Marian Thoughts – May, the Month of Mary – 2 May 2019
Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Marialis Cultus – 2 February 1974
To Honour Mary
Finally, insofar as it may be necessary, we would like to repeat that the ultimate purpose of devotion to the Blessed Virgin is to glorify God and to lead Christians, to commit themselves, to a life which is in absolute conformity with His will. When the children of the Church unite their voices, with the voice of the unknown woman, in the Gospel and glorify the Mother of Jesus, by saying to Him: “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that you sucked” (Lk. 11:27), they will be led to ponder the Divine Master’s serious reply: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk. 11:28) While it is true, that this reply is, in itself, lively praise of Mary, as various Fathers of the Church interpreted it and the Second Vatican Council has confirmed, it is also an admonition to us, to live our lives in accordance with God’s commandments. It is also an echo of other words of the Saviour: “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21); and again: “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (Jn. 15:14).
Christ is the only way to the Father (cf. Jn. 14:4-11) and the ultimate example to whom the disciple must conform his own conduct (cf. Jn. 13:15), to the extent of sharing Christ’s sentiments (cf. Phil. 2:5), living His life and possessing His Spirit (cf. Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:10-11). The Church has always taught this and nothing in pastoral activity should obscure this doctrine. But the Church, taught by the Holy Spirit and benefiting from centuries of experience, recognises, that devotion to the Blessed Virgin, subordinated to worship of the divine Saviour and in connection with it, also has a great pastoral effectiveness and constitutes, a force, for renewing Christian living.
It is easy to see the reason for this effectiveness. Mary’s many-sided mission to the People of God is a supernatural reality which operates and bears fruit within the body of the Church. One finds cause for joy, in considering, the different aspects of this mission and seeing how each of these aspects, with its individual effectiveness, is directed towards the same end, namely, producing in the children the spiritual characteristics of the first-born Son. The Virgin’s maternal intercession, her exemplary holiness and the divine grace which is in her, become, for the human race, a reason for divine hope.
The Little Office of Mary
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday