The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
NOVENA OF MEDITATIONS
1st. "Domus aurea:" House of gold. Gold is the symbol of love. Hence the blessed Albertus Magnus calls Mary, The golden temple of charity: "Templum aureum charitatis." And with reason; for St. Thomas says, that as everything in the temple was covered with gold, so the beautiful soul of Mary was filled with sanctity. Mary was that house of gold which the Eternal Wisdom, that is the divine Word, chose for his habitation on this earth: Wisdom hath built herself a house: "Sapientia aedificavit sibi domum." Now this house of God, says Richard of St. Lawrence, is so rich that it can relieve all our miseries. Oh Mary, thou dost love God so much that thou dost desire to see him beloved by all. This is the grace that above all others I ask of thee, and hope from thee; obtain from me a great love to God.
2d. "Foederis arca:" Ark of the covenant. Iscfcio calls Mary: An ark more spacious than that of Noe: "Arca Noe largior:" for in that only two animals of each kind were received, but under the mantle of Mary all find room both just and sinners. This was one day revealed to St. Gertrude, who saw a multitude of wild beast, lions, leopards, &c., who took refuge under the mantle of Mary; and she did not drive them away, but with kind hand caressed them, so that they might not fly away. The brutes who entered into the ark remained brutes; but sinners, who take shelter under the mantle of Mary, do not remain sinners. She will certainly change their hearts and render them dear to God. The Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget: "However a man may have sinned, if with a true purpose of amendment, he returns to me, I am ready at once to receive him; neither do I look upon the sins with which he is laden, but only whether he comes with good dispositions; and then I do not disdain to bind up and heal his wounds, for I am called, and truly am, the mother of mercy." Oh mother of mercy, I will then say to thee with St. Augustine, remember that it has never been known that a sinner was rejected by thee, who had recourse to thee for help; I, a miserable sinner, invoke and trust in thee.
3d. "Janua coeli:" Gate of heaven. Mary is called the gate of heaven, because no one can enter into heaven, as St. Bonaventure declares, except through Mary. In Jerusalem is my power; "In Jerusalem potestas mea," says our queen. And Richard of St. Lawrence adds: Commanding what I will, and introducing whom I will: "Impetrandi quod volo, et quos volo introducendi." I can obtain whatever I wish for my servants, and introduce whom I will into paradise. Therefore St. Bonaventure says: Those who enjoy the favor of Mary, are recognized as citizens of paradise; and those who are like her, that is, have the grace to be her servants, are written in the book of life. For this reason St. Bernardine de Bustis calls Mary the book of life, and says that he who through devotion to her finds himself written in this book, will certainly be saved. Ah, my mother, in thee I place the hopes of my eternal salvation. I love thee, save thou me: do not permit a servant of thine who loves thee to go to blaspheme thee in hell.