139. Our good Master stooped to enclose himself in the womb of
the Blessed Virgin, a captive but loving slave, and to make
himself subject to her for thirty years. As I said earlier,
the human mind is bewildered when it reflects seriously upon
this conduct of Incarnate Wisdom. He did not choose to give
himself in a direct manner to the human race though he could
easily have done so. He chose to come through the Virgin Mary.
Thus he did not come into the world independently of others in
the flower of his manhood, but he came as a frail little child
dependent on the care and attention of his Mother. Consumed
with the desire to give glory to God, his Father, and save the
human race, he saw no better or shorter way to do so than by
submitting completely to Mary.
He did this not just for the first eight, ten or fifteen
years of his life like other children, but for thirty years.
He gave more glory to God, his Father, during all those years
of submission and dependence than he would have given by
spending them working miracles, preaching far and wide, and
converting all mankind. Otherwise he would have done all these
What immeasurable glory then do we give to God when,
following the example of Jesus, we submit to Mary! With such a
convincing and well-known example before us, can we be so
foolish as to believe that there is a better and shorter way
of giving God glory than by submitting ourselves to Mary, as
140. Let me remind you again of the dependence shown by the
three divine Persons on our Blessed Lady. Theirs is the
example which fully justifies our dependence on her. The
Father gave and still gives his Son only through her. He
raises children for himself only through her. He dispenses his
graces to us only through her. God the Son was prepared for
mankind in general by her alone. Mary, in union with the Holy
Spirit, still conceives him and brings him forth daily. It is
through her alone that the Son distributes his merits and
virtues. The Holy Spirit formed Jesus only through her, and he
forms the members of the Mystical Body and dispenses his gifts
and his favours through her.
With such a compelling example of the three divine
Persons before us, we would be extremely perverse to ignore
her and not consecrate ourselves to her. Indeed we would be
blind if we did not see the need for Mary in approaching God
and making our total offering to him.
141. Here are a few passages from the Fathers of the Church
which I have chosen to prove what I have just said: "Mary has
two sons, the one a God-man, the other, mere man. She is
Mother of the first corporally and of the second spiritually"
(St. Bonaventure and Origen).
"This is the will of God who willed that we should have
all things through Mary. If then, we possess any hope or grace
or gift of salvation, let us acknowledge that it comes to us
through her" (St. Bernard).
"All the gifts, graces, virtues of the Holy Spirit are
distributed by the hands of Mary, to whom she wills, when she
wills, as she wills, and in the measure she wills" (St.
"As you were not worthy that anything divine should be
given to you, all graces were given to Mary so that you might
receive through her all graces you would not otherwise
receive" (St. Bernard).
142. St. Bernard tells us that God, seeing that we are
unworthy to receive his graces directly from him, gives them
to Mary so that we might receive from her all that he decides
to give us. His glory is achieved when he receives through
Mary the gratitude, respect and love we owe him in return for
his gifts to us. It is only right then that we should imitate
his conduct, "in order", as St. Bernard again says, "that
grace might return to its author by the same channel through
which it came to us".
This is what we do by this devotion. We offer and
consecrate all we are and all we possess to the Blessed Virgin
in order that our Lord may receive through her as intermediary
the glory and gratitude that we owe to him. We deem ourselves
unworthy and unfit to approach his infinite majesty on our
own, and so we avail ourselves of Mary's intercession.
143. Moreover, this devotion is an expression of great
humility, a virtue which God loves above all others. A person
who exalts himself debases God, and a person who humbles
himself exalts God. "God opposes the proud, but gives his
graces to the humble." If you humble yourself, convinced that
you are unworthy to appear before him, or even to approach
him, he condescends to come down to you. He is pleased to be
with you and exalts you in spite of yourself. But, on the
other hand, if you venture to go towards God blindly without a
mediator, he vanishes and is nowhere to be found. How dearly
he loves the humble of heart! It is to such humility that this
devotion leads us, for it teaches us never to go alone
directly to our Lord, however gentle and merciful though he
may be, but always to use Mary's power of intercession,
whether we want to enter his presence, speak to him, be near
him, offer him something, seek union with him or consecrate
ourselves to him.