Our Founders devotion to Mary, Mother of God and our Mother
Our Founder had a profound love for Mary and an intense Marian life. He celebrated all of Mary’s feast days, prayed the rosary daily, wrote poems, preached, and sang about Mary in various languages. He frequently and deeply meditated on the bond of love between Mary and her Son and shared his reflections with us in a way that helped us savor the love between Mother and Son and grow in the desire to live as children of such a noble mother. I remember a meditation that he delivered in 1991 about the bond of love between Mary and Jesus. I wish to share some main points with you in his own words:
“We all have been born from a mother; we treasure within our very being the special, unique bond we have with our mother. I will analyze four aspects of this bond of love:
- A love of tenderness. When a woman starts to feel her child within her womb and hears the baby’s heart beating, she develops a bond of tenderness that is special. The relationship between Mary and Jesus was characterized by this bond of tenderness and, being Jesus the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, He responded to His mother’s tenderness… Mary loves us, too, with tenderness. Knowing that we have a Mother who loves us with tenderness, don’t we experience a profound sense of joy, serenity and abandonment?
- A love that cares. When a child is born, he is in need of everything from A to Z. Mary cared for Jesus. Mary cares for us. She takes care of our needs and sees that we grow healthy, happy and sound.
- A love that respects. Mary watches her Son growing and one day…”as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it” (Lk 2:43). Questioned later, the Boy responded, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Lk 2:49). The Gospel continues, “His mother kept these things in her heart” (Lk 2:51). Mary respects her Son Who is starting to live His life, His mission, His history…Mary does the same with us. She respects us because she wants us to develop the talents God gave us for the building of His Kingdom in the particular historical moment in which Divine Providence has placed us.
- A love of admiration. Mary, seeing Jesus becoming a man, performing miracles, and listening to His teaching, was filled with motherly pride and admiration. Mary rejoices, too, when she sees us becoming the person the Lord has in mind, receiving God’s gifts to us, and responding to His plan of love. Mary sees and rejoices.
However, who of us does not have difficulties, suffering, pains, defeats, set-backs – who? And behold, there is Mary, our Mother, who stands by us as she stood by Jesus at the foot of the Cross… Are we aware of Mary’s love for us? How do we respond to her love?”