The Paradise of God

There will never be a suitable measure of admiration and praise paid to this Virgin conceived immaculate, this “Paradise of God,” as St. Germain called her. The Carmelite mystic, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, described Our Lady as “one giving full satisfaction to the Trinity.” She added to this figure of speech that if — supposing the absurd — God were not in Paradise, Our Lady would be able to provide a Paradise for all the Angels and Saints.

This is no exaggeration. Sometimes it may happen to us that we feel unable to describe the wonderful beauties and grandeurs we see in something belonging to this world. What, then, must Our Lady be like? St. Bernadette declared that “once one sees Mary, he wants no more of this world.”

One time Padre Pio spoke during an ecstasy and his spiritual director took down these words which he heard him say about Our Lady: “Ah, my lovely Mother! My dear Mother! … You have such beautiful eyes! … Jesus was right… Yes, you are beautiful… If faith did not teach us otherwise, men would call you a God… Your eyes shine with greater splendor than the sun… You are lovely, dear Mother. I am so glad of this, and love you…”

His ecstatic experience included the statement, “If faith did not teach us otherwise, men would call you a God.”  In the Immaculate Conception, as a matter of fact, we find a delight­ful and amazing likeness to the Divinity, because Immaculate Conception means fullness of Grace, fullness of divine Life, fullness of Love. Grace, divine Life, Love — these are almost personified in Our Lady: behold Mary Immaculate, the Daughter of the Eternal Father, Mother of the Eternal Son, the Bride of the Eternal Spirit. The entire Holy Trinity bears this kinship to the Blessed Virgin, a kinship that is beyond words. She is that person who is “entirely divinized”, as St. Peter Damian said. Hence St. Maximilian aptly said that the truth of the Immaculate Conception “is full of very consoling myste­ries.”

From Devotion to Our Lady by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI

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