Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is it sinful to venerate the Most Holy Virgin more fervently and devoutly than Christ?

Question: "Pelbartus asks if those persons sin, who seem to venerate the Most Holy Virgin more fervently and devoutly than Christ. (Pelb. apud Wickmann, Sabbat. Marian, c. 13)."

Response: "To this question, Wickmann replies that certainly, and without any rashness, we may believe that the Holy Ghost wishes to inflame many with a special devotion to the Most Holy Mother of God, that by her merits they may obtain everlasting salvation, and lead others, by their example, to a like affection of piety and devotion. (Ibid)."

"No, do not believe it, but rather be persuaded that it is the will of God that we should serve her, honor her, and love her with our whole soul, with our whole strength, and with all tenderness, and that the more we love her, the more we shall please Him."

"The love of God consists, as you well know, in a perfect conformity to His divine will. "If you love me," He says to His apostles, "keep my commandments." (John 14:15). Now, the precise will of God is that we serve, honor, and tenderly love Mary. She is, after the sacred humanity of Christ, the most perfect of His works; and what workman is there that is not pleased, that does not desire to have his works admired, praised, and held dear, especially the most excellent of them all—that on which he most prides himself—since the praise and glory of the work redound, and are wholly converted into the praise and glory of the workman? Must it not then be most pleasing to God; must He not desire that we love and esteem that work which He has made to show forth His omnipotence, His infinite wisdom and love, and in which His labor and workmanship are so resplendent and bright, that the saints have termed it "a miracle of the Divine Power?"

"The devotion to the saints," says Saint Thomas, "does not terminate with them, but passes to God, inasmuch as it is God whom we venerate in His servants." (Sum. Theol. II II, q. 82, art. 2, ad 3). Now, if this be so (and who does not see that the honor, service, and love we bear to Mary, are the honor and glory, service and love of God Himself?) "all the honor bestowed on the Mother redounds to the Son" (Hieronym. ad Eustoch.), and "the praise of the Mother belongs to the Son" (S. Bern. Homil. 4. super Missus est, c. 1); "for the honor given to His Mother tends to the praise and glory of the Saviour." (S. Bonav. in Psalt. B. V. psalm, Si vere utique). "Let us venerate and love the Most Glorious Virgin Mary," says Father Alexis of Sales, "since the honor and love we bear her, redound wholly to the glory and honor of our Master and Saviour Jesus Christ." And who knows not that all the service done to any saint for the love of God, tends wholly to the glory of God Himself, by whose grace and benefits that saint is what he is?

"In honoring, then, the Blessed Virgin as the most excellent and perfect of all creatures, we in reality confess that all those things which render her worthy of our regard and admiration, are derived from His liberality; and we give Him, at the same time, immortal thanks, praising and magnifying Him, who raised a creature, like unto ourselves, to such perfection and glory. We may add that the worship and reverence exhibited by men to the Mother, through love of the Son, are received by the Son as a thing that belongs to Him, since they are offered to the Mother in regard of the Son, and because it is known with what incredible love He loves His Mother."

"The Most Holy Virgin is not one of those creatures that "separate us from God." Oh no! She draws, allures, obliges, and constrains our love, to make thereof a most pleasing gift to God: she wishes us hers, that she may make us belong entirely to God; she wishes us to love her, that she may make us enamored of her Son; and therefore she draws and leads us to God, and does not separate and remove us from Him. As says the pious author of a work on the love and worship of the Mother of God, "The devotion and love of the Son increases with that which men bear the Mother, because the Mother, being most faithful to the Son, draws and conducts to Him all who approach her, and endeavors to reconcile and unite them more closely with God." (In arte pie amandi et colendi Deipar. cap. 7). And by this you may see how great the advantage is to ourselves, and therefore I say that the more we love Mary, the more we shall love God, and that there is no shorter, easier, or safer path by which we may attain to the perfect love of God, than a tender and sincere love of Mary."

"If, then, you wish to love God, and to love Him ardently and constantly, love Mary, and love her with strength and perseverance. If you wish to be holy, and if you wish to become so quickly and easily, love Mary, and love her tenderly and fervently. Of the love we should bear her, I shall speak more in the last chapter. Pay no attention to those who, guided, as we may piously believe, by a good zeal towards God, but certainly with little piety and devotion towards the Blessed Virgin, either destroy, or in some manner diminish her most beautiful praises, or wish to reform or else entirely abolish certain religious practices in her honor, which the piety of the faithful, or the most ancient custom of the Church has introduced, and hitherto continued. But consider that there is no rule nor measure in the honor and love of the Virgin, because she surpasses, transcends all praise, all honor, according to the words of Saint John Damascen; and therefore Saint Ambrose, and Andrew of Crete assert that only God can sufficiently and worthily praise the Most Holy Virgin. (St. Ambrose, lib. i. de Virg., Andreas Cret.).

"Let us then serve, praise, honor, and love Mary without measure, without bounds, because we shall thus give God an infinite pleasure, and we shall soon become saints, and great saints.

"O Mother of Beautiful Love! Most perfect work of God! Our Most Loving Mother! Most Beloved Mother, Daughter and Spouse of God; when, oh, when shall we be inflamed with thy love? When shall our hearts be consumed by its fire? Separate a single ray from that divine fire that burns in thy breast, and cast it powerfully into our hearts, that they may also burn and be entirely consumed—a holocaust of that love which they owe to thee, which they owe to God, and that they may be thus purified from those stains which the impure flames, with which they have hitherto been surrounded, have left upon them. Do this through thy mercy, and do it soon."

Extracts taken from the book "The Love of Mary", Chapter "Second 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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