The Blessings of Mary
Taken from
Irish Ursulines, 1920 with IMPRIMATUR


Mary, the Mother of God

The nature and degree of the respect, veneration, or homage we are bound to pay to any person is measured by the dignity of the person either in rank or character. The poorest have a right to a certain respect as the creatures of God; all Christians, because they are followers of Christ; the just, because they have the grace of God; Saints, because they are the friends of God; kings, because they are the ministers of His providence. In short, the possession of any gifts or attributes proceeding from God implies we should respect the possessors of them in proportion, beginning with the lowest and ascending to the highest. What degree then of respect are we bound to pay to the Blessed Virgin? To answer the question, we must ask who she is, because on that depends the measure of respect we must accord to her.

We have to reply that she is the Mother of God. Our respect for her is limited and marked out by the dignity of that office and the holiness which it implies. First, therefore, think of God, that infinite and eternal Being, in Whose sight Angels and men, and the whole creation, or a million creations more perfect than this, are as nothing; and then call to mind the fact that Mary is the Mother of God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, and that to Him she can say with truth: "You are my Son; it was in my womb and of my substance You were formed; I have given You life and brought You into the world." The Mother of God can say so much to her Son; estimate her dignity and the consequent respect due to her from this truth. For nine months the Eternal Word dwelt in her womb and was part of herself; His infancy was spent in her arms on her virgin breast, and He was fed with her milk. His hidden life, those thirty years of which we know so little were spent with her. So much at least we know of them that Jesus Christ, our God, lived with His Mother all those years in the same house, at the same table, in the same state of life, shared her poverty, and was obedient to her. Wherever we seek Christ there we find Mary. We see her associated with Him in the prophecy which announced Him at the sentence of the Fall; we see, side by side with the types which foretold Him in the Old Testament, types also which foretold her.

When He is born, and the shepherds and the Magi of the East come to adore Him, with whom do they find the Child? With Mary His Mother. At her entreaty He works His first miracle. In the years of His ministry, in His suffering life, in His glorious life, Mary shares with Him His labours, His suffering and His glory. Every pang that he suffered wounded her maternal heart; every glory that He won made her maternal heart joyful. She is, therefore, near Him. We cannot think of Him without her, and therefore we must reverence her as one inseparable from God.
She is, moreover, as we should expect of a mother, like her Son, and in proportion to that likeness must be our veneration for her. Jesus possesses in an infinite degree goodness, wisdom, power, and mercy. Mary possesses these attributes in a higher degree than all Angels and men. Jesus is essential goodness; Mary is created goodness. Jesus is wisdom; Mary is the seat of wisdom. Jesus is the Father of mercy; Mary is "the Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope."

Jesus is omnipotent, and, in a certain sense, so is Mary
-----as the dispensatrix of His graces, all-prevailing by her sweet motherly prayers:

"With eyes on Christ forever set, And lips, whose fearless pleading hath never known denial yet
----- Though always interceding."

If Jesus is King and Father and Advocate of men, Mary is Queen and Mother and Mediatrix. If He is the Way, she is the "Gate of Heaven," the mystical ladder of Jacob's dream. If He is the Author of grace, she is the Mother of grace. If He is the Sun from whence all light comes, she, like the moon, beams with sweet and reflected radiance over the Church of God.


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