Hearts of Jesus and Mary- Saints

Why Mary is Our Mediatrix
St. Maximilian Kolbe

Miles Immaculatae, 1938

The strict union that exists among the truths of Christian doctrine is known to us all. For Catholic dogmas are born from one another and perfect each other reciprocally. We can see an example of this in the Fathers of the Council of Ephesus. They proclaimed the divine Motherhood of Mary solely on the basis of the Catholic doctrine regarding the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures in the Person of the Word.

Once the relationship between Jesus and his Mother Mary became known, there arose the Catholic belief which holds that the Mother of the Savior was exempt from original sin. Catholics did not dare think that Mary had ever been enslaved to the devil even for a single instant. A wonderful hope of obtaining the sweet care of Mary also arose among the faithful based on the preeminent mission of the Blessed Virgin and on her unutterable union (her Immaculate Conception) with the Holy Spirit.

Immaculate Conception Linked to Mediation

And it is now clear that our relationship to Mary the Co-Redemptrix and Dispenser of graces in the economy of the redemption has not been understood from the beginning with uniform clarity. Nevertheless our belief in the mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is daily growing greater. In this brief ar­ticle we want to show what the dogma of the Immaculate Con­ception of the Blessed Virgin Mary contributes to the doctrine of Mary's mediation.

The work of our redemption depends directly on the Sec­ond Person of God, Jesus Christ. By his blood He reconciled us to the Father, for with it he made satisfaction for the sin of Adam and merited for us sanctifying grace, various actual graces and the right to enter heaven.

Still, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity also partici­pates in this work in that He transforms the souls of men into temples of God by the power of the redemption achieved by Christ, and He makes us children of God by adoption and heirs of the kingdom of heaven, according to the words of St. Paul:

You have been washed, you have been justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:11)

The Holy Spirit, who is God-Love, unites us to the other two divine Persons when He descends into our souls. For this reason St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans:

We do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Holy Spirit Himself pleads for us with un-speakable groanings. (Rom 8:26)

In the epistle to the Corinthians he also says the distribution of graces depends on the will of the Holy Spirit:

To one indeed is given the speaking of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the speaking of knowledge ... to another the gift of healing in the same Spirit; to another die working of wonders, to another prophecy . . . One and the same Spirit however does all these things. (1 Cor 12:8-11).

Immaculate Heart Is Sign of Holy Spirit

Still, just as Jesus became the God-Man in order to reveal his immense love for us, so also the Third Divine Person, God-Love, willed to show his mediation with the Father and the Son in some external image. That this image is the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin is clear from the words of the saints, espe­cially those who hold Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Whence Bl. Louis Marie Grignion draws the conclusion ac­cording to the mind of the Fathers:

The Holy Spirit lacks fruitfulness in God, that is, no divine Person proceeds from him. But he becomes fruitful through Mary whom he has taken to himself as Spouse. With her and in her and through her he produces his most illustri­ous work, the incarnation of the Word: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" (Lk 1:35). Still, this is not to be under­stood in the sense that the Blessed Virgin has brought fruit-fulness to the Holy Spirit. As God he would already have had this fruitfulness just as have the Father and the Son, even though he had not revealed it by action in that no Divine Person proceeds from him. Rather it is to be un­derstood in the sense that the Holy Spirit has chosen to manifest his fruitfulness by the mediation of Mary, which certainly he does not absolutely need, by producing the human nature of Christ through her and with her.

Even after the death of Christ the Holy Spirit accomplishes everything in us through Mary. For the words of the Creator pronounced to the serpent concerning the Immaculata: "She shall crush your head" (Gen 3:15) are, according to the teach­ing of the theologians, to be understood without limitation in regard to time.

The work of forming the new members of the predestined of the Mystical Body of Christ belongs to the Holy Spirit. But as Bl. Louis Grignion demonstrates, this work is done with Mary, in Mary and through Mary.

