As I meditated on the icon of the immolated Bridegroom with Mary as Bride, the Church [also representing the individual soul], I began to see something else revealed there. Not only does the Bride embrace the immolated Bridegroom, but the suffering Mother embraces His members–us. Turning to my talk on “Mary, Mother of the Church,” I noted a link: http://www.opusangelorum.org/English/Marymother.html
There I read, “Mary became our spiritual Mother when she offered to the Eternal Father the life of her beloved Son on Mount Calvary, with such bitter sorrow and suffering, so that St. Augustine declares: “as she then cooperated by her love in the birth of the faithful to the life of grace, she became the spiritual Mother of all who are members of the one Head, Christ Jesus.”
“Thus we are given to understand the following verse of the sacred Canticles, which refers to the most Blessed Virgin: “They have made me the keeper in the vineyards; my vineyard I have not kept.” St. William says, that “Mary, in order that she might save many souls, exposed her own to death”, meaning, that to save us, she sacrificed the life of her Son. And who but Jesus was the soul of Mary? He was her life and all her love. And therefore the prophet Simeon foretold that a sword of sorrow would one day transpierce her own most blessed soul.
“Our most loving Mother was always, and in all, united to the will of God. “And therefore,” says St. Bonaventure, “when she saw the love of the Eternal Father towards men to be so great that, in order to save them, He willed the death of His Son; and, on the other hand, seeing the love of the Son in wishing to die for us: in order to conform herself to this excessive love of both the Father and the Son towards the human race, she also with her entire will offered, and consented to the death of her Son in order that we might be saved.”
Mary, totally committed to living in the Will of the Father and Son, would give her Fiat to anything which They wanted. What they loved and wanted at any cost was the human race, all of these pitiful souls, so weak and infected with sin. Even as They knew that the death of Christ would not save all, simply because not all cared to be saved, the Eternal Trinity willed the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus and of Mary, his mother.
This last part of the passage pierced me to the heart as I realized in a new way that Mary was torn in two as she realized that the only way her other children could be saved was in the death of the love of her life, Jesus. Imagine a mother being told, “You have to choose between your children: in order to have even a chance of saving your younger children, you have to sacrifice your first-born son. He must die. Furthermore, this is what God and your son most desire—give Him up completely.”
Realize also that the salvation of the younger children was never guaranteed to her; not only must her beloved Son die, but whether the other children would be saved would depend on their choice. And many would refuse to cooperate and would die anyway.
The agony in the garden centered around this conflict: Jesus was prepared to die for many who would laugh in His face and go their own way—totally insensitive to the sacrifice of His Mother and of Himself. Whatever He went through—and He saw it clearly–would fail to save so many. Multitudes couldn’t care less. What agony to His sensitive heart! No wonder that his sweat became blood.
His heart was wrung, torn with the realization that regardless of how much He suffered, it wouldn’t be enough for so many who would ask nothing of Him and receive nothing of Him, no matter how much He gave. He would suffer from the moment of His incarnation [according to Venerable Conchita] throughout His life the ultimate mental, spiritual, and physical agony to no avail for those who would dance on his cross and desecrate His body.
Calvary itself was desecration, and His mother was there to see all. Yet when Jesus turned to her and said, regarding John, “Behold your son,” she accepted all of us without reservation. She would embrace as children those who killed her child.
Do you see the sorrowing Mother embracing us, the members of her Son’s body as she had embraced the Head?
Mary lived in full this reality: she suffered with Him, no longer two but one, in His sacrifice of love.
When the saints tell us, “Go to Mary,” they know of what they speak. Is there anything she would not do for us that the sacrifice of her precious Jesus not be in vain?
Sweet Mother of Christ and our mother, as the Church enters more deeply into her passion, hold us, the body of Christ in your arms and comfort us. Help us to persevere, as you did, in living in His adorable Will. Help us to abandon ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit, as you did, and to suffer all with Him, no longer two, but one in His sacrifice of love.