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Tuesday after Ascension`s Sunday

Mary's Apostolate

From book "Divine Intimacy - Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day Of The Liturgical Year"... Presence of God O Mary, Queen of Apostles, obtai...

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Divine Intimacy

Fr. Gabriel

Presence of God

O Mary, Queen of Apostles, obtain for me the heart of an apostle.


I. Mary is, at the same time, the model of both contemplative and apostolic souls. Furthermore, by combining in herself the highest contemplative life with the highest apostolic life, she teaches us that contemplation and the apostolate, far from being opposed to each other, complement, support, and maintain each other. When the contemplative life—considered as an assiduous seeking after union with God—is really fervent, it cannot fail to enkindle in the soul the burning fire of the apostolate. One who has experienced, in an intimate contact with God, the ineffable reality of His love for men, cannot fail to burn with the desire to win all to that love. So it was with the Blessed Virgin, but in the most sublime way. Having enjoyed and penetrated God’s love, and being more on fire with it than any other creature, Mary desired more than anyone else to bring all mankind to God. Indeed, no one has collaborated more with Christ in saving the human race. Hers was an intimate and profound collaboration, for by her blood, she supplied the Son of God with the humanity which made it possible for Him, the eternal Word, to become one of us, and to suffer and die for us on the Cross. Mary’s collaboration was of the highest value, since she was willingly, knowingly the Mother of the Savior. She gave her consent, knowing well from the Sacred Scriptures that the Messiah was to be the Man of Sorrows, immolated for the redemption of the world. By consenting to become His Mother, she thereby consented to link her fate with His and share in all His sufferings. To give a Redeemer to the world, to be willing to see her beloved Son die in torment, was Mary’s sublime apostolate, born of her immense love of God.

The greater the love for God, the greater and more effective the apostolate which is derived from it. The reverse is equally true. Every apostolic work which is not animated by charity is nothing. "If I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor," says St. Paul, "and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it prof iteth me nothing" (1Co. 13, 3).

II. Intimately associated with the redemptive work of Jesus, Mary accomplished a universal, apostolic mission for the benefit of all mankind. Her apostolate, however, was a quiet one, free from ostentation; it was accomplished in the most humble, hidden and silent way. Mary gave the Redeemer to the world, but in the dark of night, in a poor stable. She shared the whole life of Jesus, but in the obscurity of the little house at Nazareth where she performed the lowly household tasks, amidst the difficulties and sacrifices of a life abounding in unusually toilsome and trying conditions. Even when Jesus, during the three years of His apostolic life, appeared publicly to accomplish the mission entrusted to Him by His Father, Mary remained in obscurity, although she followed Him and took part in all that happened. She never appeared when her Son was teaching the multitude, nor did she take advantage of her maternal authority to approach Him. On one occasion, when she sought to speak to Him while He was teaching the people in a house, she humbly waited outside (Mt. 12, 46). Mary’s apostolate was wholly interior, an apostolate of prayer and, above all, of hidden sacrifice, by means of which she adhered with great love to the will of God. He would ask her to separate herself from her Son after thirty years spent in sweet intimacy with Him, to withdraw apart, as if to leave to the Apostles and the crowd the place near Jesus which belonged to her as His Mother. Thus in obscurity and silence, Mary shared in the apostolate and sufferings of her Son : Jesus had no sorrow which Mary did not feel and live over again within herself. Her greatest sacrifice consisted in seeing Him, her beloved Son, persecuted, hated, condemned to death, and finally crucified on Calvary.

Her mother’s heart felt the profound bitterness of all this, but at the same time she accepted everything for love, and offered it all for the salvation of souls. It was precisely through her hidden immolation, animated by pure love, that Mary reached the uttermost heights of the apostolate. "A little pure love," says Saint John of the Cross, "is more precious in the eyes of God... and of more value to the Church...than all other works put together (SC, 29,2).

Mary shows us how far we are from the truth when, pressed by the urgency of our works, we make our apostolate consist solely in exterior activity, underestimating the interior apostolate of love, prayer, and sacrifice, on which the fruitfulness of our exterior acts depends.


" O Mary, you are our life, our sweetness, and our hope! You alone have taken away the world’s universal guilt, for you alone gave birth to the Savior. You are the Mother of mercy, the Mother who washes away the stains of our sins. You pacified us when we cried in our cradle, you fed us and carried us in your arms. You are not only our Mother, but you also want to be the remedy for all our ills...

" In addition, O Mary, you became for us a sea of bitterness because of the pity you felt for your crucified Son and for all men... Why, O Mary, have you loved us so much? Why do you overwhelm us with your love? Why do you overwhelm us with our God? Why, I ask, do you inebriate us with love for your Son, while we are unable to repay you in any way? What benefit is it to you, O lover ofsouls, if we love you, as well as your Son, with great love? Are not the things of heaven enough for you? Why do you seek earthly hearts, which are soiled and fetid? Take us, huntress of souls, take us and gather us into the bosom of your grace. Who can escape the rays of your goodness? No one can avoid the fire of your love, for heaven and earth are full of your favors... always and everywhere you lay the snares of your kindness. We cannot flee very far from you, O most sweet Mother, but we rest always in the bosom of your kindness" (cf. Saint Bonaventure).

" O Mary, you are more mother than queen! When I meditate upon your life, as the Gospel presents it to me, so humble and simple, I do not fear to approach you. I see you living in poverty and obscurity, with no transports or ecstasies, no splendid miracles or brilliant deeds. You show me that I, too, can follow your steps and climb the rough road of sanctity by practicing the hidden virtues. Close to you, O Mary, I like to remain little, and I get a better view there of the vanity of human greatness" (cf. T.C.J. JVV— Poems).

O Mary, you gave Jesus to the world in silence and retirement; unnoticed, you shared His whole life, His works, His Passion. Teach me the secret of the interior apostolate of prayer and hidden sacrifices, known to God alone.

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Mary's Prayer

Monday after Ascension`s Sunday