Paris, April 26, 1998

We are perhaps too used to seeing the mother of Jesus from a devotional point of view, rather than considering her role in the universal plan of providence.  This can make it difficult to understand the deep inner conviction which led to Chiara Lubich wanting to re-live Mary, who is a model for everyone.

Nicole: In Paradise 1949 you understood Mary in a new and splendid way. Can you tell us something about your relationship with her today?

Chiara:  All right, yes. How do I see Mary now? I see her as being very great, very, very, very great because that is how she is. I no longer see her as the young girl from Nazareth, as she is often shown in little statues. No, I know that she is very great! … We can’t imagine nor will we ever be able to imagine how great Mary is.

So let’s use all our imagination, all the ideas we might have in order to fathom something of how great Mary can be.

I also understood Mary as being all clothed in the Word of God. If you were to ask me: “Listen, what should we do in order to always be as happy as we are now, but always on a supernatural level too, always where God has placed us? What should we do?”

I have only one answer: live the Word, be the living Word, because being the living Word means reliving Mary on earth. She was all Word, only the Word. The words: “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Lk 2:51), means that she lived them. She was the living Word, she was a talking Bible, Mary was a living Bible. This is how I think of her.

And then she is our model, especially for us lay people, because she was a lay person and so she is our model in an altogether special way. We see her as the model of someone who is engaged, as the model wife, mother, widow and virgin. So we can all mirror ourselves in her.

Moreover, she is the Mother of Jesus who is the high priest, and so of bishops and priests too. They too can see her as their model. 

So the other point I would say, is to see her… I see her as being very great, all clothed with the Word and our model. She is our model to the point of saying: she is what we “should be.” In our turn, we are those who “can be” like her.

Once I asked... - you have probably read that meditation - I felt I should go into church and ask Jesus: “You have stayed with us in every part of the world in the most holy Eucharist. Why didn’t you find a way to leave your Mother here as well?”

I felt that He answered me - in a collective way, addressing Himself not only to me but to the whole Movement: “I didn’t leave her because I want to see her again in you.” In other words, “Yes, yes, I want to populate the world with Mary, with many other Marys, but I want her to be in you.” Then within my soul I understood: sing the litanies and seek to mirror yourself in them. This means, if you are like the litanies: “Virgo virginum,” [Virgin of virgins] etc., etc., you will be another Mary. So I didn’t send her, I didn’t find the way to leave her on earth because I want to see her in all of you.”

So Mary is really what we “should be,” and we are those who “can be” like her.

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