So just what is it that makes Mary so holy? Lumen Gentium (hereafter referred to as L.G.) makes clear (in ¶53, §1) that Mary “received the Word of God in her heart”. Herein is part of what I refer to as a three-fold process to holiness: receive, believe, and conceive. As just stated, Mary first received the Word of God in her heart — “Be it done unto me according to thy Word”(Lk 1:38). Her ability to receive – and openness to that word — allowed her to believe in it: “Blessed is she who believed”(Lk. 1:45). Having openly received and believed she was ready for the third step – Mary conceived “in her body” (L.G. ¶53, §1). In his book entitled Jesus: A Historical Portrait, Fr. Daniel J. Harrington describes Mary (p. 54) as “one who accepts the word of God, believes that it is being fulfilled in her…” In other words, Mary first had to conceive of Christ in her heart before conceiving him in her womb. It is in this three-fold process of receive, believe and conceive that allows others to grow in imitation of Mary. The saints certainly did this – and did it to a high degree. They all knew themselves to be very unworthy of God’s favor to them – yet each of them replied with all the abandon of a five-year-old about to ask for a puppy when “the word of the Lord came to them” (cf. Jer. 1:4). God was able to do great things in them and through them because of their openness and their faith. They also believed greatly in Love itself. The question to ask then is Do we believe in Love to this great height? Do we truly believe that God has a plan for each of us whereby Jesus can be made present in the lives of others through us? Ecce Ancilla. Fiat. Amen.
Support the Carmelite