Thursday, August 17, 2017


Nothing is easier to man than love, because the heart has neither enjoyment nor life without it; this we have already seen and proved, and everyone is a witness of this to himself. Moreover, it is the same thing to see, to contemplate a good and amiable object, and to love it, because we feel ourselves carried away, and borne almost towards it. Now, if Mary be that object so amiable, that a more amiable may not be found among creatures, what obstacle or impediment shall delay, hold back, and detain our heart from running and flying to her? Even a little knowledge of her, such as may be obtained by reading, by hearing, and by meditating on her incomparable perfections, her benefits and her love, suffices to set us on fire, and make us melt towards her.

Even when she was in this world, in a most advanced age, the people crowded to see her. "Great is the concourse of people desiring to see and hear the Queen of Heaven" (S. Ign. apud Joann, Viguer, 75, 4), wrote the blessed martyr Ignatius to the Evangelist Saint John; and Saint Denis the Areopagite considered himself most happy to be presented to her by the same holy Evangelist. [Extract from chapter 6: Now, indeed, I no longer wonder that Saint Denis the Areopagite, at the first sight of this Great Lady, although still clothed with mortal flesh, would have fallen at her feet to adore her as God, had he not been withheld by faith, as he himself testifies. (Nieremb. Trop. Mar., l. 5, c. 2. Boz., l. 9, c. 9. Locr., l. 3, c. 1. Revil. in Paternica apud. Sogneri. Devot. Mariae, p. 1, c. 4). The Apostles and the first Christians were right to erect magnificent temples to her while still living, as did Saint James in Caesaraugusta, Saint John in Asia, Saint Peter in Rome, the disciples of the Prophet Elias upon Mount Carmel, Saint Martha in Marseilles, the holy Magi in Cranagor, and Queen Candace in Ethiopia.] What attractions, then, must she now possess from that glory, from which the great endowments of her most beautiful body, and of her most innocent soul, have received the last consummation of perfection? Let those fortunate souls instruct you, whose hearts, after contemplating for a short time this Most Luminous Sun, were so inflamed and consumed by its celestial fire, that to give vent to their seraphic ardor, one calls her "Captivator of Hearts," as Saint Bernard; another, like Saint Bonaventure, "My Heart, My Soul," and Saint Ephraim of Syria, "The Strong and Sweet Hope of My Soul." Saint Anselm, beside himself with love, exclaims: "O Most Beautiful and Lovely Mary, where dost thou hide thyself from the eyes of my heart? Wait for a poor, weak soul which follows after thee, and hide not thyself from a heart which seeks thee, and sees thee but little."

You cannot believe that she is deaf to these voices, or that, with haughty greatness, she sees not, or heeds not the prayers and tears of those who love her and seek her. She knows all, she sees all, even the least motions of our soul; and oh! How pleasing and acceptable they are to her! She knows well how to return our love with equal love—with equal love? Ay, with a love inestimably greater; with a love which cannot be surpassed, cannot be equalled. "I know, My Lady," said Saint Peter Damian to her, "I know that thou art most kind, and that thou lovest us with an invincible love." (Serm. de Nativ. B. V.). In a transport of love, the blessed Alphonsus Rodriguez, of the Society of Jesus, thus addressed her: "O My Most Amiable Lady, I love thee more than I love myself; but alas! Thou dost not love me as I love thee." "Not so, my Alphonsus," she answered; "I love thee more than thou canst love me; and know," she continued, "that thy love is as far from mine, as is earth from Heaven." "Oh, sweet contest of love!" adds the author who relates it, "in which to be conquered or to conquer, is equally desirable and glorious; but in which she must conquer, who is the most powerful in loving, whose love is not only more tender, but also stronger and more effectual." (Burghes, in Societ. Mar.).

