The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
MEDITATION FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY OF NOVEMBER
On the Feast of the Presentation of Mary
1st. THE holy child Mary, having hardly arrived at the age of three years, entreated her parents that she might be placed in the temple according to the promise which they had made. The day appointed having arrived, the immaculate young Virgin leaves Nazareth with St. Joachim and St. Anne, accompanied by a host of angels who attend that holy child who was destined for the mother of their Creator. Go, says St. Germanus, go, oh blessed Virgin, to the house of the Lord, to await the Holy Spirit, who is to corne to render thee mother of the eternal Word.
2d. The holy company having arrived at the temple in Jerusalem, the holy child turns to her parents, and kneeling, kisses their hands, asks their blessing, and then, without looking back, ascends the steps of the temple. There renouncing entirely the world and all things that the world could give her, she offers and consecrates herself wholly to God. Henceforth the life of Mary in the temple was but one continual exercise of love, and the offering of her whole self to her Lord. She increased from hour to hour, nay, from moment to moment, in holy virtues, sustained indeed by divine grace, but always endeavoring, with all her powers, to correspond with grace. Mary herself revealed this to St. Elizabeth, the virgin, saying: "Do you think that I obtained the graces and virtues without an effort? Know that I received from God no grace without great effort, continual prayer, an ardent desire, and many tears and penances."
3d. Thus Mary, a young virgin in the temple, did nothing but pray. And seeing the human race lost and hateful to God, she especially prayed for the coming of the Messiah, desiring then to be the servant of that happy Virgin who was to be the mother of God. Oh, who would have said to her then: Oh holy Lady, know that already through thy prayers the Son of God is hastening to come and redeem the world; and know that thou art the blessed one chosen to be the mother of thy Creator. Oh beloved of God, most holy child, thou prayest for all, pray also for me. Thou hast consecrated thyself wholly even from infancy, to the love of thy God; ah, obtain for me at least that during the remaining years of my life I may live for God alone. Today together with thee, I renounce all creatures, and consecrate myself to the love of my Lord. I also offer myself to thee, oh my queen, to serve thee forever. Accept me for thy special servant and obtain for me the grace to be faithful to thee and to thy Son, that I may come one day to praise thee and love thee eternally in paradise.