To Jesus through Mary. This is what we commonly hear or read; it is a phrase, a devotion, and a spiritual path followed and cherished by many of the faithful. It is, as Adrienne von Speyr tells us in, Handmaid of the Lord, a path for those, “who must attain to God through what is human, because God seems to exalt them in himself.” Von Speyr states that this path through Mary is not a detour, but a, “simple approach, prepared and planned by God himself.”
It was that of St. Joseph, who, already on the path of holiness, was “bound directly to the human person, Mary, in order to become through this bond a servant of the Incarnate Lord.” Joseph grew in obedience, for example; von Speyr writes: Mary is, “so completely in obedience that her obedience is like an overflowing spring which draws Joseph into itself.”
But what of those who are already in a strong union with the Lord, who have a deep, contemplative prayerlife, who experience an intimate relationship with Jesus, but have not yet experienced a deep Marian devotion?
These are they, like the beloved John, says von Speyr, who are, “led to the Mother through the Son.” Like John, they are, “first claimed by the Lord for himself and only then brought together with Mary and given over to her.” von Speyr writes: “If Joseph attains to God and to holiness only through Mary, God draws John immediately into his friendship and binds him as the Lord’s friend to the Mother of the Lord.”
“There will always be many, like John, who are led to the Mother through the Son; but also many others, like Joseph, who are led to the Son through the Mother. These two movements, which in the beginning are very clearly emphasized in certain individuals, will later be the paths on which many can wander.”