Molder of Saints
Posted by Pat Gohn
“After you were made, they broke the mold!” Depending on the company you were in when that was said, this was either a compliment or sarcasm. As a compliment, it means one is unique, one-of-a-kind, special.
Allow me to use the positive sense of this phrase — this one-of-a-kind status — as a weak analogy of our Blessed Mother Mary. She, like no other, is the very pinnacle of creation, the highest, most perfect creature, without the slightest stain of sin. As the Church teaches, she was redeemed in advance by the timeless merits of her Son, Jesus, the Christ. She lived Christian perfection as the Immaculate Conception, whose very life was vivified by the Divine Life of the Trinity. Mary was and is Daughter of the Father, Mother to the Son, and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. She was addressed by the Angel at the Annunciation, not by her given name but by her ontological status — “Full of Grace” — for, indeed, she was, and still is, so blessed.
What’s more, Mary was the mold in and through which God Incarnate was fashioned. Her womb gave life to the Savior of the world — “the Word made flesh” (John 1:14) — the Invisible God made Visible. In her, the Father placed all His trust for the care of His only begotten Son. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Son of God humbled Himself to be “born of the Virgin Mary.”
Now, imagine you have the opportunity to be fashioned by the same mold, the same vessel, the same holy place, that helped bring shape and form to Jesus….
It’s October, the second Marian month in the liturgical year, the first being May. More specifically, October is the month of the Rosary, complete with the memorial feast day of “Our Lady of the Rosary” on October 7th. Our late pontiff, John Paul II, once said, “The Rosary is a way ofcontemplating the face of Christ seeing him — we may say – with the eyes of Mary.”
To that end, why not allow ourselves to be refashioned this month by going deeper with Mary in our daily lives? For some that may be renewing your devotion to Mary by praying the daily Rosary. Or perhaps, maybe this might be the month that you get better acquainted with Marian piety. There are many books and pamphlets that can get you started.
For those whose love for Mary has already matured, why not prayerfully consider making a “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary,” according to St. Louis de Montfort? John Paul II recommends this in his encyclical on Mary, Redemptoris Mater: “I would like to recall, among the many witnesses and teachers of this spirituality, the figure of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, who proposes consecration to Christ through the hands of Mary, as an effective means for Christians to live faithfully their baptismal commitments.” (48).
Total Consecration is a prayerful process of 33 days. If you were to begin the process on November 5th, you could complete your consecration and celebrate it on Mary’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.
In his book, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis described Mary as a molder of saints:
I say the saints are molded in Mary. There is a vast difference between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by using a mold. Sculptors and statue makers work hard and need plenty of time to make statues by the first method. But the second method does not involve much work and takes very little time. St. Augustine, speaking to our Blessed Lady says, “You are worthy to be called the mold of God.” Mary is a mold capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mold is quickly shaped and molded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a very short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mold that fashioned a God-man.
… [They] have discovered the beautiful mold of Mary where Jesus was so divinely and so naturally formed. They do not rely on their own skill but on the perfection of the mold. They cast themselves and lose themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.
You may think this is a beautiful and convincing comparison. But how many understand it? I would like you, my friend, to understand it. But remember that only molten and liquefied substances may be poured into a mold. 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.
If you live this devotion sincerely, you will give more glory to Jesus in a month than in many years of a more demanding devotion. (219, 220, 221, 222)
The wonderful thing about Mary is that the mold that she is has never been broken. In fact, Christ gave her to us as Mother, as one of his last acts from the Cross. It is her maternal joy to bring Christian disciples to birth by forming them in the likeness of her son, Jesus.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
© Copyright 2009
Pat Gohn is married to Bob and together they have raised three young adults. Pat holds a Masters degree in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She writes from her home in Massachusetts. Pat also hosts Among Women, a weekly podcast for Catholic women. Find the link at the bottom of Today’s Catholic Woman homepage. Visit her website at http://www.patgohn.com. Pat can be reached at [email protected].