| All for the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary!
Consecration to Mary: PART III
Mary’s Maternity: Sacrificial and Fecund
By Sr. Sara Marie, SCTJM
In the midst of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI gave Mary the title, “Mother of the Church.” From this magnificent and profound title, we come to understand that Our Lady was not simply the Blessed Mother of Christ, but that her motherhood is, in fact, universal. Her Motherhood became universal at the foot of the Cross, when John received Mary, in the name of humanity, from the Heart of our dying Savior. Jesus left his most precious gift as the last one. St. Louis de Montfort explains that this universal motherhood of Mary is a necessary one, for if the Church is as St. Paul explained, the Body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23), then Mary is also the Mother of the Body as well as the head. As St. Louis explains, to birth a head without a body is a deformation (True Devotion to Mary, no.32). Therefore, Mary is also the Mother of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. In the following reflection, we will come to understand more fully the essence of this motherhood, our own call to motherhood regardless of whether we are male or female, and our call of consecration to the motherhood of Mary.
Mary, My Mother
To begin, when we consecrate ourselves to Mary’s motherhood, we consecrate ourselves in a particular way to her as our very own Mother. What does this mean? It means that we consecrate ourselves to her womb, to living our lives in her womb with Jesus. She is the New Ark of the Covenant that carries the New Living Covenant in her very person. She is the very first Eucharistic Tabernacle that carries and guards the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord. She is the new Temple in which the presence of God dwells. When we consecrate ourselves to her womb – Ark, Tabernacle, and Temple – we consecrate ourselves to constantly live in the presence of Christ. We live in the Ark, in the Tabernacle, in the Temple, where Christ Himself lives. Furthermore, we consecrate ourselves to the Home and School of Nazareth, where Mary raised, taught, guarded, nourished, and cared for the Child Jesus. We too place ourselves in her home and school with Jesus, to be taught, nourished and guided by His Mother. This is the home where Christ himself “grew in wisdom and stature… and became strong” (Lk 2:52,40) – under the maternal care of Our Lady. We too, when we place ourselves in this home and school, will grow, ‘become strong,’ and mature to full stature “before God and men” (ibid.). Christ Himself chose to “be obedient” to His Mother (Lk 2:51), allowing her to form Him. We too will be formed, humanly and divinely, in the Home and School of Mary. She will take our wounded and distorted humanity and, just like the water in Cana, she will place it before her Son to change and transform it into divine wine. In her home and school, our poor humanity will be made divine, and we will become partakers and sharers in the divinity as we are destined to be (2 Pt 1:4).
Furthermore, we do not simply consecrate ourselves to her motherhood to live as a child in her womb, but we consecrate ourselves to her maternity so we can also become “mothers” ourselves. Each person – man and woman – is called to be a “mother” of Christ – a God-bearer who carries God Himself inside of us. Our Holy Father Benedict XVI writes, “And what other reason could the [Church] have for existing than to become a dwelling place for God in the world?” (Mary: the Church at the Source, p.66). In the Blessed Mother, each Christian discovers his own vocation. Venerable John Paul II wrote, “All who truly follow Christ become ‘mothers’ of Christ, for by their faith they bring Him to birth in others” (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pastoral Letter: Behold your Mother, no. 71). St. Paul too understood this essential “motherhood” and referred often to his “little children” with whom he was in travail until Christ was formed within them (Gal 4:19).
Delving deeper into the mystery, we come to see that to bear Christ within us means to bear His Body, the Church within us as well. Therefore, as Venerable John Paul II alluded above, to be a Christ-bearer means to be a “Church-bearer” or an “other-bearer.” We can look to St. Joseph as an example of this – in a very particular way, he was a “dwelling place” for Christ and the Church as represented in Mary. As head of the family, they were placed under his paternal care, and he was the custodian, “keeper” of the world’s greatest treasures.
