You never go too far in loving her

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

Our Lady is God’s masterpiece of love, of every love God has instilled in creatures — motherly love, filial love, spousal love, virginal love. St. Maximilian M. Kolbe ventured to say that the Immaculate is the quasi- incarnation of the Holy Spirit who is Love: she is the created Immaculate Conception, whereas the Holy Spirit is the Uncreated Immaculate Conception.

Let us be eager, then, to return her love, even if we can never love her as much as we ought. Once a spiritual daughter said to St. Pio, “You are fortunate, Father, to love Our Lady so much.” Padre Pio answered, “I wish I could love her as much as she deserves. But remember that all the Saints and Angels together cannot love and praise the Mother of God according to her worth.”

We must never feel we go too far in loving Our Lady. “They that eat me shall yet hunger: and they that drink me shall yet thirst” (Eccl.. 24:29). The Liturgy puts that text on the lips of the Blessed Virgin. Great and holy souls have loved her so much that they could not help wanting to die quickly in order to be with her. Saints expressing themselves this way have been, for example, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Anthony M. Claret, and St. Bernadette Soubirous.

Once some fellow friars sent St. Maximilian Kolbe their good wishes that he might soon go to Heaven to be with the Immaculate. The Saint answered, “I especially thank those who… did not wish me a long life, but an early death, so that I may be with the Immaculate.”

The zealous apostle St. Leonard of Port Maurice, used to tell people, even from the pulpit, of his wish to die quickly in order to join the Blessed Virgin in Paradise. Once, when prea­ching, he ventured to say “I strongly wish to die in order to live with Mary. Recite a Hail Mary for me. Obtain the grace for me to die now in this pulpit. I want to go see Mary.”  His desire for Mary was like the vehement craving that burned in St. Paul’s heart for Christ, so that he could say: “I … having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Mary” (cf. Philip. 1:23).

One who loves, does not think in the same way as one who does not love.

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

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