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26.07.2018 02:57:46 51x read.
INSPIRATION
Mary is our Inspiration and Patroness.

MARY IS OUR INSPIRATION AND PATRONESS

The above sentence is the last line of the “essential reflections” of the Constitutions of the Congregation of the Brothers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

One may question, “What inspiration are we to seek and find in Mary?”

Before attempting to answer the question let us first be grateful for the good news: that “God is Love” (1John 4:8;16); that God so loved the world that he gave His only Son (John 3:16-17); and that God sent His angel Gabriel to Mary to announce that she had won God’s favour to conceive in her womb and bear a son to be called Jesus, the savior of the World. (Cf: Luke 1:26-35).

We also know that God’s greatest and first commandment is ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Mt.22:37 / Deut 6:5).

Before we come to really know Mary, we can only imagine who Mary was and is. She was born and grew up in a small town called Nazareth. We can imagine that Nazareth, with all that belongs to it: the surrounding nature, the culture, religious habits and traditions, and the occupations of its inhabitants (especially of her family), contributed to Mary’s becoming a person.

We also learn from the scriptures the kind of religious and spiritual habit that Mary had established: “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19.51). We can be sure that through this habit she developed and nurtured a close, loving, and intimate relationship with God. This must have also formed and determined the quality of her life: the degree of experiencing God who is Love, the degree of her perfectness in fulfilling God’s commandment, the degree of her chastity, and the degree of her own love for God.

Mary grew to become the person to whom Gabriel said, “Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28); and whom we address in our daily prayer, “Hail Mary, full of grace … etc”, and through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception (Immaculate Conception)

 

Saint Albert says that "where we find the greatest chastity, there we find also the greatest charity." The more pure a heart is and the more empty of self, the more it is filled with love for God. Because Mary was thoroughly humble and thoroughly unselfish, she was filled with divine love. "Her love for God surpassed that of all men and angels," writes Saint Bernardine. Saint Francis de Sales beautifully calls her "the queen of love." Saint Bernard says: "Divine love penetrated and filled the soul of Mary to such an extent that no part of her was left untouched. She loved with her whole heart, with her whole soul, with her whole strength, and she was full of grace." Therefore Mary was in a position to say: My lover belongs all to me and I to him (Cant 2:16).

Back to the question, “What inspiration are we to seek and find in Mary?” First we have come to know Mary by contemplating/meditating on her life. The answer will then be given to us. But since Mary loves God so much, there is nothing she wants us to do more than to love Him as much as we can. This is what she told Blessed Angela of Foligno one day after holy Communion: "Angela, may you be blessed by my son. And on your part, may you endeavor to love him as much as possible."

 

Bro. Guido Sukarman, fic








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