Mary is the mother of all the faithful. —Echoing the Mystery 17:5 


“Behold your mother” (John 19:27). As Mary stood at the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusted her to the care of John.

I referenced last week a homily by Pope Benedict XVI in which he said, “We have a Mother in heaven. Heaven is open, heaven has a heart.” So, what does the heart of Mary reveal to us? How can we learn to love God more from her?

Mary, who was freed from original sin, shines a light on how God designed us to live. Her magnificat is a song of praise for the greatness of God’s love and goodness to her. She proclaimed, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). Her fiat (her “yes” to God’s will) filled her with joy and humility in her obedience to God’s will. She experienced true freedom and the lightness of spirit.

A quick glance at Adam and Eve in the garden hiding from God (Genesis 3:1-13) exposes the enslavement of sin and pride when we listen to the lie of our own “greatness.” Pope Benedict eloquently paints the effect of original sin when he says, “When God disappears, man and woman do not become greater, and indeed, they lose the divine dignity, their faces lose God’s splendor.”

Without God’s grace, that is, our participation in His divine life, the serenity and beauty of God disappear from our face. The dignity of the human person shifts from being created in God’s image and likeness to being created in my own image and likeness. If we look around, we will quickly see that this “project” of autonomy is failing as God’s splendor is seemingly disappearing from faces in society.

Mary’s life shows us that this is the path to enslavement, not how God originally created us to live. For she quickly hastened to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist and spent a period of time helping her. At Cana, Mary saw the anxiety on the faces of those serving as the wine ran out. And even to this day, she physically appears and tenderly looks upon the faces of those graced to see her. Yes, heaven does have the heart of our mother, who continually shows us the way to “do whatever He tells us” (John 2:5). For proclaiming the greatness of God in our lives and actions is the way to live freely and experience life as He originally designed. May we all proclaim with Mary, “The mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:49).

Spot the Virtue

Charity is a supernatural gift given to us by God so that we, who are loved by God, can love God in a free gift of self. By knowing we are first loved by God (1 John 4:19), we live from this love and not for it. This perspective changes our worldview and imparts how we embrace each day.

Name: Kila, I saw that you forgave Lauren when she apologized for pushing you.

Explain: Forgiving someone after they have hurt you displays the virtue of charity.

Express: Thank you for being a witness to Lauren and others of what it looks like to be charitable.

Spot the virtue in one person this week.


Pray an Act of Charity.

O my God, I love You above all things with my whole heart and soul,
because You are all good and worthy of all my love.
I love my neighbor as myself for the love of You.
I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.

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