My heart weeps because what I have known to be true about Mary’s role in my life, and the life of the Church, is only being validated more deeply.
At times it is so hard to contain what I have come to know and continue to come to know, about the full plan of God, which includes the significant role of the “New Eve.” Though subordinate to the role of Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, still her role is intricately entwined and unable to be separated from that of Christ. And it is only to the degree that we dispose ourselves to the fullness of this mystery, that we will receive the fullness of grace that God has for us, individually and as a Church.
There are different levels in the spiritual life in our relationship with God. Always at the center is communion with the Most Holy Trinity; and, communion with Christ in order to reach this Trinitarian union. But it is to the degree that we are open to the fullness of God’s plan, and allow that plan to be revealed to us, that we reach an ever-greater summit of life with Him.
The Heart of His plan has been revealed throughout scripture and confirmed again and again throughout the ages. It is a plan to allow the Heart of humanity to be reunited with the Heart of God. And, it all began to concretize here on earth through the Heart of a mother whose whole heart (Deut 6:5), from the moment of her conception in her mother’s womb, said “yes” to God, and was surrendered to His Will. And, it is precisely this disposition that has invited the Heart of God to be incarnated in our world – to become flesh among us (Jn 1:14).
And the secret, the heart of the mystery is this – it is only to the degree that we enter into this heart of the Mother, that we as well receive into ourselves/into the Church, the Heart of God and His grace.
Mary’s Heart is truly the “new garden” into which we’ve been invited in order to eat once again from the “tree of life” (the Eucharist).
Is this not why Jesus tells us: in John 19, “Behold your Mother” and through Sr. Lucia of Fatima in 1925, “I want my Mother’s Heart placed beside my Sacred Heart.”
Is this not why St. Catherine Laboure was revealed the image of the back of the miraculous medal with the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts beside one another, and a cross intertwined with an “M” in 1830.
And, these later messages are but a confirming and calling forth of the fuller and deeper message of Sacred Scripture. It is a message so deep, so beautiful and profound, that as lived, allows our lives to reflect the fruition of the Scriptures: “I came that you may have life, and have it to the full” and “I have come to set the earth on fire, and oh how I wish it were already blazing.”
And, this blazing comes precisely from a people who have disposed themselves fully to the fire of the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit – He who is the Divine, eternal Immaculate Conception (Max. Kolbe). – He who is conceived by the intensity of love between the Father and the Son.
But where does the fullness of the Divine Immaculate Conception reside here on earth? But only in the Heart of the human Immaculate Conception and in anyone who is in her heart as well (cf Lk 1:28, Gen 3:15); For it is in this communion that the Heart of Christ is conceived (Lk 1:35).
“But!” One might ask? “Does that mean if one doesn’t know Mary or have devotion to her, they can’t have the Holy Spirit or Christ?”
And, the answer here is the same as it is regarding those who don’t know Christ and yet still have goodness in them. The presence of Christ, the presence of Mary, is not always known by name or concrete recognition. The presence and spirit of Christ and of Mary can be inspiring a person even if they are unaware, as we know also a guardian angel or saint can.
But, just think how much greater the ability to receive from Jesus or Mary, if we have knowledge of who they are. For this concept is at the heart of the mystery of the Incarnation. God took on our flesh to become personal, in order to draw us into a heartfelt communion with Him that had been lost by the fall.
“In times past God spoke to us in varied and fragmentary ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a Son…” (Heb 1:1).
We as Christians are called to become one with the human Immaculate Conception, thus becoming one with her in disposing ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the Divine Immaculate Conception. For this is where Heaven and Earth meet. Only and always here.
This is why the Church teaches that Mary is the “Mediatrix of all grace”; that no grace comes to us except through her, whether a person is aware of it or not. Christ is as though the head, we the body and Mary as though the neck. Mary is the “channel, aqueduct, distributrix”… of all graces that flow to us from God.
It is only to the degree that we individually and as a Church, become one with Mary as Spotless Bride in opening ourselves to receive Christ the Divine Bridegroom, that we are able to live the fullness of our call, espousal union with God (Rev 21:9-10).
As we become one with Mary, the human Immaculate Conception, and with her open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the Divine Immaculate Conception, Christ is conceived within us. And, it is in this that we individually and as Church are able to fulfill the prophecy spoken of in Revelation 22:
“The Spirit and the Bride say come!… Come Lord Jesus!” (17,20)
By Lilla Marie Lottinger