ASPIRATIONS OF A SINNER TO MARY
REMEMBER, O most compassionate Mother, that from the beginning it has never been heard that any who have fled unto thee for protection, or implored thy intercession, have been forsaken by thee. For to this end hath the Fountain of forgiveness been given to thee as thy Son, that thou mightest obtain grace for all who need, and that thine abundant charity might cover the multitude of our sins and our many defects. Wherefore, encouraged by this assurance, I have recourse to thee, and stand before thee in my misery and my defilement. Oh, despise me not for my innumerable and grievous sins, nor cast me away because of the exceeding loathsomeness and hardness of my heart. Thou knowest, O Mary, how deeply I am sunk in sins and vices, and how justly I have deserved all the most dreadful anger of thy Son. Cast me not away from thy favour, O most compassionate Mother, for thou art, after God, my surest confidence, and the, chief, the only ground of my hope. For such is the trust I have in thee, that I shall never believe that I can perish, as long as I love thee and serve thee. O most holy Mother of God and of man, thou joy of all Saints, thou solace of the wretched and refuge of the poor, I beseech thee, by that ineffable joy and sweetness thou didst feel when the incomprehensible Divinity took flesh of thee, and thus deigned to unite human nature to Himself for ever in thy virginal womb, vouchsafe to undertake my cause, and to render me well-pleasing to the same thy well-beloved Son. Show him, O Mother, the breasts which He has sucked and the arms with which thou didst embrace Him; set now before Him all the toils and all the dolours thou didst suffer for His sake; show Him that heart of thine, sweeter than the honeycomb, all glowing with the fire of His love; and so render Him propitious unto me. O my most faithful advocate, turn on me, thy most unworthy servant, those pitying eyes of thine; and by the fragrance of that unimaginable delight thou didst feel as thou wentest up from this world to the royal court of Heaven, leaning blissfully on thy Beloved, vouchsafe to be with me in the hour of my death; and in that dread hour offer for me to the most Holy Trinity the merits of that tranquil and consummate perfection which raised thee, on the day of thine Assumption, far above all human and angelic dignity, and made thee the object of His supreme and everlasting complacency. Amen.
INVITATION TO THE B.V.M. TO BE PRESENT AT OUR DEATH
O MOST holy Virgin Mary, in union with that most faithful love wherewith thy Son commended thee from His Cross to the blessed John, I commend to thee my soul and my body, my thoughts, my words and my actions, my life and my death, and more especially that one last moment of my life on which eternity hangs. And as thou didst invite thy Son to thine own blessed departure, so I invite thee now to mine; beseeching thee, by that love wherewith thou didst stand beneath the Cross on which thy Son was dying, and by the bitter tears thou didst shed when thou sawest Him bow in death His sacred Head, that thou be not absent from me then, but be there to succour me with a mother's tenderness; for, without thee I cannot die in peace. Refuse not, O most tender Mother, this my request, which I make to thee with all the earnestness and devotion of my heart; for if I die without thee, I most justly fear lest I perish everlastingly. For how shall I, fearful and frail as I am, stand then amidst the manifold and most grievous assaults of my enemies, unless thou be near to succour me! How shall I appear in the dread day of judgment, unless thou be my companion and my advocate! How give an account of my innumerable, my enormous, my most exceeding sins, unless thou plead my cause with thy Son, and obtain for me forgiveness of them all! Incline now thine ear to my supplication, O my blessed Mother; and by the love of thy Son come unto me in my last moments, that by thy availing succour I may be rescued from that appalling peril, and with thee attain to everlasting gladness. Amen.
THREE AVE MARIAS FOR A GOOD DEATH
St. Mechtilde, having on one occasion asked the Blessed Virgin to assist her in the hour of her death, received this answer: You may feel assured of my presence and aid if you daily address to me this three-fold salutation.
HAIL, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, as God the Father in the grandeur of His omnipotence hath exalted thee and given thee power above all creatures, be with me, I beseech thee, in the hour of my death, and drive far from me all the snares and craft of my enemies. Amen.
HAIL, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, as God the Son in the excellence of his His unsearchable wisdom hath embued thee with so great a knowledge, and filled thee with so great alight that thou knowest the most Holy Trinity more truly and intimately than all Saints, do thou so enlighten my soul in the hour of my death with the knowledge of the faith, that no error or ignorance may lead it astray. Amen.
HAIL, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, as the Holy Spirit hath poured into thee the sweetness of His love with such abundance, that thou art after God the sweetest and most benign of beings, do thou pour into my soul at the hour of my death the sweetness of Divine love, that its every bitterness may be rendered sweet to me. Amen.
Our Lord Himself taught St. Gertrude to invoke His blessed Mother daily with the words: O thou our advocate, turn on us those pitying eyes of thine; assuring her that she would thus receive great consolation in her last hour.
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