Mary, the perfection of humanity

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

ON the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on September 8, we are reminded of the unique place Mary occupies in the history of human salvation. The entire household of God in heaven definitely rejoices at her birth. She carried out the highest mission ever entrusted to a creature. And now, Christ himself gave her to be our Mother too. What supreme joy we have!

We should develop a deep devotion to her, fully convinced that she will be a great help to us. As one saint would put it, she is the surest, shortest and safest way to God. She is the most effective and powerful intercessor for us. As dramatized in that episode of the wedding at Cana (cfr. Jn 2,1-12), when it would be our Lady who would intercede for us, Christ would have a hard time to refuse. He most likely would give in.

We have to understand that Mary symbolizes humanity in its fullness and perfection. Conceived without original sin, that is to say, she was conceived and born in the state of grace, which was the original state our first parents had, until they fell into sin, she personified the true nature of man as God’s image and likeness, sharers of his divine life and nature.

She retained that condition even as she navigated the tricky waters of the world, filled with all kinds of evil. Her secret? She was fully and abidingly identified with her Son. Even in the things that she could not fully comprehend, as when she was told that she was going to be the mother of the Son of God, she just obeyed and said ‘yes’ to the designs of God. Her heart and mind were always focused on her Son and on the will of God.

She obviously gives us a way and an effective example of how we too can be identified with Christ and with God’s will all the time as we should. And being a mother to us, as Christ himself gave her to us as a mother (cfr. Jn 19,25-29), she is always solicitous of our condition here on earth as we too navigate its tricky waters.

Thus, we have to learn how to be intimately close to her. Indeed, we have to learn how to pray and deal with Christ through Mary. Contrary to what may be largely implied by our seemingly mainstream attitudes and actuations in these dizzying times, Mary has not fallen obsolete in our life. If anything, she has acquired greater relevance.

We have to find a way to be near her and intimately close to her. We need to learn how to read her mind and catch the slightest insinuations she makes, because all these are a tremendous help in our spiritual life, in our relation with God.

That’s precisely because with all the bombardment of things we are subjected to these days, Mary, the Mother of Christ who gave her to us to be our mother too, shows us how to be spiritual and supernatural in the midst of our glutting human affairs.

Let’s remember that the present mad race to technological progress can stimulate us wrongly, pressuring us to succumb to mindless activism and to drift to uncharted territory guided only by ignorance, confusion if not outright error.

In this way, she shows us how to live our life to the full, not reduced to the purely earthly and material levels. She shows us how to fall in love properly, how to be truly and fully human!