The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
NOVENA OF MEDITATIONS
1st, "Mater divinae gratiae:" Mother of divine grace. Mary is called by St. Anselm: Mother of all graces: "Mater omnium gratiarura." And by the Idiot: Treasurer of divine grace: "Thesauraria gratiarum." Hence St. Bernardine of Sienna writes: All the graces which we receive from God are dispensed by the hand of Mary, and are dispensed to whom Mary will, when she will, and as she will. This she herself says: "With me are riches and glory . . . that I may enrich them that love me." The Lord has placed in my hand all the riches of his graces, that I may enrich those who love me. Then, oh my queen, if I love thee I shall be no longer poor as I am now. After my God, I love thee above all things; do thou obtain for me greater tenderness and love for thy goodness. St. Bonaventure tells me that every one will be saved if thou wilt have him saved: "Quem ipsa vis salvus erit." And therefore will I say to thee with the same saint: Oh salvation of those who invoke thee, save me: "O salus te invocantium, salva me." Save me from hell, and first save me from sin, which alone can bring me to hell.
2d. "Mater purissima:" Mother most pure. This fair and pure virgin mother renders all her servants chaste and pure. St. Ambrose writes that even when Mary was on the earth, by her presence she inspired with the love of purity all those who looked upon her. She was called the lily among thorns:"Sicut lilium inter spinas sic amica mea inter filias." All other virgins, says St. Denis the Carthusian, are thorns either to themselves or to others; but the blessed Virgin was neither a thorn to herself nor to others, for she inspired with pure and holy affection all those who beheld her. Moreover, Frigenius, author of the life of St. Thomas Aquinas, writes, that this saint said that even the image of this chaste turtle-dove extinguishes the sensual emotions of him who looks upon it with devotion. And the venerable John of Avila relates that many persons who were suffering from temptations against purity, were preserved pure through the devotion to our Lady. Oh, how especially powerful is the name of Mary, in conquering all temptations to this vice! Oh Mary, most pure, free me from this vice; make me always to have recourse to thee in temptations, and invoke thee so long as the temptation continues.
3d. Mater inviolata:" Mother inviolate. Mary was that immaculate woman who appeared in the eyes of God all pure and spotless: "Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non est inte." Wherefore the was called the reconciler of sinners, as St. Ephrem salutes her: "Hail, conciliatrix of the world: "Ave conciliatrix orbis." And as she herself said in the Canticles: "Since I am become in his presence as one finding peace." St. Gregory says that if a rebel should appear before the offended king to appease him, it would only provoke him the more to anger. But Mary being destined to treat of peace between God and men, it was not fitting that she should appear as a partaker in the crime of Adam, and therefore the Lord preserved Mary from every stain of sin. Ah, my immaculate queen; oh spotless dove, so dear to God; ah, do not disdain to look upon the many stains and wounds of my soul; look on me and help me. That God who loves thee so much, denies thee nothing, neither dost thou know how to deny thyself to him who invokes thee. Oh Mary, to thee I have recourse; have pity on me. Mother inviolate, pray for us: "Mater inviolata, ora pro nobis."