Experiencing the Holy Spirit Through Mary

  Episode Transcript  

One

The Holy Spirit acts as a Mother to us through Mary

In the last meditation, I explained the way the Holy Spirit acts as a mother to us by receiving Jesus within us and forming us in his likeness. Today I hope to show you that the Holy Spirit acts as a mother to us through Mary, that in Mary you actually meet the Holy Spirit, you see the face of the Holy Spirit.

To help us understand this the Catechism (726) following a long Tradition, draws a correlation between two events, the Annunciation and Pentecost, to teach us the Holy Spirit acts as a Mother through Mary to conceive and form Jesus first in her womb. Then to conceive and form Jesus in the souls of his disciples.

The Catechism (2617) states, “Before the Incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, (Mary’s) prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father’s plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ’s conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, his Body.” 

The Annunciation and Pentecost reveal that the Holy Spirit acts as a Mother to form Christ in the womb of Mary and in the souls of Christians through the presence and prayer of Mary.

Two

The Path of Birth from the Holy Spirit 

Pope St. John Paul II wrote a letter to the world called Redemptoris Mater, Mother of the Redeemer. There he explains how the Holy Spirit acts as a mother to us through Mary. He writes, “In the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her (Mary’s) discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of "birth from the Holy Spirit."

Who gives birth to us? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit acts as a mother. Through whom? Through Mary.

The Annunciation and Pentecost teach us the Holy Spirit acts as a Mother through Mary to form Jesus in her womb and in the souls of believers.

Three

In 1974 Pope St. Paul VI wrote about the Holy Spirit and Mary in a letter called Marialis Cultus. There he reminds us that the early Church, “had recourse to the Virgin’s intercession in order to obtain from the Spirit the capacity for engendering Christ in their own soul.” They turned to Mary to receive Jesus from the Holy Spirit.

The Pope then quoted a powerful prayer by St. Ildephonsus of Toledo Spain written in the 600s, “I beg you Holy Virgin that I may have Jesus from the Holy Spirit, by whom you brought Jesus forth. May my soul receive Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, by whom your flesh conceived Jesus.”  

The Holy Spirit acts as a Mother through Mary to receive and form Jesus in her womb and in the souls of believers. So, in the joint mission of the Son and Spirit, the mission of the Son to give his life is manifest in Jesus and the mission of the Spirit to receive the Son is manifest in Mary.

Since Mary is not the Holy Spirit and she is not the incarnation of the Spirit and she is not divine on her own, we can conclude Mary, by her intimate union with the Holy Spirit, is the perfect human expression of the Spirit.

Four

Saints and Theologians 

St. Maximilian Kolbe expressed the intimate relationship between the Holy Spirit and Mary when he wrote, “By venerating the Immaculata, we venerate in a very special way the Holy Spirit.” 634

“The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity never took flesh; still our human word "spouse" is far too weak to express the reality of the relationship between the Immaculata and the Holy Spirit. We can affirm that Mary is almost the "incarnation" of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that we love in Mary; and through Mary we love the Son. The Holy Spirit is far too little known.” Conference Feb. 5, 1941

Fr. Gregorz Bartosik, when asked how Kolbe understood the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Mary he said, “According to Kolbe, Mary and the Holy Spirit are two separate persons, but their union is so close, that though Kolbe called Mary the “Spouse of the Spirit” it was not adequate. In fact, Kolbe preferred to call Mary the “Quasi-Incarnation” of the Holy Spirit. Kolbe said the Son became manifest in Jesus and the Holy Spirit became manifest in Mary.”

Fr. Rene Laurentin said, “What the Holy Spirit does as God, Mary does with Him: she participates with Him as His visible sign. Mary is the sensible visible presence of the Holy Spirit.”

Five

On Wednesday, December 9, 1998, Pope St. John Paul II taught that in Mary we see the face of the Holy Spirit.

St. John Paul said, “From the Cross the Savior wished to pour out upon humanity rivers of living water, that is, the abundance of the Holy Spirit. But he wanted this outpouring of grace to be linked to a mother’s face, his Mother’s.”

Then, a little bit later John Paul said, “Calvary reveals the close and enduring link between the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gift of Mary as mother…The link between the gift of the Holy Spirit and the motherhood of Mary emerges again at Pentecost, when she awaited with the disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit…therefore, as the bond with Mary grows deeper, so the action of the Spirit in the life of the Church grows more fruitful.”

St. John Paul II is saying that, since the face of Mary expresses the face of the Holy Spirit, the more we develop a personal relationship with Mary, the more fruitful will be the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Holy Spirit relates to us as a Mother. And we relate directly with the Holy Spirit when we develop a personal relationship with Mary.

How do we do this? By consecration to Mary, by living in personal relationship with Mary simply by talking to her.

St. Maximilian Kolbe explains this when he says, “Frequent conversation heart to heart with Mary or at her feet will be a very good school to learn how to win an increasing number of souls…Do not worry; even if you may feel like you have one foot in hell, as long as you never tire of turning to her with full confidence…” Writings 897

God wanted us to know what the Holy Spirit looked like so we could more easily have a relationship with the Spirit. God fashioned Mary to be the perfect human expression, the face of the Spirit. So, when we turn to Mary, we are turning to the Holy Spirit, for they act as one. And the more we turn to Mary the more powerful is the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

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