As April showers bring May flowers so tribulations bring the flowers of virtue. Mary Our Mother knows this truth very well and so She uses tribulations to prepare Her soldiers for spiritual combat. The recent Corona Virus is a time for Her to prepare us for more terrible storms that will come in the future.
Though they may be very different, today’s crisis and tomorrow’s have a common denominator: fear.
Mary’s great moment of fear was when Christ lay prostrate on the ground in the Agony of the Garden, praying, “Father, let this Chalice pass from me!” As Christ’s body shook with fear, Mary’s soul was shaken by fear as by an earthquake. What terrors and pains awaited Him, what was He suffering? In Her room, recently accompanied by St. John who had fled to Her from the trial of Christ, She thought of how and where She might meet Him in His Passion. Unlike the apostles who impelled by self-preservation had fled in all directions, Mary, impelled by Divine Charity, planned to intercept Christ on His way to Calvary.
This is the first lesson of how to fight fear. In times of fearful tribulations, like Mary, we must focus on Christ Crucified. Where is He? How do we find Him in this moment? Where do we meet Him? Mary saw Her opportunity the instant the gates of Pilate’s palace opened to send Christ to death, and She cut across town to meet Him on the way of the Cross. If near Our Lady we are intent on Christ, when She rises to meet Christ, we like John will go with Her, and like him, we will stay on the Way that leads to Him. Vain reasoning such as – “What will people think?” – simply dies in our minds when Mary is our guide to Christ. We cannot predict how the correct angle to doing the will of God will become manifest, but it will become clear, if we look for it in Mary’s Heart.
This first lesson contains an important aspect. Fear can make us shrink from justice if it overcomes right reason. Fear that made Christ shake, shook Mary too, but it could not overcome Her. Her spirit had long trained itself to the loving consideration of Christ, Her life and soul.
But Mary’s mind-set was not merely contemplating the physical visage of Christ. She looked at Him in His essential dispositions – “Not my will, but thine be done.” God’s will alone is the anchor of the soul that makes us say with David: “I have waited for Him that saved me from pusillanimity of spirit and a storm.” Ps 54:9.
The second lesson is that Mary did not remain idle. As soon as she could, She went to Him, She followed Him, She compassionated Him. She went into the line of fire, and not away from it, not by foolish bravado but by the instinct of the Holy Spirit, Divine love. Soldiers say the same thing. They are fearful until the shells start falling, then they start moving. Mary’s soldiers move through consecration of all they do to Her, by acts of reparation in everything they suffer in union with Her and by a spirit of constant Communion with Her Son.
This is the ultimate goal of Mary, that from consecration to Her to Communion with Christ, Jesus may reign in the hearts of all men!