“I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases. All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.” (Wisdom 7:10-11)
The month of October bestows on us an opportunity each year to honor Mary through the Rosary. It is difficult to adequately express what Mary means in the church today. The Catechism has this to say in paragraph 721:
“Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the ‘Seat of Wisdom.'”
Tradition teaches that the beautiful passages of scripture referring to Wisdom may be applied to Mary. It is worth dwelling on a few of these passages in the month of October. I begin with the following three verses from Sirach, chapter 24. Referring to wisdom:
18 “Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and be filled with my fruits.”
If we come to Mary, we will be filled with her fruits. St. Elizabeth proclaimed Jesus the fruit of Mary’s womb. So, as foretold in this passage, if we come to Mary we will be filled with Jesus.
21 “He who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail.”
Jesus himself obeyed Mary. Even as an adult Jesus modeled this obedience at the wedding feast at Cana. Will we do less? The promise of this passage is that we will never fail. That is because Mary in Scripture tells us this one thing: “Do whatever He tells you.” We cannot fail if we obey her in this.
26 “The first man never finished comprehending wisdom, nor will the last succeed in fathoming her.”
The Old and New Testaments give us what we need in order for God’s plan of salvation to be fulfilled. The focus of Scripture is Jesus and rightly so. Yet, for such a crucial figure in salvation history, very little is said in Scripture about Mary. Does that mean there is nothing to say? On the contrary.
This verse from Sirach tells us that there is more to Mary than we will understand this side of eternity.
In fact much has been written on Mary that is eloquent and inspired, for she who inspires these writings is eloquent and inspirational. Most eloquent of all is Louis Marie deMontfort’s “True Devotion to Mary”. If you haven’t already read this book, I encourage you to take this month to do so. It is an essential tool in contemplating the indescribable beauty and mercy of God through Mary.
Interwoven throughout the Wisdom books is a yearning for something uncommonly beautiful, infinitely valuable and absolutely attainable. Wisdom 6:12-14 tells us:
“Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of men’s desire; he who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate.”
Mary anticipates our needs as she did at Cana. She hastens to help those in need as she did for her cousin Elizabeth. She is longing for us to ask for her help. Those who pray the rosary have the promise of her special protection. She stoops down to us in her apparitions and inclines her head towards us, guiding us and showering wisdom like dew on our parched souls.
If we want to imitate Jesus perfectly, we must love his mother as he did. Jesus not only obeyed the law, but fulfilled it perfectly. “Honor your Father and your Mother.” Being God, would he not give her the highest honor he could, an honor beyond our imagination? When Mary proclaimed in the Magnificat that God had “lifted up the lowly”, was she not foretelling her own glorious Assumption and her crowning as Queen of Heaven and Earth? If we who are sinners honor our mothers who are also sinners, how much more would the sinless Son honor the perfect Mother. There can be no doubt that he would give her nothing but the highest honors.
Then, knowing how Jesus has honored his Mother, and seeking to imitate Him to the best of our ability, should we not also honor her to the best of our ability? Should we not trust her with our daily needs as He did and submit to her in obedience as He did? Should we not give her to others as He did while she suffered with him at the foot of the cross?
Let us read that Scripture passage from Wisdom again, but this time let us apply its beautiful sentiments to Mary:
“I loved (the Blessed Mother) more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases. All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.”
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, for we love you.