At this very moment, particle physicists are pondering the existence of perhaps as many as eleven dimensions. Too astonishing to grasp! Is it feasible, then, to insist that a two-dimensional iconographic surface is “more accessible to mystery” (Michael Quenot’s phrase) or that, turning West, Gothic forms come closer to the sublime than modern ones? Mystery is everywhere, our origin and our destiny. We inhabit mystery, breathe, embody and return to it. Denying our capacity to express a sense of wonder and reverence with the means of our own time seems a sin against the Spirit Who murmurs to every age.
A balanced view of salvation history will grant to the Blessed Virgin Her proper place in both the Incarnation of the Second Divine Person and in the Kingdom won by Him on Calvary. Therefore, She is venerated with thanksgiving as both the one who, in union with the Blessed Trinity, gave Jesus to the world, and as the one who stood by Him during His Passion, uniting Her "Com-Passion" to His Salvific Passion for the restoration of fallen mankind to the friendship of God. It was prophesied in Eden that the Mother of Christ would be given a share in the work of the One Mediator and, because of this, a unique share in His glory. As had been prophesied by Simeon in the Temple, the soul of the Co-Redemptrix was pierced beneath the Cross on Calvary. The Mother of the Church, who experienced no physical labor pains during the birth of the Incarnate God at Bethlehem, did undergo unimaginable spiritual 'labor pains' as Her Son hung on the Cross, dying the cruelest death imaginable. And God, in His wisdom, has decreed that these sufferings of Mary count for something, and something indescribably precious, in the economy of salvation. They were not the sufferings which redeemed humanity, like those of Jesus. They were not needed in order to augment or complete the superabundant Sacrifice of Jesus, which alone could and did atone for all the sins of the world. Yet, God decreed that Our Lady unite Her Sufferings to those of Jesus, the Woman of Genesis standing beside Her Seed during the restoration of the world.