April 29, 2020frjohnma

“God the Holy Spirit entrusted his wondrous gifts to Mary, his faithful spouse, and chose her as the dispenser of all he possesses, so that she distributes all his gifts and graces to whom she wills, as much as she wills, how she wills and when she wills. No heavenly gift is given to men which does not pass through her virginal hands. Such indeed is the will of God, who has decreed that we should have all things through Mary, so that, making herself poor and lowly, and hiding herself in the depths of nothingness during her whole life, she might be enriched, exalted and honoured by almighty God. Such are the views of the Church and the early Fathers.” – True devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, no. 25.

Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep

If you ask me a question like “Tell me about an important person in your life?” My answer without hesitation would be “My mother.” My explanation to my answer would be because she taught me the inseparable bond between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary. In order to keep such awareness alive and active in me, she taught me so much about the Holy Rosary and why I should daily have a special recourse to it. God bless her soul. Amen
Again, today is the Feast Day of Our Lady, Mother of Africa and the last day of April. We shall begin our May Devotion in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary tomorrow by the grace of God. It is providential, therefore, for us to reflect on the teacher of teachers in the School of the Holy Spirit – The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Virgin Mary is known for her profound relationship with the inner life of God. So, she is identified as the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

From the Catholic Church’s beginnings, she has been attacked by several heretics and their heresies. Erroneous beliefs and teachings have been trending against the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, the Blessed Virgin and dogmas and doctrines of the Church. So, we talk of heresies and their blasphemies. Hence, as people endowed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we offer reparations, expiation and penances to invoke the mercy of God and the good works of the saints on us and our world. Lord have Mercy! The good news is that such heretical drives create more opportunities for clarity about the revelations of God because Jesus says, “When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth” (John 16:13). 

For instance, in the 4th Century, Bishop Macedonius denied the full Personhood and Divinity of the Holy Spirit. Such erroneous teachings still abound today, little wonder St. Paul’s says: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3–4).

In view of the foregoing, today as before, we still have many people who are yet to understand and accept the inseparable connection between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary. St Louis-Marie de Montfort eloquently and forcefully speaks about the inseparability between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary: “God the Holy Spirit, who does not produce any divine person, became fruitful through Mary whom he espoused. It was with her, in her and of her that he produced his masterpiece, God-made-man, and that he produces every day until the end of the world the members of the body of this adorable Head. For this reason the more he finds Mary his dear and inseparable spouse in a soul the more powerful and effective he becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul and that soul in Jesus Christ.” Meaning, the Blessed Virgin Mary cannot act without the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit in His will has found Mary as His instrument or channel to lavish graces in souls and in the world. Hence Mary is His spiritual aqueduct and our spiritual magnet.

The hidden relationship that exists between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary is best expounded by the third article of the creed, “He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary.” Dear disciples of the Holy Spirit and children of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have to bring the relationship that exist between the Holy Spirit and Mary to bear in all we do by having even a mere thought of the Holy Spirit and seeing the same Spirit in the persons and actions we contact and carry out respectively.
We must not waste our precious time to dissect devotions to the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rather let us learn to have our devotion to the Holy Spirit in Mary. Let us take to heart the pious practice of the saints and mystics: the devotion of the three Hail Marys. The devotion explains the Blessed Virgin’s special relationship to the Trinity and each Hail Mary represents the special attributes of the inner life of the Blessed Trinity: Love, Wisdom, Power. Therefore, let us embrace the foregoing devotions and triumph over the obstacles of our faith and life.
You are in my thoughts and prayer. Please pray for me!
Readings: Acts 1:12-14 and John 2: 1-11

Comments (6)

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    April 30, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Amen. Thank you Father and happy feast of our Lady; Mother of Africa. Surely, we cannot thank God enough for His not only condescending to share His Blessed Mother with us, but also for the uncountable mercies & favors He has granted us through Her powerful intercession. Your reflection has also shown another special role of hers, ie the teacher of teachers in the School of the Holy Spirit; may God through the power of the Holy Spirit enlighten our minds to appreciate and love her more, including those of her children who are still struggling with accepting her motherhood.
    I also thank God for the gift of our earthly mothers too, especially the ones that have devotions to Mary and teach their children to do the same; like your mother; now we know… However, I give all glory to God also for your accepting & cooperating with grace.
    Many thanks also Father for sharing the devotion of the three Hail Marys, as practiced by the Saints and Mystics; may we adopt it accordingly and triumph over the obstacles of our faith and life, especially in this very challenging time.

  • Eby

    April 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Mary our Mother, please intercede for us. Power Virgin, pray for us.

    1. Eby

      April 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Mary our Mother, please intercede for us. Powerful Virgin, pray for us.

  • Abonyi Shadrach Emeka

    April 30, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Happy feast day of our lady, mother of Africa to you too. It’s indeed, a great teaching. They are inseparable!!! Thanks so much padre.

  • AndyMarie

    April 30, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Padre, St Louis personified. Nice reflection. May God grant us the grace to continue to cling to the Holy Spirit in union with our mother Mary.

  • Pauline Otu

    April 30, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Our Lady Mother of Africa, pray for us

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