“May the spirit of Mary be in each one of you”

My Mother! Mothers on earth look with greater love upon the weakest of their children, the one with the worst health, or who is least intelligent, or is a poor cripple. Sweet Lady, I know that you are more of a Mother than all other mothers put together. And, since I am your son, since I am weak, and ill, and crippled, and ugly ... (The Forge, 234)

Mothers don't keep a record of their children's tokens of affection; nor do they weigh them up or measure them with petty calculations. A tiny sign of affection is as sweet as honey to them, and they give themselves generously in return, bestowing much more than they receive. If good earthly mothers react in this way, just imagine what we can expect from our Holy Mother Mary.

I like to go back in my imagination to the years Jesus spent close to his Mother, years which span almost the whole of his life on earth. I like to picture him as a little child, cared for by Mary who kisses him and plays with him. I like to see him growing up before the loving eyes of his Mother and of Joseph, his father on earth. What tenderness and care Mary and the Holy Patriarch must have shown towards Jesus, as they looked after him during his childhood, all the while, silently, learning so much from him. Their souls would become more and more like the soul of that Son, who was both Man and God. This is why his Mother, and after her St Joseph, understand better than anyone the feelings of the Heart of Christ; and the two of them are thus the best way, I would say the only way, to reach the Saviour.

'May the soul of Mary', writes St Ambrose, 'be in each of you, so that you may praise Our Lord; may the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, so that you may rejoice in God.' (Friends of God, 280-281)

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