Dear Friends and Benefactors, 9/18/19
Among the symbolic figures that the Most Holy Trinity has illustrated for us to the glory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is Mount Calvary. Since the Holy Roman Catholic Church dedicates the month of the September to Our Lady of Sorrows, it is fitting that we explain this figure in some detail at this time. Saint John Eudes explains by first posing the question – What is Calvary? It is a mountain, the most important and notable mountain of the Holy Land. What is the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God? Is it not also a mountain, the most illustrious mountain of that blessed land referred to in these words of Sacred Scripture, “Lord, Thou hast blessed Thy land.” (Psalm 84:2). The land is the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her Immaculate Heart is the noblest and highest peak of her body and of her soul.
What is Calvary? It is Mount Moriah on which God commanded Abraham to slay his son, Isaac. The Hebrew rendition of the twenty-second chapter of Genesis reads, “Go into the land of Moriah,” instead of the usual version, “Go into the land of vision.” (Gen. 22:2). It is the place where King David raised an altar and offered sacrifice that God might stop the plague that ravaged his people, and also the site on which Solomon erected the Temple of Jerusalem, for Mount Sion is the same as Mount Moriah, and Calvary is part of the same chain of hills.
Jesus Christ, the true Solomon, established His foremost temple and holiest altar in the Immaculate Heart of the most worthy daughter of Abraham and David. In this temple, on this altar, she immolated, not merely in desire like Abraham, but in very truth, Her dearest and most adorable Son Jesus, her Isaac.
What is Calvary? It is the place where the Cross of Jesus was raised. And was the Cross of Salvation not raised, first of all in Mary’s Holy Heart? What is Calvary? It is the place stained with the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. But Mary’s Heart was bathed with It through love and compassion, and the Most Precious Blood of her Beloved Son penetrated and impregnated His Mother far more than it soaked the soil of Calvary.
On Calvary, we beheld the thorns that wounded the adorable Head of Our Savior, the nails that pierced His Hands and Feet, the lance that opened His Heart, the ropes that bound Him, the vinegar and gall He was given to drink, and the wounds which covered His Body from Head to Foot. We can see the same wounds in the maternal Heart of His saintly Mother. Saint Augustine says, “The Cross and the nails which crucified the Son’s Body, crucified the Mother’s Heart as well.” Saint Jerome quotes Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, as saying, “All the Wounds which covered the Body of Jesus, had their counterpart in Mary’s Heart. The whips, the thorns, the nails which pierced and tore the Savior’s Body, ran through His Holy Mother’s Heart and shattered it. Every blow rending the Body of the Son had its cruel echo in the Heart of His Mother.”
“O my Queen,” exclaimed Saint Bonaventure, “Thou art not only standing near the Cross, but thou art with thy Son on the Cross; Thou dost suffer, thou art crucified with Him, the only difference being that while He suffers in His Body, thou dost suffer in thy loving Heart. All the Wounds scattered over His Body are united in thy Heart, because the sword of sorrow has pierced thy very soul. Thy virginal Heart, O my Sovereign Lady, is wounded by the lance, pierced by the nails and thorns, heaped with opprobrium, ignominy and imprecations, saturated with vinegar and gall. Why wouldst thou, most honored Lady, be immolated for us? Is not Our Savior’s Passion sufficient for our salvation? Must the Mother also be crucified with her Son? O sweetest Heart, so full of love, must thou then be changed into bitter sorrow? I seek to behold thy loving Heart, my dearest Mistress, but it seems to have vanished and in its place I find only the bitterness of gall, myrrh and absinth. I seek the Mother of God and I find only thorns, nails, a lance, a sponge and vinegar. I look for Mary on the Cross, and I see only spittle, insults, lashes and wounds, so truly has she been overwhelmed by outrages.”
“Both Mother and Son were nailed to the Cross, the Son in the Body, the Mother in the Heart,” exclaims Saint Lawrence Justinian, the sainted Patriarch of Venice. “Could not Mary die in her Heart, as Jesus died in His Body?” asks Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.
Among the great miracles wrought by Our Savior on Calvary the most remarkable, according to Saint Augustine, was the miracle of goodness and charity on behalf of His executioners, when He besought His Heavenly Father to forgive them. At the same time, living in His Holy Mother’s Heart, He communicated to her the charity which filled Himself, inducing her to imitate His sublime example of mercy. We hear His kind voice pleading with the all-just Father, and then we seem to hear the echo of His words in the Heart of His Holy Mother repeating, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:24).
On Calvary, the only Son of Mary gave us an inestimable gift when in the excess of His incomprehensible goodness He addressed Himself to each one of us in the person of Saint John the Apostle, and speaking of His Holy Mother, said to us, “Behold thy Mother.” And from Calvary, the Mother of Jesus, whose sentiments and will are one with those of her Beloved Son, gives herself to us to be our Mother with the same Heart and with an equal love. Having enshrined the words of her Son in her Maternal and Immaculate Heart, she echoes them again and adopts each one of us in particular. Thus, both Jesus and Mary say to us, “Behold thy Mother.”
We also behold on Calvary the Author of life grown cold in death and we see the gloom of the sepulcher in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, a part of Calvary’s hill. But we can behold Him buried in the Heart of His loving Mother more truly than in the tomb. Her marvelous Heart is a living and life-giving tomb. Having cooperated in the Incarnation of the Son of God by the ardor of her love, the fervor of her desires, and the power of her prayers, Mary’s Immaculate Heart also contributed to His Resurrection. Jesus rose in the sepulcher, but left it immediately. He likewise came back to life in Mary’s Heart, but there He remained and will remain forever. Of this living sepulcher, rather than of the inanimate tomb, can we say with good reason, “And His sepulcher shall be glorious,” (Isaias 11:10) in sight of angels and men, for time and for all eternity.
Finally, it was on Calvary that Our Redeemer accomplished and consummated the great work of our salvation, in which His Mother’s Immaculate Heart cooperated so faithfully.
We see therefore that Calvary is a most excellent picture and figure of the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of our crucified Redeemer. Do we wish our own heart to bear some faint resemblance to the Sorrowful Heart of our Heavenly Mother? Then let us plant in its center the Cross of Christ, her Son; or better still, implore her to obtain for us the grace that Our Lord Himself fix it there, and engrave on our heart a great love for His Holy Cross. May His love make us embrace, cherish and bear all the crosses that Heaven will send us, in a spirit of humility, patience and submission to the Divine Will, and all the holy dispositions with which the Son of Mary and the Mother of Jesus carried their heavy Cross. Moreover, in this great crisis of the Faith, in which Holy Mother Church is going through a sort of crucifixion of her own as the modernists continue with momentum to destroy the belief of Catholics concerning her immortal Dogmas and Traditions, we must persevere in these sorrowful times with the True Faith, unchanged and uncompromised, awaiting with firm hope for the Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. AVE MARIA !
AVE MARIA !
Father Joseph Possion
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