FROM MARY MAGNIFYING GOD. BY WILLIAM HUMPHREY, OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE OBLATES OF ST. CHARLES. AD 1873
We, in our infant life, are incapable of human acts, and therefore we are incapable of and we need no actual graces — those graces which are given to us in order that the human acts of our human will, instructed by our human intellect, with its human knowledge, should be not merely natural, but supernatural; not merely deserving of an earthly reward, but meritorious of the life eternal in the supernatural Vision of God.
But it was otherwise with Mary. She never for a moment lived with a human organic life that she did not live also with a human intellective life.
As with the angels and with Adam, in the first instant of their creation, so with the Queen of angels and the Mother of men. In the first instant of her human existence, she had the full and perfect use and the free exercise of her intellectual faculties. There was for her an anticipation of the dawn of reason and of will. She never lived that she did not also think, and understand, and know, and purpose, and determine, and resolve, and will.
In the selfsame moment there was also present to her mind a revelation of Divine truth, and a manifestation of the Divine law. She knew the Divine will. It was proposed to her as the rule and measure of her own.
And finally, and in order that her will might be responsive—that it should bend beneath the pressure of the Divine Will, that the two should thrill in unison—there was, over and above her habitual grace, and because of that grace, which gives to all who possess it a real right and indefeasible title to actual graces in tempore opportuno, in time of need — bestowed upon Mary a gift of actual graces, equal to her wants. Aided by those graces, her illuminated understanding embraced and held fast that infused revelation of Divine truth; and her sanctified will tended towards, stretched out to, united and wedded itself to, and clave steadfastly to the Divine Will, as manifested to her by that law of which her Maker had given her this preternatural knowledge.
Why should I attempt to prove this? How can we conceive it otherwise? Can we conceive that perfections which God bestowed upon the first man and the first woman, as well as upon the angels, in the first moment of their creation, should be denied to the Queen of the angels, and the spiritual Mother of mankind, in the first moment of her being? Adam possessed, Eve possessed, the lowest of the angels possessed, in the first moment of their being, the use and exercise of all their faculties, the gift of sanctifying grace, as well as of those actual graces to which it gives a right, and of which they then had need, along with a knowledge of the Triune God, and a manifestation of His law. Would those gifts have been denied by the Eternal Father to His queenliest Daughter, by the Only - begotten to His chosen Mother, by the Holy Ghost to His destined Spouse? Why, even the Baptist was sanctified in the womb, recognised, adored, and rejoiced while yet unborn. Is Mary less, and are her privileges no more?