The Holy Obedience of Blessed Mary
By Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
Our Blessed Mother’s constant practice of the virtue of obedience was nothing short of perfect. Her entire existence can be summed up in a simple but profound phrase: to do always the Will of God.
How may we characterize Our Blessed Lady’s stellar obedience? Here are only a few of the many possible descriptions.
Mary obeyed always. No one can point to a moment from Her Immaculate Conception in the previously sterile womb of Her Mother Saint Anne to Her Coronation by the Most Blessed Trinity as the Queen of Heaven and Earth in which the Mother of God refused Her Good Lord anything. Her answer was always “yes”—“yes” to love, “yes” to sacrifice, “yes” to hardship. God had only to ask . . . and Mary’s response was always the same: fiat—“Let it be done as You say.”
Mary obeyed unhesitatingly. Our Lady needed no time for deliberation on whether to obey. She responded immediately and affirmatively to the Lord without delay. Her delight was to obey God with all rapidity.
Mary obeyed blindly. Mary never asked Herself: “Is this in my best interest?” “Would I be hampered if I obeyed?” Such self-seeking questions were the farthest removed from Her mind. She obeyed without selfish consideration of the future. She surrendered equally to both joys and sorrows.
Mary obeyed cheerfully. Who can imagine Mary with a “long face” when She was called to embrace some sacrifice? No, She was continually joyful in Her obedience, no matter what God required of Her. Mary’s was a deep joy that never escaped He soul.
The reader can see where our discussion is leading us. If we wish to drawer closer to Jesus Christ, then we must take a page from His Ever-Virgin Mother’s Immaculate Heart and obey as she did. Our obedience, too, must be always, unhesitating, blind and cheerful.
This task is not easy, to be sure. Rather, it demands much from each of us. Yet, obedience is possible! And it is necessary if, like Our Heavenly Mother, we are to inherit the Kingdom of God.
In our world where obedience is regarded as weakness and a lack of self-assertiveness, the example of Our Blessed Lady provides a necessary corrective. She is the beautiful model of obedience. She gladly exalted God’s Will in Her life. We can even say that His Will became Her Will, so much did She yield to it.
In Her own stirring example, Mary reminds us that obedience to God is where our treasure and unending happiness lie. By clinging to His Will instead of our own, we grow in Sanctifying Grace, which is the very life of God.
Our Blessed Mother never tired of obeying Her Divine Son. She did everything She was asked by God. And all that She did was carried out with intense love for and gratitude to Her benevolent Creator.
We may ask ourselves: how was it that Mary understood the importance of obedience? What special insight did She have?
Having been filled with the Holy Spirit at the instance of Her Immaculate Conception, Our Lady knew what was proper and just. Her decisions were blest because She made them humbly and with reference to Almighty God and His Eternal Law.
Are our decisions blest? Yes, if they are made humbly and with reference to Almighty God. By our daily prayer, frequent and worthy reception of the Holy Sacraments (especially Penance and the Most Holy Eucharist), regular acts of charity and self-denial, our minds too become increasingly enlightened. Then, we see with the eyes of God and do as He wishes.
The virtue of obedience is within our grasp. We turn to Our Blessed Lady and seek Her intercession so that we may behave as She did. Our reward will be like Hers: Everlasting Life with the Most Blessed Trinity forever!
(Originally published in "Missio Immaculatae International," English Edition, November 2006, pages 8-9. Reprinted with permission.)
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The Blessed Virgin Mary: Virtue of Obedience
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