Several Means Of Honouring Our Lady And Testifying Our Love To Her.

Madonna della Scala 
c. 1523

Several Means Of Honouring Our Lady And Testifying Our Love To Her.

The First, and moft acceptable, is to have her example before our eyes, and to endeavour to imitate her as our dear Mother, Lady, and Miftrefs. Now, though (he was eminent in all virtues, yet the following ones are thofe (he valued moft, and what will render us moft dear to her Divine Son, and herself.  

The First is her Humility, which made her most pleasing to God, as she fays in her Canticle: God has bad regard to the Humility of bis Servant therefore all Nations shall call me blessed. And St. Bernard fays (he pleased God by her Virginity, but (he conceived him by her Humility.

The time we ought chiefly to pradife it, is when we are to communicate; Communion being, as it were, a new Incarnation, for the fame Son of God, whom the Angel called Son of the moft High, and whom our Lady then conceived, comes into our breast by Communion: we must therefore endeavour to make our Humility fuch, that it may supply for what we want of purity, (though we have cleansed our conscience by confesion) and in imitation of our Blessed Lady, we must believe, as (he did, that all that is foretold us of the wonderful effects of this Sacrament, will, through the mercy of God, be accomplished in us, although it seems impossible to us. Then, with a profound Humility and fenfe of our unworthiness, let each of us fay: Behold the handmaid of our Lord, me his unworthy creature, let it be done to me according to his merciful designs ; it is to obey his Will that I approach to receive him, though l am most unworthy of the favour.

The Second Virtue we must imitate is her constant and perfect obedience to the Will of God. Be it done to me according to bis word. The fame we ought to say in all occasions, whether we be in peace or in trouble, whether we have sensible devotion or not; and in fine, whatever circumstances we are in, God's Will be done, readily obeying it, which way forever it be made known to us. This our Lady always did, by which {he conceived and carried him in her heart, before (he conceived him in her womb. And this fpi- ritual Conception of him was more available than the corporal, which only made her Mother of God, whereas the other rendered her the worthy Mother of God.

This Privilege we may enjoy, according to our dear Lord's own words, who fays, those that do the Will of my Father are my Sifter, Brother and Mother. Nothing will make us more pleasing to our Lady, than the imitating her in this vir- tue; it was the advice (he gave at the marriage feast of Cana in Galilee bidding them perform whatever her Divine Son should order them. 

The Third Virtue we must try to imitate, is her invincible Courage and Patience in all she suffered in the Passion of her Divine Son. To know what that was, we must measure it by the greatness of her love; her love for her dear Son surpassed that of all other Mothers, and she had a clear knowledge of what her Son suffered; for besides being informed of it by the Prophets and by that Divine Son himself, she beheld it with her own eyes, and felt in her heart what she suffered in his Body, None can conceive the greatness of her sufferings, which she bore with an infinite Patience, standing all the while by her Son on the Cross: her grief was without comparison! None but her Divine Son could surpass it, and therefore she is deservedly styled Queen of Martyrs. What obligation have we to love and ferve her, who for our Salvation consented to the death of her own Son! She could with less difficulty have given her own life. Can we, after this, think much of sacrificing, for her sake, whatever is most dear to us?

Moft dear Lady, and Mother of my Saviour, obtain me the Grace to imitate you in these Virtues, especially in patiently bearing whatever fufFerings of mind and body Almighty God {hall permit to fall upon mcp and that with an un(haken con*- Aancy, never yielding to dejedion in any of them» thereby to imitate the example you have given me.

Other means of honouring our Lady and testifying our love to her, are:

1st. To consider her as our Mother, and make recourse to her as such.

The last thing our dear Saviour recommended on the Cross to us, in the Person of St. John, was Ecce Mater tua, behold your Mother; let us ever do so; especially when it pleases God to permit us to suffer, that we may learn of her how to comport ourselves therein. What an honour is it to have the Mother of God for our Mother! We must endeavour not to render ourselves unworthy of it, and therefore must avoid sin, for that only can make us unworthy of her Adoption and Love. O most dear Lady! shew yourself a Mother to my soul, for the sake of your dear Son I beg it, and then my Salvation will be secure.

2nd, To respect and honour her in her Pictures, Images, and little Altars dedicated to her.

3rd, To fast the Vigils of her Feasts, or do some Penance and (if a secular) give Alms.

4th, To confess and communicate on her Festivals,

5th, To let no day pass without practising some Devotion or duty in her Honour as faying our Beads Hearing Mass in her Honour, &c.

6th, To get Mass said in thanksgiving to Almighty God for creating her so perfect : and for the immense  treasure of Grace, Sanctity, and Glory, which he has conferred on her incomparable Soul, For as there is no proportion between a limited thanks, and a gift of infinite value so by doing this, God himself becomes the Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for his own gift. This will be a most agreeable token of our love to her; all the Saints together cannot give her a greater nor a more acceptable one.

Lady Lucy Herbert
Prioress of the English Austin Canonesses at Bruges 


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