Many of us Catholics are rather loyal about our devotional practices to our Blessed Lady. The Rosary perhaps has the highest percentage of usage of all Marian devotions in this day and age. Having a devotion to a Mother so tender and gentle, so loving, we might define as a joy and a privilege. Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB, however, in his work, “Christ the Life of the Soul,” has defined it as “important” and “necessary.”
Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Mary; thus, if we are to be like Him, as Blessed Columba Marmion explains, “we must bear within us that twofold quality.” We are sons and daughters of God by means of adoption, and we are sons and daughters of the Blessed Virgin Mary by means of what occurred at the Cross.
The Blessed Virgin is the “Mother of the Incarnate Word” and dismissing her from “our loving devotion is to divide Christ.” When the Virgin Mother is dismissed from the spiritual life, what will follow is that we will no longer comprehend the Son. Jesus is our Savior and our Brother. He is God and Man. He has a Divine Nature and a Human Nature. How can we respond to the call to be the sons and daughters of Mary, as Jesus is in His Human Nature, “without having a special devotion to her . . . from whom He takes this Human Nature?”
Blessed Columba Marmion advises us to stick with whatever Marian devotional practices we already have in our spiritual life and not weigh ourselves down with more. “Stay faithful to what has been chosen.” The Lord delights in the daily homage given to His Mother.
By God’s design, Mary and Jesus are inseparable. “Mary in fact belongs to the very essence of the mystery of Christ.” She is the Mother of Him Who is our all in all. Life and Divine grace come to us only through Jesus Christ. There is, however, only one means by which Jesus was given to the world, and that is Mary. Jesus, the Source of grace, is the Incarnate Word. He is the Christ and the Mediator which “remains inseparable from His Human Nature,” which He received from the Blessed Virgin.
Saint Thomas Aquinas explains: “The closer something is to its source, the more it experiences the effects produced by this source. The closer you get to the fire on the hearth, the more you feel the heat that radiates from it. Christ is the Source of grace, seeing that He is the Author of it as God, and the Instrument of it as Man; and as the Virgin has been the creature closest to the Humanity of Christ, the Virgin has received from Christ a higher grace than that of any other creature. As Man, Christ was predestined and chosen in order that, being the Son of God, He might have the power to sanctify all men. Consequently, He was to possess – He alone possessed – a fullness such as could overflow on to every soul. The fullness of grace the Blessed Virgin received had as its purpose to make her the creature closest to the Author of grace; so close, indeed, that the Virgin contained within her womb Him Who is full of grace, and in giving Him to the world by childbirth she, so to speak, gave the world grace itself, because she gave to the world the Source of grace.”
Blessed Columba Marmion continues by saying that if we desire “to draw in large measure from the wellspring of Divine Life, go to Mary. No one can bring us nearer to Jesus than her because she is the closest to Jesus. She is indeed the Mother of Divine Grace."
Jesus “has associated His Mother with all His mysteries” from His Presentation in the Temple to His Crucifixion. But why? Christ is “the Exemplar of our supernatural life,” our sanctification was made possible because of the price He paid, creating for Him brothers and sisters who would resemble Him and be with Him for all eternity. Mary is the Mother of all the living. Jesus lived His mysteries in Mary because He wished to establish His brothers and sisters. Mary responded to this with her Fiat, fully submitting to the will of God. Her “yes” to God’s Incarnation was a unique “yes” to His plan of Redemption because she not only agreed to be the Mother of God but also enter into Christ’s whole mission. To each one of Christ’s mysteries she renewed her “so be it” with complete love and trust all the way till she would echo with Jesus, “It is completed!”