The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary As Set Forth in Her Litany – Holy Mary

To cultivate a constant friendship, a sincere love for God; to seek the companionship of Jesus; to turn our mind and heart from worldly frivolities; to shun evil and to do good, is sanctity. Holiness of life is gained by a faithful performance of duty and the practice of virtue. Saint Paul tells us what we must do to live such a life when he says: “Denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world” (Titus 2:12). The sanctity of the body is purity, that of the soul is humility and charity.

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

Jesus Christ sanctified his Church, “that he might present it to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy, and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).

“For me to live,” says again the same Apostle, “is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). “And I live, now, not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Our life must be, as far as possible, a counter-part of the life of our Saviour. We must not be ashamed of Him; we must take up our cross and follow Him; we must die for love of Him, die to all things earthly. In a word, we must seek to be another Christ.

The ground of a perfect life lies in the conformity of our will and of our works to the eternal law, which is in the spirit of God. He who regulates his ways, in accordance with that law, is just, holy, perfect. Sanctity is freedom from all blemish, a true love of God, an intimate union with Christ. The more we turn our heart away and purify it from mundane things, the nearer we approach to God, and the more holy do we become.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” says the Apostle, “who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ.” “As He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in His sight in charity” (Ephesians 1:3,4). God alone is sanctity in His essence, He is eternal charity. Whoever seeks a union with God, and communicates with Him, lives a life pleasing to Him. Our sanctity increases in the ratio of our approachment to God and our devotion to Him.

The humble Virgin of Nazareth, Mary, being the nearest and most intimately united to God, is, of all His creatures, the most holy. A closer union with God never existed, nor could there be a more perfect one than that which resulted from the divine maternity.

Notwithstanding Mary’s intimate relationship with God, her divine motherhood, it would have availed her but little had she not carried Jesus Christ in her heart, even more than in her chaste womb.

She shunned the world, abhorred sin, and lived only for Jesus. All her days were passed in the practice of virtue. With greater reason than Saint Paul could she exclaim: “And I live, now, not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

She was holy in her eyes, ears, tongue, hands and feet; she was godly in her thoughts, desires, words, heart, and in all the powers of her soul; she was saintly in all her movements, all her actions; in a word, she was holy in both body and soul.

Jesus was, by nature, impeccable, Mary having been preserved by a special dispensation of divine grace from the blight of the original defilement, was exempt from any actual stain, even from the least imperfection.

Jesus dwelt in Mary’s immaculate womb for nine months, was nourished at her breasts in infancy, and spent thirty of the thirty-three years of his life under her roof.

Mary took part in His labors and shared in His joys and ignominies. From the blessed moment of her conception, super-eminent beauty graced her pure soul. In her tender infancy she consecrated herself to God, Whom she loved with an affection beyond that of all creatures capable of serving Him. She had no thought, no desire, save that of honoring Him. She performed no duty, she undertook no task but what tended to His greater glory. Her mind was in perfect harmony with His mind; her heart pulsated only in union with that of her Creator; her soul was filled with joyous rapture in her ecstasy of devotion to Him. Never for one moment in her life did she displease Him in thought, word or deed.

She knew not evil; no shadow of sin ever obscured her life, no stain of any kind ever darkened her soul.

She not only lived, but died for love of God, for it was her excessive love to be dissolved and be with Him that caused her soul to wing its flight to his bosom, and the sweet embrace of her divine Son, Jesus.

Like Him, she was tried; nevertheless, her sorrows drew her closer to God, to whom she had recourse for help and consolation. In the spirit of her divine Son, Jesus, who exclaimed, “Not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36), did she humbly submit to God’s holy will in these words: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy word” (Luke 1:38).

Though she understood not the words spoken to her by the holy man Simeon, concerning her divine Son, her love for, and her confidence in her Maker was such, that, albeit, at almost every step in life, her heart was transfixed with a sword of sorrow, her mind and heart were at all times one with that of God. “Be it done unto me according to Thy word,” came forth every moment from her pure and holy soul.

She was humble, like the meek and humble Jesus, and the Lord “hath regarded the humility of His handmaid” (Luke 1:48). Her devotion for Jesus was like that of Saint Peter; her charity, like that of Saint John; her obedience, like that of Abraham; her patience, like that of Isaac; her resignation, like that of Jacob; her immaculateness excelled the chastity of all the Angels and Saints; her constancy was like that of Josue; her goodness, like that of Samuel; her tenderness, like that of David, and her abstinence, like that of Daniel.

Responding faithfully to every requirement of a perfect life, of exalted sanctity, she is indeed that Holy Mary of whom it is said in the inspired volume: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28).