My Mother, Help Me to Fly!

The same God who breathed life into the formed figure of Adam and infused the Apostles with the Holy Spirit wants to send you new winds of grace so that you may soar in the skies of the supernatural realm.

“Ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you” (Jb 12:7). If a bird could speak, would we not like to ask it: “Tell us what you see in the vast expanses of the sky? What is it like to face winds, storms, the instability of the weather and the atmosphere? What wonders, dangers and feats make up your airborne existence?” How many lessons of wisdom could we learn… Well, what birds cannot transmit, man can endeavour to interpret.

There is a bird that seems curiously designed to illustrate the value of the supernatural life infused into us by Baptism: the common swift. Its main characteristic is not the spirited swooping of the swallow, which it resembles, but rather making the sky its permanent habitat. It has the rare ability to fly for up to ten consecutive months without ever taking a break! Its metabolism allows it to endure long journeys at high speed; it even recovers its energy by sleeping in the air. It has a keen instinct for “deciphering” the winds, taking advantage of them to glide.

Common swift (Apus apus) on the ground

However, his bird has one deficiency: its legs are short and its feet lack claws, so if it lands on flat ground, it will be unable to take flight again; it will have to wait for a strong wind to lift it up, otherwise it will die where it landed…

Is this a defect? No. God designed it for the heights, just as a fish was designed to swim.

Now, we marvel at the fact that a simple creature can remain in the sky for almost a year. But if this bird could think, it would dare to ask us: “Tell me what it is like to be a human being, an inhabitant of the earth, called to live in Heaven. Tell me how you became heavenly through Baptism, a partaker in the very nature of God? Tell me about the marvels of grace; describe to me the magnificent and grandiose panoramas of the supernatural world that are closed to me.”

How shameful it would be if anyone were to think: “What do I care about the heights of grace? I have long since touched down in the mire of pleasure and sin.”

“To fly?” hardened sinners scoff. “To fly!” repentant souls yearn. They mourn their evils; they aspire to the heights that they cannot reach on their own. And here the hypothetical voice of the bird ceases in order for our Guardian Angel to speak to each of us:

When you find yourself downcast under the weight of your own miseries, prostrate on the ground because of your faults; when you have had the wretchedness to lose grace through sin, do not look at the abyss that yawns at your feet. Instead, look upwards, to that Heaven which belonged to you, which is truly yours, and which was stolen from you for a moment. Longings will overwhelm you, and then the most beautiful plea to Mary will spring from your soul: “My Mother, have mercy on me, help me to fly!”

Common swift (Apus apus) on the ground

The gentle breezes of compunction announce the proximity of a resurrection. And the same God who breathed life into the nostrils of the figure of Adam, the same God made Man who breathed the Divine Holy Spirit into the Apostles (cf. Jn 20:22), awaits you in the confessional to send new winds of grace to your soul, to make you soar once again in the wondrous skies of the supernatural world.

Before you know it, you are no longer in the clouds but cradled in the arms of the Blessed Virgin, who prayed and wept for you, forgiving you with utmost compassion!

She will fill the future centuries with countless souls who, although small and weak, will be reinvigorated by her voice. This is the new era that will begin, in which Mary will truly be Queen and truly Mother, because by her power of impetration She will obtain from God, for the benefit of a humanity lying in darkness, thousands of resurrections to the life of grace. ◊



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