Bringing the concept full circle, we come to see that motherhood engenders motherhood. In other words, our own “motherhood” – being a God-bearer – leads to a universal spiritual “motherhood” that helps others become “mothers” or God-bearers as well. We receive God in order to pass Him on to others, making them in turn become another “God-bearer.” We see this fundamental disposition of receiving in order to pass along perfectly in Our Lady: her first act after the Annunciation, in which she received Christ, was to “go in haste” to Elizabeth in order to bring her Son (Lk 1:39). Receiving love impels us to give love (cf. 2 Cor 5:14). The test of true love then is a missionary spirit that impels us to bring God to the hearts of others. We must ask ourselves whether or not we have this zeal to bring Christ to souls. Are we living our Marian identity as true God-bearers that “go in haste” to bring Christ’s light to the world? There is no such thing as a “personal” faith that keeps to itself, that does not “bother” anyone with what they believe. If this is our faith – a kind of keeping to ourselves – then it is not an authentic faith. Love is active; love yearns to be given away. Are we seeking, like Mary, to ‘give birth to Christ in souls’? Are we, like Christ, ready to be despised, rejected, and mocked? Are we ready to be a “sign of contradiction,” who is loved by some and hated by others? Our single-minded maternal zeal that impels us ‘to give birth to Christ in souls’ is a measure of our true and authentic love. When we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we consecrate ourselves to her maternal zeal that is enflamed with love for her Son and all her other children.
Eucharistic Maternity: Fruit of Spousal Love
Furthermore, to live consecrated to Our Lady’s maternity is to live a truly Eucharistic life. When are we more fully “mothers,” more fully “God-bearers” than when we receive the Eucharist and allow Christ to dwell within us? The maternity of Mary made her the very first tabernacle, the very first monstrance in whom God-made-man was adored. On the day of the Annunciation, the very first Sacrament of Holy Communion took place between Christ and His Mother. The Eucharist is a Marian Sacrament par excellence, for in this Sacrament, the mystery of maternity and marriage unite. In the Eucharist, we become mothers in that we bear Christ within us. But we also become the Bride that receives her Bridegroom, making the “two become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
In the Eucharist we are able to see the intimate connection between spousal love and maternity. We see that spousal love leads to maternity, and in fact, maternity only comes about from spousal love. What a beautiful lesson for us – it is only our true, deep, and spousal love for the Lord that brings Christ to earth. That is why St. Paul can claim that only love matters (1 Cor 13:1-13). That is why St. Therese exclaimed, “I will be love in the Heart of the Church” (Story of a Soul). Because only Love is fruitful. Only Love enfleshes Christ on earth. Only Love brings Love to souls. Only Love creates. This means that Our Lady’s fruitfulness – that was so great that it made God man – was a result of her deep and total and perfect spousal love for God! What a mystery!
What does this mean for us? It means that I bring Christ to the world – ‘give birth to Him in souls’ –as much as I love. If my love is deep, I will be spiritually fruitful. If my love is shallow, weak, superficial, and narrow, I will be spiritually sterile. My spiritual fecundity – my maternity – is a direct measure of my love for God. This is why St. Therese, a cloistered Carmelite nun, can be declared the patroness of missions. To have the missionary zeal that we spoke of earlier does not always mean physically “going out” into the world – although this often is the case. No, true missionary true love and missionary zeal requires that I go out of myself – that do not look to seek and please myself, but that I look to seek and please God and His children. And this is precisely what love is. In reality, the true missionary is a lover. Loving God – wherever we are, in whatever we are doing, whether it is seen or unseen – is bringing God into the world. St. Therese is patroness of missions because she loved. She was a spiritual mother because she was a spouse.
Essential Dispositions for Motherhood
One of the first essential characteristics of the maternity of Our Lady is a disposition that knows the value of the gift one has received. “The maturity of the human heart lies in the deep understanding of what has been entrusted to its care” (Mother Adela Galindo SCTJM, Letter, January 29, 2009). One must recognize that the gift is splendid, beautiful, infinitely valuable, and infinitely lovable. Only when we know the magnitude of the gift do we discover our dignity and receive the graces to “live the gift.” Without this disposition, the gift will be neither guarded nor carefully kept. Consequently, it will not be zealously given to another because we cannot give what we have not kept, and we will not give what we do not value.
