As we prepare for the feast of Our most Holy Mother's Immaculate Conception, let us reflect with gratitude on the immeasurable sufferings of Her most holy life in union with Our Lord Jesus Christ. In blood and in tears, we were redeemed from our sins. Among the many fitting reasons God the Father preserved His daughter - God the Son His Mother and God the Holy Spirit His bride - Immaculate, Fr. Garrigou Lagrange explains one of the foremost was that She might be the Mediatrix of all graces for us, Her children and God's. Pope St. Pius X expresses this doctrine by saying "she merited for us congruously, as they say, what Christ merited condignly, and is the principal minister in the distribution of grace". These terms are explained in further detail below
Leo XIII summed up this doctrine in the statement that Mary was associated with Jesus in the painful work of the redemption of mankind (4). Pius X calls her “the repairer of the fallen world” (5) and continues to show how she was united to the priesthood of her Son: “Not only because she consented to become the mother of the only Son of God so as to make sacrifice for the salvation of men possible, but also in the fact that she accepted the mission of protecting and nourishing the Lamb of sacrifice, and when the time came led Him to the altar of immolation—in this also must we find Mary’s glory. Mary’s community of life and sufferings with her Son was never broken off. To her as to Him may be applied the words of the prophet: ‘My life is passed in dolors and my days in groanings.’ To conclude this list of Papal pronouncements we may refer to the words of Benedict XV: In uniting herself to the Passion and death of her Son she suffered almost unto death; as far as it depended on her, she immolated her Son, so that it can be said that with Him she redeemed the human race’
Mary’s sufferings have the character of satisfaction from the fact that like Jesus and in union with Him, she suffered because of sin or of the offence it offers to God. This suffering of hers was measured by her love of God whom sin offended, by her love of Jesus crucified for our sins, and by her love of us whom sin had brought to spiritual ruin. In other words, it was measured by her fullness of grace, which had never ceased to increase from the time of the Immaculate Conception ... What must have been the value of her sufferings at the foot of the Cross, granted the understanding she then had of the mystery of the Redemption!...
To understand her sufferings, we must think too of her love, both natural and supernatural, of her only Son whom she not only loved but, in the literal sense of the term, adored since He was her God. She had conceived Him miraculously. She loved Him with the love of a virgin—the purest, richest and most tender charity that has ever been a mother’s. Nor was her grief diminished by ignorance of anything that might make it more acute. She knew the reason for the crucifixion. She knew the hatred of the Jews, His chosen people—her people. She knew that it was all for sinners.
From the moment when Simeon foretold the Passion—already so clearly prophesied by Isaiah—and her compassion, she offered and did not cease to offer Him who would be Priest and Victim, and herself in union with Him. This painful oblation was renewed over years. Of old, an angel had descended to prevent Abraham’s immolation of his son Isaac. But no angel came to prevent the immolation of Jesus ... “One Cross was enough for the well-beloved Son and the mother.” She is nailed to the Cross by her love for Him. Without a special grace she would have died of her agony.
Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain: but she brings the faithful forth in the most cruel suffering. “At what price she has bought them! They have cost her her only Son. She can be mother of Christians only by giving her Son to death. O agonizing fruitfulness! It was the will of the Eternal Father that the adoptive sons should be born by the death of the True Son. … What man would adopt at this price and give his son for the sake of strangers? But that is what the Eternal Father did. We have Jesus’ word for it: God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son (John 3:16).
“(Mary) is the Eve of the New Testament and the mother of all the faithful; but that is to be at the price of her Firstborn. United to the Eternal Father she must offer His Son and hers to death. It is for that purpose that providence has brought her to the foot of the Cross. She is there to immolate her Son that men may have life. … She becomes mother of Christians at the cost of an immeasurable grief. …” We should never forget what we have cost Mary. The thought will lead to true contrition for our sins. The regeneration of our souls has cost Jesus and Mary more than we can ever think.