Memorial of the Interior Life of Mary
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A memorial closely related to that of “The Interior Life of the Lord” is “The Interior Life of Mary” celebrated on 22 October in the Sulpician liturgical calendar. Both of these feasts date to the earliest days of the Seminary of Saint Sulpice founded by Father Jean-Jacques OLIER in 1641. (Now October 22 is also the Memorial of Blessed John Paul II.)
The interior life of Mary was also a focus of other members of the French School of Spirituality. Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle, founder of the French Oratory and considered the founder of the French school, explains poignantly one aspect of Mary’s faith by drawing attention to her “silence” in the face of the birth of her Son, the Incarnate Word. Bérulle wrote:
“The silence of the Virgin is not a silence of stammering or of powerlessness. It is a silence that is more eloquent in its praise of Jesus than eloquence itself…It is a silence caused by the silence of Jesus who imprints this divine effect in Mary. His silence draws her to himself in his own silence. His silence absorbs in his divinity every word and thought of her creatureliness.“
Father Olier himself expresses the interior life of Mary with a prayer that closely resembles his famous prayer, “Jesus living in Mary….” In a text that also emphasizes Mary’s close relationship with her divine Son, Olier composed this prayer.
“Jesus, living in Mary, in the beauty of your virtues, in the eminence of your powers, in the splendor of your riches, eternal and divine, grant us part of that holiness which God uniquely gave to her. Make us partake of the zeal she has for his Church. Finally, re-clothe us fully with yourself, that being nothing in ourselves, we may live uniquely in your Spirit, as she does, to the glory of your Father.”
The prayers of the liturgy of the hours for this memorial are taken from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this month of October dedicated to Mary, may we more and more be like her in seeking to do the will of the one Father of all who is in heaven and in contemplating the divine mysteries of the faith.
Lord, by showering the Blessed Virgin Mary with spiritual gifts of your grace, you made her the faithful image of your Son. Grant that we, by imitating her virtues, may also be filled with the traits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.