And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Luke 1:28
Mary is in perfect relationship with the Holy Trinity. She wants to guide us there too.
Mary, who was conceived without sin, knew that she was a loved daughter of God the Father. She knew this because she prayed and had a relationship with Him as we see in her Magnificat. This knowledge and relationship combined with her Immaculate purity meant she was confident and trusting in God the Father. She was truly Full of Grace, just as Eve had once been in the garden. Eve, desiring to be like God, fell from grace by handing the domain of grace that God gave her to Satan, who turned God’s grace to death and destruction. She ate the fruit of self will by falling prey to temptation. Mary, in contrast, never desired to be like God. Instead she emptied herself. And despite the fact that Mary saw suffering and evil, Mary did not view the Lord as someone who would harm her. Mary ate the fruit of God’s will being fed only from the Tree of Life. Because of this disposition Mary could receive everything God wanted to give to her. Mary was an open vessel, unashamed before the Lord. In Mary’s case this meant she would personally carry the Word made flesh. Mary is the perfection of daughterhood.
Because Mary was an open vessel for the Lord this means that when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her she could give her full consent to being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Tradition teaches us that this relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit was spousal as she is often referred to as the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Saint Maximilian Kolbe takes this even further. He referred to Mary as the created Immaculate Conception and to the Holy Spirit as the uncreated Immaculate Conception. Thus when she tells Saint Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. This isn’t just spousal relationship, it is who she is. (Manteau-Bonamy, Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit). The depth of what this means is a mystery too large for our understanding. But it is through this teaching that we get a glimpse of God’s plan and how Mary, because of the salvific work of God before her conception and her yes to unity with the Holy Spirit, she becomes the mediatrix of all graces. This teaching lets us know that the person who embraces Mary is led by her to this unity with the Holy Spirit.
Mary because of her unity with the Holy Spirit conceives the Son, thus becoming the Mother of God and ushering in the Savior of mankind. This Motherhood of God is co-redemptrix in nature because it is through this Motherhood that God saves us by being born and dying on the Cross. She brings the birth of true love into the world. From the Incarnation to the Cross Mary made gift of herself to the Son, who in turn extends His loving gaze upon her. Her soul magnifies the Lord. Even in her sorrow, she gives to God what belongs to God. This is an unconditional love and is the culmination of union with the Trinity.
We see the action of co-redemptrix and mediatrix of graces at work when we take a look at the relationship she has with those around her who were closest to her. It is important to note that everything she merits is done through the salvific work of her Son whose grace was applied to her preveniently. Where Eve chose to fall from grace by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Mary gifted with grace eats from the Tree of Life. Those who surround her benefit from this grace which flows through her and they receive redemption from the Son. Saint Joseph, who originally wants to dismiss her quietly, changes his mind, no doubt through her prayer and of course a visit from the angel. From this angelic encounter we see Joseph abandon himself to the will of God. He takes Mary into home. This act of taking her into his home, is a restoration of full dominion God had planned for Adam in the Garden. But God gifts this to Joseph who by taking Mary into his home is able to adore the Christ child with loving gaze, thus magnifying the Lord himself. His decision to say yes and take Mary into his home unites Joseph to Mary and thus into the relationship Mary has with the Trinity. This is the restoration of the blessings of the Father onto the family.
Likewise, we see Saint John take Mary into his home at the foot of the Cross. When meditating more deeply on John’s presence at the foot of the cross, we can gain an understanding of how the ministerial priesthood is united to the family of believers. When Jesus turns to John and says, “Woman, behold your son, and to the disciple, Here is your mother,” (John 19:26) John takes Mary into his home. Having walked the Passion with the Immaculata and her Son, John has abandoned his will to God the Father and taken the Immaculate Conception into his home. From the very wounds of the Tree of Life, John becomes united to Mary, which is to say he is united to the Trinity through the Cross and the Immaculate Conception. Here too we see dominion restored. This is the model for the Priesthood.
And so to the Priest takes Mary into his home and takes up his cross becomes ever united with the Trinity and brings us the Eucharistic Lord to consume, uniting us with the lay faithful with the Tree of Life. To Jesus through Mary we enter into right relationship with the Most Holy Trinity.
For these turbulent times we live in, may we all take Mary into our home and receive the Eucharist with total abandonment to God’s will.
Our Lady, Healer of Families, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Anchor of Families, pray for us.
Saint John, Beloved Disciple, pray for us.
Divine Child Jesus, save us.