How do we value, guard and keep the gift? We look to Our Lady who “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19), who never let any grace fall upon her in vain. We look to Our Lady who became an exile in Egypt in order to protect the Gift. We look to Our Lady who, with perfect and lifelong constancy, understood in prayer that the Gift was Love Incarnate, the very Word-made flesh. Like Mary, “we must responsibly work, dedicate, and invest ourselves to make [the gifts] be solidly planted, to make them grow, multiply and be fruitful. The gifts are to be received, treasured and lived responsibly. These are the dispositions of a mature heart that is shaped by responsible love” (Mother Adela Galindo SCTJM, Letter, June 19, 2009).
Maternity values the gift and looks to protect, nourish and care for it. In fact, this is the essence and responsibility of maternity. It has been given a gift, but this gift implies a task. A mother receives the gift of a whole new human soul, and it is her particular responsibility to care for, nourish, protect, and form this new life in order that it can grow to its full maturity. As we have already mentioned, Mary did this is a perfect way with Jesus.
How do we concretely guard and protect life? First, we must realize that the first life that needs to be protected is our own. How do we do this? We guard and protect our own lives by guarding and protecting the Life we carry inside us. Jesus is “the Life” and we do not have life without Him. Therefore, we must guard and protect our own Gift, so that we may live and pass Him on to others. We do this through prayer, the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation), daily conversion, and small daily choices of love. This is the “food” that sustains the child growing inside of us. By doing these things, we make the soil of our heart and womb a fertile place in which Life can flourish and grow.
How do we guard and protect the Life others carry in them? First, we do this through the same means as above. Since we are united in one Body, our own spiritual fecundity is never isolated or contained only within us. Instead, our own response brings grace into the world that allows others to do the same. Furthermore, it requires a constant availability and presence. This availability and presence is first before God – we allow Him to constantly give and ask of us as He pleases. Necessarily, this availability extends to others, because His will ask us to be available to others, in order to serve and love them with the Love we carry in us. True availability does not allow itself to “take breaks.” Just as a parent must be constantly available and vigilant over the lives of their children, we too must always be vigilant and available for the Lord and those He places in our care.
Sacrificial Maternity – Suffering for the Other
When we begin to see what it actually requires to allow this new life to grow and mature, we see that fundamentally, it requires the sacrifice of the mother. We see this from the very first moment of conception, to grow in the womb, the child literally takes its nourishment from the body of its mother. Biologically, this is so true that a mother’s body will allow itself to be deprived in order to provide for her child in the womb – and it does so even without her consent, for this is its biological nature. We see reflected here the mystery of true maternity – the essence of maternity is one of sacrificial love that dies to self in order to provide for the child. This is why the symbol of the pelican is one of the most ancient symbols of Christ and the Church – in this image, we see a mother pelican piercing her own heart in order to feed her starving children with her own blood. To bring Christ to souls requires the sacrifice of our own selves for the good of the other.
We see this in Mary in a perfect way – the Church and all her children were conceived in her womb at the moment of her own piercing at the foot of the Cross. The conception of the Church was the moment of greatest pain. In Mary we see the fullness of this great mystery – on this earth, in this valley of tears, life can only be born if it has been born from a love that suffers. Jesus told St. Maria Faustina, “There is but one price at which souls are brought, and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross” (Diary, 324). In other words, to bring forth life requires suffering. Giving birth – bringing forth life – hurts. The greater the suffering – accepted and lived with love – the more life will come forth. This is why in “contemplating the pierced side of Christ…the Christian discovers the path along which his life and love must move” (Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 12). To love means to suffer, and in this suffering, life is given and “poured forth” like the blood and water from the side of Christ. Our Mother Foundress explains: “Love to the extreme is capable of the most grand sacrifices and sufferings, and a love capable of freely giving itself to that extreme is capable of an immense fecundity. There is no life without love and the disposition to sacrifice; there is no love without sacrifice; there is no sacrifice that, embraced with love, does not give life” (Mother Adela Galindo, Letter 36). To separate love, suffering, and the giving of life is to destroy the fundamental essence of Christ and the Gospel: the grain of wheat must die in order to bring forth life (Jn 12:24). We must begin to see that suffering is a gift – for us and others – for it expands our hearts, and thereby they become wider channels through which more life is able to flow. Therefore, we must be willing to “remain in spirit at the foot of the Cross, to receive [his blood], and pour it out upon souls” (Cf. St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, p. 99).
