7. The Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit
A CERTAIN artist has depicted Mary as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The picture shows Mary standing upon a globe, which represents the world. Above is the Blessed Trinity. Directly over her head hovers the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Graces, represented by rays of light, stream from Him into Mary's heart, and from thence pour themselves upon the earth in seven streams, symbolizing the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit granted to men through Mary's mediation. In several passages of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit Himself calls Mary His Spouse. Even at the first instant of her conception, He imparted to her so great a fullness of grace that all the Angels and Saints combined have not attained such a degree of perfection.
Enraptured by Mary's beauty, the Holy Spirit exclaims in admiration: "How beautiful art thou, My Love!" (Cant. 4:1). But it was above all at the Incarnation of the Son of God that Mary became the true Spouse of the Holy Spirit for she conceived the Eternal Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through Mary, with Mary, and in Mary, the Holy Spirit brought forth the God-man, and in like manner He brings forth, every day, to the End of Time, the elect children of God. St. Louis Grignon de Montfort says: "The Holy Spirit imparted to Mary His immeasurable gifts, and has made her the dispenser of all His graces, so that she distributes His gifts and graces to whom she will, as much as she wills, and how and where she wills. No grace is given by Heaven to man except through her virginal hands." St. Bernard and St. Alphonsus and many other theologians hold the same opinion.
To enable Mary to fill her new sublime office as Mother of all God's children, she required another plenitude of grace, and this she received from the Holy Spirit at His coming on Pentecost. Mary had joined the Apostles in the Cenacle, and for nine days had prayed with them and sighed for the coming of the Divine Comforter. It was due chiefly to her prayers and ardent desires that the Holy Spirit came down with such treasures of grace.
Through Mary we must seek grace, for she is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and all graces are dispensed through her hands. Let us often greet Mary as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.