The following reflections are taken from an informal lecture given by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on May 24, 1995. His words have been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.
Our Lady is the archetype of all mothers. Sometimes, a child senses her maternal goodness symbolically through the ambience of a pious family. The affections of this family create an occasion for graces. The first experiences a child has with this affection lead him, though still young, to compare life within the family with that without. Thus, he affirms: “There is nothing like the family!”
He sees that the caresses and love he receives there exist nowhere else. All this affection can be summarized in one word: family.
While the word family represents many people, there is another word that signifies just one person, who is the quintessence of the family: mother. A good mother is the epitome of love and affection, and consequently goodness and mercy.
Through contact with his mother, the child begins to understand untiring goodness, grace, support and inexhaustible love. He experiences that maternal affection whereby a mother is never tired or bored of being with her child.
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For a true mother, the joy of life consists in holding her child in her arms, putting him down to watch him run this way and that and being unceasingly riddled with her child’s questions.
He, who enters this world perceiving the joy that a good mother brings him, will eventually see that life can be very difficult. However, to the extent that he remembers his mother, he remembers the Paradise of his childhood.
With this remembrance, he conserves hope in the Celestial Paradise, where his Blessed Mother will welcome him.