The First Sacrifice: Personal Conversion
We have come to understand that our fruitfulness is a direct result of our willingness to suffer, which is our willingness to be open before God, to be pierced and be changed, and the first way in which we are called to ‘be pierced’ and to suffer is the suffering that is a result of our own personal conversion. Our sinful hearts are hard and resistant to change. In order to allow them to be pierced, we must allow them to become hearts of flesh – soft, malleable, and pliant to the will of God. This transformation comes at a great price. We must allow our stony hearts to be broken and remade (Ez 36:26). We must allow the hands of the Master Potter to fashion us anew (Jer 18:6). This requires that we allow God to ‘demolish’ us in order to be built again. And this means pain. But it is not a pain without hope. We have the hope of God’s promise that He does desire to give us new hearts of flesh (Ez 36:26), that He does desire to rebuild us and make us new (Jer. 31:28), that He does intend to bring to completion the work has He has begun (Phil 1:6).
Our Holy Father speaks to us about this conversion:
“The first call is to conversion, a word that must be taken in its extraordinary seriousness, discovering the amazing novelty it contains. The call to conversion, in fact, uncovers and denounces the easy superficiality that very often characterizes our way of living. To be converted means to change direction along the way of life – not for a slight adjustment, but a true and total change of direction. Conversion is to go against the current, where the ‘current’ is a superficial lifestyle, inconsistent and illusory, which often draws us, controls us and makes us slaves of evil, or in any case prisoners of moral mediocrity. With conversion, instead, one aims to the lofty measure of Christian life…Conversion is the total ‘yes’ of the one who gives his own existence to the Gospel, responding freely to Christ, who first offered himself to man as Way, Truth and Life, as the one who frees and saves him…Every day is a favorable moment of grace, because each day invites us to give ourselves to Jesus, to have confidence in him, to remain in him, to share his style of life, to learn from him true love, to follow him in daily fulfilling of the will of the Father, the only great law of life – every day, even when difficulties and toil, exhaustion and falls are not lacking, even when we are tempted to abandon the following of Christ and to shut ourselves in ourselves, in our egoism, without realizing the need we have to open to the love of God in Christ” (Gen. Audience, Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010; italics added).
So we must ask ourselves if we are willing to place ourselves before the Divine Physician, to be examined and to be found lacking…But only to be given the medicine to be made well again. Are we willing to bring ourselves humbly before the Lord with all our misery, sinfulness and wounds? Are we willing to allow some of the wounds to be re-opened in order to cleanse the infection; to allow Him to re-break crooked bones to make them straight once more; to allow Him to pour antiseptic on the open wounds to stop the bleeding? Are we willing to attend intense rehabilitation courses that bring us to our knees? Are we will to fall many times and still try to rise again? Are we “willing to change, and change often” (cf. John Henry Newman)? Are we willing to make the first sacrifice – the sacrifice of our own hearts?
How do we go about doing this? Fundamentally, it means going to the Physician – Christ. And we find Him in the Church and her ministers. We find Him in the Church and her Sacraments and her teachings. We find Him in the Words of Scripture and in prayer. Are we willing to constantly bring ourselves to these means, with sincerity and openness of heart?
Though there are almost an infinite number of areas in which we are in need of conversion, we will choose to examine only two. However, these two are rooted at the depths of our selfishness, and they are especially important if we desire to seriously embark on an authentic path of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation. Besides bringing ourselves to the Doctor, we must also actively engage ourselves in rooting out these selfish inclinations and helping virtue to grow.
