October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Pope Leo XIII wrote no fewer than 10 (yes, 10!) encyclicals on the Rosary. You can find them here:
Category Archives: Sanctity
11. Because Mary is the Paradise of God.
Blessed de Montfort begins an enthusiastic hymn in honor of the supernatural and triumphant beauty of Mary.
In Himself, in His essence, in His attributes and perfections, God is infinitely great. God alone is great as regards perfection and infinity, and these were the words of the gentle but plain-spoken Massillon over the coffin of Louis XIV.
But ‘there is not, there never will be a creature in whom God is greater, outside Himself and in Himself, than in the divine Mary, not excepting Saints,’ who upon earth show His grace and goodness and in Heaven His glory and splendor, ‘nor the Cherubim nor the highest of Seraphim’ in whom He lights the fire of His love and shows forth a ray of His shining spirituality… ‘in Heaven itself,’ …that blessed dwelling-place of which He is the Center, the Joy and the Life. God is great in all His works, in all His creatures, from the giant sun to the humble hyssop, which each in its sphere, in its rank, with its voice in one great harmonious choir, sings unceasingly the love, the power, and the magnificence of the divine Creator.
You can call to mind all the men, all the women, among the Jews, the pagans and the Christians, in times ancient and times modern, in whom God has placed a particle of His power, flashed a spark of His greatness. Name these men and women by whom God willed to do great things, to change the course of events or the statutes of nations, who made the world resound with the fame of their genius and their holiness. You shall not find one like Mary. God worked in them great human things. In Mary the great things were divine.
(To be continued.)
The ways of the spiritual life are many. They all deserve our reverence since they are allowed and approved by the Church, and have justified themselves by raising countless souls to the highest sanctity.
Our holy writer is not out to destroy them nor to supplant them. He would on the contrary make use of them all. With this purpose he teaches and brings forward a doctrine, old as the mind of God and simple even as that mind, embracing all the others, facilitating them and giving them an incomparable vitality and an infallible meritorious value. We must imitate God Himself in His conduct towards Mary.
(To be continued.)
By her Maternity Mary was to be related to God, to be one of His family, to co-operate in the work of the Blessed Trinity. How could she not resemble the three Divine Persons? And could the triune God permit a shadow, a veil however slight, to darken and to come between the so intimate and sweet relationship which was to be established between the Father and His Daughter, between the Son and His Mother, between the Spirit and His Spouse?
The entire divine order revolts at it and imperiously refuses. Besides, the fact, stronger than the hypothesis, exists. Because Mary was to be the Mother of God, she was Immaculate in her Conception.
This initial privilege implied others, postulated by her future functions. Everyone through the weakness of our first paretns is liable to actual sin, to the urgings of concupiscence, to errors of intelligence and judgment.
The Blessed Virgin as a result of her perservation from all stain and of the virtue infused into her soul, was immediately confirmed in grace, unable to sin even venially, to feel the least sensual urge, to be touched by the lightest breath of error and infidelity. Withdrawn from the influence of original sin, she could feel none of its peccant consequences.
Having from the beginning escaped the devices of the wicked one, she was never subject to their harmful influence.
Like us she had passions; she felt their effects. But her will illuminated by the light of grace, and ordered y the rectitude of her reason, completely dominated them and ever kept them within bounds.
According to Holy Writ, which insists upon the necessity of trial under the form of temptation, we may believe and say that in this sense Mary could be and must have been tempted, just as Jesus was, by the devil in the wilderness. The trial of temptation had to be hers that she might show still more her love and her fidelity, acquire new merit and give us the example of struggle and victory. When God, with His divine hands, formed Mary Immaculate, He made her beautiful and holy as Himself, and for Himself, in every sense of the word.
(To be continued.)