MEDITATION UPON THE MOTIVES WE HAVE TO LOVE AND HONOR OUR LADY; WHICH MAY SERVE FOR THIRD SATURDAY OF THE MONTH.
The Coronation of the Virgin (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 Blessed Lady challenges our love, because she is the most beloved of God, who chose her before all, and would have her cooperate with him for our Salvation, by sacrificing her only Son for his Glory and our Redemption; for Christ was not less the real Son of the Virgin, than he was the true Son of God the Father; and as the Eternal Father, for his own Glory, and for the safety of mankind, delivered him up to death, so the Blessed Virgin did the same for the same end; offering that part of the Divine Victim Christ, which belonged to her, and that with readiness and constancy of mind. For which reason St. Bernard piously supposes that the Eternal Father said to her: Because you have not spared your Only Son, but have offered him for my Glory and the Salvation of Mankind, there shall be nothing I will not do for you in recompense. I will give you a numerous posterity of chosen people I will constitute you Mother of the living; you shall have in custody the treasury of my liberalities; you shall distribute all my graces; you shall direct my Justice; in a word, you shall have the Sovereign command over my heart: my clemency shall be subject to the law of your tongue it being fitting that I should bestow as many blessings upon the earth as you shall think good to desire. Thus far St. Bernard.
Consider that Almighty God loves the Blessed Virgin to such a degree, that he will have us receive all graces through her hands; and the devout Father Suarez infers that his Divine Majesty loves her alone, more than all the other Saints and Angels together. St. Ildephonse and St. Bernard say, that the Redemption of this perfect creature (by which she was preserved from ever incurring the least sin) was one of the chiefest works the Eternal word had in view when he took upon him our human nature. Saint Bernard also says, that for her sake, that is, to make ber Sovereign Queen of Heaven and Earth, God made this World. Thus God Almighty loved the Sacred Virgin: wherefore we ought to love her, for love of his Divine Majesty.
Confider, that God's favours shew his love and make the greatness of the Saints. Those he bestowed on the Blessed Virgin are incomparably above whatever he has bestowed upon any other: therefore by consequence she is the most beloved and most eminent in Sanctity of any. The three Divine Persons have enriched her with the most precious of gifts, God the Father having taken her for his Daughter, God the Son for his Mother, and God the Holy Ghost for his Spouse; no advantage is wanting to her, nothing can be added to greatness, she is established Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Lady Lucy Herbert
Prioress of the English Austin Canonesses at Bruges