Sacrifice of the Will
The root of all sin is pride, and this pride is rooted in our stubborn and hardened wills. Therefore, we must begin to deny our wills in order to make them docile to God and others. The first step in subduing our wills and getting rid of pride is submitting our wills to those we should be submitting them to – the Church, her ministers, parents, teachers, civil authorities, government authorities, law enforcement officers. These are all people we are under obligation to submit to. The next step is submitting our wills voluntarily to those to whom it is not binding. How do we do this? We can choose to submit to the wishes and ideas of others – even if ours seem better, more effective, or more efficient. We must begin to ask ourselves if we are willing to allow others to give us orders, tell us what to do, without constantly putting our two cents in. If we are willing to honestly assess ourselves, we will see that we can certainly become more docile to the thoughts, ideas, and wishes of others, and we can certainly learn to remain more silent when it is not necessary to speak or give our opinion. As well, in order to practice sacrificing our wills, we can choose to not do something we want or force ourselves to do something we do not like. We can choose not to do something we always we do, simply in order to break our habits and wills. We can wait to do something that we want to do. We can look to choose the worst things before the best. Small acts of self-denial prepare us to make greater ones. Voluntary acts of mortification of the will exercise the will so that we are more able to make them when they are “necessary.” In general, there are countless ways every day to deny our wills in order to break our hearts of stone. When we allow our hearts to be made soft, then we can allow them to be pierced – pierced so that life-giving water can flow. The extent to which we discipline our wills is going to be the extent to which they become docile to the will of God, and this is the only thing that truly matters, for it is “not simply those who say, 'Lord, Lord,' that will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of the Father” (Matt 7:21).
Emotional and Affective Sacrifice
Another important, but often overlooked, area of necessary personal conversion is emotional and affective selfishness. We must learn to submit our emotions to reason – instead of the opposite to which we are so inclined. Our emotions are a God-given gift, but they are designed to be subjected to our reason and our will. When, instead, they rule us, disorder and sin arise. Emotional and affective selfishness leads us to act according to how we feel and what we desire. However, this selfishness is a necessary sacrifice that we need to make. How do we do this? To begin, we can smile when we do not feel like it, and we can choose to not act upon our anger, irritability, impatience, grumpiness, and moodiness. How many times we choose to let our emotions rule our lives and the way we act? How many times do we refrain from acting because we “don’t feel like it”? How many times do we excuse our behavior with another because we were grumpy, having a bad day, or upset about some other situation? This is not acceptable. What if the Blessed Mother decided that she was too tired to make the long journey to Egypt? What if St. Joseph decided he didn’t feel like starting over in a new land in which he didn’t speak the language? What if Jesus saw all the ways in which we would abuse, ignore and take for granted His love – and then decided that He was not going to sacrifice Himself on the cross? These examples seem almost absurd, but we must be willing to recognize that we often allow these same excuses to justify our lack of virtue, generosity, and sacrifice. Our lives cannot be ruled by the way we feel or the way others choose to respond to us and our actions. Love is a choice, and it must be made – regardless of our subjective feelings or the actions of others. We will be the only one standing before the Lord on the day we die, and He will not be judging us on the basis of the actions of others – only our own. Love entails responsibility and sacrifice – always.
Love is Expressed in Self-Oblation
In general, there are countless ways in which we are called to sacrifice. There are countless areas of our hearts that need to be purified and cleansed of their selfishness, pride, egocentrism, rebelliousness, and narrowness. If we are simply trying to love, to follow Christ, and put others first, our whole lives will be a sacrifice of our own selves, an oblation and offering to God the Father. How many times are we given opportunities to speak to those we do not like, to interact with someone who is less socially pleasing? How many times are we given an opportunity to choose the worst things, the last places, and least desirable tasks? How many times are we given the opportunity to be honest – not cheating, cutting corners, or using what is not ours to use? How many times are we given the opportunity to sacrifice sleep, time with friends, television or video games in order, instead, to choose to pray or attend Mass? How many times are we given the opportunity to serve instead choosing to attend some other, seemingly more pleasurable, event? How many times are we presented the opportunity to say “no” to some offensive movie, joke, or social event? How many times are we given the opportunity to uplift instead of degrade the opposite sex by our comments, behavior, and practices? How many times each day are we given the opportunity to choose others instead of ourselves? If we begin to open our eyes and choose to see, we will begin to acknowledge that we are given many such opportunities – only to take advantage of only a few.
Sacrificial Maternity – Suffering with the Other
As we saw above, suffering is not simply for the sake of suffering – but it is always done for the other. However, as we will see, more aptly, we suffer with the other.
In general, we suffer due to the lack of a good that should be present. This brought many of the early Church Fathers to wonder how it was possible that God could suffer – for it is not possible to suffer from any true lacking. This brought them to understand that though God is ‘impassible,’ meaning He cannot in His person suffer any deficiency, He is not ‘incompassionble.’ In other words, God cannot suffer, but He can suffer with (com). The nature of His suffering is to suffer with us – so much so that He took on our nature and all its sufferings. He united Himself with humanity, in order that His Person could suffer with us. He became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21) – for it is sin that precisely comprises all our suffering.