Holy Spirit and Mary Enable Us to Know Christ

We are led to this conclusion, namely that the Holy Spirit acts through Mary, by the texts of Sacred Scripture and the words of the saints, who are the best interpreters of Sacred Scripture: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you an­other Paraclete, so that he might abide with you for eternity, the Spirit of truth ... (Jn 14:16-17). The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, however, which the Father will send in my name, he is the one who will teach you all things and bring to your minds all that I have said to you...(Jn 14:26); however when the Spirit of truth shall have come, he will teach you all the truth...He will glorify me..." (Jn 6:13-14).

Bl. Louis Grignion uses words of almost the same meaning in regard to the Immaculata:

We have not yet known Mary, and for this reason we also do not know Christ as we should. If however Christ is to become known and his kingdom is to come upon the earth-which has to come to pass regardless this will re­sult solely from Mary's being known, and from her reign over us; for Mary gave birth to Jesus for the salvation of the world in the first place, and now renders us fit to know him clearly.

Therefore, just as the Second Person of God appears in the flesh bearing the name "seed of the woman," so also the Holy Spirit reveals his share in the work of redemption through the Immaculate Virgin whom he has conjoined with himself most profoundly in a manner surpassing all our power to under­stand, but preserving into the Personhood of each of them. Their union, therefore, is different from the hypostatic union that unites the two natures, divine and human, in the one sole Person of Christ; nevertheless, this difference in no way pre­vents the action of Mary from being the most perfect action of the Holy Spirit. For Mary, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit and who is, therefore, raised above all created perfection, fulfills in every way the will of the Holy Spirit who dwells in her and with her and this from the first instant of her conception.

Mediation Based on "Marriage" with the Holy Spirit

From all that has been presented here we can rightly con­clude that Mary as the Mother of the Savior Jesus has been made the Co-Redemptrix of the human race, and that as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit she participates in the distribution of all the graces. Whence we can say with the theologians: ". . . as the first Eve worked for our downfall by her truly personal and free actions, and truly helped cause it, so Mary by her truly personal actions joined in the reparation ... in this there is al­ready in a most evident way true mediation properly speaking."1 In recent times especially we are perceiving the Immaculata, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, as our Mediatrix.

It was in the year 1830 that the Immaculate Virgin appeared to Sister Catherine Laboure. We learn from the account of this novice that the purpose of the apparition of Mary was to reveal her Immaculate Conception and her astonishing power with God:

The most holy Virgin cast her eyes on me and at the same time I heard a voice say, "This globe of the world repre­sents all men and each individual person." And again: "Be­hold the symbol of the graces which I pour out on all who invoke me."

Afterwards an oval figure was formed around the most holy Virgin in which the following invocation was written in golden words: "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you." At the same moment I heard a voice saying: "Strike a medal according to this exemplar: all who carry it will overflow with graces."

Mary Acts as Mediatrix at Lourdes

At Lourdes the Immaculate Virgin prodded all men to do penance; finally she recited the "Hail Mary" in order to show it to us as a source of help. From that moment the Immaculata at Lourdes began to act in her capacity as our Mediatrix: she invites the sick to come, she gathers the weak and the lame to cure them, and she reveals our dependence on her even in natural life.

The sick in soul, namely unbelievers and sinners with hard­ened hearts she draws sweetly and pours supernatural life into their hearts in order to convince them of her power to grant us supernatural life.

Moreover, we should note this above all, that Jesus works miracles in the place (Lourdes) chosen by his Mother.

Everything that the Blessed Virgin Mary does at Lourdes testifies to the truth of the words of St. Peter Damian: "A curse came upon the earth through a woman; through a woman earth's blessing is restored." 2 And also the words of St. Augus­tine: "In man's deception, poison was served him through a woman; in his redemption, salvation is presented him through a woman." 3

Therefore what St. Bernard expresses in words, the Immacu­late Virgin confirms by acts: "Such is the desire of him who willed that we should have everything through Mary."4

Father Maximilian


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