The Mystery of Mary is the mystery of the Trinity. Perhaps this country has not reached the understanding of the Triune God – understanding in Faith for who can understand the Trinity.
But we know, or should know, that from eternity, She was present in the mind of God, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Her; the second Person of the Trinity was born from Her.
To us of the Eastern spirituality She is so depicted on many icons with the Child in Her heart. The Holy Spirit hovered over Her and the hands of the Father blessed Her – Our Lady of the Trinity.
I am not a theologian, which is just as well, for I don’t know if theologians weep. I guess they do… But I sense some incredible, ineffable mystery approaching my soul and my soul entering into that mystery by Faith and being absorbed by it!
I enter into that mystery through a finely woven gate that I call Mary. I walk through that gate to the Way. The Way who is Her Son; for Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light”. And I walk into the arms of my Father; our Father, your Father and mine, everyone’s Father since His Son died to make all men brothers. To help me to walk the way of Jesus I have the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who went to overshadow Mary, Her Spouse.
I am writing about things that I do not understand, but I sense in Faith. And why shouldn’t I? For I love Mary the Mother of God, the Bogoroditza whom all Russians love and who is present at their baptism, who walks with them through all their life and greets them when they come to the heaven which is the Triune God.
Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Restoration, October 1972
Reflection – Well, Catherine is taking us about as deep as anyone can take us into the mystery of Mary, going about as far as human words can go. Some may think she goes a bit too far here: ‘the mystery of Mary is the mystery of the Trinity’? What does that mean? Mary is not God, and God exists from all eternity while Mary, beloved as she is, is a creature in time. What gives here? Is Catherine getting carried away on a sweep of emotion, right over the edge of heresy and Mariolatry?
Well, I don’t think so. Of course God is God and Mary is His creature, in that respect no different from the rest of us. What Catherine means by saying that the mystery of Mary and the Trinity are one is that the mystery of God cannot be understood fully until we see his designs, his creative and redemptive will, fully expressed in his creation. God exists apart from His creation, but we who are creatures cannot understand God except through how we see Him revealed in creation.
And God is only revealed in his creation partially and imperfectly, as in the lower creation of inanimate objects and irrational living creatures, or his creative will and love is deeply distorted, as in sinful human beings. Only in Mary who is conceived immaculately, who is utterly free of the distortion of our humanity that we all labor under, and who in her unmarred freedom freely chose to cooperate at each stage with God’s plan, do we see the full picture of what the mind and heart of God is towards us.
And this heart and mind of God towards us is for us to share in his glory by receiving the fullness of Who He Is into our being. Mary does this in the flesh in a unique way for the world, becoming an integral and necessary part of the plan of God for the whole cosmos. We are not, of course, called to that unique participation, but nonetheless God made us to be part of his cosmic plan. Our way into it is to echo Mary’s fiat – let it be done to me according to your will. And then to give our flesh—our whole humanity—to the work of God in whatever way His Spirit leads us.
And this is the path to glory. More and more I find myself meditating on Mary as Queen of heaven and earth. We all desire a full, rich life. ‘YOLO’ is the cry of youth today—you only live once, so cram as much life into life as you can. But Mary shows us here that the ‘long game’ is actually the wiser and ultimately richer and more vibrantly alive choice. You only live once, but that one life can actually go on forever, and just get better and more rich and more exciting and glorious and fun with each passing year, each passing aeon.
These are divine mysteries, and indeed The Divine Mystery. But Mary holds the key to that mystery, and her whole ministry in our lives is to open it up for us and usher us through into the heart of Her Son and Her Father, in union and concert with the work of the Spirit in our lives. And that, my friends, is the fundamental Mariology of the Church.