3rd Distinction : Her Excellent Life on Earth
In her earthly life, Mary is the model of perfect human living, combining in perfect harmony the active, contemplative and unitive aspects of life.
It is both a blessing and a struggle that God has made our human lives on earth multi-faceted. We are to use our minds and our bodies. We are to work and rest. We have to tend to the needs of the soul and of the body.
The challenge is to keep all these facets in balance. Not paying so much attention to one to the detriment of another.
Our Lady serves as a model of a human life excellently lived, in perfect balance.
She lead an active life. Even before she became Mother of God, she worked in the Jerusalem Temple as a young girl and was excellent in making special fabrics for the Temple services, according to tradition.
As mother of the Holy Family in Nazareth (pictured above) she did what every mother did. There were no maids or servants. Theirs was the offering of the humble class when they offered sacrifice at the Temple.
At Cana, Mary is involved in the goings on in the kitchen, as it were. Tradition holds that she was a family member in the wedding party so it seems she was actively engaged in how the banquet was going. When she noticed they ran out of wine, she did something about it.
But she also lead a contemplative life. One constant theme stressed in the Gospels about Mary is how she stored things in her heart and pondered them. She was a prayerful, reflective thinker. When Our Lord told her things she did not immediately grasp, she hung on to His every word and sought their meaning.
As a Temple virgin in her childhood, Mary knew the Psalms and the sacred writings. She prayed in the Temple, and tradition says that she was alone, in the middle of prayer, when Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation at her home in Nazareth.
In both doing and prayerfully reflecting, Mary was being one with her Son. She followed Him, suffered with Him, rejoiced with Him. When He returned to heaven, she still had work to do - to be the Mother of her Son's Church. God is always working through Mary, and she is always doing what God asks her to do. Union.
When her time came to leave this earth, she joined her Son in heaven, body and soul. Union. Like Him, she has our salvation constantly in mind, taking her maternal role to heart, interceding for us and coming to earth when God permits to warn us and remind us to pray and do penance, for the end comes nearer.