Spiritual Reading for Low Tuesday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading

SALVE, REGINA, MATER MISERICORDIAE! HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, MOTHER OF MERCY!

I.-HOW GREAT SHOULD BE OUR CONFIDENCE IN MARY, WHO IS THE QUEEN OF MERCY.

As the glorious Virgin Mary has been raised to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings, it is not without reason that the Church honours her, and wishes her to be honoured by all, with the glorious title of Queen.

“If the Son is a King,” says St. Athanasius, “the Mother who bore Him is rightly and truly considered a Queen and a Sovereign.” “No sooner had Mary,” says St. Bernardine of Sienna,” consented to be Mother of the Eternal Word” than she merited by this consent to be made Queen of the world and of all creatures.” “Since the flesh of Mary,” remarks the Abbot Arnold of Chartres, “was not different from that of Jesus, how can the royal dignity of the Son be denied to the Mother?” “Hence we must consider the glory of the Son, not only as being common to His Mother, but as one with her.”

And if Jesus is King of the Universe, Mary is also its Queen. “And as Queen,” says the Abbot Rupert, “she possesses, by right, the whole kingdom of her Son.” Hence St. Bernardine of Sienna concludes that “as many creatures as there are who serve God, so many there are who serve Mary: for as Angels and men, and all things that are in Heaven and on earth are subject to the empire of God, so are they also under the dominion of Mary!” The Abbot Guerricus, addressing himself to the Divine Mother on this subject, says: “Continue Mary, continue to dispose with confidence of the riches of thy Son; act as Queen, Mother, and Spouse of the King: for to thee belongs dominion and power over all creatures!”

Mary, then, is a Queen; but, for our common consolation, be it known that she is Queen so sweet, so clement, and so ready to help us in our miseries, that the holy Church wills that we should salute her in this prayer under the title of Queen of Mercy.

“The title of Queen,” remarks Blessed Albert the Great, “differs from that of Empress, which implies severity and rigour, in signifying compassion and charity towards the poor.” “The greatness of kings and queens,” says Seneca, “consists in relieving the wretched,” and whereas tyrants when they reign have their own good in view, kings should have that of their subjects at heart. For this reason it is that, at their consecration, kings have their heads anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, to denote that; as kings, they should above all things nourish in their hearts feelings of compassion and benevolence towards their subjects.

Kings should, then, occupy themselves principally in works of mercy, but not so as to forget the just punishments that are to be inflicted on the guilty. It is, however, not thus with Mary, who, although a Queen, is not a Queen of Justice intent on the punishment of the wicked, but a Queen of Mercy, intent only on commiserating and pardoning sinners. And this is the reason for which the Church requires that we should expressly call her “the Queen of Mercy.” The great Chancellor of Paris, John Gerson, in his commentary on the words of David, These two things have I heard, that power belongeth to God, and mercy to thee, 0 Lord-(Ps. lxi. 12), says that the kingdom of God; consisting in justice and mercy, was divided by out Lord: the kingdom of justice he reserved for Himself, and that of mercy He yielded to Mary, ordaining at the same time that all mercies that are dispensed to men should pass through the hands of Mary, and be disposed of by her at will. These are Gerson’s own words: “The kingdom of God consists in power and mercy; reserving power to Himself, He, in some way, yielded the empire of mercy to His Mother.” This is confirmed by St. Thomas in his preface to the Canonical Epistles, saying, “that when the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eternal Word in her womb, and brought Him forth, she obtained half the kingdom of God; so that she is Queen of Mercy, as Jesus Christ is King of Justice.”

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