Contemplation of the Virgin presents her to us as a loving Mother who sees her Son growing up in Nazareth (cf. Lk 2:40, 52), follows him on the roads of Palestine, helps him at the wedding at Cana (cf. Jn 2:5) and, at the foot of the Cross, becomes the Mother associated with his offering and given to all people when Jesus himself entrusts her to his beloved disciple (cf. Jn 19:26). As Mother of the Church, the Blessed Virgin is one with the disciples in “constant prayer” (Acts 1:14); as the new Woman who anticipates in herself what will one day come to pass for us all in the full enjoyment of Trinitarian life, she is taken up into heaven from where she spreads the protective mantle of her mercy over her children on their pilgrimage to the holy mountain of glory.
#OurLadyOfMountCarmel “spreads the protective mantle of her mercy over her children on their pilgrimage to the holy mountain of glory” #StJohnPaulIITweet
Such a contemplative attitude of mind and heart prompts admiration for the Virgin’s experience of faith and love; she already lives in herself all that every believer desires and hopes to attain in the mystery of Christ and the Church (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 103; Lumen gentium, n. 53).
Therefore, Carmelites have chosen Mary as their Patroness and spiritual Mother and always keep before the eyes of their heart the Most Pure Virgin who guides everyone to the perfect knowledge and imitation of Christ.
Thus an intimacy of spiritual relations has blossomed, leading to an ever increasing communion with Christ and Mary. For the members of the Carmelite Family, Mary, the Virgin Mother of God and mankind, is not only a model to imitate but also the sweet presence of a Mother and Sister in whom to confide. St Teresa of Jesus rightly urged her sisters: “Imitate Our Lady and consider how great she must be and what a good thing it is that we have her for our Patroness” (Interior Castle, III, 1, 3).
Saint John Paul II
Message of John Paul II to the Carmelite Family (excerpt)
25 March 2001
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