Please forgive the delays on vonspeyr.net. I have recently moved to a new position as an assistant professor of Roman Catholic Systematic Theology at St. John's University in Queens, NY. Development of this site will resume in earnest.
In celebration of the feast of the Birth of Mary (Sept. 8), please accept this quotation from Adrienne von Speyr's Handmaid of the Lord:
Geburt der Jungfrau by Francisco de Zurbaran"All forms of Christian fruitfulness--physical as well as spiritual, virginal as well as marital--are patterned on Mary. They are all included in her as the perfected woman, in such a way that her perfections go out from her like rays and strike all the faithful regardless of age, gender or state of life, to develop in them in the most diverse ways. For every individual and for every united group of people, a particular path from the Mother to them and from them to the Mother is visibly indicated. A readiness for surrender on the part of the person is always assumed in this, but in such a way that it is included in the overflowing grace of the Mother, who has already surrendered herself. It is she who possesses the fullness of fruitfulness, and we take part in it through a bashful wish, an attempt, a beginning at devotion and surrender. Her fruitfulness and ours are related similarly to grace and merit: grace does not work without our cooperation, but this is itself an operation of grace and is included in its greater, sustaining sphere. Therefore, we must see in her the mediatrix of self-surrender..." (von Speyr, Handmaid, p. 170).