches us how to return like children, which is the prerequisite to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus Himself stated. She invites us to become her little ones that live more deeply in her Immaculate Heart in a continual, profound, and intimate relationship with her. There Mary teaches us her prayer, made of silence and confidence in Jesus. This prayer doesn’t need many words or special places, but it is more an attitude of the heart, a disposition to humility and love; a prayer that is real, as real was the life of Mary. It allows us to open up to the others, making ourselves attentive to those who are around us as a Mother would be.
Father Philippe reminds us that the mystery of Mary’s interior life was expressed in these two attitudes: humility (that was her disposition to serve as Jesus did since He came to serve and not to be served) and magnanimity (that was her spousal passionate love that made her give herself completely to her Creator who united her to Himself in an unfathomable covenant of love). In the midst of our active life, Mary teaches us to behave like friends, remaining in the presence of Jesus and cultivating an attitude of cheerfulness. Often times Mary gives to her children the awareness that they are called to continue here on earth her same role of Daughter, Friend, Spouse, and Mother of God and to occupy her own place near Jesus who is still in agony in His Church. And Mary, by living in us, will draw upon us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we are called to receive with gratitude, so that through us they might reach our brothers and sisters. Mary is the blessed among women, not only because she was adorned by God with special privileges, but because she believed with the most obscure of faiths and she hoped against hope. Therefore in his infinite wisdom God wanted the Apostles, gathered in the upper room before Pentecost, to be docile to Mary and to learn from her the highest of the Beatitudes. Mary’s beatitude is the one of agony, that takes us to love till the end in the midst of the combat that we undergo during our life on earth. Mary agonized for the sword that pierced her heart as Simeon foretold her, but in that agony she was extremely loving, uniting herself to the same sacrifice of her Son on the Cross. She was not only a witness of this sacrifice, but she became a “channel” of it, living her priestly vocation from the baptism that she received through the blood of the Son. She received Christ’s blood in the “chalice” of her whole being and mystically united to it her own blood, which made her the new Eve, the Mother of all the living. It is to Mary, Queen of the Apostles, that we entrust our journey of this year, so that she might guide us hand-in-hand to the Heart of Jesus, fount and climax of our existence and mission in the world.
I will ask Mary to be with me in all of my activities this month, letting her suggest to me the best way to live them and cultivating an attitude of cheerfulness,