The Glories of Mary
In them, the Readers see someone Human, like themselves, who will Listen-to them, Understand what they themselves are Going-through, and 'Lend' a Helping Hand. The Reason for 'Omitting' the 'Examples' here, should be Obvious. Mary herself is the Example-par-Excellence, of the Virtues he is Extolling. There is no-Need to 'Point-to' Anyone or Anything else. His Aim in all of this, is to Provide his Readers, with as-many Choices as-possible, so that they will be able to-make Appropriate Selections, that Fit into the Exigencies, of their own Lives.
This next Section, Focuses-on the Sorrows-of-Mary. Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve. When the Salve Regina was sung, his whole soul and his countenance were aglow with love. On one occasion, while he and a Jesuit companion were on their way to visit a certain shrine of Our Lady, his companion asked him how much he loved Mary.
He replied, "What more can I say than that she is my mother? Let them love her as Blessed Herman loved her.
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He called her the spouse of his love, because Mary herself had honored him with that title. Let them love her as Saint Philip Neri did. He was filled with consolation when he merely thought of Mary, and for that reason he called her his delight. Let them love her like Saint Bonaventure, who called Mary not only his lady and mother but even his heart and his soul.
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Let them love her like that great lover of Mary, Saint Bernard, who called her the "ravisher of hearts. Let them even call her "sweetheart," as did Saint Bernardine of Siena. Every day, he made a visit to a shrine of Mary and protested his love for her. When someone asked him where he went each day, he replied that he went to call on his sweetheart.
Let them love her as Saint Aloysius Gonzaga loved her. He loved her so much that whenever he heard her name mentioned his heart was inflamed and even his countenance reddened with a glow that everybody could see. Let them love her as Saint Francis Solano did, who was considered mad but with a holy madness for love of Mary. He would sing before her picture and play a musical instrument, and claim, like worldly troubadours, that he was serenading his queen.
Finally, let them love her as did so many of her servants who could never do enough to show their love. Father John Trexo, S. He often visited her in one or the other of her churches. Then, to prove his servitude, he would drench the floor with his tears. Next, he would wipe away those tears with kisses - all because this was the house of his lady. On great feasts he was taken by angels to heaven to see how the feasts were observed there. He would often say: "I wish I had the hearts of all the angels and saints to love Mary as they love her! I wish I could control the lives of all men, so that I could direct them all to the love of Mary.
Let still others love her as did Saint Bridget's son, Charles, who claimed he had no greater consolation on earth than knowing that God loved Mary so dearly. He also maintained that he would gladly accept any suffering rather than have Mary lose even one iota of her greatness, if indeed if were possible for her to lose any. Furthermore, he said that if her glory were his, he would renounce it in her favor since she is ever so much more worthy of it.
Let them desire even to lay down their lives as proof of their love for Mary, as Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez did. Let them love Mary as did those who carved the sweet name of Mary on their breasts with sharp knives, as did Francis Binanzio, a holy religious, and Queen Radigunde, the wife of King Clothaire. Let them love her as did those who took red hot irons and imprinted her name upon their flesh, so that it would remain there clear and long, as did John Baptist Achinto and Augustine d'Espinoso of the Society of Jesus, both driven to this by the vehemence of their love.
Even though these lovers of Mary exert their best efforts to prove their affection for her, they will never succeed in loving her as much as she loves them. On one occasion, Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, S. His heart became inflamed with love for her and he cried out: "My dearest Mother, I know that you love me, but you do not love me as much as I love you. My love for you is greater than any love you could have for me. The distance between heaven and earth is not so great as the distance between your love and mine.
Saint Bonaventure then was right in exclaiming: "Blessed are the hearts that love Mary!
Ven Bishop Richard Challoner 1691-1781
Blessed are those who serve her! She returns our love and always adds some new favors to past ones. She returns to those who love her their love doubled and redoubled in favors and benefits. Through your merits, therefore, and not because I deserve it, grant my suppliant soul a love that is worthy of you.
Therefore, through your merits and not my own, O Jesus and Mary, grant my soul the grace to love you as much as you deserve. O lover of souls, you were able to love guilty men unto death.
