When the days of the Mother's purification are accomplished, according to the Law of Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke 2:24). —Just think: She —the Immaculate!— submits herself to the Law as if she were defiled.
Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?
Purification! You and surely do need purification! —Atonement, and more than atonement, Love. —Love as a searing iron to cauterize our souls' uncleanness, and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.
A just and God-fearing man has come to the temple led by the Holy Ghost —it had been revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Christ. —He takes the Messiah in his arms and says to Him: Now, My Lord, Thou canst take Thy servant out of this world in peace, according to Thy promise... because my eyes have seen the Saviour (Luke 2:25-30). (Holy Rosary, The Presentation)
The catholic faith sees Mary as a sign of God's special love. God calls us his friends; his grace acts in us, winning us from sin, enabling us to reflect in some way the features of Christ, even though we are still wretched dirt. We are not stranded people whom God has promised to save. His salvation is already at work in us. In our relationship to God, we are not blind men yearning for light and crying in anguished darkness. We are children who know our Father loves us. (Christ is Passing By, 142, 3)
Experience of sin, then, should not make us doubt our mission. True, our sins can make it difficult to recognize Christ. That is why we must face up to our personal miseries and seek to purify ourselves. But in doing this, we must realize that God has not promised us a complete victory over evil in this life. Instead he asks us to fight. "My grace is sufficient for you," our Lord replied to St. Paul, when he wanted to be freed of the "thorn in his flesh" which humiliated him. (Christ is Passing By, 114, 1)
Mary, our Mother, "help of Christians, refuge of sinners": intercede with your Son to send us the Holy Spirit, to awaken in our hearts the decision to go ahead confidently, making us hear deep in our soul the call which filled with peace the martyrdom of one of the first Christians: "Come, return to your Father," he is waiting for you. (Christ is Passing By, 66, 5)
The christian vocation is one of sacrifice, penance, expiation. We must make reparation for our sins — for the many times we turned our face aside so as to avoid the gaze of God — and all the sins of mankind. We must try to imitate Christ, "always carrying about in our body the dying of Christ," his abnegation, his suffering on the cross, "so that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies." Our way is one of immolation and, in this denial, we find gaudium cum pace, both joy and peace. (Christ is Passing By, 9, 2)