Day 7: Mary at Calvary
‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. (stabant autem iuxta crucem Iesu mater eius et soror matris eius Maria Cleopae et Maria Magdalene) When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. (cum vidisset ergo Iesus matrem et discipulum stantem quem diligebat dicit matri suaemulier ecce filius tuus) After that, he saith to the disciple:Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. (deinde dicit discipulo ecce mater tua et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua)’ – – John 19: 25-27
We fly to Thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; Despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
As Mary stood close to her crucified son, she suffered everything He suffered in her heart. God asked a great deal of Mary on Calvary. He asked her to believe, even though there was not human reason to believe, what He had spoken to her through the Angel Gabriel thirty years earlier: He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. (hic erit magnus et Filius Altissimi vocabitur et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David patris eius) And of his kingdom there shall be no end. (et regnabit in domo Iacob in aeternum et regni eius non erit finis) (Luke 1:32-33)
God asked the Blessed Mother to consent to the sacrifice of Christ by offering Jesus to the Father in an act of worship, and in joining her own sufferings to His for our salvation. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council beautifully described Mary’s maternal work on Calvary: In a wholly singular way Mary cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior restoring supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace (Lumen Gentium 61).
To reveal that Mary at the foot of the Cross was in labor, giving birth to the Church, Jesus said: ‘Woman, Behold your son.’ And to the Beloved Disciple who represented each of us: ‘Behold your mother.’
The ancient Christian writer Origen of Alexandria wrote:
For if Mary, as those declare who with sound mind extol her, had no other son but Jesus, and yet Jesus says to His mother: ‘Woman, behold your son’ and not ‘Behold you have this son also,’ then He virtually said to her, ‘Behold, this is Jesus, whom you bore.’ Is it not the case that everyone who is perfect lives himself no longer, but Christ lives in him, if Christ lives in him, then it is said of him to Mary, ‘Behold your son Christ.’ (Origen, On John, Bk. 1, ch.6)
St. John then observes, from that hour the disciple took her to his home. Scripture scholars note that the text could be translated literally as ‘from that hour the disciple took her into his own.’ Christ wants all His beloved disciples to enter into a son-mother, daughter-mother relationship with His mother, the first and most perfect of His disciples. The disciple takes her into his intimacy, asking her to teach him the ways of Christ. Blessed John Paul II based his understanding of consecration to Jesus through Mary on this one verse of Scripture: ‘The disciple took her into his own.’
St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe had taught him the importance of total consecration to Jesus through Mary. These three holy priests will also help us to give everything to Jesus through Mary.
It is so important in our perilous times to make an act of total Consecration of oneself to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin. Through this act of self-offering, the Christian gives Christ everything through Mary: body, soul, all material possessions and occupations, and every spiritual gift. Through consecration, the Christian freely becomes Mary’s servant and slave so as to belong totally to Jesus. Unlike the slavery to sin, this freely chosen slavery is the only bondage that brings true freedom and peace. By giving everything to Christ through Mary, the Christian is confident that the Holy Spirit will use him to crush the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15) and prepare for the Reign of Jesus Christ.
Prayer of Consecration of St. Maximilian Kolbe
O Immaculate Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: ‘She will crush the serpent’s head,’ and, ‘You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.’ Let me be a fit instrument in you immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
Give me strength against you enemies.
N.B. This Novena prayer was taken from the religiousliberties.org website.
You can download a pdf version of the entire 28 page Novena at: religiousliberties.org/novena/novena%20book_820pm.pdf
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