Mary is the perfect spouse of God the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Mary teaches me how to love You, God the Holy Spirit, as the perfect spouse, the perfect wife.
The love between a husband and wife is total giving paired with total receiving. It’s a life-giving gift embodied by the marital embrace.
This type of love parallels the Annunciation. You my God, sent Your angel messenger with a proposal for Mary. Will she be Your bride? The mother of Your Son? Unfettered by commitment to any man, Mary humbly accepts.
You, God the Holy Spirit, came upon her. She conceived Jesus in her womb.
Mary’s love for You was truly a spousal love.
It was so real that it resulted in the most miraculous coupling ever – God with human. And her life was forever changed when she welcomed Baby Jesus, the Son of God, into her life.
The most intimate love I can think of is the life-giving love between husband and wife. I can’t even begin to imagine being capable of that love with You, my God. But Mary’s heart was so pure, so devoted to You, that she alone was capable of such miraculous life-giving love with her Creator.
Mary’s union with St. Joseph was chaste – how could she give to man what she’d already given to You, my God? Despite this, Mary’s marriage to Joseph was no trivial thing, it wasn’t merely a cover-story for Jesus’ parentage to save face.
I think of Jesus’ words, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.” That’s the foundation of seeing God in others. Mary’s marriage to Joseph was an opportunity for her to “do unto You.” He was a true, legitimate, earthly husband for her. She loved, honored, and trusted him. She shared her joys, worries, and sorrows with him. She worked hard with him to raise and teach Jesus.
Mary was submissive to Joseph: she respected his decisions as the leader of their family, like when he took them to Egypt. You didn’t send Your angel with a warning to Mary, but to Joseph: the head of the family.
In all these ways, Mary practiced the virtue of charity. She saw Your reflection, God the Holy Spirit, in her earthly spouse. In loving Joseph as fully as possible, in sharing her life with him, she loved You and shared her life with You.
Her love for St. Joseph is the perfect example of loving God in others.
Mary’s love for You is perfect, and her love for her earthly spouse, St. Joseph, was perfect too. Mary was perfectly humble. She never put him to shame, criticized him, or blamed him. Her humble, constant support eased the guilt of any failings, and helped cultivate virtue.
Although I’m nowhere near perfect like Mary, I have the tendency to think of myself with big-headedness. Instead of feeling shocked and hurt when my husband makes a mistake, I can seek to love him perfectly.
Instead of obsessively dwelling on the wrong, I can choose to see You in my spouse. I can choose to search out the good, to love it, to respect him. And if there’s a fault I need to address, I can choose to do so with my eyes on Heaven.
I shouldn’t try to change him because of me – because of my preferences, my wishes. But I should always try to help him grow closer to You, be more pleasing to You, and advance toward You on the path of Heaven – just as I would want him to do for me. I can love You in him: your graces and gifts.
And I can love my husband fully for Your sake.
Though I can’t love You in a direct life-giving way like Mary did, I can learn from her how to love You through love for my husband, just as Mary did with her earthly husband, Joseph.
However, that doesn’t mean that my love for You, Holy Spirit, is barren.
Though the lives of priests, married couples suffering from infertility, and religious produce no biological children, they’re hardly barren. Physical life isn’t the only life that can be produced by love of You. Spiritual life is also a fruit produced by love for You – a fruit of utmost importance.
Not mere physical life – but life everlasting.
Hail Mary, spouse of God the Holy Spirit… pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Tweet this.
Those without children dedicate their lives to this kind of love. Mary’s love for You teaches me how I can love You in a spiritually life-giving way.
At the time when You descended upon the apostles in the upper room, when You breathed Your life on them and imparted Your gifts, Mary was there too. The apostles immediately took their gifts public: they preached, baptized, and converted thousands.
Mary’s response wasn’t as public. On the cross Jesus gave her a new family – spiritual children to watch over. He proclaimed to her and John the beloved disciple: “Here is your mother… here is your son.”
Mary’s job wasn’t to go out to inspire the masses to follow You. Her job was to stay at home with her family, the Church. Her job was to love them, to guide them, to support them.
She accepted the gifts You gave her at Pentecost and used them to give You glory through raising Your family. We could say You were raising Your new family, the Church, together. Together You gave Your Church a solid, secure base from which they could go out and change the world.
Sometimes I wish I could do something great.
I’d love to go out and minister to the needy, become an amazing speaker or leader, and visibly change the lives of many. It would be so gratifying to lead a multitude of souls to You.
But that’s not where You’re calling me.
That’s not what You’ve given me the grace and responsibility to do. You’ve given me a small, quiet life to be the steward of. You’ve given me a family to nurture, raise and care for. You’ve given me close friends to build a loving community with.
I must stay grounded like Mary after Pentecost. I must accept the specific graces You’ve given me and put them into action in my life.
Mary did so, quietly, and was a perfect mother to the whole Church. Her aid and influence have touched the hearts of Your children for thousands of years. Likewise, though small and insignificant, my response to the graces You have given me will result in spiritual fruit and greater good than any miraculous feats I try to achieve on my own.
Holy Spirit, my God, help me love You more and more in the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.
I sometimes overlook this part of loving You. But let me learn from Mary how love for You, the Holy Spirit, is a life-giving love. Show me how I can reflect Mary’s spousal love for You in imitation of her humble, generous love of St. Joseph by being a good wife to my husband.
Finally, let me love You where I am in life. Teach me to put the graces You’ve given me into practice graciously, and not seek the fame or earthly satisfaction of great deeds. Like Mary, let me respond to Your grace that it may yield great spiritual fruit.
My God, help me to love You in each person of the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Though I’m flawed and weak, let me never despair of learning how to love You from the example of Blessed Mary.
One day, may my love for You grow to perfection. Amen.
Read the rest
This post is the final part of a three part reflection on Mary’s great love for the Holy Trinity.
Read part 1: Mary, the perfect daughter of God the Father
And part 2: Mary, the perfect mother of God the Son
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