Last summer I had what I consider to be a very profound experience with Mary. Nothing like an apparition or anything like that, but a very subtle reaching out. The Blessed Mother, I feel, was reaching out to me. For some reason or another, all sorts of information on different apparitions were landing in my lap. Information on Fatima, Lourdes, and, if I remember correctly, Akita, which is in Japan. Additionally, videos on the messages of Fatima started to appear in my recommended watch list on YouTube. Needless to say, as the young people say, I was shook. Regrettably, I have not been a very good son to her. I struggle with a variety of vices: lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, pride, etc., the largest struggle probably being with lust. That summer was a profound one for me, and I thank God for it. Looking back on circumstances in my life, I can see instances where the Blessed Mother was definitely involved, especially in the name of the Parish and Catholic School I grew up in: St. Mary’s Catholic Church and School. Recently, I started a 33 day consecration written by a Fr. Michael Gaitley, who has a very strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. This consecration, called 33 Days to Morning Glory, is based on the 33 day Marian Consecration given to us by St. Louis De Montfort. I just finished my own consecration on 11 February, and I can honestly say, without a doubt, that I can already feel the infinite graces that Our Lady will give to those who allow her to act in his or her life. Devotion to the Blessed Mother is often times overlooked and underappreciated, especially in our very secular culture and amongst our Protestant brothers and sisters, and it isn’t that they know and just don’t care about the power of our Holy Mother, but that they don’t know and because of that don’t care. Hence, the purpose of this article. In a previous article, I talk about the power of the Rosary as the Holiest of devotions, so, if you have read that, you already know the immense power that Mary actually holds over Satan and his evil spirits; the point of this article, however, is to relate to you the power of total consecration to Mary.
The image above is a photo of a page from the 33 Days to Morning Glory book, written by Fr. Michael Gaitley, and it is a quote from the great Marian Saint, Louis de Montfort. If you read it, you see that Mary would rather send forth battalions of millions of angels to the aid of any of her children rather than watch them suffer the torments and the temptations of the devil. Look at that, not just millions, but battalions of millions. Do you know what a battalion is? A battalion is a large unit of troops that are prepared for battle. So, a battalion of a million troops would be one-million troops, but de Montfort says battalions, plural, meaning that not just millions of angels, but multiples of millions of angels; and we’re not even given a definite number of how many millions are in just one of those battalions. Mary, our Mother, the Mother of God, loves us so much that she, as the Queen of the Angels, will dispatch millions upon millions of angels to aid just one of her children. That could be you! That could me! All we have to do is hand ourselves over completely to her love and care.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, as I learned in this book, always referred to the Blessed Mother as the Immaculata, which is the Latin for the Immaculate Conception, the manner in which Mary introduced herself to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France in 1858. St. Maximilian, reflecting on one question, “Who are you, Immaculata?”, came to an incredible conclusion. You see, Mary was immaculately conceived, all Catholics will agree, so what got Maximilian thinking was the fact that Mary didn’t just say that she was the one who was immaculately conceived, but that she literally called herself the Immaculate Conception. I was conceived by Brenda and Gerald, but I don’t call myself the Conception of Brenda and Gerald. Why? Because there is more to my identity than that. You see, when Mary introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception, she was marking that as her identity, and St. Kolbe would say that this is her most important identity because of the truth that was revealed to him upon reflecting on this question. And the conclusion that he ultimately came to had to do with the very special and unique relationship between the Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit.
What type of union is this [between the Holy Spirit and Mary]? It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the “essence” of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her. This was true from the first instant of her existence. It was always true; it will always be true.
In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist? He Himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves Himself, the very love of the Most Holy Trinity. He is a fruitful Love, a “Conception.” Among creatures made in God’s image the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all (see Mt. 19:6). In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful from the very first instant of her existence, all during her life, and for all eternity.
This eternal “Immaculate Conception” (which is the Holy Spirit) produces in an immaculate manner divine life itself in the womb (or depths) of Mary’s soul, making her the Immaculate Conception. And the virginal womb of Mary’d body is kept sacred for Him; there he conceives in time – because everything is material that occurs in time – the human life of the Man-God.
