Saint Therese of Lisieux, a young Carmelite saint who died at the tender age of 24 years, loved the Blessed Virgin Mary very much and she was known to have said: “It is true that Our Lady is Queen of Heaven and earth, but at the same time she is more Mother than Queen.” This is the wonderful topic that we would like to address in this short exposition on the Blessed Virgin Mary, “God’s Masterpiece of Creation.” (Saint Louis de Montfort)
Mary as Mother
In all truth it can be asserted that Mary is indeed the Mother of God. Mary is also the Mother of the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ. But of great importance to each and every one of us, Mary is our own loving Mother.
Mary’s Titles and Privileges
Mary indeed has many titles, for example, Mystical Rose, Tower of David, Tower of Ivory, Ark of the Covenant, Virgin most pure, Virgin most holy, Gate of Heaven, Morning Star, and many other poetic, mystical, as well as Biblical titles. Nonetheless, of all the titles and privileges that can rightly be given to Mary, the greatest of all of these is this: Mary, the Mother of God.
Up to this point, the Church has officially declared four Marian dogmas, a truth revealed by God through the Church that must be accepted. They are:
- Mary’s Immaculate Conception,
- Mary’s Divine Maternity,
- Mary’s Perpetual Virginity,
- Mary’s Assumption into heaven.
Of these sublime Marian honors, the greatest and most sublime is Mary’s Divine Maternity—which means that Mary was chosen by God to be His Mother; Mary is truly the Mother of God. This we celebrate every year on Christmas, as well as to start off the New Year on January 1st.
Mary is a Mother in Many Ways
Let us now look at common motherly attributes and apply them to Mary as our Heavenly Mother. In the words of Saint Therese: “It is true that Our Lady is Queen of Heaven and earth, but at the same time she is more Mother than Queen.”
1. Mary As Mother Gives Life
Mary was full of grace from the very moment of her Immaculate Conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. Grace is the supernatural life of the soul.
Mary prays for us so that we will attain grace beginning with our Baptism; she prays for us so that this grace will grow and abound during our entire life; finally, she prays for us to have the grace of all graces, and that is to die in the state of grace, so that we will be saved for all eternity.
Mary my Mother, attain for me life and life in abundance!
2. Mother Mary Nurtures Our Spiritual Life
Through a fervent prayer life in which we speak often and confidently to Mary, our loving Mother, she attains for us growth in our spiritual life. Once again, Mary, the full of grace, attains for us special insights in our intellect and touches of grace in our soul, so that we may grow and flourish like a healthy tree growing alongside an abundant and gushing stream.
3. Mary Helps to Clothe Us
Adam and Eve, after committing the Original Sin, recognized their nakedness. On a spiritual plane, when we are imbued with sanctifying grace through Baptism, we are spiritually clothed with the most exquisite garment.
Mary, as our Mother, prays for us that we will always be clothed with this garment of grace. And if we lose it due to mortal sin, Mary as our Mother prays for us so that we will recover grace through a good Sacramental Confession.
4. Mary As Mother Watches Over Her Children To Protect Them
Mary as Mother is keenly aware of the many dangers that her children are exposed to from within and from without. The devil, the flesh, and the world are in constant pursuit of our attention, as well as our soul.
Mary as Mother has her careful, attentive, and watchful eye gazing upon us with love, and she warns us, through grace and inspirations, of the dangers that encroach upon us.
5. Mother Mary Educates Us
As a good mother strives to provide a good education for her children, so does Mary. Father Robert Fox, a true expert on Our Lady, most especially Our Lady of Fatima, pointed out that Our Lady of Fatima came in a very special way as TEACHER!!! The words and messages of Our Lady of Fatima turn out to be a superb and excellent teaching, an excellent catechism, a clear and poignant signpost on how to arrive at what is most important—our eternal salvation. Jesus and Mary are the best of Teachers; let us listen to them and obey their advice!
