MEDITATION UPON THE MOTIVES WE HAVE TO LOVE AND HONOR OUR LADY; WHICH MAY SERVE FOR FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH.
Virgin Mary with the Christ Child and a Donor
FOUR MEDITATIONS UPON THE MOTIVES WE HAVE TO LOVE AND HONOR OUR LADY; WHICH MAY SERVE FOR EACH SATURDAY OF THE MONTH.
1st PRELUDE. Imagine you see our Lady seated on a Throne of great glory, at the right hand of her Son; surrounded with Angels, announcing her prasis, and reverencing her as the Mother of God, and their Queen.
2nd PRELUDE. Beg the grace to be sensible of the many motives you have to love and honor her, and that you may effectually show your sentiments in her regard, by a zeal of propagating her honor and worship, and an eagerness to imitate her virtues.
Consider that our Lady challenges our love and respect, as being the only one who is originally noble; all others are ennobled by being made adopted children of God; but she is conceived so in the womb of her blessed Mother Saint Ann, being predestined from Eternity to be Mother of the Son of God. Holy Mother of God, how beautiful and amiable are you! And how pure! there is not the least spot in you. I heartily rejoice and give God thanks for your all-immaculate conception, as being the prerogative that pleases you most; if you had it not, and I could purchase it for you with the lofs of my life, I would joyfully give it for that effect.
Consider how the Blessed Virgin is not only happy, in having been conceived without sin, but much more in that she never committed the least sin; and therefore was ever void of the smallest spot or blemish and always full of grace. The Holy Ghost in the Canticles says: The number of my chosen Virgins is endless, yet my perfect one is an only one. This perfect one is the Blessed Virgin Mary; she has no equals for she alone never appeared before the Divine eyes in quality of a sinner; she alone was always pure, immaculate, and perfectly beautiful and amiable; she alone can say, God has possessed me from the beginning. O Sacred Queen, I infinitely rejoice, to think that it is impossible for a creature to be more pure and perfect than you are.
Confider, that all the perfections and prerogatives which have been distributed among other Saints, are collected together in her; God united in her person the purest virginity, with the most holy maternity ; the highest contemplation with the most lively action ; the most tender compassion with the most invincible courage ; the most sublime dignity with the most profound humility; fo that St. Anselme affirms that greater perfection under God cannot be found. She is the most beautiful work that ever came out of the Divine hands, being only less than God himself, and by a strict tie of blood with Jesus Christ, she enters into a degree almost: Divine, in so much that he will have the concurrence of her prayers, together with his own infinite merits, to be the immediate cause of effectually obtaining our Salvation; prayers so efficacious in Heaven, that even Christ himself, from whom they have all their force and efficacy, respects them as coming from his own Mother.
Lady Lucy Herbert
Prioress of the English Austin Canonesses at Bruges