“Each day of this week they should endeavour in all their prayers and works to acquire an understanding of the Blessed Virgin and ask the Holy Spirit for this grace. They should recite daily the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Ave Maris Stella as during the previous week. In addition they will say at least five decades of the Rosary for greater understanding of Mary.” (TD 229)
Aim: To understand how Mary is called to be part of God’s loving plan for humanity.
God’s plan in action (Gal 4:4-7): When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
After creating man and woman, the “abridgements of Eternal Wisdom’s marvels” (LEW 64), God promised himself he would never give up on them. He was aware of the risk he was taking by bestowing on them the gift of freedom, but he deemed it worthwhile because he trusted his “living image” in them.
And then man and woman abused their image and freedom, true to his promise, God “convoked and assembled, so to speak, the most Holy Trinity for the purpose of rehabilitating man and woman in the state he formerly created them” (LEW 42).
In the letter to the Galatians, St. Paul puts into a nutshell the essential elements of the resolution taken by the Trinity in favour of humankind. Being a summary, it’s obvious that all the elements mentioned in the statement are extremely important and interdependent, as if one could not be sustained without the other. The elements are:
(1) In the fullness of time.
(2) God sent his Son.
(3) Born of a woman.
(4) To redeem us.
(5) To make us God’s adopted children.
It is interesting to notice how the central piece (the heart) of this statement – the element determining the decision of God to send his Son and highlighting the consequences of the Incarnation – concerns the role of Mary: “born of a woman”.
St. Louis-Marie de Montfort takes up from St. Paul’s theological intuition and articulates it in one of the most striking and grace-filled statements of Christian spirituality: “It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world” (TD 1).
Personal Reflection and Sharing
I paint in my imagination the “council” of the Trinity at the moment of the decision to involve Mary in the plan of “rehabilitating” God’s image in man and woman.
How do I envision the details of my painting? What image, symbol or metaphor can help me most?