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Last updated 6-8-13




Who is Our Lady?

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Colorized version of Peter Bianchi’s illustration of Our Lady of Joy




Mary, our sweet loving Mother,
    Can my tongue Her beauty tell?
All the Splendor of Her glory,
    Raised on high with God to dwell.
There is naught on earth to mirror
    Our great Queen so chaste and fair,
Yet, the silent voice of nature
    Whispers sweetly everywhere

She, Judea's fairest lily,
    Purer than the mountain's snow,
Brighter than the rays of sunshine,
    Than the diamond's lustrous glow.
Hence I love earth's fragrant lilies,
    Emblems of Her purity,
For their rare translucent whiteness,
    Breathes so sweetly unto me

She, that modest, fragrant lily,
    Crystal chalice e'er unstained,
To receive the Blood of Jesus,
    From eternity ordained.
Hence I love the hidden valleys,
    Where the whitest lilies blow,
And their magic silent voices
    Whisper all my heart would know,

Then the “Mystic Rose” we call her,
    From the ardor of Her love,
Which delights the King of Heaven,
    And the angel hosts above.
Hence I love to gaze in silence
    On the blushing rose so sweet,
For its soft and crimsoned petals,
    Ever to my heart repeat

She is called the “Star of Morning.”
    Fairer than the moon, we say,
Stronger than a mighty army
    Set in battle's long array.
Hence I love the starlit heavens,
    And the brilliant Queen of Night,
For I see in gazing upward,
    Through that pathless field of light,

Angels bright in heaven's mansions
    Have compared their spotless Queen
To the morning dawn so lovely,
    Breaking on the earth serene.
Hence I love the rising incense
    Of the summer morning air,
When the waking mountains echo,
    To my heart as if in prayer,

So, as through this life I journey,
    All reminds me on my way,
Of that name which is of sunshine
    In the dark and cloudy day.
May my tongue proclaim its glory,
    Sing its praise at every breath,
When the scene of life is closing
    May my comfort be in death,

If on earth it is so soothing,
    To repeat that name in prayer,
What will be my joyous rapture
    When my Mother's bliss I'll share.
Then near Her bright throne in glory,
    All Her beauty I will see,
There to praise with angel voices
    Through a long eternity,

Taken from the book The Precious Blood and Mother

Who is Our Lady

There is much to be said, and much has been said over the centuries of devotion to Our Lady.  I will not here give you the theological explanations.  For that I recommend True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort.  Here I will write simply from my heart which is filled with love and admiration for the Mother that Christ gave me from the Cross.

 Our Mothers

We all have mothers, and through this have an idea of what a mother is and should be.  But to see Mary our Mother this way puts too many limitations on who She is for us.  Our mothers were not immaculate, (no fault of theirs), and our mothers were not sinless.  Too often I have seen people unknowingly place all their own mother's faults on Our Lady.  They expect Her to have the same faults as their own mothers.  Part of this happens naturally, since we grow up thinking that how our own mother behaves constitutes what a mother is.  And so we grow to expect all mothers to behave as our own.  Even though it is natural for a child to see things this way, it is still erroneous.  Our Lady is who the Father made Her to be.  Her only desire, Her very will always says fiat to every desire of each person of the Trinity.  She is all charity and mercy; She is the full of grace. She is what no one else can be, the Mother of God.  There is nothing in Her that can do anything else but lead us to Her Son and to His will.  Earthly mothers, can make mistakes and sin.  They can be too tired to help us, or be too busy, or be helping someone else and can't tend to two things at once.  They can misunderstand us, blame us for something we did not do, be too critical, too lenient, too severe.  They can have self interest, want things for us that suit their plans for us and not God's.  They can care more about their careers than their vocation, be self centered and egotistical and treat us as if the world revolved around themselves and therefore not be able to sacrifice for their children.  They can love us for their own sake and be selfish, want to be our friend instead of our mother.  They can be emotionally manipulative, use our love for them and our need of them and our need of their nurturing and affirmation for their own purposes.  They can be controlling, smothering, not respect our father's authority and usurp his authority.  But the worst thing they can do as catholic mothers is not be faithful to their marriage vows, whether that be the vow of fidelity, obedience, or the vow to be open to children and to raise us in the faith.  I am sure we all know what damage infidelity can do and I won't speak of it here.  But to not be obedient, is to teach us as children that disobedience is ok.  It also teaches us that it is not an important part to the marriage that there be unity.  Since the Holy Scriptures tell us that marriage is likened to the relationship of Christ to His Church, this kind of disunity teaches us then, that dissent from the Pope and magisterium is ok, and that you can still consider yourself a faithful catholic without adhering to the teachings of the church.  If the bride can be separated from the bridegroom, then the faithful can be separated from the head of the church.  To not be open to children teaches us to not be generous and that God does not provide.  And that love is not boundless, which tells us that love does not come from God but is a limited human resource.  It teaches us to consider that some people are expendable and can be done without, which teaches us that not all human life is sacred, just that which we already know and can afford.  To not teach us the faith is to let the world teach us what we ought to believe and to let the world decide what our values should be.  This makes the world our mother and instead of being imbued with the spirit of Christ, we instead are married to the spirit of the world which as Our Lord said "has been seduced by satan."  And since the world cares not for our true inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, it is satisfied with us and even applauds us for merely being good citizens. Although, one can be a good citizen and not make it into the kingdom of heaven, for Our Lord said, "what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul."  As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we are to live on the earth but live for heaven, and if we are not taught this as children it is a long and difficult purification when we are older.