Will you then refuse love for yourself and for your mother to one who prays for it? Mary is the mother of penitent sinners. Our Blessed Lady told Saint Bridget that she was the mother not only of the just and innocent, but also of sinners, provided they were willing to repent. Every sinner who wishes to mend his ways finds this good mother ever so willing to embrace and help him; far more so than any earthly mother. Saint Gregory VII had this thought in mind when he wrote to the Countess Matilda, saying: "Resolve to give up sin, and I promise you that you will find Mary more ready to love you than any earthly mother.
But whoever hopes to be a child of this great mother must first abandon sin. Only then can he hope to be accepted as Mary's son. Richard of Saint Lawrence, commenting on the words of Proverbs: "Her children rise up and praise her" Prov , remarks that these words indicate that no one can be a child of Mary without first endeavoring to rise from the depths into which he has fallen.
He who is in mortal sin is not worthy to be called the son of such a mother. And Saint Peter Chrysologus says, "He who acts differently from Mary plainly proves that he does not want to be her son. A certain sinner once said to Mary, "Prove that you are my mother.
Another sinner invoked Mary, calling her the "Mother of Mercy. But at the same time, you do not cease by your sins to make me a mother of sorrows and anguish. We read in Ecclesiasticus, "He is cursed of God that angers his mother" Ecclus That mother, says Richard of Saint Lawrence, is Mary. God curses those who by their wicked life and by their obstinacy in sin afflict so good a Mother. I say, by their obstinacy, for if a sinner, though he may not have given up his sin, endeavors to mend his ways and, for this purpose, seeks the help of Mary, this good mother will not fail to help him and make him recover the grace of God.
One day, Saint Bridget heard Jesus say to his Mother: "You help everyone who tries to rise to God, and you leave nobody deprived of your consolation. However, if he finds himself chained by some passion which makes him a slave of hell and still recommends himself to the Blessed Virgin and implores her with confidence to draw him out of that state of sin, there can be no doubt that Mary will reach forth her powerful hand, will deliver him from his chains, and will bring him to salvation.
The doctrine that all prayers and works performed in the state of sin are themselves sins was condemned as heretical by the Council of Trent. Saint Bernard says that, although prayer in the mouth of a sinner is devoid of all merit because it is not accompanied by charity, nevertheless it is useful and wins the grace to abandon sin. Saint Thomas teaches that the prayer of a sinner, though without merit, is an act which obtains the grace of forgiveness, since the power of impetration is based not on the merit of him who asks, but on the divine goodness and the merits of Jesus Christ, who said: "Everyone who asks receives" Lk We must say the same of prayers offered to the Blessed Mother.
And those graces will be given to the sinner which she begs of God for him. Adam, the Abbot of Perseigne, uses this comparison.
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Suppose a mother knew that her two sons were deadly enemies and plotting each other's murder. What else would she do than try in every way to pacify them? You are the mother of both and you cannot suffer to see discord between your sons. The only thing that Mary demands is that the sinner have recourse to her and intend to change his ways.
When Mary sees a sinner at her feet begging for mercy, she does not concentrate on the sins with which he is burdened, but rather on the intention with which he comes. If he comes with the proper good intention, even though his soul be black with sin, she welcomes him, and like a loving mother, does not hesitate to heal all the wounds of his soul. For Mary is not merely called, but actually is, the Mother of Mercy.
She makes herself known as such by the spontaneous love and tenderness with which she helps all who turn to her. This is precisely what she said to Saint Bridget; "No matter how much a man sins, I am instantly ready to welcome him back. I do not fix my attention on the number of his sins, but rather on the intention with which he returns. I will not refuse to anoint and heal his wounds, for I am called and really am the Mother of Mercy.
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Mary is the mother of all sinners who wish to repent. And as such, she cannot help but pity them. In fact, she feels the misfortunes of her children as though they were her own. My daughter is sorely beset by a devil" Mt Now, since it was the daughter, and not the mother who was tormented by the devil, we would think she should have said: "Lord, have pity on my daughter," and not "have pity on me.
Richard of Saint Lawrence says that is the way that Mary prays for sinners who have recourse to her: "Mary cries out with a loud voice for a sinful soul and says, 'Have pity on me.
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