Jesus, OUR LOVE, is Crucified!
We are His Members and She is Our Mother!
There is a light in our sad age of blackout and a brilliant hope for a world languishing in its hopelessness. IT IS SHE! Health of the Sick! Refuge of Sinners! Man, in his innermost essence, is hungry for happiness, and thirsts for truth and beauty. Modern man suffers from an awful malignancy that well may cause his death — nostalgia for God and an amnesia of his own dignity and destiny.
Remember that you are a temple of the Holy Ghost, that God is within you, that each dawn can be greeted with the cry:
“This is the Day the LORD hath made, and He made it just for ME!”
Salvation is the reward of those who find Mary. Obedience to the law is the greatest liberty; conformity to the Will of God is the secret of unalloyed happiness. How great was St. Joseph! It was he who purchased the two turtle doves, the offering of the poor, and presented them for the Purification of his immaculate spouse. All contradictions, are they not? Mary needed no purification. Jesus needed no ‘Presentation’. But there was the Law of God. These two, Joseph and Mary, would give a lesson to all who would live happily: follow the Law of God no matter how “reasonable” may seem the reason for not doing so! When God’s Law is obeyed, there is not only order in life, but there is also a tranquility of this order: THERE IS PEACE! THERE IS JOY!
History often repeats itself. Today, just as Mary and Joseph made their flight into Egypt, there are so many living in refugee camps, evacuated from their homes and countries! There is only one Child in the whole world; He is the Christ! We believe, but it is not with our whole body and all our blood, it is not with our whole being. The danger of our day is not Communism, but Christian apathy! We are neither possessed by Truth nor obsessed by the realization that we are Christ.
It is not sorrow, not sadness, nor suffering that God sends His most beloved friends on earth; it is a share He grants them in the Passion of His only Son. It is the greatest gift He could bestow after creation and recreation by Baptism! We have forgotten that pain has a sacred purpose; that all suffering can and should be sublimated into Sacrifice: HIS SACRIFICE!
We have forgotten that we are Christians and we are members of a Body, whose Head is thorn-crowned. We have forgotten that, since there is sin, there must be suffering that will atone.
There are but Two Realities on Earth: Sin and Salvation!
Mary will never rest until we are safely Home. You are more than a ciborium carrying Christ within you; you are more than a monstrance whence His whiteness might shine out; you have been made Christ. Our day is dark. Live not only FOR Him, but WITH Him! Remember, it is not Utopia but Heaven we are trying to begin on earth. In other words, there will be suffering, sorrow and hardships of all kinds, just as there were for Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their flight into Egypt.
The closer we come to Christ, the deeper will the nails sink and the sharper the thorns will bite. To be a Christian means to be crucified. We weep! The world is as pagan today as it was during the time of Christ. Perhaps, more so! The world seems to be slipping back into the cruelty and lust that marked the last days of the Greco-Roman culture. We can do for Christ exactly what His Mother did for Him, when Herod sought His Life: We can shelter Him and see that He grows strong.
We must all learn from Mary that the single most important word in the world is FIAT! It turns every-thing into gold for God and man. On the hill of Calvary, Christ underwent the Passion, and Mary suffered for us a compassion united as one with Him. It was not merely her reaction to His Passion, but her own distinct agony and crucifixion of heart. It was part of God’s plan for our Redemption: A Divine Person would suffer the Passion to redeem us, and a human person would suffer a passion, parallel with His, to co-redeem us!
SIN IS THE LOSS OF GOD!
The sight of the loss of God in any life is terrifying. Still, how many today deny its existence! Small wonder that our ‘sick’ civilization is dying! Small wonder, so much of it is already dead. Sin is as common as dirt, as universal as air. St. Paul writes, “There is not an innocent man among them, no, not one. Their mouths are gaping tombs.” Do we really believe that, when we sin, we are Pilot ordering the cross and the nails; we are Judas taking the 30 pieces of silver and kissing the Christ; we are Annas and Caiaphas and the rest of the people crying,
“Away with this man, give us Barabbas!”
