Do we welcome phenomena or Mother of God?
by Fr. Tomislav Vlasic
Our Lady has been visiting us for many years. Her desire is that we accept and welcome her. We need to ask ourselves with sincerity: do we welcome the Mother of God or the phenomena which accompany her visits? If we welcome the phenomena without accepting God and His Mother, the former remain void, meaningless, and are nought else but exterior signs.On the way of faith there are many people who accept the apparitions, visions, intuitions, and miracles, but they stop there. It must be clear, instead, that these are simply starting points. The way to reach God is long; and along this way it is necessary that our entire being be awoken and reach contemplation of God. It is thus very important that we do not stop at the means He uses.Let us take the case of a visionary: an instrument that recounts his experience of grace, but who can’t see God and Our Lady for us; who can’t substitute our soul. All of us, in fact, are called to look at God and His Mother, not necessarily through the experience of visions, but in that dimension where our entire being is aware of Their presence and enters into a filial and faithful relationship with the Mother and the Father.Thus to welcome the Mother of God means to allow Mary to be the mother of our lives, according to God’s plan. A mother conceives, generates, and raises her child and she follows him during his growth. Even beyond the death of a child, the mother remains united to him, in eternity. In this natural order God gave us an Immaculate Mother; He gave us a crib. Thus, to accept Mary means to accept the divine motherhood within us; it is perfect motherhood, it is God present in a mother.In Mary’s motherhood we are united to God’s creativity. We cannot, therefore, think of Mary as our mummy, for her motherly task is to generate free, mature, and complete children. To accept Mary in this way means to be generated in one’s own originality - generated for God.What are the steps to take? Let’s take a look together. Starting with the events of Fatima, there has been a lot of talk about consecration to Mary’s Immacu-late Heart, and her triumph is foreboded. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that this Consecration cannot be a mere recitation or exterior act, but must lead one to enter into Mary and into her life so that we become one with her Heart and her soul. It means to enter into her and, through her, to her relationship with God.Mary is Immaculate from her very conception, but we too are destined to become immaculate.With our baptism we received the grace of incorruptibility, and we live in expectation of the full realization of salvation. Our journey ought to aim at returning to the state we lost with original sin. Jesus Christ has given us all the graces to do this, including the great grace of being able to unite ourselves to Mary Immaculate. We belong to a corrupt humanity, so much so that from immortal we have become mortal beings. What greater corruption could there be than this?We are not, however, aware of what this means. Nor are we aware of the meaning of our calling, which is to rise above corruptibility. It is thus very important to understand that we must continuously walk in faith. In his encyclical Mulieris dignitatem John Paul II called Our Lady a pilgrim of faith. He didn’t call her a mystic or a person of great knowledge, but a woman who had to journey on her way. Mary was a disciple of Jesus; a docile and humble disciple, attentive to His every teaching.We must learn from her to conceive Jesus within our souls. This isn’t impossible… as it wasn’t for Mary. She was open way beyond the human logic of possibility. In faith she said yes to God and the Holy Spirit descended upon her and she conceived the Son of God.To conceive then, it is necessary that we accept every grace of God and participate in each of them. We have all gone through moments in life when every door seemed locked. We all experience this, but in God there is always a door that remains open. As creatures we experience limits, but if we are open to the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, and if we allow Him to lead us beyond our limits, then we have the possibility to overcome them.This inner passage is at times very subtle - psychotherapists would speak of the subconscious, though in grace nothing is subconscious. Mary surrendered herself beyond the conscious level and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide her. If we are attentive to these inner passages we will always find an opening and we will never feel locked up.Let us take another step with Mary: her definitive passage beneath the cross where she opened up to hope against all hope. The Son, the world’s Saviour, had been killed, and to overcome pain and despair she made an offering of herself. She offered herself beyond the barriers of human logic and entered into God’s infinite love. It was at this point that Mary became Mother of the Church and of all mankind. After having passed the barrier of death, of sin and of Satan, she was free and God was able to use her motherhood in total freedom to reach us.The logic consequence of all this is the experience of Pentecost where Mary, gathered around her children in the Upper Room, was able to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This is an important passage for us too. If our response to God is whole and unreserved, God’s fullness will be poured into us, and the Triune God will descend and manifest Himself. This is Pentecost.Let me take up this point again. To receive the fullness (of God) it is important that our response be whole and complete. Those who desire living the Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart and remain in it, must try to enter into this wholeness with Mary, and if necessary ask for help. The help will surely come, along with all the protection needed for the way. At times it may seem that the protection is lacking, that we are left alone, to the point of asking: "Where is God? Why has He abandoned me?"It is precisely because God protects us that He must seemingly abandon us, the way a mother will leave her child standing on his own to encourage him to walk. God is good to us (in ways we may not always understand) when we look at Him with eyes of faith, hope and love.It is the time for elevation: of souls, of the Church, of mankind. It is the time for a turnabout – for those who desire it – and it will be the turnabout of God’s triumph; of Mary Immaculate’s triumph, of the triumph of all those who belong wholly to God. Let us accept Mary as Mother of God. Let us enter into this vital relationship with the Mother who directs us to the Father.Then, between us and her there will be no doubt, or perplexity, or prayer suspended mid air, for every word and every prayer that enter into relationship with Mary will receive a reply. To enter into a living relationship with Mary means knowing how to make this reply your own. Then we will all be visionaries, each in his own original way, because God will clarify in us the mystery of our life, in Mary’s Immaculate Heart.