How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Mary’s Motherhood of God
A favourite image, under which St. John of the Cross with so many other mystical writers illuminates the necessity of our receptivity and purity in order to receive God within us, is the image of the window that must let through the light of the sun.
On the paintings of our Flemish masters, in the presentation of the Message of the Angel to Mary, this image is not rare. We see the Holy Spirit as a sunray that casts its light through the window. The window is the image of Mary.
No creature took up more purely that divine Light that came into this world; no one gave it on more purely and became more one with Him than Mary. Mary is the clearest pane of glass, who let through the Light of the world pristinely for us and who was wholly filled with it.
It applies first and foremost to her what St. John says about the mystical union, that the soul and all that is peculiar to God are then one through a transformation [literally, in the Dutch, trans-creation] that causes the soul to seem more God than itself, is God through its sharing in the Divine nature, although its essence in nature remains in spite of its rebirth, just as distinct from God’s essence as before, just as the pane of glass, however much illuminated by the sunray, all the same retains its own nature, totally different from that of the sunrays.
“If, however, the pane of glass is clean”, thus he then says, “clean and clear, then the sunray will in such a way illuminate and, as it were, transform [or, trans-create] it that it seems to be the sunray itself and gives the same light” [Cf. The Ascent of Mount Carmel II,5:6 and II,14:9].
O Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendor of heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea, help me
and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of heaven and earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart
to succor me in this necessity.
There are none that can withstand your power!
O help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel,
pray for me and obtain my requests!
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands!
English translations of the writings of Saint Titus Brandsma and their source texts are owned by the Titus Brandsma Institute and the Dutch Carmelite Province. The translators vary from one source text to another. The texts are freely available for personal use. We are deeply grateful to the Titus Brandsma Institute for providing these translations. For questions or requests contact the Titus Brandsma Institute.
All scripture references are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.
Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein.Let us unite in prayer