But let us not believe that God or ourselves will lose anything by this proceeding. We know that Mary never allows herself to be outdone in generosity, that she conscientiously administers the interests of God and souls, our own and those of our loved ones.
What do we seek by this gift? Definitely the glory of God, the salvation of our souls and those of our brethren.
And Mary is only a temporary and secondary end, although wonderfully perfect, adequate and indispensable. And by this practice we give more glory to God and to Jesus Christ in a month than by any other in many years.
If, as says S. Bernard, ‘After Christ, everything was made for Mary,’ it is also correct and permissible to reverse the factors and to say that Mary only exists for the glory of God. She keeps nothing for herself of all that is surrendered to her. And Blessed de Montfort in his Treatise of the True Devotion, when he speaks to us of the great glory that this practice gives to God, writes a magnificent page, which is so to the point of what we are discussing that I quote it in full.
‘You never think of Mary without Mary in your place thinking of God. You never praise or honour Mary, without Mary praising and honouring God. Mary is altogether relative to God; and indeed I might well call her the relation to God. She only exists with reference to God. She is the echo of God, who says nothing, repeats nothing but God. If you say Mary, she says God. S. Elisabeth praised Mary and called her blessed because she had believed. Mary, the faithful echo of God, at once intoned: Magnificat anima mea Dominum…My soul doth magnify the Lord. That which Mary did then, she does daily now. When we praise her, love her, honour her, or give anything to her, it is God Who is praised, God Who is loved, God Who is glorified. We give then to God, by Mary and in Mary.’
This action on Mary’s part, shows plainly, that she is only our secondary end, and that God alone is for us, as for her, our sole, supreme and ultimate end.
(To be continued.)