Mary Leads Us to Obey Christ,
the Head of the Church
St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit to defend all that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit that I always may be holy.
Reading: John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 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.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
This text relates the first of Jesus’ public signs, which led to His disciples’ believing in Him. He appears to advance the time of his charismatic ministry at the insistence of His Mother. Her motive is so human, so down-to-earth: to save a groom embarrassment at a time when he was scarcely thinking of his guests! Jesus adds His special touch to the party; He provides not just any wine, but a choice vintage. Jesus and Mary always bring joy and harmony to all our mundane activities, if we but give them access to our lives.
Generally St. John’s Gospel mentions significant persons by name, but at Cana and Calvary, he simply uses the title, “Mother of Jesus.” He alone records that Jesus addresses Mary as “woman,” a title of respect in a formal situation. It was as if Jesus was formally denoting the place of Mary in the believing community for all time. In fact, He both opens and closes His public life with a dialogue with her: at Cana and Calvary. This surely indicates her importance at critical junctures of human life, because the Gospels have significance for all times and all persons, beyond the simple narration of Jesus’ personal history.
At Cana Mary does not ask for anything in particular, but just tells her Son about the lack of wine at the party, knowing He will take care of the need. At Calvary she accepts John and all of us as her children, once more without asking anything.
Will she do less for us today who wish to call her “Mother”? Does Jesus refuse her anything when she makes known our needs? Her only command in the Scriptures is, “Do whatever He tells you.” She leads us to obey Christ. She does not judge us, but simply receives us.
When Jesus told us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, He must have meant for us to love others unconditionally and forgive—because who but God can forgive sins? So Mary loves us unconditionally and forgives us when we forget her or turn away momentarily in our sins. But she is interested, as is God himself—for their wills are the same—in making us more worthy of grace now and more ready for God’s judgment at death. Our ideal, then, as we consecrate ourselves totally, is to deepen that love relationship with her and carry the message of her power and mercy to everyone we know, first to our family and friends and co-workers, then to our parish and community and neighborhood, finally to all nations and all hearts. But our effectiveness will flow from consecrating our bodies and souls, all our powers and virtues, every relationship and human experience.
The Words of St. Maximilian
(Magazine article: “On the MI,” December 1936)
The ideal of those who join [the Militia of the Immaculata] is to belong to the Immaculata, to be her servant, child, slave, property—in a word, to be hers under whatever title which love for her has ever thought of or will be ever capable of thinking to belong to her in all aspects during one’s whole life, death, and eternity: to be hers without any restriction, irrevocably and forever hers; to become ever more totally hers, more perfectly hers, more like her, more one with her; to become in some fashion her very self; so that she may take possession of our souls more fully, may master them entirely, and in them and through them may think, speak, love God and others, and act. Such is the ideal: to become hers, to be “of the Immaculata.”
Whoever becomes her possession in an increasingly perfect manner, in this fashion will exercise an ever greater influence in the milieu in which he is placed and will spur others on to know the Immaculata ever more perfectly, to love her ever more ardently, to draw ever closer to her, and to consecrate oneself to her to the point of becoming totally and without any limitation her very self. A soul of this kind, totally possessed by the Immaculata, will conquer an increasing number of souls for her, using every legitimate means, and will become not only her property, but her knight, a soldier of the Immaculata!
Sub Tuum Praesidium Prayer
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
Miraculous Medal Prayer
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and all those recommended to you.