And After This, Our Exile

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (Aug 9, 2018)
Catholic tradition holds August as the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To begin this month, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, is sharing reflections and insights on the great prayer "Hail, Holy Queen." We continue with the ninth line: "And after this, our exile."

What "exile"?

Our exile from the Garden, after the Fall, to this "valley of tears." We're not in Paradise. We're on a journey, not just of getting back to the Garden, but being elevated even above that.

What are we exiled from? What have we lost?

We've lost a certain harmony in our humanity, so now we've got concupiscence, disordered passions. We have "the tinder of sin," as the saints and theologians have said. We're inclined towards sin now because our reason and our faith don't always work together perfectly. We constantly have to steer away from doing something that will be offensive to God. That's partly what it means to be in this exile. The exception is Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception. Everything in her is perfectly ordered and working perfectly.

Mary was immaculate, untouched by the stain of original sin. Did she still endure exile in her life on earth?

In a certain sense. She was an inhabitant of earth, just like us, but for her, it wasn't as much of an exile because she didn't suffer from the internal disorder from the Fall. We suffer from the Fall both externally and internally. Within Mary's person, everything (her psychology, her emotions, her passions) is perfectly ordered, so she could be the New Eve, the perfect co-victim with Christ, participating with Him and under Him in redemption, in the saving plan. She suffered and endured external hardships as our spiritual mother for the sake of her love of God and of us, as mothers do. All mothers give of themselves, and this mother in particular. Our Lady was equipped for this mission, and so she is able to see everything in the light of God, no matter what the circumstances, and maintain her peace and hope, even before the Cross. We would just be losing it, like the other disciples were, battling internally, thinking, "This is the end! It's over! Defeat!" But Our Lady stood at the foot of the Cross, though her maternal heart was being ripped apart. Still, she was filled with trust.

Isn't it pre-Vatican II to call life on earth "our exile"?

No. The story remains the same: We've been ousted from the Garden. That didn't change in 1965. Maybe a more positive slant to "exile" would be to say that we lost our ability to fully see God. Our exile is inhibiting us from becoming what we were made to be. In light of that, yeah, let's get out of this exile, and let's go to the Father's house! Let's go back home!

Is there a difference between the exile of the Israelites and our exile?

Obviously, we live in the New Covenant, the New Testament, so we now know the way. It's Jesus and His Sacraments. Before Christ came, there was a lot of uncertainty. The Sadducees didn't believe that there was an afterlife, for instance.

How are we aided by God and Our Lady in our exile?

One powerful image from the Old Testament is the role of the Queen Mother from the Davidic lineage, the king's mother at the side of the king, interceding on behalf of the subjects coming to the king with their needs. This obviously was a preparation for what we have now with our Lord and Our Lady. With Marian devotion, we're simply bringing our needs to God through her, because a mother makes the appeals better. She purifies them; she cleans them up; she makes them more presentable. That's why we give everything to Our Lady. That's how she helps us in our exile as we are making the journey to the Father's House.

Can knowing this life is our exile help us have hope?
Maybe, because we know God didn't intend all the suffering and other effects from the Fall in the beginning. Rather, this is part of the exile. There is a way out, a point of departure from the exile where we enter into rest. We're just here doing time. Eventually, we're going to get to go home, if we cooperate with God's grace and trust in His mercy.

Share the Hail, Holy Queen with your family, friends, and community with our prayercard. To order, visit ShopMercy.org or call 1-800-462-7426.

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