My point in all of this is that Our Lady has none of these faults and sins that we may subconsciously attribute to Her, from any bad mothering we have seen or experienced ourselves.   I went into detail so as to expose the most common ones I have seen in people's difficulty with devotion to Our Lady.  So if you recognize in yourself that you anticipate any of these behaviors from Our Lady in your relationship with Her and it makes it difficult for you to entrust yourself entirely into Her care, know that you are projecting your own issues with mothers onto Her, and that is what is keeping you from having the relationship you ought to have with Her and which Christ Himself offers you from the Cross saying "this is your mother."

Who She Is

Therefore, I beg you, to no longer hold anything back in giving yourself to Her.  She is what motherhood was meant to be.  Nurturing, affirming, tender, kind, loving, merciful, gentle, patient, selfless, generous, willing to suffer (joyfully) for your sake.  She guides, directs, leads, is always solicitous for your good.  She knows you and knows your weaknesses and is not burdened by them.  She is faithful, obedient, fearless, and defends Her children against the adversary of our souls, the devil.  She knows when to plead, and when to push, when to ask and when to command.  She is "the perfect means to the most perfect end, Jesus", as St. Louis de Montfort says.  She is the Immaculata, the eternal Fiat, the one who can only bring us to Jesus and Jesus to us.  The one who is so united to God in each person of the Trinity that She no longer exists except in that unity She has with Him.  She accompanies us in our purification, and takes us by the hand, leading us on the sure path of faith through the obscurity our purification takes us through.  It is She who is the crusher of all heresies, and therefore the purifier of all errors in us.  She crushes the head of the serpent, and therefore crushes all that is evil or tends toward evil in us.  She is the Mother of God and therefore the Mother of our souls where God dwells by grace.  She is the Mother of the Church and therefore the Mother of grace and salvation which comes through His Church, and keeps us faithful to its vicar the pope.  She is the Mother of the Redeemer and as such paid the price with Christ Her Son to be the Mother of our inheritance in the kingdom of heaven and is therefore the Mother of our life in God.  She is the woman clothed with the sun, of the book of Revelation, and therefore the woman of these latter days, as St. Louis puts it, and therefore one of the two pillars on which the Pope will anchor the Church along with the Blessed Sacrament, to bring it into the era of peace foretold at Fatima through the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.  She is the Mother of Jesus who is perpetually the fruit of Her womb, and therefore the one He perpetually gives us Himself through.  She is the new Eve and therefore the Mother of all the living.  She is the Mother of the Prince of Peace and therefore the Queen of Peace.



Because She is who God made Her to be, and who She is was given to us as a gift by God Himself, it is consequently His will that we make use of the means He gives us to become as full of grace as He made us to be.  It seems to me the best way to reach our capacity of grace and virtue and union with God is to take the "fast, easy, straight, and secure path," as St. Louis calls it, that He Himself gave us out of His abundance of love and mercy.

Br. Mariamartin de la Cruz  S.D.B.V.   General Steward

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