Mary At His Side

Father Benson notes: “When we turn to the Gospel—that groundplan of God’s designs for mankind—we find that, according to scale, so to speak, Mary occupies a place of dignity beside Jesus; . . . whenever Her Son comes to a moment of human crisis, whenever a new or startling and fundamental fact is to be revealed concerning Him, Mary is at His side.”

“‘The angel Gabriel was sent from God . . . to a virgin . . . and the virgin’s name was Mary’ (Lk 1:26-27). In such words the first actual step of the Incarnation itself is described, corresponding in an extraordinary manner to that first actual step in the process of the Fall. In both alike we see an Immaculate Maiden, a supernatural messenger, and a choice offered upon which the future shall depend. In the one case Eve’s disobedience and love of self was preliminary to the sin by which the race fell; in the other, Mary’s obedience and love of God was preliminary to the process by which the same race was redeemed.”

“Again—as Christ lies in Bethlehem, receiving for the first time as God-made-man the adoration of mankind, it is Mary who kneels beside Him; as Christ through thirty years ‘learns obedience’ (Heb 5:8) as the Son of Man, it is from Mary that He takes His orders. As He steps out into the world to begin that transformation of things common into things divine, it is at Mary’s prayer that, in token of His Mission, He turns the water into wine. As He closes His ministry by that yet more amazing miracle to which all other of His signs pointed forward—His own Death upon Calvary—’there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother’ (Jn 19:25)—as, centuries before, Eve, the mother of the fallen, had stood by that Tree of Death by which the First Adam died.”

“Mary walks always with Jesus; . . . when we see Him as a new-born Child, we can only find Him ‘with Mary His Mother’ (Mt 2:11); when we adore Him as man, obedient as He would have us obedient, it is in Her house that He lives; when we creep to the Cross to wash ourselves in His Precious Blood, Mary is looking at us from His side.”

Quotations from Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912).

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