MEDITATION UPON THE MOTIVES WE HAVE TO LOVE AND HONOR OUR LADY; WHICH MAY SERVE FOR SECOND SATURDAY OF THE MONTH.
Rest on Flight to Egypt (detail)
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, for her high Dignity and incomparable SAnctity. To know this, we must know who is her Son: She enjoys the straitest conjunction possible with the Sovereign increated Good, which is the highest preferment a pure creature can be assumed to, without passing the bounds of a pure creature; and it is the operation which comes nearest of any thing to the Divinity. St. Bonaventure, upon those words of the Gospel, Erat Subaitus Illis, sticks not to say that Mary had God for her subject.
Consider, that it is the opinion of Divines, that the Blessed Virgin truly merited the august quality of Mother of God; as bringing on her side such dispositions for receiving this extraordinary Dignity, that it was very reasonable God should consider it upon her, and the Church constantly repeats unto her, that she merited to have Jesus in her womb; nay, St.Ambrose expressly says, she was worthy that the Son of God should be born of her.
Whatever Idea we frame to ourselves of the Blessed Virgin's grace, though never so great, it will fall short of the truth, because it can never come up to the height of the employment God designed her. On the top f those very mountains, the Angelical Spirits, is laid the foundation of this stately edifice, the Virgin Mary; she began where others end. The reason of this Almighty God himself tells, viz. because he himself was made man in her Womb. If such was her beginning, what must her progress and end be? Since, each moment of her life, she went on increasing in perfection. No one can conceive, much less express the extreme beauty of her soul; all we know is, that she is the most wonderful and most beautiful work that ever came out of the Almighty's Hands; (except the Humanity of her Divine Son) and that she is only less than God.
Consider, that itn is the general opinion, that the Blessed Virgin lived twenty four years after our Saviour's death; if so, according to the custom of the Primitive Church, she communicated every day; and that Sacrament giving grace proportional to the dispositions of the receiver, since her dispositions were certainly beyond all that can be conceived, it cannot be doubted but that the treasure f grace she received from her Son, was beyond al expression: Nothing can fathom the depth of her merits, she being not only a sea, as her name imports, bust and Abyss of Grace.
Lady Lucy Herbert
Prioress of the English Austin Canonesses at Bruges