The most important means by which we show our love for God is to pray (despite what the social justice fanatics say). As we close this month of our Blessed Mother, I offer these excerpts from Pope John Paul II’s General Audience talk of 10 Sept 1997:
2. She who at the Annunciation showed total availability for the divine plan represents for all believers a sublime model of attentiveness and docility to the Word of God.
In replying to the angel: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) and in stating her readiness to fulfil perfectly the Lord’s will, Mary rightly shares in the beatitude proclaimed by Jesus: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!” (Lk 11:28).
With this attitude, which encompasses her entire life, the Blessed Virgin indicates the high road of listening to the Word of the Lord, an essential element of worship, which has become typical of the Christian liturgy. Her example shows us that worship does not primarily consist in expressing human thoughts and feelings, but in listening to the divine Word in order to know it, assimilate it and put it into practice in daily life.
Mary appears therefore as the supreme model of personal participation in the divine mysteries. She guides the Church in meditating on the mystery celebrated and in participating in the saving event, by encouraging the faithful to desire an intimate, personal relationship with Christ in order to co-operate with the gift of their own life in the salvation of all.
We could add that for the People of God Mary represents the model of every expression of their prayer life. In particular, she teaches Christians how to turn to God to ask for his help and support in the various circumstances of life.
By following her model, the Church learns to be bold in her asking, to persevere in her intercessions and, above all, to implore the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 11:13).
5. The Blessed Virgin also represents the Church’s model for generously participating in sacrifice. In presenting Jesus in the temple and, especially, at the foot of the Cross, Mary completes the gift of herself which associates her as Mother with the suffering and trials of her Son. Thus in daily life as in the Eucharistic celebration, the “Virgin presenting offerings” (Marialis cultus, n. 20) encourages Christians to “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:5).