Memorial of The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
At first glance this title seems utterly anachronistic: the only queen in our daily experience is Elizabeth II. Our world is apparently taken with a radically democratic spirit. And yet, of course, this is a world of fierce competition, where status is constantly being asserted. Look at the cars on the freeway. Look at the ever new classes of passengers airlines create. We may not have a king – or queen – but we certainly have rulers, and ruled. And they make their presence felt.
So much for this world. But this world is, well, just this world, and this world is at enmity with the world of God, who is, in fact, the Great King. Kingship is a reflection of the majesty of God. And God chose to lift to the dignity of Queen the Mother of His Son, Jesus, Christ the King. She is Queen of Angels and Saints, Queen of Heaven – and queen of all of us here below who are fighting under the standard of her Son.
Let us then turn to her in our every need, confident that in her, our prayers are heard and brought to the throne of God. For on the Cross, He gave her to us as our mother: and if she is our mother, then we too are children of royalty. The greater our humiliations and exclusion on earth, if borne for the sake of Christ, the greater our closeness will be to the true royalty when at last we come to our true home in Heaven. And meet our Mother, our Queen whose prayers will guide us safely home.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.