Mother Thrice Admirable

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AN IMAGE OF GRACE

Schoenstatt is centred on the covenant of love with the Blessed Mother. This Marian emphasis is what most people know about Schoenstatt. As with the Schoenstatt image of grace, its Marian spirituality also emphasises Mary’s relationship with Jesus, their two-in-oneness. She is the great Christ bearer to mankind, the permanent companion and collaborator of Christ the Saviour in every salvific work.

 

The great grace that  Mary in Schoenstatt is asked for is to become more like her. Mary is God’s incorruptible vision for mankind, the woman who is fully human but formed with Christ, a collaborator in the Father’s plan who invites us to build His kingdom freely and actively.

This is the picture of the Thrice Admirable Mother, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt – a picture of grace. It is a print of the original painting done by the Italian artist Crosio towards the end of the nineteenth century. The original title of this picture was “Refugium Peccatorum” – “Refuge of Sinners”. It was put up in the shrine at Schoenstatt
in Germany in 1915.

In the picture we see Mary, the Mother of God, with her Child, Jesus. One is struck by the unity between Mother and Child. Mary holds her Child with both hands. Her left hand presses him to herself; her right hand holds his arm, and at the same time offers it upwards. Yet, however, much her attitude unites her with the Child, she holds him in a completely detached way. Is she waiting for someone to ask for her Child? Her eyes speak of this expectation.

Looking at the picture we find a deepened expression of the heartfelt unity between Mother and Child:
the tone of the colors becomes deeper towards the center and leads one’s eye to the Mother’s heart.
The Child rests there, whilst her hand rests at his heart. So it is that heart is united to heart.
Two hearts unite in one beat.

“The heart is the innermost center of the spiritual life of a person” (Pope Paul VI). The picture of the MotherThrice Admirable , Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt speaks of the fact that Mary’s soul is totally formed into Jesus: he determines her whole being. He is the content of her life. He is the one who possesses her heart, her love. Is it thus surprising that the features of the two are so strikingly similar?

So it is that when we contemplate this picture of grace we realize: Our Lady leads all who attach themselves to her, to her Child, to the center of his heart. And there we find the Father.