Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In my thread on “God shelters us in Himself…He bears us in Himself” as quoted in the book , “Mary the Church at the Source,” Cardinal Ratzinger wrote about the image of the Pieta. He stated that Mary is the compassio of God, displayed in a human being who has let herself be drawn wholly into God’s mystery. I want to continue with the very next sentence, continuing on pp. 77 on to p.78 of this book.
It is because life is at all times suffering that the image of the suffering Mother, the image of “the womb” of God, is of such importance for Christianity.
The Pieta completes the picture of the Cross, because Mary is the accepted Cross, the Cross communicating itself in love, the Cross that now allows us to experience in her compassion the compassion of God. In this way the Mother’s affliction is Easter affliction, which already inaugurates the transformation of death into the redemptive being-with of love. Only apparently have we distanced ourselves from the “rejoice” with which the narrative of Mary begins.
For the joy announced to her is not the banal joy clung to in forgetfulness of the abysses of our being and so condemned to plunge into the void. It is the real joy that gives courage to venture the exodus of love into the burning holiness of God. It is the true joy that pain does not destroy but first brings into maturity. Only the joy that stands the test of pain and is stronger than affliction is authentic.
The very last sentence in the quote above was a powerful one for me and I hope it is for all who read this thread. There is so much to ponder, when by God’s Grace we hear the words of Jesus deeply: “Behold your Mother”. May the Holy Spirit inflame our hearts with the Fire of His Love, and bring us into all Truth. May He fill us as He filled Mary with Jesus.
“O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in Your servants, in the Spirit of Your holiness, in the fullness of Your power, in the perfection of Your ways, in the truth of Your virtues, in the communion of Your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen.” (Prayer of Fr. Olier)