Mary and the fullness of time (part I)

The Blessed Virgin had a most crucial role in the first coming of Christ. In her culminated all the expectation of the Jewish people, insofar as all the preparations, aspirations, inspirations, graces, prefigurations which had filled the Old Testament, all came together and were summed up in her; it is true to say that at the eve of Christ's coming she was the epitome and incarnation of the long waiting of twenty centuries. The whole of the Old Testament seems to come together in her with a more ardent longing and a more complete spiritual preparation for Our Lord's coming. Omnis vallis implebitur, et omnis collis humiliabitur. "Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low."

The Blessed Virgin came at the end of this long, slow process of education, and had the perfect sense of God and His unity. If we compare her fidelity with Israel's infidelity, we see how the mystery of the education of Israel was being perfectly ful¬filled in her: she is the Virgo fidelis, the faithful virgin, who was never anything but faithful, whose fidelity was the perfect answer to the fidelity of God; she was always entirely consecrated to·the one true God.

The liturgy, then, is quite right to apply to her the words of the spouse in the Canticle, for it is the nuptial song for the marriage of the Word with His people, the poem of the Covenant, and she it was, who after so many infidelities, gave, by her fidelity, all mankind's answer to the faithfulness of God. One might say that this aspect of Our Lady is the one most closely connected with the Father, the source of the unity in the Trinity.

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