Our Lady, Model of Wives and Mothers
How difficult it is for family members today to perform the duties of their state of life faithfully and to assume the precise place in the family community that Providence assigns to them!
Pride and all the other sins make it especially difficult for the wife to maintain her seemingly subordinate role. It is therefore very important to live in Mary's presence.
Before us stands, as it were, the Immaculata, the Queen of all angels and saints, the chosen Mother of the Creator and Redeemer of the whole world.
And what does she do? She leads the unassuming life of any housewife and mother of a family of low estate. Everything here is discretion, modesty, simplicity, great poverty, constant love of neighbor that hastens to help him in every need.
When the other girls and women from the village meet her as she draws water from the well, they smile at her and go by without even suspecting that they have greeted the Mediatrix of all graces, the Co-Redemptrix and Queen of the universe. This humility and love of the hidden life is the special grace of the Immaculata for the family, without which a woman can never be a good mother and wife.
Mary was “espoused to a man whose name was Joseph” (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:27). This betrothal was the equivalent of marriage. St. Thomas Aquinas says, along with the Church Fathers, that a real marriage existed between Mary and Joseph, for “the form of matrimony consists in a certain inseparable union (conjunctio) of souls, by which husband and wife are pledged by a bond of mutual affection that cannot be sundered.”
Thus, there was an inseparable union of souls between Mary and Joseph, the greatest of mutual love. Yet Mary belonged in an even greater measure entirely to God, devoted completely and utterly to God to the degree that God possesses her completely and utterly, and the Holy Ghost takes her to be His chosen sanctuary, His Spouse.
How can these two things be reconciled? We stand here at the origin of the mystery of love of neighbor, at the source of true community and friendship among souls, at the wellspring of true Christian marriage. Like Mary, every human being belongs in the first place to God completely and utterly. There is only one true love, which comes from God and returns to God, for God is love.
The Heart of Mary unceasingly lives her fiat; she trusts Him completely and allows herself to be guided. Now the Holy Ghost wills that she gives her heart to St. Joseph, that her love for God be realized, so to speak, applied concretely and shine forth and radiate in her devotion to St. Joseph. Thus, she takes back nothing of her total consecration to God; on the contrary, she lives it out fully by loving her husband completely with the love that she has for God.
Thus, Mary shows us an important rule of life: The more we love God and are devoted to Him, the more we love our neighbor. And with that Mary gives us the key to a truly happy marriage, for a marriage is happy only when it is lived out in the atmosphere of true love.