MARY: Our Mother, the Mother of the Beloved
Ronald D. Curley
Of St. Anthony's Retreat
It comes to my mind, more often than not, that the one who comes to know the Immaculate Heart of Mary, soon is led straightly into the opened arms of Jesus Christ and the Blessedness of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The two Hearts are so profoundly entwined as one in the Holy Spirit's message of the Love of God to us that we are brought into the ecstasy of knowing Christ above all things in heaven and earth. We are brought Home to Jesus, and find in him a Love altogether that of the Love that in the Blessed Holy Trinity.
My beloved, We cannot see much of anything, but for analogy. The Reality is so great that, we must see through to this Love via a darkened glass, this Mercy, through types and figures of the love which abounds to sinners so greatly ensnared. Yet, this Heart of Mary offers to us the means of holiness that may only come from God the Holy Trinity.
It was such a thought that came to mind when I laid in my bed and had to awaken and write these few words. I am like a child who still does not fully understand, but sees through the glass darkly, as feebly as I may write them down before you. It is Mother who comes with the Holy Spirit to bring us forth to the Cross with John and lead us to her Son, Jesus, the Fruit of her womb.
Why would this be so important to me, me the former Protestant, who for ignorance did not understand this idea of MARY, even remotely? Yet, I now see Mary and John standing at the foot of the Cross of our Beloved One. And, I see them both beloved of Jesus. They are so beloved of Jesus that they are in the Mind of Jesus and the Sacred Heart so wounded -- he now thinks only of them. His clothes are auctioned off. He is exposed upon the Cross. He is so battered that he is hardly recognizable as a human being, and yet, it is Jesus who speaks to Mary and John.
Yes, Jesus, our Beloved and Most Precious Lord and Savior, there bleeding from the sacred wounds that he bears on his Body, was thinking of Mother and his other, "beloved," John, the one that he loved.
Here is the context that was written by the holy Evangelist in The Gospel according the St. John 19: 23-35 --
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. 24 So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be," in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled (that says): "They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots." This is what the soldiers did.
They took everything within their power to take from our Lord. It was given to them. He laid his entire life down before men that men might do their worst to our Immanuel, all the evil possible. Yet, in Perfect Love, Jesus laid it all down, having emptied himself of all for our sakes and the Salvation of all who might believe. And, Mary, our Mother, pierced through with a sword as sharp as the thorns upon the Holy Face of God, saw this and our Lady of Sorrows remembered, perhaps, the vestments she had wrapped this Holy One in and laid the Bread of Life in the manger in Bethlehem, the House of Bread at his Nativity. And, yet, the two Hearts gave more and more.
25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." 27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
Precious thought, this -- Three "Marys" were there below the Cross. Yet, Mary, our Mother, was there with John whom Jesus loved. John makes a point for saying this "the disciple there whom he (Jesus) loved." Johanan (John) means, "Yahweh is gracious," and John stood beside Mary, the Mediatrix of the graces of God. Her Son, the Fruit of her womb, there, was graciously given upon the Cross.
"WOMAN, behold, your son . . . Behold your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. Here, there is much to ponder. Thank God the Church has clarified this for us. Jesus, had given John (Yahweh is gracious) to Mediatrix of all the graces of God with only a few words. Jesus, who spoke the universe into existence, now, with the same graciousness, gives forever the Mother of God to be the Mother of the Church, as represented in John (Yahweh is gracious).
GOD, my beloved in Christ, is very gracious to you and me in giving us his Mother. Then, he speaks one more thing for us in giving during his earthly life, before he gives more!
28 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst." 29 There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
The task was finished with Mary's gift to John and John would take our Mother into his home until her own Assumption. "He handed over the spirit."
31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
Blood and water, my beloved of God. This is so special for me. I was born on July 1st, on the Feast of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. My first full day on earth, July 2nd, is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. My lovely daughter, Elizabeth, was born on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (August 15th). Therefore, these have taken on new significance for me in our Lady's plan in the plan of God. Certainly, I came to believe fully in the fulness of our Faith through the help of Mary and John. For, I close with the words of John which say -- 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe.
Let us also come into the full assurance of Faith in Christ, as we come to the foot of the Cross where Mary and John stand below upon the ground where the water and the blood flowed from that Sacred Heart. Let us return home with Mary with us and know the reality of the Immaculata who brings us closer to her Son.
Deus et Sanctissima.
In Christ -- Ron Curley