Woman of Silence

Excerpt from:  Mary, Human and Holy (by Antonio Bello).  From Chapter 17, entitled, “Woman of Silence” [pgs. 94-95]:

Holy Mary, woman of silence, tell us of your encounters with God. What fields did you go to on springtime afternoons, far from the bustle of Nazareth, to listen to his voice? What crevices of rock did you hide in as an adolescent, so that the violence of human noise would not profane your encounter with him?….

Holy Mary, admit us to your school. Keep us apart from the marketplace of noise where we risk becoming deaf. Keep us from an idle curiosity for unimportant news, which deafens us to the “Good News.” Help us cherish the silence that restores to us an eagerness for contemplation even in the bustle of great cities. Help us to understand that the great things in life – conversion, love, sacrifice, and death – mature only in silence.

 

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

As the Year for Priests was drawing to a close yesterday on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our parish invited everyone last evening to attend a recitation of the Rosary in gratitude for our own two priests as well as for all priests and their needs/intentions.  It was very beautiful and powerful.  The setting sun was coming through the stained-glass window just behind our statue of the Blessed Virgin.  The cadence of the congregation was soothing and contemplative, yet energizing and inspiring as well, and it was good – somehow comforting – to hear the sound of so many men’s voices praying the Rosary.

Afterwards I was reflecting on what I would post in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary today, and I decided that I would like to incorporate Her love and guidance for our priests, and in that way pay honour to our priests as well, as their special year is ending.

In, “The Sacred Heart and The Priesthood”, Mother Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche (1868-1915) writes of the special love that the priest should have for Jesus – that this should be a love such as Mary had for Him. In Part Four, Chapter XII (The Blessed Virgin and the Priest), she writes:

There is only one creature who has loved, and who loves Jesus as the priest should love Him; there is only one heart which can serve as a model to him for this love; it is the heart of the Most Holy Virgin.  The love of the priest for Jesus should be in everything like the love of Mary for her divine Son.

Like Mary, the priest, elevated to a very high degree by a grace of preference, nevertheless remains an inferior creature, in submission to the divine Master.  Like her, he touches on nothingness by his nature, and on intimacy with the divinity, by a privilege of love.  Like her, he should be more enlightened on the truth of his own misery and wretchedness, and more influenced by divine radiations of Infinite Love.  Like her, he receives from the Omnipotence of the Holy Ghost the power to produce the Word Incarnate in the world:  the Mother produces Him in the truth of His visible flesh; the priest in the truth of His Eucharistic Flesh….

Jesus wishes to be loved by His priests as He has been loved by the Virgin Mary, and He has included in the privilege of the priesthood graces similar to those contained in the privilege of the divine Maternity:  graces of intimate and altogether singular union with His adorable Person; graces of ineffable purity; graces of unreserved devotedness.

Jesus holds the treasury of all graces, including those He has designated for “the privilege of the priesthood”, but He has given His Blessed Mother the honour of distributing them, of dispensing them.  So not only is the Blessed Virgin the model of love on which the priest should base himself, but as Mediatrix of all Graces, the priest is dependent upon Mary for receiving the graces required by him to be able to love Jesus the way he should.

What does it look like when a priest enters into a deeper, more intimate, mystical relationship with Mary?  What happens when Mary as model takes on a more profound meaning in his life, and the graces begin flooding in?  Abbot Joseph of Word Incarnate has written two beautiful posts about his own recent experiences in this area.  I’m posting two snippets here, but I invite you to read them in their entirety, and be blessed…

To Jesus with Mary

He looked at her and her arms, which were extended in a gesture of loving welcome. Tears spontaneously began to flow, freely but gently, as what may have been the grace of true repentance was granted him. In an instant something was communicated from her to him, which came much faster than the time it took to assemble it into words in his little brain. It was simply this: “Come to me, and I will take you to Him.” Here was the answer, without explaining how it would be the answer….

He had to admit that perhaps after all these years he didn’t know the Lord well enough to love Him the way He ought to be loved—and right here before him is this Lady who knows and loves Him more than anyone else.

One Jewel, Many Facets

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that she has made her presence felt in my life in profound and unexpected ways in the past six weeks or so, and I’m still in awestruck wonder as I go more deeply into the joyful mystery of it all. I’ll be eternally grateful for what the Almighty has done for me through her, this precious gift of God’s love, the Mother of Jesus.