- The Little Office
- 1 Mirror of Justice
- 2 The Saviour
- 3 The First Years
- 4 In The Temple
- 5 Nazareth
- 6 The Annunciation
- 7 The Visitation
- 8 The Magnificat
- 9 The Benedictus
- 10 Christmas
- 11 The Magi
- 12 At The Manger
- 13 Nunc Dimittis
- 14 The Presentation
- 15 Flight into Egypt
- 16 The Holy Innocents
- 17 Life at Nazareth
- 18 Jesus in the Temple
- 19 Jesus at labour
- 20 Death of St. Joseph
- 21 Baptism Of Jesus
- 22 Jesus In The Desert
- 23 Calling The Apostles
- 24 Marriage at Cana
- 25 Silence Of The Gospel
- 26 Start Of The Passion
- 27 Foot Of The Cross
- 28 Jesus Laid In The Tomb
- 29 Resurrection
- 30 Ascension, Pentecost
- 31 The Assumption
Mary Spouse of The Holy Ghost, part 1. BY MONSIGNOR JOHN T. MCMAHON, M.A., PH.D.
“You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between Mary and the Holy Spirit, so that she is justly called His Spouse.”-Pope Leo XIII.
“BEHOLD THE HANDMAID OF THE LORD.”
LET us never cease to thank the Holy Ghost for Mary. The expression of thanks that He will appreciate best is that we follow Mary’s example, model ourselves upon her, and live our lives through her inspiration and intercession.
The Annunciation shows Mary’s self-surrender, complete and absolute, with a plea that God may use her as He wishes, use her as His instrument, and thus she paid Him the highest act of worship.
Once Mary made sure of her duty as regards her vow of virginity she did not hesitate. St. Luke’s description of the scene reads as if he had received it from Mary herself. “And Mary said to the Angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man
Mary wanted instruction on this point. She was always prepared to do the will of God. The Angel answered at once, saying: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, and therefore the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
Now Mary knows that there was to be no question of a man in the case. To avert the possibility of a doubt in Mary’s mind, the Angel added: “And behold thy cousin, Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God.” (St. Luke 1. 36–37).
Mary had then to decide, to accept or refuse. She was perfectly free. God, of course, knew that she would not refuse. It was certainly a dramatic moment not only in the life of Mary, but in the history of humanity.
INSTRUMENTS OF THE HOLY GHOST
Through Mary’s help let us offer ourselves, our life’s work whatever it may be, to the Holy Ghost that He might make us better instruments and use us. We all need to open our eyes more widely to His light, to open our ears more wistfully to His inspirations, and to put forth our hands more eagerly to do the will of God. Let us resolve to offer every day of our lives an act of adoration and reparation to the Holy Ghost. We do this by saying the Angelus, the Glory be to the Father, the official prayer to the Holy Ghost, the hymn or the sequence, or out of the love of our hearts let us speak to Him in our own words:
“0 God the Holy Ghost, Whom we have slighted, grieved, resisted from childhood unto this day, reveal us Thy Personality, Thy Presence, Thy Power. Increase Your Seven Gifts within us. Let the fire of Thy Love burn up and consume in us every sin and stain of the Flesh and of the spirit. Cleanse us and purify us so that You can use us as Your instrument.
“Help us to hunt down and slay our little faults. He that is faithful in that which is the least is faithful also in that which is greater. They who strive to get rid of little faults will never willingly commit greater sins ?”
During the thirty years at Nazareth Mary was the instrument of the Holy Ghost in being a Mother to the Holy Family. Her daily tasks of housekeeping, washing and mending clothes, and caring for her Divine Son from babyhood to manhood were done with great exactness because done for God. If we follow Mary’s example and do well the little duties of each day, not waiting for something big to happen, the thought that we are instruments of the Holy Ghost will light up every household task, and gilt every daily duty, no matter how trivial.
MARY LEADS US TO THE HOLY GHOST
Devotion to Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, means putting ourselves without reserve in her hands. She will lead us to Him, the Spirit of Truth, abiding within us. Devotion is a noble word, a rich word which calls for a giving up of our own opinion. It is a challenge to our constancy and perseverance. It asks us to pause and think before we give in to our own way and inclination.
Mary, who kept His secrets in her heart, will lead us to the Holy Ghost if we ask her each morning to open our eyes to see the path that lies before us, to open our ears to hear His invitations, and to warm our hearts to follow where He leads and to do what He asks of us this very day. We may be in awe of God the Holy Ghost, but surely we can approach Mary, His Spouse, and through her we can seek and find His Divine Counsels.
When day is done let us kneel by our bedside and ask Mary to play the searchlight of His Wisdom on the doings of this day, its thoughts, words, actions, and omissions, and so let us see how we stand in the sight of God. Such a glance will make us humble, and in that humility lies our hope of sharing Mary’s faith in the Holy Ghost abiding within us.
She, the great Mother of men, is filled with love for us by the Holy Ghost. Through the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost She became the Mother of Christ, and remains “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”
THINKING IN THE HEART
“The Kingdom of God is within you,” Our Blessed Lord assures us. The Holy Ghost is the inner Power, the hidden, silent, secret Source of holiness, as opposed to the modem platform of pomp and flash and noise and show. The Holy Ghost is the direct opposite to the idolatry of the flesh, to the Hollywood way of life, and to worldly ambition.
What is within quickens. The Holy Ghost is a spiritual Dynamo. He is the Current which carries us to that sea of peace which is holiness of life. To become holy we must become interior souls. Without the interior spirit we cannot pray and everything we do goes haltingly. No mere organization, no matter how humanly perfect it may be, can touch our hearts or the hearts of others. The interior working of the Spirit alone can alter us or reform others. The more interior life is the more perfect it is.
The mighty tree grows because it digs deep into the earth and sends its roots down so that its trunk and branches can withstand the storms that blow and the drought that withers. We also grow from within. Our moral strength is within us. And if we would build ourselves into better and holier persons we must plan a few minutes each day to think in the heart. Our lives will bear fruit in proportion as we meditate. Without meditation the breath of self-love will arrest, and, perhaps, destroy our spiritual growth. We cannot Unmask the subtle forms self-seeking assumes unless we think in the heart.