Blessed are they who keep my ways
“A heart that goeth two ways shall not have success and the perverse of heart shall be scandalized therein.” (Sir 3:28) The perverse of heart are simply worldly people who are always more scandalized at the sins of the “good” than they are at the worst crimes of wicked men.
And they are more right than they know because the crimes of the good are a result of their not keeping God’s ways. This is due, says Fr. Faber, to the fact that Catholics living in this world are constantly tempted to have a minimalist view of their Faith, practicing it with one eye on what the no-Catholics think, and so to follow two ways instead of one.
Thus, the one True way is blurred by lack of reflection and application to the true path. And the particularly Catholic way that this world cannot approve is Devotion to Mary – and yet this is the way of God. Faltering in this way by lack of piety is the reason for Catholic failure today. We will consider how Mary can heal us of this “double heart”.
Mary is the Way of the Church because She is God’s Way. Like an architect who follows God’s laws in constructing a house, so the Church follows His laws in practicing Devotion to Mary. Mary is not the Church’s thing, She is God’s, and because She is God’s thing, She is the Church’s treasure.
The Feast of Mary’s Nativity shows us this truth in all its clarity. The epistle of Mary’s birthday Mass tells us: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything from the beginning… and my delights were to be with the children of men” (Prov 8:22:31).
Even though Mary’s birthday occurred a long time after the Creation of the world, Mary is truly the beginning of God’s ways because the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity became Man in Her womb and began His way of seeking sinners to teach them the ways of God. Before the Creation of the world God thought of our salvation and its precise fulfillment, beginning in Jesus and Mary.
At the same time, this divine predestination includes all poor sinners, for the delights of the Mother of God is to be in the midst of Her children made conformed to Jesus Her divine Son. For this reason the Epistle continues: “And my delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore ye children, hear me, Blessed are they that keep my ways, hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”
The ways of Mary are the thoughts of the Heart of Jesus, His laws and His Sacraments. To keep these ways means to store them up in our hearts and to meditate upon them assiduously so that we keep them. Inevitably, we must renounce following two ways, and indeed every way that leads to sin. The Rosary is the special means of renouncing the two ways and following Christ in Mary. Ave Maria!