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Walk with Mary in the Garden of Virtues

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God, the supreme source of all virtues, made Mary the masterpiece of His creation, the channel and sanctuary of grace, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, whose beauty and light shines forth through the pure sanctity of her soul. To you, Holy Mother, I dedicate this reflection, and thank you for being the most perfect rose in the Garden of Virtues created by God.

It is in Mary whom our Creator is well pleased, as is made clear when the Archangel Gabriel says to her: "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you" (Lk 1:28). She was already chosen by God from the moment of her conception to be the first tabernacle of His Son, and the angel said to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus" (Lk 1:30-31). Mary said to the angel: "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" (Lk 1:34). Mary, model of purity and chastity, did not understand how this could be, since tradition tells us that she had consecrated her virginity to the Lord. The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God" (Lk 1:35). He says to her only the words necessary to strengthen her faith in God even more. In obedience and fidelity, she said: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38).

Throughout her life, she greatly cultivated love and charity toward others. We read how she went to help her cousin Elizabeth, who had also conceived a son and was in her sixth month of pregnancy. The Word of God says, "Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home" (Lk 1:36, 56). Mary recognizes her own humility in front of the greatness of the Lord, and, filled with the Holy Spirit, she responds to the salute of her cousin by saying, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed" (Lk 1:46-48).

At the Wedding Feast at Cana, the Word of God says, "When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servers, 'Do whatever he tells you'" (Jn 2:3-5). It was her perseverance and faith that motivated her response.

Mary recognizes the love of God as the true source of joy and happiness. Throughout her entire life and most especially her painful moments at the foot of the Cross, she showed her love and fidelity by accepting the role of "Sorrowful Mother" of all men, including those who crucified her Son. Being a woman full of wisdom and good counsel, she was chosen by God to be the Mother of all. When Jesus saw His Mother and the disciple John standing there at the foot of the Cross, He said to His Mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then He said to John, "Behold, your mother" (see Jn 19:26-27).

Her virtues were her rock and anchor during painful and anguished moments. Her faith and hope were support and consolation as she awaited the glorious Resurrection of Jesus, her Son.

Everyone who desires to attain holiness should recognize in Mary the model of the perfect disciple of Christ, and the guide of true service to God and His Church.

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Sonia - Aug 30, 2017

Thank you. This is wonderful.