Mysteries. Our life is full of them; creation itself, which cannot be entirely comprehended by the limited human mind, has them in abundance. Among these mysteries, what seems to most awaken human wonder is the mark of grandeur which the Divine Artist has imprinted on certain of His works, so that they participate, in the manner of a reflection, in His infinitude. Throughout history, this stamp has attracted many, leading them to strive without counting the cost to explore unfathomable expanses – seeking God, without realizing it, simply by seeking to learn of His creatures.
Stretching over the vastness of the earth, there is one quintessentially enigmatic place that to this day has only had a tiny portion of its totality explored: the deep sea.
These unknown regions provoke keen curiosity among scientists who, with the help of devices, try to plumb the abysmal depths of the oceans in order to analyse what is there. We know that strange animals have been found, and even volcanoes and mountain ranges. However, no one has managed to reach its most secret depths. If this were possible, how much new information we would have! But, for the moment, such is not the will of the Lord…
What has the Almighty set in the hiding-places of the seas? What do the waters conceal in their depths? Only unknown species, common geographical formations and enigmatic darkness?
St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort states in his treatise on True Devotion to Mary: “She [Mary] is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendour than anywhere else in the universe […]. No creature, however pure, may enter there without being specially privileged.”1 Has anyone ever been granted such happiness?
O God! The vastness of the ocean, unknown to men, is not even a drop of water compared to the excellence of this august Lady, the source of Your delight! You who established a paradise for the Angels and the Blessed, also built a Paradise for yourself in which to take pleasure. This Heaven of yours, Your sanctuary and resting-place, is the most Blessed Virgin! In Mary’s sacrosanct soul, wonders of holiness, grace, gifts and virtues have been deposited; and it is for You alone, the everlasting Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to contemplate this soul in its entirety.
However, there is a difference between the depths of the sea and Our Lady. In the ocean, the deeper we submerge, the greater the pressure and the darkness, making it impossible to discover the recesses of its aqueous mass. In Mary, the opposite is true: the more we are immersed in Her, the more beauty we find, the greater the intensity of light and the more vivid and varied the kaleidoscope of colours. The more we get to know Her, the more we realize that even greater pulchritude awaits us.
With Your servant, Lord, I exclaim: “What incomprehensible height! What indescribable breadth! What immeasurable greatness! What an impenetrable abyss!”2
Indeed, is it possible to encompass the immensity of the Empress of Heaven’s love? Or of her humility, her fortitude or her wisdom? Is it possible to discover the boundaries of her capacity to suffer, of the fear of God that guided her steps, of the unbreakable faith or firm hope that sustained Her at the foot of the Cross? If I were to take all the existing qualities and apply them to the Blessed Virgin, I realize that I would not glimpse even a fragment of her moral and spiritual vastness.
The privilege of contemplating Her entirely belongs to You alone, O Creator of all wonders! It is, therefore, a mystery to us mere mortals, a mystery accessible solely to You. ◊
1 ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION DE MONTFORT. True Devotion to Mary, n.5. In: God Alone. Montfort Publications: Bay Shore, NY, 1987, p.292.
2 Idem, n.7, p. 292.