My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed…Luke 1:46-48
** Please see notation at the bottom of this article
By: Susan Skinner and Ashley Blackburn
I (Susan) had a dream recently. It was a very vivid but simple dream. In the dream I was standing there staring at Mary who was holding the infant Jesus. Her loving gaze was one of total adoration as she and the infant Jesus locked eyes with one another. It was so beautiful it made me cry. And she looked up at me, with the same intense love, locking eyes with me, and she said, “All is well.” And in that moment, in my dream, all of my fears, worries, melted away, and I truly knew all was well. She went back to gazing on her Son. I called my friend Ashley to tell her of the dream. She too had recently had a profound moment in the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament regarding this loving gaze between Mary and Jesus.
Ashley and I reflected further on this gaze.
Mary adored God even before the Angel Gabriel told her she was chosen to carry Him. It enabled her to say yes to God when He asked her to carry Jesus; and it is in her Magnificat we see the fruit of her adoration; her soul MAGNIFIES the Lord. She becomes a magnification of the love of God. And it is in the Nativity that we, the faithful, can physically see this adoration, this loving gaze of Mary and her Son. The face of God looking at the Face of the Immaculate, placing Himself in humility in her arms. And in her own humility she gazes in adoration at the gift that God has so graciously granted Her – the gift of Himself. The exchange of love can be seen by us when we look at the Most Holy Mother locking eyes with the Savior.
Mary continued to adore Him all the days of her life and when he is placed in her arms after being taken from the Cross, she is still adoring.
She adores Him one more time in a fully human way at His death. Mary was later Assumed by God both body and soul into heaven.
Jesus Ascended body and soul into heaven. In heaven she still adores Him with all of her human faculties, just as she did on earth. A perfection of what God wants for all of us.
Mary was the one person found totally faithful, always in loving gaze, with all of her being, body and soul. And Jesus saves the entire world through her cooperation. Because of her faith, He was able to save us all. She is the Mediatrix of all Graces because through her merit of faithfulness God was able to do what He needed to do to save all of us.
She is Co-Redemptrix, not because she wanted a title, but because, by relying on her Son always in loving gaze, He lifted her up and made her Queen of Heaven and the Earth.
For the mighty God has done great things for me. Luke 1:49
She is not in anyway equal to him, but rather, Mary in her humility, is an active participant in redemption because she trusts fully in God and gave her body through which the redeemer came. She undoes Eve’s disobedience participating in a unique way in redemption.
God wants to lift all of us up. It is from Him that this was possible in her, and it is from Him that he wants to lift us out of sin and into this loving gaze.
We are all called to this adoration of Jesus; this loving gaze. When the host is lifted up at Mass or when we go to adoration – this is the exchange of our gaze with the gaze of our savior in body and soul. When we consume Him – our souls MAGNIFY the Lord – or at least they should. It is why we should not receive in a state of mortal sin, because it is in the purity that we magnify him. If we receive in mortal sin we drink the judgement of impurity. Confession restores us to a place where we can partake in the magnification of God.
At times when we are not in the full presence of the Lord in the Eucharist we can adore, soul to soul through prayer, but it is in the adoration of Our Lord in the Eucharist that grace overflows because it emulates the relationship of Jesus and Mary with all of our faculties, both body and soul – our entire beings. It places us beside Our Lady and we adore with her. It is why we believe in the resurrection of the Body because this adoration is meant for the totality of who we are in the image of God both body and soul.
This adoration, this gaze of love comes to live inside of us and we take it into the world. I recently heard a friend tell a story about how at Thanksgiving he and his family bring food and go eat with the homeless under a bridge in their city. One of the homeless men commented that while he always appreciated the food others brought, that my friend’s family was different and he appreciated it more. When my friend asked why, the homeless man responded, “because you eat with us.” This is the loving gaze. It is not a gaze of simply service, but one of looking upon the face of another and seeing God. My how our world needs this.
Mary does not seek titles for herself, but in His Divine Providence, our Lord bestows them upon her. He does this for US – His Mystical Body. This loving gaze of Eucharistic adoration is something in which we are all supposed to participate. It lifts us out of sin and into the Sacred Heart. This Sacred Heart – this place of God’s WILL is where you find the Immaculate Heart – in order that we may all see it.
The Immaculate Heart will triumph when we understand that through this gaze of love, we the Mystical Body can be lifted out of sin, and back into union with the Will of God. And the Bride of Christ purified operates as it should.
So it is that all of mankind is saved BY Jesus THROUGH the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary’s immaculate gaze upon the God of the universe, held in her arms in the stable in Bethlehem on Christmas night, is the moment that God looked upon the earth through the eyes of a human being and he found the one innocent soul, in which HE saves the world.
** The titles of Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces are not Dogma of the Church, though many Saints and theologians have stated these are titles of Mary. It is my belief that they are her titles and that her Immaculate Heart will triumph when the church recognizes this for the lifting up of the Mystical Body. All of that said, I am a daughter of the church and will remain obedient to whatever the church decides in regards to declaring them titles belonging to Mary and if it never declares her such, then I stand corrected.