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Summary: We need to imitate Mary, Mother of Jesus, especially by participating in the suffering of Jesus.

Participating in All Christ’s Mysteries

Sept 15, 2008

When the Vatican Council schemas were laid out initially, the Blessed Virgin Mary was to have her own separate document. But Pope John and the Council Fathers wisely placed her within the context of the Church, as “Mother of the Church.” The result was the beautiful chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium, where we read "After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with his sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to his disciple with these words: ´Woman, behold thy son´

Mary, as Fr. Chaminade taught, participated intimately in all the mysteries of her divine Son. She was there at His conception, birth, presentation, in his ministry, his passion and death, where she was one of only three witnesses close to the cross when the lance pierced His side and heart, and simultaneously pierced her soul. She who had known the love of God, the Holy Spirit, as a creative fire in her womb, then was privileged to receive the Holy Spirit with the apostles at Pentecost. She who in her sinlessness, won by the redemptive grace of Christ, in a real sense was the model of love for the humanity of Christ. She taught Jesus to pray, and to meditate on the love of the Lord, and to learn obedience through suffering. As she was in a real sense Christ’s model and mother, so also she is our own model and mother.

For she was also made perfect–complete–through suffering. She was the fulfillment of what looked like the curse of Eve–to know the pain of childbirth. But her pain of childbirth was not so much the physical birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, as the excruciating (remember, that word means “from the cross”) spiritual birth of the Church on Calvary. And if this greatest specimen of humanity had to suffer, if Jesus had to suffer, then we, too, must be made perfect through whatever we suffer. In that reality we can find consolation and joy: in our weakness we most completely experience the power of the resurrection of Christ. Let’s pray for the faith we need to believe it, and live it.

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