It’s Saturday. The day for a post on the Blessed Virgin Mary.
How did the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin worship the Son of God? Consider her thoughts as her pure eyes gazed upon the crucified Son of God. As her divine Son hung upon the cross, how did she worship Him? This was the first Mass and she was actively participating more than all of us put together.
Yet her soul was filled with bitterness and pain. “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35, D-R). Her soul was pierced so deeply that day that, some saints say, she lived afterward as one mortally wounded. As a deer that bears the hunter’s arrow, sometimes for several weeks, and then finally dies from that wound, so also did Our Lady receive a fatal wound that eventually led to her incorrupt and peaceful death.
Her worship of the Christ the Son of God on Golgatha was immersed in sorrow and suffering. This reveals to us that the best worship is not clapping hands, dancing, speaking in tongues, and hootin’ and hollerin’ (as we say in here in Texas). We know that it is easy to praise God when we get a promotion, have a healthy child, receive a raise, score a touchdown, or receive honors. However, it is much more difficult to praise God in trials and sorrow.
The Immaculate Mary, no doubt, looked at the crucified Christ and realized that the source of her Immaculate Conception and sinlessness sprang from this moment. That which Blessed Pope Pius IX articulated in 1854 was known already by Mary as she worshiped Christ her perfect Savior on Good Friday in AD 33.
Blessed Pius IX declared “that Mary, the most holy Mother of God, by virtue of the foreseen merits of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, was never subject to original sin, but was completely preserved from the original taint, and hence she was redeemed in a manner more sublime” (Ineffabilis Deus, 1854). Surely the Immaculate Mary knew, as she looked on the sufferings of Christ, that her special privilege was given only on account of the Savior’s deep agony and obedient sacrifice.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori states that sweet Mary was the most glorious creature ever created (even more than the angels), but also the most humble creature. It is not an exaggeration to claim that her humility on earth was the greatest and the most profound when she looked upon Christ crucified and consented to His sacrifice for our salvation.
This is why she is the mother of all as the wise and prophetic Siracides foretold of her: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits” (Ecclesiasticus 24:24–26, D-R).
In our own lives, we can practice this humility and earnest worship best at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass since it is the same sacrifice of Christ. We must look on him with the eyes of faith since our natural senses fail to discern Him. The Blessed Mother is mystically present with us as every Holy Mass (albeit not sacramentally present as Christ is present at the consecration). She can equip us to offer pious intentions, offer humble and spiritual worship to Christ, and to make fervent communions when we receive the Blessed Sacrament.
A pious practice is to pray a Hail Mary just before Father places the Blessed Sacrament on your tongue. This Hail Mary is a request for a flush of grace just before you receive the Son of God. Also, it was the pious practice of Blessed Contardo Ferini (a layman, professor, and Franciscan tertiary) to pray the Blessed Mother’s Magnificat after receiving the Holy Host. Many hand Missals have the Magnificat in them so you can easily flip to it and pray Our Lady’s prayer.
God be with you and may you enjoy your Saturday.
ad Jesum per Mariam,