- 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 2. BY MONSIGNOR JOHN T. MCMAHON, M.A., PH.D.
MARY’S INTERIOR LIFE
At the finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple the Gospel narrates: “And His Mother kept all these words in her heart.” (St. Luke 2. 51). That single sentence could be looked upon as the life story of Our Blessed Lady on this earth. She stored all that she heard from Her Divine Son in her heart. Hers was a silent, hidden, interior, meditative life.
We shall thank the Holy Ghost for Mary, His Spouse, by devoting a few minutes each day in silence and solitude to thinking things over. We are frightened by the word “meditation,” thinking that it is only for priests, religious, and chosen souls.Mary at Fatima did not use the word “meditation” but asked us “to keep her company,” that is, to chat with her, to share her thoughts, and to apply the lessons of the Rosary to our own lives as we re-live in imagination the scenes of the fifteen Mysteries of her Rosary.
THE GIFT OF PENTECOST
In making a novena to the Holy Ghost, especially during the one in preparation for Pentecost, let us turn our eyes more often to Mary as she led the Apostles in the Supper chamber with prayer, instruction, and penance while they waited for the coming of the Holy Ghost. No one prepared more carefully for His coming than she did. As before, by her prayers, virtues, and ardent desire, she drew the Son of God to her womb, so now at Pentecost the Holy Ghost was drawn down on the Church by the prayers and sighs of the Mother of God. How ceaseless were her prayers and penances! She knew the importance of the Mystery which was at hand, by which the work of her beloved Son was to be completed and crowned by the Holy Ghost. Thus in a spiritual sense Mary filled the office of Mother at the birth of the Church. For that we should thank her sincerely and ask her to take us by the hand and lead us to the Holy Ghost
No one ever received the Holy Ghost in such fullness as she did. It is true that His gifts of grace did not appear on her in such an outward manner as they did on the Apostles, but grace was stored up in her as spiritual capital from which the early Church drew, and the Church today continues to draw.
The Pentecostal gifts to Mary had an extraordinary effect on the infant Church, and continue to have on the interior life of the Church of today, which belongs to her as the Mother of God. in Apostolic days she encouraged, comforted and instructed the Apostles. They consulted her on their missions and brought home to her all their problems. It may have been on her advice that St. Peter went to Rome to establish the headquarters of the Church at the centre of the world.
It was she who instructed the Apostles and enlightened the four Evangelists on the Mysteries of the Redeemer’s earlier life of which she was the sole witness. Her presence on earth blessed every undertaking of the Apostles. The infant Church harvested a rich crop of souls because Mary was there to petition the Lord of the harvest to grant fruit to the seed sown by His Apostles and disciples.
THE FEAST OF GENEROSITY
Pentecost is the feast of generosity for the Holy Ghost; it is the great Gift of God to us. How the Lord loves the generous giver! And who was more generous in her offering than Mary! “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done unto me according to thy word,” is the golden thread with which Mary weaved every day of her life a glorious tapestry of generosity for God alone.
We shall thank the Holy Ghost for His gift of Mary to us by striving to be generous to Him. He never asks us to attempt anything beyond our limited powers but only to be ungrudging within limits, to give to God the little more that means so much. It is the little extra, the bit over and above that spells generosity, which captivates the heart of God.
O Holy Ghost, the Gift of Pentecost, make us more generous towards You.
O Spouse of the Holy Ghost, His Gift to us, inspire us and strengthen us to answer “Yes” to the whispered invitations of the Holy Ghost.
THANK THE HOLY GHOST FOR MARY. . .
The Angelus is a prayer of thanksgiving to the Holy Ghost for the Mystery of the Incarnation. While saying it let us thank the Holy Ghost for selecting Mary as His instrument, for having her in mind since the Garden of Eden, for the careful choice of her parents, for so richly endowing her, and for making her His Bride.
The ejaculation: “Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy divine love” should be offered through Mary as an act of gratitude. When we say: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost” let us form the letter M with a finger on the page, on the kneeler, or in the air, anywhere so long as it is inconspicuously done. This little act acknowledges the threefold relationship of Mary to the Divine Persons, daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Ghost. This small, unnoticed gesture acknowledges that as we receive every grace and blessing from the Blessed Trinity through Mary, so through Mary we render thanks to the Three Divine Persons and give Them glory always.
A frequent turning of the heart to Mary will create a spirit of devotion to the Holy Ghost and that develops into a habitual act of thanksgiving. Let us keep a favourite picture of Our Lady in our Missals and books of devotion. Let it be a bookmark, projecting above the pages to catch the eye and remind us that all prayer gains in its passing through her hands, and that Mary does add something to every prayer to God. Even if the prayer or exercise is not directed to Mary, let us conclude it with an Ave or a Marian ejaculation, that she may endorse this devotion. Whenever God grants us a grace He expects us to accept that favour through Mary and to acknowledge her in doing so.
A SPIRIT OF CONSECRATION
We thank the Holy Ghost for Mary by cultivating a spirit of consecration to her, an utter dependence upon her. Each morning let us consecrate ourselves to God through her and frequently let us think of that consecration during the day. We have no standing before God except that we are her children.
From the moment of the Annunciation when she said: “Be it done unto me according to thy word” we belong to her and God only deals with us as united to Mary. St. Louis Marie de Montfort assures us that the image of the unborn babe in its mother’s womb is the true image of our dependence upon Mary. A babe in arms is not a true picture because such a babe has a little life of its own apart from its mother. A mother may desert such a babe and the babe’s life goes on. The unborn babe is absolutely dependent on the mother who carries it.
Let us cultivate the spirit of consecration to Mary as a habitual thanksgiving to the Holy Ghost. Each day is Mary’s day. But there must be order in our spiritual lives, regular hours for prayer, and a few minutes each day for thinking in the heart.