Popular devotion is very important for contemplative prayer. Holy images, beautiful churches, holy shrines, rosaries, and Eucharistic Adoration are given to us to dispose us to a deeper encounter with God. Mary is of special importance.
Different cultures have developed different expressions of Marian piety. These sources of contemplative prayer need to be rediscovered and promoted now more than ever. Her witness to maternal love and obedience to God keeps before us all that is good, noble, and true.
In Mary, the mystery of woman lives at the heart of the Church. Because of the wonder of her faith, she is the icon of what the whole ecclesial reality means. Different forms of popular devotion can deepen this relationship so that, together with His Mother, we might more deeply love the Lord. This is dedicated to promoting a more lively devotion to Mary as an aid for growth in Christian contemplation and mystical wisdom.
Accepting the gift of Mary disposes us instead to a relational mysticism. It proposes a pathway by which we let go of our own projects and self-serving enterprises and choose to live for Christ in service to others.
The Lord’s gift of His Mother to us is vital to this kind of participation in His work of redemption. By embracing her special relation to Him as Mother in our life of prayer, our own relation to God and to one another is rendered more vulnerable to sharing in the life of grace that Christ came to give us. We accept and embrace the spiritual gift of the Lord’s Mother in our lives when we consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary.
The Scriptures explain to us that Mary stood at the foot of the Cross with the Beloved Disciple. In this spiritual place, the threshold of saving access with God, in which the truth of our humanity and the truth of God’s love coincide, a new kind of maternity was revealed to the world.
This maternity is supernatural, a motherhood that is above the natural order. To reveal this, Jesus subordinates what is natural to the new supernatural reality that His saving work of redemption establishes. In the passage, Jesus seems to distance Himself from His Mother and to dispossess her when He says, “Woman, behold, your son!” (John 19:26).
Christ’s words and actions concerning His Mother bear unique relation to her obedience to the Father. On the Cross, Christ dispossesses Himself of everything. He gives all that is most personal and dear to Him away out of love for the Father and for the sake of our salvation. His freedom, His dignity, His Mother, and His last breath are all offered for us as His sacrifice of praise.