Do we believe that when we sin, we take up the hammer and use it on a nail that pierces the flesh of God? Or, have we too, lost our sense of sin? A man without honor, without love, without loyalty, without pity is a true picture of a man without God – crucifying ANEW, the Son of God!
What the physical Christ did for a time, the Mystical Body of Christ must do for all time. It must labor and suffer to spread the Gospel to all men. Because Christ the Head holds such a prominent position, one must not think that He does not require the Body’s help. The Head cannot say to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ Dying on the Cross, He left to His Church the immense treasure of the Redemption, toward this She contributed nothing. It is a deep mystery that the salvation of many depends upon the prayers and the voluntary penances which members of the Mystical Body offer for this intention. If the members are required to contribute to the Redemption, what must the Mother of both the Head and the members owe? God waited for the consent of the whole human race from the lips of the Virgin Mary: “FIAT”. His plan was accomplished! In that Fiat was the whole course of the Redemption for the entire human race.
Mary, the Co-Redemptrix, represented us who would Co-Redeem.
We forget He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We forget that without Him we can do nothing! We forget that a branch cut off from the vine dies. We forget that we are Christ’s members. Is this not the most tragic loss of memory in the world! A man without Christ, regardless of how energetic, how important and how vigorous he may appear, is actually dead! For he who has lost Christ, has lost life! If we have lost Christ, we will find Him if we search for Him, as did Mary:
Totally forgetful of Self, fully absorbed in the search, indefatigable until He is found.
“He was subject to them….” the Gospels tell us. In these words, there is meditation for a lifetime. God was subject to His creatures. What a lesson for our proud, assertive world! It is remarkable that when-ever we meet Mary in the Life of Christ as portrayed in the Gospels, there is absolutely no manifestation of that immeasurable love which must have filled His Heart, no single trace of that tenderness we would naturally expect from this tenderest of all men. This, too, was her great compassion. Mary would embrace the Cross, not the cross-bearer. Had she her way, there never would have been a Simon of Cyrene, for Mary herself would grasp that Cross and ascend the Hill of Calvary. Her arms go out not to take the cross from Him, but to help Him carry it to the summit where Redemption will be wrought. This is why Mary went to meet Him on His way to Calvary, to help Him on, to give Him courage, to compassionate in the truest sense, to suffer with Him. We will prove true children of Mary if we go out to meet Christ Who is under the Cross.
Look, how we Christians live! What very sorry soldiers we are! We lack character! Yes, we lack the character of Jesus Christ. God has to go underground. We have failed both Christ and His Mother. We have forgotten that we are His members with a work to do! We have forgotten that the very first clause of our CREDO is a declaration of war on the world, the flesh and the devil. Ever since St. Michael the Archangel drew his sword against the apostate angels, there has never been such a great war cry as: “I BELIEVE IN GOD.” The conflict between Heaven and Hell is contained in these four words. Every time, we sign ourselves with the Cross, we take upon ourselves the sins of the world, profess our faith, and declare we are followers of HIM Who is Crucified. The work of His members, is to die that men might live. We in America do not seem to recognize either Christ or Antichrist. We are like the onlookers who were in Jerusalem the day God died.
Will we wake up before it is too late?
If we love Christ, we must keep His Commandments. To be a SAINT, we must fulfill perfectly the daily duties of our state in life. It takes courage to be a Christian. The individual must not only have a lively faith, he must live his faith. He must believe with his whole being what he professes with his lips. He must pray aloud his CREDO, not with words but with every action of his life. If Christ is to reign as King of Nations, His reign as King of each individual must be absolute. ‘This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.’ (Jn.18:37) Every Catholic father and mother who labor day-in and day-out to shelter their children from the contagion of the world, focusing all their attention on the formation of their little minds and hearts, are speaking out to the world. There is power in our Catholic example, which is irresistible. But, we forget the world watches. We forget that it hears our testimony though we speak not a word.
