Mary = Heaven

The Mother of God not only dwells in Heaven, and she is not only the Queen of Heaven—in certain sense she is Heaven!  Not in the most literal sense, but the Church in her liturgical poetry sees her that way.  Heaven is simply where God dwells, and since God dwelled uniquely and bodily in the Virgin Mary, she herself has become—ever since her glorification in Heaven—a kind of sweet paradise for all who would enter into the light and glory of God through her Immaculate Heart.  In one of the texts below, she is called a “chamber full of light,” and this reminds me of one of the Fatima apparitions, at which she opened her hands to the children, and then from within her came the Light of God which penetrated their hearts and souls and took them into his presence.  She is the tabernacle, as it were, of that Divine Light, and entering therein we find—Heaven!

This picture of her is for me a kind of image of Heaven, even though it shows her in her earthly life with Jesus.  But look at Him!  This image of blissful repose in the arms of the Blessed Mother, under her tender and loving gaze, is Heaven, as far as I’m concerned.  She told Lucia at Fatima that her Heart would be her refuge and her way to God, and so that is how I want to be carried to Him!

The following are a number of excerpts from texts found in the Byzantine liturgical services that portray Mary as a living Heaven or Paradise.  We can have a foretaste of Heaven by allowing her to take us into her Heart in a spiritual or mystical way while still in this world, as we prepare to behold the full manifestation of her mystery and her glory in the next.  Heaven is a created reality where those who love God dwell, and we can say the same thing in a qualified sense about Our Lady.

“…the theme of the angels’ hymn, and the beauty of the faithful. She was seen as being heavenly and the tabernacle of the Divinity…

“Let us sing with faith to her who is the heavenly dwelling-place…

“Let us sing to the new Ark and the Gate of Heaven, the holy mountain and radiant cloud, the ladder reaching to Heaven, the deliverance of Eve, the mystical Paradise…

“In you, O full of grace, all creation rejoices: the orders of angels and the human race as well. O sanctified Temple, spiritual Paradise and glory of virgins…

“Ineffable is the mystery of the Virgin, for she is Heaven, a cherubic throne.  She is the chamber full of light for Christ our God, the all-powerful Lord.  We reverently magnify her, for she is the Mother of God.

“We magnify you, O holy Ark, heavenly Tabernacle in which Christ took up his dwelling among us in order to grant us grace and save us.

“You are the burning bush that Moses saw unconsumed, the living ladder that Jacob contemplated, and the heavenly gate through which Christ our God has passed: O Virgin Mother, in hymns we magnify you.

“As we stand within the nave of your glory, we feel as if we were in Heaven, O Mother of God…”

When we contemplate the mysteries of Heaven, let us not forget that Our Lady and Queen is at the heart of them, glorified by the infinite love and power of her divine Son.  Before Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and in the precious company our Heavenly Mother who will bring us there, we will worship with love and joy and thanksgiving forever and ever!

About Father Joseph

I am a priest and monk currently serving with the Contemplatives of St Joseph in South San Francisco, CA. I am in my 33rd year of monastic life and in my 24th as a priest.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: