“I hear this Word of God addressed to me in a special way at this moment of my life. The Lord has called me to ‘scale the mountain’, to dedicate myself still more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church. If God asks me this it is precisely so that I might continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to give up to now, but in a way more suitable to my age and my strength. Let us call upon the intercession of the Virgin Mary: May she help all of us to always follow the Lord Jesus, in prayer and in works of charity.”
–Benedict XVI, Final Angelus Address, February 24, 2013
Pope Benedict has heard the Word of God addressed to him. While not an overt Marian expression, as he would later call on Mary directly, nevertheless, we must never forget that Mary is the Mother of the Word. She is the Mother of Jesus Christ, who is the Word made flesh. Mary, of course, provides us the perfect model of one who constantly reflected upon the words of Christ in her heart. She perfectly heard the the Word of God in her life, and now like Mary, Benedict has heard the Word of God, and now prepares to enter into solitude, in order to ponder the words of Christ in his own heart.
In his direct Marian reference, Benedict encourages us to call upon Mary so that she may help us to always follow the Lord Jesus in prayer, and works of charity. As mentioned already, Mary is the perfect model of prayer. She persevered with the Apostles in the Upper Room (Acts 1:14). She prayed her great Magnificat, in which her soul rejoiced in God her savior, and she marveled at all the wonders God had done in the life of Israel. Furthermore, Mary is a model of one who performed works of charity. She went in haste to care for her kinswoman Elizabeth (Luke 1:39) who was miraculously with child. She requested Jesus to perform his miracle at Cana, as an act of charity toward the couple. Mary always was concerned for the other person.
Mary provides us an example that can be imitated. She prayed and performed works of charity. Let us call upon Mary, so that we too can more faithfully be people dedicated to prayer and service to our neighbor.