… If among human beings the wife takes the name of her husband because she belongs to him, is once with him, becomes equal to him and is, with him, the source of new life, with how much greater reason should the name of the Holy Spirit, who is the divine Immaculate Conception, be used as teh name of her in whom He lives as uncreated Love, the principle of life in the whole supernatural order of grace? (St. Maxilian Kolbe, via 33 Days to Morning Glory)
Did you understand that? Mary takes the Immaculate Conception as her identity, because she is the spouse to the uncreated Immaculate Conception, the Holy Spirit. You see, as the one who conceived in the Virgins womb Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit took Mary as His spouse. Now, she was married to Joseph through human law, and by every right validly by God’s law; but the Holy Spirit, upon entering her womb, filled her entire essence with His own, binding them together in the intimacy of a spouse. And just as St. Maximilian Kolbe said, as a woman takes the name of her husband as her identity, so Mary took the name of her Spouse as her identity, becoming the created Immaculate Conception by virtue of the uncreated Immaculate Conception. Now, what exactly does this mean? Is Mary just some vessel that the Holy Spirit decided to reside in? No! You see, God loves to work through his creation. The angels of the 4th, 5th, and 6th choirs govern the physical world, the angels of the 7th, 8th, and 9th choirs aid humanity in their quest towards God, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choirs contemplate God and the proper end to all things and give this knowledge to the lower choirs in order that they may also accomplish the will of God. And with us, God makes us His own hands and feet, so that, through us, the Love he has for all of us can be spread through all the earth. But, we are weak. We have concupiscence, that is, the tendency towards sin, we can’t do anything unless given the grace to do so by God. How, then, do we receive these graces? It all goes back to Mary. Along with the “Immaculata”, Kolbe had another favorite title for our Mother, and that is “Mediatrix of all Graces”. The Blessed Mother is the Mediatrix. But what exactly does that mean? To put it simply, this means that Mary is the one who essentially “hands out” the graces that the Holy Spirit gives; and she can do this because of the very intimate, very unique spousal relationship between her and the Holy Spirit. You see, since, as we said, the Holy Spirit resides completely in her, all of His graces He gives first to Mary so that she can give to us the graces. But, why have this inbetween? Why not just cut out the middle man? The answer: God wants us to have a Mother. God is our Father, Christ affirms this all throughout the Gospels. And, if we are to be in the Family of God, He wants us to have a Mother. This Mother, though, cannot just be anyone, no, it has to be the very Mother that He entrusted to His own Divine Son, Jesus Christ. And this Mother, cannot just be another Saint in Heaven, no, this Mother has to be wed to our Father in some way, and that way is through the spousal relationship she shares with the Holy Spirit. Why is this important to us? Well, just as God entrusted Christ to her care, so he entrusts us to her care, so that just as she brought up and raised Christ, she may bring us up to her Son, so that we may be other Christs. We are called to imitate Christ in all things, and that is why he gave us His own Mother. The Blessed Mother, from all eternity, was set aside by God the Father to be espoused to His Most Holy Spirit and bring into the world His Most Holy and Divine Son, the Second Person of the Eternal God-head, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the redeemer of the human race. Only she who was perfect and without sin could be worthy of this espousal, but how did she become worthy, you may ask. No human being is saved outside of the merits won for us by Jesus Christ on the Cross, including our Blessed Mother. As the philosopher Boethius says, God exists outside of time, and because of this, He possesses the power to take those merits of the most holy Cross and apply them to our little Mother preemptively prior to her conception. It is because of this gift of God to our Lady that she is able to, as the Mediatrix of all graces, bring all her children to the foot of the Cross and make us into other Christs. This is her function and this is her pleasure, for it brings pleasure and satisfaction to the Most High God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when even one of our lost souls finds its way back to the Eternal Father, to and by the Sacred and Longing Heart of our Most Blessed Lord, through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, her Spouse, our Life. Let us Pray:
Most Holy and Gracious Mother, by the power of the Holy Spirit, your Divine Spouse, may we, by the Passion and Death of Christ thy Beloved and Blessed Son, be brought to the Glory of His Resurrection in the Divine Presence of our Most High and Eternal Father. Amen.