In Mary, at the foot of the Cross, holding her dead Son, we are able to see a visible image of this compassion – she has suffered fully with her Son. Though she was not crucified with Him, because of their perfect union of hearts, she was spiritually pierced, and suffered fully with Him. In other words, she interiorly experienced all the pain of human sin. As our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI explains, at the foot of the Cross, holding the dead Christ in her arms, she has become “sheer compassion” (Mary: the Church at the Source, p.76).
What does all of this say to us? “Looked at in its deepest essence, all pain, all suffering is solitude, loss of love…Only the ‘com,’ the ‘with,’ can heal pain” (ibid, p.77). This means that true salvific suffering is always compassion on our parts – it is always a suffering with. True compassion means that we must go out of ourselves, to the other. Just like Jesus “left Himself” in heaven in order to come to us, we must leave ourselves – our wills, desires, comforts – in order to suffer compassion with another. In our suffering with one another, we become united as a Body. We carry one another. We become other Simon of Cyrene’s who are impelled to walk with Christ and suffer with Him. Suffering for love is never an isolated personal act, but an act in and for the Body as a whole. We suffer for and with another as we journey together through this valley of tears.
And now we bring this concept full circle with motherhood. Semitic language was a very concrete language that often used body parts to express difficult spiritual concepts. If we follow the word for ‘compassion’ back to its Semitic Jewish root, we find that the word was represented by rahmim, the word for the mother’s womb. Therefore, “the womb becomes the term for being with another; it becomes the deepest reference to man’s capacity to stand for another, to take the other into himself, to suffer him, and in this long-suffering to give him life. The Old Testament…tells us how God shelters us in himself, how he bears us in himself with compassionate love” (ibid., p.78). God bears us in his maternal womb. Mary is the representation then of God’s maternal love that bears us in His ‘womb’ that has compassion on us. “In her God’s maternal affliction is open to view. In her we can behold it and touch it. She is the compassio of God, displayed in a human being who has let herself be drawn wholly into God’s mystery. It is because human life is all times suffering that the image of the suffering Mother, the image of the rahmim of God, is of such importance for Christianity” (ibid.). Therefore, we too are called to take the suffering into ourselves, into our ‘wombs’ in order to have compassion on them, to suffer with them, to let them know they are not alone.
Consecrated to her Fecundity
As we have seen, spiritual fecundity comes only through sacrifice and suffering. The first way in which we are called to suffer is to root all sin in our own hearts – we have compassion on the body by allowing our own to be healed – knowing we are all united and that the good or bad of one affects the Whole. This is the key to our suffering and fecundity – always knowing that we united as a Body. All our suffering is a suffering with. Personal suffering – when united with Christ and His Mother – becomes united to their mysterious suffering that is compassion – a suffering with and for the other. Personal suffering becomes universally salvific – not simply an isolated and agonizing moment for only me. The suffering of Mary at the foot of the Cross was so great and so united to Christ’s that she was made perfectly fruitful and fecund – she became the Mother of the Church and all humanity. Her suffering was made universally fruitful. When we choose to sacrifice and suffer out of love, we too participate in this fecundity that arises from the depths of Mary’s suffering heart. When we consecrate ourselves to her, we are given a share of her perfect fecundity that comes from her abnegated and sacrificial love. Our own fruitfulness, when given to her, is maximized and expanded when it is united with hers. Furthermore, when we consecrate ourselves to her, we come to participate in her courage and strength that was able to stand at the foot of the Cross. Our hearts are fortified and given a supernatural strength that allows us to remain standing in the midst of great pain, suffering and trials. In this way, our hearts and wombs are expanded and are able to hold and give birth to more life in our own souls and in the souls of so many others.
Therefore, we give ourselves freely over to our Blessed Mother, all we are and have, so that we may in turn receive a part of her Heart, so that we may become open and expansive channels of life for many, so that we too may remain always open before the Father to accept with love all that He desires to give us for our own sanctification and for the salvation of many others. We desire to receive the perfectly fecund Heart of Mary so that we may become God-bearers in a world that so desperately needs His Love and Presence.
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