Rome, 25 April 1976
How can we love Mary? By imitating her, by being the living Word of God just like her.
“Now and again I feel, like a reproach, that I don’t love Mary enough, that I think very little of her. What do you think should we do so as to have true devotion to Mary?”
Just the thought of speaking about Mary makes my soul tremble and my heart beat. This very topic surpasses our every intellect and instead of speaking it’s better to remain silent.
Mary! The extraordinary one among all creatures, the lofty one to the point of being given the title and reality as Mother of God and therefore Immaculate Mary, the Assumed, the Queen, the Mother of the Church.
Mary is closer to God than to human beings, yet she is a creature like us creatures, and this is how she is in front of the Creator. She has the possibility to be an inclined plane for us that touches heaven and earth. Therefore, even in her being extraordinary: child, girl, fiancée, mother, bride, widow… like us, each one with our own age and condition, we can find a connection with her and therefore a model.
I think that the reproach you feel for having loved Mary too little is quite normal in people who care for their own spiritual life. It’s healthy and it comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit worked so much on you that he wants you to know her so that on this earth we may have the joy of taking our journey with such a powerful mother.
With regard to having true devotion for her – even if the various devotions that have blossomed throughout the centuries are enhanced so as to give the Christian people the sense of a solid maternal love that thinks of all the little and big mistakes of life – I’d advise you a way that may let grow in your heart a love for Mary similar to the one that Jesus has for her.
If Mary has all those magnificent and extraordinary qualities that you know, she is also «the perfect Christian».
She is such because, as you can deduce from the Gospel, she does not live her own life, but she allows the law of God to live in her. She is the one who can say best of all: «It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me» (Gal 2:20). Mary is the lived out Word of God.
If, therefore, you want to truly love her, «imitate her».
Be a living Word of God too!
Imitating her makes you similar to her and leads you to loving her, because if a saying says: «Love either finds those who are like us or makes us alike», then it’s also true that similar people love one another. Look: who do children play with? With children. Who do girls look for as friends? Other girls. And adult men? Other adult men.
Therefore let’s imitate Mary, we’ll become like her and our love for her will spontaneously arise in our heart.
Translated from the Italian text in: «Città Nuova», 20 (1976), n. 9, p. 33.