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“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” (CCC 721). 

As we conclude the month of May and, for most of you, another academic year, it seemed appropriate to focus our attention on how Mary is the masterwork of the mission and how we, too, can imitate her response. 

Granted, this seems like a deep theological teaching, but I would like to distill it so you can apply it to your daily life. The long summer days give each of us the additional time to enjoy extended daylight, experience the outdoors, and reflect on the things that matter most. 

In the section “Rejoice, you who are full of grace” (CCC 721-726), the Catechism highlights four words or phrases which capture how the “wonders of God” were fulfilled in Mary: in her, the Holy Spirit prepares, fulfills, manifests, and brings into communion. 

Each of us is called to be a dwelling place of the Most Holy Trinity, and at our Baptism we are drawn into the life the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While we can understand how the wonders of God came to fruition through Mary, we must not let it stop there. We, too, need to recognize how these wonders take place in our own lives and in the lives of other people. The Spirit of God is alive and active. This pattern does and can play out again in our own lives. 

Prepare: Every moment presents an opportunity for us to allow the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to receive His graces—His life and love. These can be encounters with people, times of silent prayer, wonder at God’s creation, etc. We just need to be intentional about preparing ourselves. 

Fulfill: To live in God’s presence leads to a deep sense of fulfillment—a joy and assurance of God’s plan of loving goodness. There is a silent conviction and hope that everything is anchored in Him Who is our hope and security. 

Manifest: Live from God’s grace! Love naturally leads us to want to witness and share with others; it puts in us a desire to make God known. 

Bring Into Communion: Love manifests unity and being drawn into communion is what naturally happens.  

When we live from this place, this pattern seeps into our daily lives. Every morning, you awake prepared and open to the graces of the new day. When our hearts are open, God fulfills our desires by sharing His life with us. From this inner peace, we are ready to manifest our joy through a smile, acts of kindness, generosity—virtuous living. The overflow of this way of life brings people into communion with Christ. It is the humble who readily respond and recognize the delight of living in and from God’s love. 

While this may seem like a lot to take in at the end of the school year, it is really quite simple, and could frame your days of rest and vacation. May the Spirit of God prepare you for each day, so that you can be fulfilled by God’s love and manifest this love to others. In communion with Him, you will know the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity (Galatians 5:22). 

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