Life and vision, in a Christian soul, constitute the same principle. According to God’s Word, Christian life and vision are one and the same thing, since faith, which is the light and vision of the just man, is also his life, as it is written: "The just man lives by faith" (Rom. 1:17). Eternal life consists in knowing God, as His Son Jesus Christ teaches us when He addresses His Heavenly Father, saying: "Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God" (Jn. 17:3). Since the life of God abides in His knowledge and love of Himself and of His divine perfections, so the life of the children of God consists in knowing and loving the Eternal Father. Those who know God by the light of faith and love Him with a supernatural love are alive with God’s own life, and God is living within them. He is the life of their hearts and of their souls.
God always lived thus in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her Immaculate Heart always lived in God and partook of God’s life in a much more excellent manner than any other human heart.
The life of God consists in the very sublime and clear knowledge that His boundless wisdom gives Him and in the infinite love He bears Himself. Now the Blessed Virgin’s Heart is filled with God’s wisdom and love more than all other hearts; consequently it expresses and represents God’s life better than any of them.
Two kinds of life exist in God: the interior life known only to Himself, and the exterior or visible life, which manifests itself in the humanity of His Son, in His saints, especially while they are still on earth, and in all living creatures. In like manner, there are two kinds of life in the Heart of the Mother of God: the interior life, hidden in God and visible to Him alone, and the exterior, visible life, manifested in the body and external actions of Our Lady, having its origin in her Heart. Both these lives are entirely holy and deserving of eternal honor. To this we must add that God is not only life, but the source of life, animating the natural and the supernatural life of all living creatures, and therefore the Heart of the Mother of Life is not only alive with God’s life, in which it participates in an eminent degree which knows no equal, but it is itself a principle of life.
God, however, lives in our hearts with different degrees of perfection, He does live in those who love Him tepidly, and serve Him with weakness, cowardice and negligence, but His life in these souls is imperfect, languishing and half dead.
God also lives in those who love Him more ardently and serve Him with greater fervor. Here His life is nobler, more vigorous and more perfect. If these hearts remain firm and stable in the ways of divine love, they shall be numbered among those of whom it is written! "Their hearts shall live forever and ever" (Ps. 21:27).
In other hearts God not only lives but reigns perfectly. Who are these souls? They are those who have destroyed self-love and self-will, those who in this world and in the next are desirous only of pleasing God in fall things. Their sole satisfaction and joy consists in doing His adorable will at all times and in all places.
Such is the virginal Heart of the Queen of Heaven, in which God always lived and reigned most sovereignly, to which He granted so perfect a resemblance to His own life. For so great a gift, may His divine Majesty be eternally praised and blessed.
O most holy Mother, how my heart rejoices to contemplate thy Heart living so noble, holy and perfect a life, a life never in the least impaired sin, a life most admirably united with the life of the adorable Heart Jesus. Would that all hearts and tongues would cry with me: Hail Jesus and hail Mary! Glory to the amiable Hearts of Jesus and Mary! Live all hearts who love and honor these admirable Hearts! May their Hearts live forever and forever!
O Mother of my life, let my heart die to every life and live of thy life, my life be animated by the spirit and inflamed with thy love, that together with thee, it may forever bless, love and praise Him Who is essential, the first and sovereign principle of all life, whose infinite desire it is to communicate it to all men!
This article was excerpted from St. John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary, Part Five, Chapter VIII. St. John Eudes, whose feast day was celebrated this past week, is a spiritual father of the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a contemplative community of lay and religious dedicated to serving the Hearts of Jesus and Mary through Eucharistic Adoration, contemplation, and corporal works of mercy. For more information on the order, visit www.heartsofjesusandmary.org.