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The Soul Of The Apostolate

EPILOGUE

So now we lay down this little book before the throne of Mary Immaculate.

There is an old sixth century Byzantine painting of the Most Blessed Virgin that gives a perfect subject of meditation; the Heart of Mary as the consummate ideal of the apostolate.

The figure of Our Blessed Lady is shown carrying in Her Bosom the Incarnate Word surrounded by a circle of light. Like the Eternal Father she ever keeps within herself the Word she has given to the world. As Rohault de Fleury said: “The Savior shines in the midst of her breast like the Eucharist with all the veils torn away.” Jesus lives in her. He is her Heart, her life-breath, her center, and her life: this is an image of the interior life.

But the Divine Child is there carrying out the work of His apostolate. His attitude, the scroll of His Gospel which He holds in His left hand, the gesture of His right hand, His expression, everything shows clearly that He is teaching. And the Blessed Virgin is united to His word. The expression on her face seems to tell us that she too would like to say something. Her wide-open eyes are looking for souls to whom she may communicate her Son: and that represents the active life of preaching and instruction.

Her hands oustretched like those of the “orantes,” or praying women depicted on the walls of the Catacombs, or of the Priest offering the Holy Victim, tell us that it is above all by prayer and union to the Sacrifice of Christ that our interior life will have depth and our apostolate fecundity.

She lives in Jesus, through Jesus, by His life, His love, and by union with His Sacrifice; and Jesus speaks in her and through her. Jesus is her life, and she is the Word-carrier, she amplifies His voice, she serves as His monstrance.

In the same way the soul that is dedicated to the greatest and most perfect of all works, the apostolate, must live in God in order to be able to talk about Him meaningfully and with effect; and, let us repeat it once again, the active life can and must only be, in any soul, the overflow of the interior life.








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