But this Most Loving Queen not only is pleased with and returns our love, but she ardently desires and solicits it, most sweetly inviting and powerfully drawing us to her love. To her are well applied those words of Wisdom: "She is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her. She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first showeth herself unto them. He that awaketh early to seek her, shall not labor, for he shall find her sitting at his door. . . . For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her; and she showeth herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meeteth them with all providence." (Wisdom 6:13, 17). "I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope." (Ecclus. 24:24). "Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm." (Cant. 8:6). "Give me thy heart," she says to you, "give me thy heart, and I will give thee mine." You will not lose by the exchange; but oh! How much you will gain!

But she complains, that she calls on those that are deaf, that her love is not returned, that it is contemned, that she is rejected for the most unworthy objects. "Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this!" she cries out with Jeremiah; "they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." (Jerem. 2:12, 13).

But yet, you will say, it is those chosen souls, immaculate and holy, those chaste and innocent doves, and high-soaring eagles, that have wings to fly; but can I, a wretch, full of misery and sin, can I hope that this Sublime Queen will deign, I will not say, to love me, but even to cast an eye upon me? Yes, Parthenius, she goes about seeking for lovers; and the further we are from her, the more she approaches us in seeking us; the more wretched we are, the more she pities us, and our very miseries force that loving heart to relieve us, and to love us still more tenderly. She would not be the Queen of Mercy, if in her kingdom there were no objects of mercy; and to such, more than to any others, she says: "Come to me, all ye that are burdened, and I will refresh you." "Come to her," says Saint Bonaventure, "ye that labor and are burdened, and she will refresh your souls. 'Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.'" (Ecclus. 24:26). "Approach unto me, all you who desire my love, and I will not reject you, I will not despise you, but will heap upon you those goods with which I abound through my greatness and my noble generation, which made me to be the Mother, Daughter, and Spouse of God. And happy is the soul that yields himself to such sweet invitations, and, from an ungrateful enemy, becomes a faithful friend; from a stranger, becomes a servant; and from an unfaithful one, becomes a most dear and faithful spouse." (S. Laurent. Justin, de cast, con. verb. et anim. c. xxi).

"However great may be a man's sins," said this Most Amiable Lady to Saint Bridget, "if he return to me with his whole heart, and with true amendment, I am immediately ready to receive him; neither do I consider how much he has sinned, but with what intention and will he returns. I am called by all the Mother of Mercy, and truly the mercy of my Son hath made me merciful; and he is miserable, who will not, when he can, approach mercy." (Sta. Brigit. in Revelat. lib. 2. c. 23).

What say you now, Parthenius? Are you yet convinced that it is very easy to love Mary, that your love pleases her above all things, that she desires, ardently desires it, and goes diligently in search of it? Are you persuaded that she keenly feels, that it pains her not to be loved, and that she regards not, cares not for the past vileness, misery, faithlessness, and ingratitude of him who sincerely wishes and resolves to love her? Yes, certainly you are convinced; you are persuaded of this. Take courage, then, and strong resolution. Let us love her who so greatly loves us, so greatly desires our love, our good. Oh! Ungrateful and foolish that we are; we have perhaps been lost in the pursuit of one who fled from us, who despised us, and sometimes even hated us; and shall we not yield ourselves to the love of her who has so long sought for, and so highly prizes our poor heart? "O Great Virgin, singularly chosen by God, and elevated above all in Heaven, how admirable and how lovely are thy eyes, and their most pleasing rays! Turn them upon us. Attract and draw us to thee, and obtain for us amendment of life, increase of grace, and the possession of eternal glory." (S. Bonavent)

Extracts taken from the book "The Love of Mary", Chapter "Third Day", by Roberto D., Hermit.

Please contact me if you want to receive a free 1 page copy (or copies) of this article in leaflet form for your own use and/or for the distribution to others in order to spread the Love of Mary and the knowledge of Her Greatness. Included in the leaflet is Chapter "Third Day"; Chapter "Second Day"; and Chapter "Fourth Day".

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