In his weekly Wednesday Audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis continued an ongoing catechesis on the Church today by reflecting on the importance of Mary in the plan of salvation and the "quiet martyrdom" that she suffered in her heart. “Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Church, we now look to the Virgin Mary who, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, is ‘the model of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ,’”the Holy Father said, using a quote from the document from the Second Vatican Council document Lumen Gentium.
“She is also a model of union with Christ, be it in her daily duties, be it in the way of the Cross, until she unites herself with Him in the martyrdom of the heart. As a daughter of Israel, Mary responded in faith to God’s call and became the Mother of his Son.”
Because of Mary's willingness to say 'yes' to God and endure all of the pain and hardships and difficulties that went with doing so “she teaches us to live a life of faith by her obedience to God’s will and by her unfailing devotion to Jesus and his work,” the Pope reflected. Mary obeyed as someone “lives immersed in the mystery and her yes, already perfect from the beginning, grows until the Cross, in which her maternity embraces everyone.”
Mary's spiritual attitude is worth emulating because she “models the Church’s union with Christ through her constant prayer and participation in the mysteries of his life, death and resurrection.”
“How does the figure of Mary challenge us? Do we see her far away from us? Do we go to her during trials? Are we capable, like her, of loving by giving ourselves completely? Do we feel united to Jesus, according to her example, in a steadfast relationship or do we only remember Him in times of need?”
“As Mother of the Church,” Francis said, “may Mary, by her prayers, bring us ever closer to the Lord.”