Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
We shall see tomorrow in our meditation: first, that Mary, for the sole reason that she was to be the mother of God, must have been immaculate in her conception; second, that her immaculate conception was the generating principle of all her virtues. We will then make the resolution: first, to thank God, and to congratulate the Blessed Virgin on so glorious a privilege by frequent and fervent elevations of the heart; second, to invoke Mary, under her title of Immaculate, in our difficulties and trials. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the well- known invocation: “Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee”.
Meditation for the Morning
Let us bless the Holy Trinity for the privilege of purity and innocence with which it embel- lished the first moment of the existence of Mary in the womb of her mother. Let us congratulate the divine Virgin, saluting her in the very words of the Holy Spirit: “Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee” (can iv:7).
Mary, for the sole Reason that she was to be the Mother of a God, must have been Immaculate in her Conception.
Was it not, of a truth, evident that God, willing to become man in the womb of a virgin, could not employ, for the execution of so great a design, any one except a person who had been pure from the first moment of her existence? Would it have been possible that the blood which was destined to flow in the veins of a God should be soiled at its source? Could the Word have allowed the devil to have the first-fruits of its sanctuary, and have taken for Himself only the leavings of the impure spirit? Would it have been suitable that she who was to crush the head of the serpent should have been once under his empire? No, evidently; the sole idea of the mother of a God implies the idea of a creature who had always been pure and endowed from the first moment of her entrance into life with a holiness in proportion to her lofty destiny. It was necessary that the heavenly Father, in order to associate Himself in the generation of His Word, and make her the mother of the same God of whom He is the Father, should have a person who, far from having been for a single moment soiled, should have been, from the very origin of her existence, enriched with more purity and innocence than there is even in heaven, amidst the angels. It was necessary that the Word should find, in the creature who was destined from all eternity to be His mother, perfect original purity; from the moment that He incarnated Himself in this daughter of Adam to make her one day His mother, He ought to have the heart of a son towards her, and of a son who desires to do his mother all the good he can, and who admits her to participate in his treasures and his riches; therefore it was requisite He should adorn her with purity from the first moment of her life, and be her Redeemer, not by effacing a stain already contracted, but by preserving her from all stain. It was, lastly, necessary that the Holy Ghost, in order to form in Mary a Man-God, and thus raise her to the dignity of His spouse, should have a person who had always been perfectly holy, and it was not too much that she should have all the virtues which a creature can have. Consequently, from all eternity, it was decreed, in the counsels of God that Mary should be pure from the very first moment of her existence, that she should be enriched with all the graces and all the prerogatives of original justice, and be raised to a holiness greatly superior to that of all the saints and angels put together. It is thus that the divine maternity bestowed upon Mary the honour of the Immaculate Conception, and that the definition of it given to the world by the great Pontiff Pius ix, amidst the acclamations of the whole Catholic world, is proved to be perfectly legitimate. Let us congratulate Mary on this fresh gem added to her crown, and let us love to address to her the salutation of the Universal Church: “Thou art beautiful and there is no stain in thee”.
The Immaculate Conception was the Generating Principle of all the Virtues of Mary.
Mary, so holy from the first moment of her existence, saw in this privilege only a reason for raising herself still higher and progressing every moment from virtue to virtue; thus this star, so radiant at its rising, ascended ceaselessly towards its meridian, casting around itself a con- stantly renewed brilliancy of holiness. In ordinary souls, grace is subject to annoyance by the opposition to good, and the tendency to evil, which we have with us from our birth. But in Mary immaculate grace, far from meeting with any obstacle, finds all the channels of the soul open to receive it; it spreads itself in them without reserve, flows in them like a flood, and makes all the virtues expand therein. Hence that purity of conscience, of mind, of heart, of the body which made Mary appear in the eyes of heaven like a beautiful lily of dazzling whiteness; hence that humility which renders the poverty of a cottage dear to the daughter of kings; that patience which was invincible under suffering; that sweetness which was never affected by opposition; that tranquillity of soul in peril; that lively faith which does not only transport mountains, but makes the Eternal Word descend from heaven; that hope, more heroic than that of Abraham after the death and burial of the real Isaac; that charity, O charity of Mary, what a burning furnace, what a vast conflagration, what a torrent of divine flames! O holiness of Mary, how thou dost ravish my heart! “Many daughters have gathered together riches. Thou hast surpassed them all” (pro xxxi:29). “The Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle” (psa xlv:5). Therefore what most rejoices the heart of Mary is not her title of Queen of heaven, nor that of earthly sovereign: it is much rather her immaculate conception. That which has regard to herself is nothing, the consent of God is everything to her. This is why, when she was asked a few years ago what was her name by the humble virgin of Lourdes, she replied: “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Let us hence learn: first, always to be making progress in the path of virtue without ever saying: It is enough; second, to place the happiness of pleasing God above all other considerations.
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.