Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Commentary on the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
(n. 262-263 - continued)
Britain Needs Fatima, Issue 54, December 2012 (*)
262. The Holy Spirit speaking through the Fathers of the Church, also calls our Lady the Eastern Gate, through which the High Priest, Jesus Christ, enters and goes out into the world. Through this gate he entered the world the first time and through this same gate he will come the second time.
The Holy Spirit also calls Her the Sanctuary of the Divinity, the Resting-Place of the Holy Spirit, the Throne of God, the City of God, the Altar of God, the Temple of God, the World of God. All these titles and expressions of praise are very real when related to the different wonders the Almighty worked in Her and the graces which he bestowed on Her. What wealth and what glory! What a joy and a privilege for us to enter and dwell in Mary, in Whom almighty God has set up the throne of his supreme glory!
263. But how difficult it is for us to have the freedom, the ability, and the light to enter such an exalted and holy place. This place is guarded not by a cherub, like the first earthly paradise, but by the Holy Spirit himself who has become its absolute Master. Referring to Her, he says: “You are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride, an enclosed garden and a sealed fountain.” Mary is enclosed. Mary is sealed. The unfortunate children of Adam and Eve driven from the earthly paradise, can enter this new paradise only by a special grace of the Holy Spirit which they have to merit.
The special grace of the slave of Mary is to be able to dwell in God’s exclusive sanctuary that is Our Lady
Next, St. Louis says that there is a special grace that is to be the slave of Our Lady. It is a most special grace, a most rare grace, a most magnificent grace through which souls, although unworthy, by means of a special mercy and act of God that those souls do not deserve—sometimes God grants a grace to one without any virtue in order to attract them to the pinnacle of virtue—these chosen souls, are called to be slaves of Our Lady. It is to these souls that this garden, this palace, this basilica, this sanctuary opens, and that is Our Lady.
In other words, those souls who correspond to the grace have the means of continuously remembering these grandeurs of Our Lady and of developing their spiritual life in function of these grandeurs.
Our Lady’s grandeur is such that it fills the enormous expanse between Her and ourselves
We now move on to the next point. What does it mean to live in Our Lady? In other words, how does one develop one’s spiritual life in relation to this?
The true slave of Our Lady should have an enthusiasm for the grandeurs of Our Lady. When addressing or praying to Our Lady, the soul should have an image—that can be enriched through reading books such as the Treatise on True Devotion—of what the grandeurs of Our Lady really are. As a result, the soul should never address Our Lady except with utmost respect, utmost admiration, and an utmost confidence. The soul should address Our Lady as being a super-eminent and the highest of creatures. Because She is the highest of creatures, She is the most kind, the most condescending, the most affable, and the one that comes to us the most.
Her grandeur is so great that it fills all the expanses of Creation. It even fills the enormous expanses between Her and ourselves. Therefore, She is the closest to us, the most accessible, the most merciful, the most inclined to forgive, the most disposed to hear us. She never angers, never gets irritated. She always holds us dear for the highest of reasons that never change, are stable, and in which we can have total confidence.
What characterises a soul truly devoted to Our Lady is the sense of intimacy between Her and the soul
We should develop our spiritual life in function of the above. Each time that we approach Our Lady, at the same time that we raise our gaze just as one who looks to something on the horizon that he can barely see, we should also be gazing as if at something that is very close to us, because nothing in creation is as close to us as Our Lady is. This absolute intimacy with the Queen, of Whom we can say everything except that She is infinite, this sense of intimacy characterises a soul truly devoted to Our Lady.
Consequently this soul admires the virtues of Our Lady and is inclined to admire everything that, in some way, reflects Her virtues. This soul, because it loves Our Lady’s exaltedness, also loves everything that is exalted, elevated, and great. For example the soul loves buildings that have material grandeur. I am not speaking of skyscrapers that have material grandeur such as an elephant, but buildings that have spiritual grandeur, artistic grandeur, cultural grandeur—the great buildings of the past. The soul loves the sparkle of a jewel because it is pure and immaculate, just as Our Lady. The soul loves the courage of a hero because it reminds it of Our Lady heroically crushing the head of the serpent, reminds it of the only General capable of effecting, all over the world, the victory of the Catholic cause against heresies.
Thus anything that is beautiful in Creation, whether spiritual or material, the soul relates to Our Lady and loves it while understanding that Our Lady is incomparably more than that. This ennobles a soul and elevates it. Such a soul is horrified with slang, with triviality, with vulgarity, crudity, in short, with everything that is part and parcel of today’s crassly egalitarian world.
Generally speaking this is how devotion to Our Lady reflects in the attitudes of souls devoted to Her.
to be continued….
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