Collection: Mary, Source of our Joy

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


Mary is cause of our joy, because, under God, she gives us Jesus, the Source of all joy. Mary is cause of our ever-increasing joy, because she always unites us, if we allow her, to the Heart of Jesus.

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Cause of Our Joy


Joy is a thing we all love. We all naturally want to be happy, to have what causes us delight, to be free from what is distressing and irksome.


The Church sings to Our Lady: "Thy Birth, O Virgin Mother of God, announced joy to the whole world." Why was this? Because Jesus was to come through Her. Jesus is the Joy of the whole world, of every soul that ever was or ever will be created, and this joy came through Mary.


Without Jesus, Who has redeemed us from sin and Hell, there would be no joy for us, either in this world or in the next. But more than this, Mary's consent was necessary, in order that Jesus might become our Redeemer. Our Lord would not even have come, had She not consented to be His Mother. She, as the Fathers of the Church tell us, cooperated in our Redemption by Her full and free consent to deliver Jesus to death for us. Could She not, for instance, have interceded with Pilate for the life of Her Son, and got witnesses to prove His innocence? But She knew Jesus was offered because He Himself willed it, and so She remained silent, hidden, patient, suffering all in Him and with Him, knowing fully, as none other ever will, the reasons for it all. This is the first way in which She is the "Cause of Our Joy," through Her share in our Redemption. And also through Her position in the Kingdom of Her Son, all the joys that come to us through the Divine Kingdom of Grace, the Sacraments, and the Church, pass through the hands of Her Who is the Queen of the Church Militant, Triumphant, and Suffering. But never in this world shall we realize fully how Mary is truly the Cause of Our Joy. It is only when we get to Heaven that we shall see how Her prayers, Her maternal solicitude, Her powerful help, followed us in every step of our lives, how She interceded for us in our sorrows that we might receive comfort and consolation, how She presented our petitions to Her Son, and helped to get our prayers answered, how She saved us from temptations and falls. How She, the Star of the Sea, piloted us through the countless storms and shipwrecks on the sea of life. Above all, how we shall love to salute Her as the "Cause of Our Joy," when at last we enter the heavenly Jerusalem, and Mary presents us to Jesus, as the fruit of Her tears, labors, and sufferings! "My power is in Jerusalem."


When Our Lord said to Her on the Cross, "Behold Thy Son," and to St. John, "Behold thy Mother," She became the "Cause of Our Joy" in a new and most special way.


Let us then love to salute Our Mother by this most sweet title, and ask Her to be indeed to us throughout life the true Cause of Our Joy. Yes, let us ever seek true joy where alone it is to be found, where She is ever pointing it out to us, and guiding us to find it, in Her Son Jesus Christ, the Joy of All the Angels.


We think perhaps now that there are plenty of joys in the world without this heavenly joy, of which Mary is the Cause, but we must not mistake mere "enjoyment" for joy. Enjoyment may make us feel glad for a while, but it soon palls and wearies, and above all when it is made the goal and end of life. The more it is sought, the less does it satisfy. True joy is something deeper, quieter, more lasting, than this fleeting, exciting, deceptive thing which we call enjoyment or pleasure. It is that peace of soul, that contentment of heart, that deep enduring satisfaction which comes to us when we refuse God nothing, when we are faithful to our conscience, to our duty, to our principles, to the practice of our Religion, when we really make God "the beginning of our joy." True joy is to be found in a quiet, simple life, such as was Mary's life with Jesus, Her Joy, on earth. Her life at Nazareth was more full of deep, true joy than any human life has ever been, when She had Jesus all to Herself for so many quiet years, and yet it was only the simple life of a Mother with Her Son, taking care of Him, and watching His growth and development. We need not rush wildly hither and thither, seizing every occasion of pleasure or excitement that presents itself, in our search for joy. It can be had in the quietest and most ordinary life, if our hearts are right.


St. Teresa says that earthly satisfactions reach no farther than, as it were, the husk or rind of the soul. It is thus we may for a time imagine that earthly enjoyments satisfy us, but they penetrate no farther than this outside surface, and that is why they can never fill or satiate the soul. Yet we may persuade ourselves that they are what we are craving for, because of the superficial satisfaction that we find in them.


Let us lay this truth deeply to heart, that true joy is found only in Jesus. Sooner or later we shall all be taught this by our own experience of life and our disappointment in the joys of earth; but let us forestall this sad experience now by our firm conviction and understanding that only in God is there true joy, and thus save ourselves the bitter heartaches of those who seek their joy in the pleasures and delights of the earth and forget that Mary is the real "Cause of Our Joy." We shall not be less happy—far from it, we shall lose nothing of our earthly joys, for they will be blessed and sanctified; and in the sorrows which no one can escape, and which we, too, must suffer in our turn, we shall have that which is the only true consolation—the testimony of a good conscience.