Every Christian is called to be a martyr. Although few of us are called to bend our necks to the sword in a blood-martyrdom, we are called to a far fiercer one, a white martyrdom. We must die daily, and some of us will live long, long lives. We are His members, with a work to do. Christ is on His way to Calvary. Mary, His Mother, has gone out to meet Him. Let us join them that we may know:
The Joy of carrying His Cross!
Taken from “GOD, A WOMAN AND THE WAY” by Rev. Fr. Raymond, OCSO
Nihil Obstat: John A Schelien, STD Imprimatur: + Albert G Meyer, Archiepiscopus Milwauchiensis
THE ROAD TO HEAVEN
The Church teaches us to invoke Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces. This title summarizes what the Blessed Virgin is for us, in our relations with Her beloved Son: the Mediatrix of grace, of mercy, the treasurer of all graces which Jesus merited for us.
“By the Communion of Sorrows and of Will between Christ and Mary, She merited to become the Dispenser of All the Benefits which Jesus acquired for us by shedding His Blood” … says St. Pius X (Encyclical: Ad Deum Illum)
Mary, who was associated in the closest and most intimate way with the LIFE, the WORK, and the PASSION of Her Son, cooperated with Him in our redemption to such an extent that the grace, which Jesus alone could merit for us condignly, was merited also by Mary, although in a secondary way and by congruity only. Thus, Mary obtained real power over all the supernatural treasures acquired by Her Son; and since She obtained them together with Him, She also distributes them to us with Him. Pope Leo XIII says, “It may be affirmed that, according to God’s Will, nothing comes to us without going through Mary’s hands. Just as no one can approach the Almighty Father except through the Son, so no one can approach Christ except through His Mother” (Encyclical: Octobri Mense). After Jesus, Who is the only Mediator, Mary is the Mediatrix: As Jesus continually intercedes with the Father in Heaven on our behalf, so Mary intercedes with Jesus for us; She obtains and dispenses to us all the graces we need. The Introit of the Mass for the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces (May 8, in some places) very fittingly applies to Mary the words spoken by St. Paul about Jesus: “Let us approach the Throne of Grace with confidence, to obtain mercy and pardon.” Next to Jesus, Mary is really the “Throne of Grace,” and She can obtain everything for us from Her Son. She is the omnipotentia supplex, the all-powerful intercessor: all-powerful in Her prayer as Mother.
Mary is the Mediatrix between Her Son and us, for a twofold reason: She gives Jesus to us and She brings us to Him. The Gospel tells us this several times, showing us the typically maternal attitude of Mary as She brought Jesus to mankind. Our Lady offered the Infant Jesus to the adoration of the shepherds and the Wise Men; She took Him to the Temple and presented Him to Simeon; by Her intercession at Cana, She obtained the first miracle from Her Son. On Calvary, Mary received into Her arms the martyred, lifeless Body of Her beloved Son, whom She offered for mankind as the price of its Redemption. In the Cenacle, She begged the plenitude of the Holy Spirit for the Apostles and, from that day to the day of Her Assumption, She sustained the infant Church by her prayers and maternal encouragement.
TO FIND MARY, IS TO FIND JESUS!
This is the whole reason for Her existence and Her mission: To give Jesus to the world and to souls and, with Jesus, to give His grace and blessings. As St. Bernard says, Mary is truly the channel which carries the living water of grace to mankind; furthermore, She brings Jesus, the very source of grace.
As Mediatrix, Mary also leads men to Jesus by teaching them the way to Her Son and showing them how to please Him. We are always poor little children incapable of making presentable gifts to God but Mary, Our Mother, with maternal delicacy, arranges and embellishes our gifts, our acts, our prayers and sacrifices, and offers them with Her own hands to Her Divine Son. She, like a true mother, gives particular attention to our hearts, which She desires to make pleasing to Jesus: Mary wants to form in each one of us a heart which is pure, full of love and goodness; a heart which can beat in unison with the Heart of Her Son.
Let us, then, place our hearts in Mary’s hands, that She may fill them:
“With GRACE and TRUTH, LIFE and VIRTUE.”