This article by Rev. Thomas Graham, S.M.M., a member of the Montfort Fathers, was originally published in The Queen - a publication of the Association of Mary, Queen of All Hearts.
Queen of All Hearts
Mary's queenship in recent theology as well as in the doctrine of Montfort is based on
two theological truths: the divine maternity and the co-redemption.
Evidently, the divine maternity is the foundation of all the other prerogatives of Mary. Montfort does not delay in explaining the nature of the divine maternity. Mary supplied a human nature to the Son of God. This made possible the union of humanity and divinity in the person of Christ. He simply states the fact in order to draw an immediate conclusion.
Christ in His human nature is a King and Head of the Mystical Body. In mothering the whole Christ, Mary is adorned with the title of Queen. She has as well as with a domination and power over the members of the Mystical Body. She has this power, not by any natural right, but by the grace of her maternity. That is why Montfort ascribes her queenly domination to a ”singular grace of the Most High, who, having given her power over her only and natural Son, has given it also to her over His adopted children, not only as to their bodies, which would be but a small matter, but also as to their souls”.
Thus, in virtue of her divine maternity, Mary acquires a certain maternal power over Christ. This, in turn implies a queenly and dominative power over all the members of Christ. The line of argument that Montfort follows is that of St. John Damascene and other Fathers of the Church. In becoming the Mother of God Mary became the Queen and Sovereign of all that is under God. ” All that is fitting to God by nature is fitting to Mary by grace, say the saints; so that, according to them, Mary and Jesus, have but the same will and the same power. They have also the same subjects, servants and slaves.”
In his exposition of Mary’s Queenship, Montfort seems to ignore her presence and her consent on Calvary as an additional title to her royal prerogative.
Undoubtedly, he was well aware of the fact that the death of Christ on Calvary was decreed as the climax of our Redemption. He was likewise aware of the co-redemptive activity of Mary at the foot of the Cross. This co-redemptive activity of Mary, in his view, was so far reaching. He contemplates Christ as depending on ”even in His death, where she was to be present in order that He might make with her but one same sacrifice, and be immolated to the Eternal Father by her consent.”
Mary’s Presence At The Cross
But in laying the foundations for her queenship he does not insist explicitly on this phase of Mary’s co-redemptive activity. The reason for this lies in the fact that Montfort was a disciple of Bérulle. For whom the mystery of the Incarnation ”is an abridgement of all mysteries and contains the will and grace of all”. Therefore, for him, Christ is a Redeemer from the very first moment of His earthly existence and therefore all the actions of His life subsequent to His Incarnation are redemptive in character.
This is quite clear when we recall that all actions of Christ are unified by the one purpose of His life, the Redemption of mankind. This is expressed theologically by the distinction in ordine intentionis and in ordine executionis: in the order of intention they are one, in the order of execution they are distinct. Thus, Montfort conceives the Redemption as a whole, begun at the Incarnation and completed on Calvary. And the conduct of Christ towards His holy Mother in the Incarnation will be the very same at the foot of the Cross.
Both are inseparably united in the redemptive activity. “He (Christ) glorified His independence and His majesty in depending on that sweet Virgin. She is glorified in His conception, in His birth, and in His presentation in the temple. She is glorified in His hidden life of thirty years, and even in His death, where she was to be present in order that He might make with her but one same sacrifice, and be immolated to the Eternal Father by her consent; just as Isaac of old was offered by Abraham’s consent to the will of God. It is she who nourished Him, supported Him, brought Him up and then sacrificed Him for us.”