Heaven in Her Heart (Part 20)

Mystical Union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary

            I need not go into great detail about it here, but it is true that some favored souls receive the grace of mystical union with Mary.  This is a most precious fruit of our total consecration, but it is sheer gift from God and cannot be obtained solely by our labors and prayers, although if we are to receive it our souls must be properly disposed.  Fr Chaminade, the founder of the Marianists, wrote: “There is a gift of the habitual presence of the Blessed Virgin even as there is a gift of the habitual presence of God—very rare, it is true, but obtainable through great fidelity.”  The great fidelity is what predisposes our soul, but he also makes it clear that it is a gift, and hence freely given as God and Our Lady choose.

            Such blessed souls who receive this gift of mystical union with Mary, writes Fr Garrigou-Lagrange in The Mother of the Saviour, “are conscious of the influence which Mary exercises on us continually by transmitting actual graces to our souls.”  Graces always come to us through Mary as the motherly Mediatrix, but those who are in personal union with her are consciously and sweetly aware of her gentle presence, and thus their hearts are habitually enkindled with an irrepressible love for her.

            I have quoted Venerable Marie Petyt of St Teresa several times already, but I’d like to conclude with a few more passages from her writings, which come directly from her personal experience.  I hope that her beautiful writings will encourage you to seek a deeper life in God through Our Lady.  Venerable Marie Petyt is one of those relatively rare souls who experienced a profound mystical union with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“It happens that my soul, turned completely towards God and adhering to Him in contemplation and fruition of his absolutely simple Being, invitationglorifyexperiences at the same time a like adherence to Mary, a like contemplation and enjoyment of Mary in so far as She is one with God and united to Him… God in His goodness has granted me also the grace of breathing gently, as it were, in Mary, of living in Her and experiencing a wonderful sweetness when I hear or pronounce Her dear name, and even when I merely think of it… She produces and nourishes the life of the soul in God by a perceptible influx of graces which go before the soul, arouse it to action, strengthen and accompany it in action, and allow it to persevere in this life in God with greater constancy and purity.  This influx of grace which gives life to the soul seems to proceed directly from the loving Heart and hands of Mary… in order to adorn our souls and render them beautiful in the sight of God…

“She remains constantly before me, leading and instructing me in the path of the spirit and in the perfect practice of the virtues, urging me on by Her sweet, motherly smile.  And thus not for a moment do I lose the feeling of Her presence and of the presence of God… I completely relinquished ownership of myself and gave that self entirely to Mary, so that it might be as property no longer belonging to me but to Her…  Since I made that offering, I can feel Her direction much more sensibly, much more clearly and certainly; She guides me in all that I must do or omit, as if She were leading me by the hand… She shows me how to correct myself… how to purify my soul in God… It seems that a ray comes forth from Her maternal Heart, giving me the light by which to perceive these things and the will to carry them out in practice…

“My desire is so intense to please my dearest Mother in all things, to do always what She likes best.  Within my soul there is the most devoted attention, in order that I might perceive the very slightest interior indication of Her preferences… How deeply do I feel enamored of Her when I think of Her great kindness and Her motherly love for us! … I am always conscious of the action of Mary’s spirit, inciting me, commanding me, directing me, in almost everything I do…

“I receive the powerful influence of Her spirit within my soul…  Sometimes God acts in different manners on the powers of my soul.  Then I remain passive, resolved to submit to the measureless grandeur of God.  Suddenly He fills me with a tender and childlike love for my dearest Mother, and He teaches me words of loving admiration… I felt that I received the supernatural life in my soul from God, through Mary, so that I seemed to live, to act, and to love through God and through Mary… The flames of love are springing forth again with great violence… Would that it might be given to me, and to all, to depart from life in this manner, out of love for God and for Mary…”

            Yes, would that we could all die with flames of love springing from our hearts for God and for Mary!  This is the precious fruit of our faith, our devotion, our consecration.  This is Heaven in her Heart: finding therein the Uncreated Light and Love which she bears with her as Tabernacle of the Divinity, which she gives us as Mediatrix of Grace.  As Mother, she ardently longs to enclose us within her Immaculate Heart and thus to bring us to Our Lord, exclaiming to the whole heavenly court: “Behold: I and the children God has given me!” (Heb. 2:13).

To be continued…

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.

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