6. Mother Mary Heals Her Wounded Children
If a child falls off a bike into a mud-puddle and cuts their knee, their mother is the first one to run and comfort the child. Lifting the child out of the mud, embracing, cleansing, and dressing the child’s wound—these are all gestures of a loving mother. We should bring our gaping wounds to both Jesus, the Wounded-Healer, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus!
7. Mary As Mother Listens to Us
A true mother is ready to listen to what is in the heart of her child. On a much loftier plane, Mary as our Mother is always ready to listen to us, to respond to our problems, to help us in our needs. The beauty of Mary as a listener is the simple but all-consoling fact that Mary is never too tired, occupied, absorbed, or if you like, too busy to listen to us whenever we want to talk to her.
We should get in the habit of talking to Mary as often as our heart desires. Mary’s ears are always attentive to the supplication of her children. Moreover, not only does Mary listen to us with her ears, but also with her Immaculate Heart, and she understands us perfectly!
8. Mary As Mother Corrects Her Wandering Children
A loving mother is not bashful or slow to correct an errant child. If there is a wandering and hungry wolf outside, the mother will keep her child inside and lock the door, especially if that child is curious and tends to wander. Fraternal Correction is a dimension of the theological virtue of charity, which Saint Thomas Aquinas defines as: “Charity is willing the good of the other.”
An example of Mary correcting her children is, again, in the Fatima messages. Mother Mary warned that most souls are lost due to sins of the flesh, and that many souls are lost due to a lack of prayer and sacrifice. Gently but firmly, Mary as Mother exhorts us, her children, to intensify our prayer life, to be willing to live a more sacrificial life, and to strive to live a life of greater purity. This reminds us of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the pure of heart; for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8)
9. Mary Comforts Her Children
In the midst of the many sufferings, trials, tribulations, afflictions, and setbacks in this short life on earth, which is merely a short pilgrimage on the highway to heaven, Our Lady as loving Mother ardently desires to comfort us. Among the many consoling titles of Mary is Our Lady of Consolation. Still more, the Marian prayer that we say to conclude the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is that of the Hail Holy Queen. This consoling prayer starts with these words: Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope! Beyond a doubt, these few words are like a gentle dew descending upon the dry and parched desert of our soul.
Indeed, in the sorrows, sadness, and failures that we all experience in life, which is a valley of tears, we should run to Mary as our Mother to comfort us. She will come quickly to soothe our sorrows with the comfort and consolation of her loving heart!
10. Mary As Mother Truly Loves Us, and Loves Us Intensely
A mother loves her children. However, human love has limits and it often wanes, declines, and can even grow cold. This is reality! Not so in the case of Mother Mary.
The love of the most pure and Immaculate Heart of Mary never wanes, diminishes, or grows cold. It is a constant, intense, and faithful love. Mary as Mother loves us irrespective of where we are, what we have done and what we have failed to do. Her love us most pure and perfect.
Possibly the best way to begin to understand the love Mary has for you would be by meditating upon the words of the Doctor of Grace, the great Saint Augustine: “If you were to put all the love, of all of the mothers, of all times and places together, then the love that Mary has for you is much greater!” In other words, it is impossible to fathom the inexpressible, sublime, and ineffable love that Mary as Mother has for you!
In conclusion, we hope and pray that, starting now, you will experience the extraordinary power of the presence of Mary in your life, especially as your Heavenly Mother. As Mother, she will attain life and life in abundance for you. As Mother, she will nurture and strengthen your spiritual life. As a good Mother, she will help you to be educated in the Gospel—the Good News of salvation that Jesus her Son taught.
Wounded? Mary is also known as Health of the sick, and like Jesus, she will intercede as Physician, and bring you healing. Never too busy, Mary as Mother will lend you an attentive ear; she is the best of listeners.
If you are a wandering sheep from the fold, Mary, as Mother of the Good Shepherd and aware of the presence and danger of the wolves, will bring you back to the fold. In the midst of the sorrows and failures of life, Mary is “your life, your sweetness, and your hope.”
Finally, Mary as Mother loves you intensely with her Immaculate Heart and desires that one day you will be with her forever in heaven to praise, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for all eternity. Amen.