The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
For the Day of the Annunciation to Mary
1st. WHEN God wished to send his Son to make himself man that he might redeem lost man, he chose for him a virgin mother, among all virgins the most pure, the most holy, and the most humble. And behold, whilst Mary was in her poor dwelling praying to God for the coming of the Redeemer, an angel appears and salutes her, and says to her: "Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women." And what does the humble Virgin when she hears such words in her honor? She is not elated, but is silent and troubled, esteeming herself too unworthy of these praises. She was troubled at his saying: "Turbata est in sermone ejus." Oh Mary, thou so humble and I so proud, obtain for me holy humility.
2nd. Did not those praises, at least, cause Mary to suspect that she was the destined mother of the Redeemer? No, they only caused her to conceive a great fear of herself. Wherefore it was necessary that he should encourage her not to be afraid: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God." And then he announced to her that she was chosen to be mother of the Savior of the world: "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus." Blessed art thou, oh Mary! how dear thou wast and art to thy God! Have pity on me.
3rd. Take courage, says St. Bernard, addressing her; why delay, holy Virgin, in giving thy consent? The eternal Word awaits it, in order to clothe himself with flesh, and become thy Son. We, who are all condemned to eternal death, are waiting for it in misery; if thou dost accept and consent to be his mother, we shall all be delivered. Quickly, oh Lady, answer; do not delay giving to the world that salvation which depends on thy consent. But rejoice, for Mary already answers to the angel: Behold, she says, the servant of the Lord, bound to do whatever her Lord commands : if he chooses a servant for his mother, the servant is not to be praised, but only the goodness of God, who wishes thus to honor her. Oh Mary, most humble, thou, by thy humility, hast so enamored thy God that thou hast constrained him to make himself thy Son and our Redeemer. I know that thy Son denies the nothing that thou dost ask; ask of him to give me his holy love; ask of him to pardon me all the offences which I have committed against him; ask of him to give me perseverance until death. In a word, recommend to him my soul, for thy recommendations are never rejected by a Son who loves thee so much. Oh Mary, thou must save me: thou art my hope.