WHAT IS A WOMAN?
A woman gives life. A woman nurtures. A woman gives love – true love. A woman is a mother.
As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the Way and the Truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.
For my spirit is sweet above honey and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.
My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me shall yet hunger: and they that drink me shall yet thirst. He that harkeneth to me shall not be confounded: and they that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting. (Sirach 24:23-31)
St Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians 3:18, said:
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
St Louis described the Blessed Virgin as ‘the great and exclusive mould of God”. Friendship with her is a gift so great that it is nothing less than a privileged grace that one receives from the hand of the Almighty Himself.
She is the image, the archetype, in reflection of whom it is proper to make a living image. By this, one is drawn closer to God “at small cost and in a little time”. A soul which has found that mould, and has lost itself in it, is led to Jesus Christ, just as Mary always points us to her Son.
St Louis tells us that Mary, as a mould, is capable of forming a person into an image of the God-man. “Anyone who is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mould that fashioned a God-man.”
Such moulding, according to St Louis, is more efficacious than carving by stone, which risks being chipped or making mistakes. Those who rely upon our Lady as the mould “cast and lose themselves in Mary where they become models of her Son.”
However, St Louis warns us to “remember that only molten and liquefied substances may be poured into a mould. That means that you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you if you wish to acquire the likeness of the new Adam in Mary.”
- [St Louis de Montfort, “Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary” and “True Devotion to Mary”.]