Spiritual Reading for Low Wednesday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading



The Eternal Father made Jesus Christ the King of Justice, and consequently universal Judge of the world: and therefore the Royal Prophet sings: Give to the King thy judgment, 0 God, and to the King’s Son thy justice -(Ps. ly..xi. 2). Here a learned interpreter takes up the sentence, and says: “0 Lord, Thou hast given justice to Thy Son because Thou hast given mercy to the King’s Mother.” And on this subject St. Bonaventure, paraphrasing the words of David, thus interprets them: “Give to the King Thy judgment, 0 God, and Thy mercy to the Queen His Mother.” Ernest, Archbishop of Prague, also remarks, ” that the Eternal Father gave the office of Judge and Avenger to the Son, and that of showing mercy and relieving the necessitous to the Mother.” This was foretold by the Prophet David, for he says that God, so to speak, consecrated Mary Queen of Mercy, anointing her with the oil of gladness: God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness-(Ps. xliv. 8), in order that we miserable children of Adam may rejoice, remembering that in Heaven we have this great Queen, overflowing with the unction of mercy and compassion towards us: and thus we can say with St. Bonaventure, ” 0 Mary, thou art full of the unction of mercy and of the oil of compassion.”

And how beautifully does not Blessed Albert the Great apply to this subject the history of Queen Esther, who was herself a great type of our Queen Mary!

We read, in the fourth chapter of the Book of Esther, that in the reign of Assuerus, a decree was issued by which all Jews were condemned to death. Mardochai, who was one of the condemned, addressed himself to Esther, in order that she might interpose with Assuerus and obtain the revocation of the decree, and thus be the salvation of all. At first Esther declined the office, fearing that such a request might irritate the king still more; but Mardochai reproved her, sending her word that she was not to think only of saving herself, for God had placed her on the throne to obtain the salvation of all the Jews: Think not that thou mayest save thy life only, because thou art in the king’s house, more than all the Jews-(Esth. iv. 13). And so can we poor sinners address our Queen Mary, should she show any repugnance to obtain of God our delivery from the chastisement we have justly deserved: “Think not, 0 Lady, that God has raised thee to the dignity of Queen of the world only to provide for thy own good; but in order that, being so great, thou mightest be better able to compassionate and assist us miserable creatures.”

As soon as Assuerus saw Esther standing before him he asked her, with love, what she came to seek. What is thy request? The Queen replied: If I have found favour in thy sight, 0 King … give me my people, for which I request-(Esth. vii. 2, 3). Assuerus granted her request, and immediately ordered the revocation of the decree. And now, if Assuerus, through love for Esther granted, at her request, salvation to the Jews, how can God refuse the prayers of Mary, loving her immensely as He does, when she prays for poor miserable sinners who recommend themselves to her, and says to Him: ” My King and my God, if ever I have found favour in Thy sight give me my people for which I ask. The Divine Mother well knows that she was the blessed, the holy one, the only one of the human race, who found the grace lost by all mankind; well does she know that she is the beloved one of her Lord, loved more than all the Saints and Angels together. Is it possible, then, that God should refuse her? And who is ignorant of the power of the prayers of Mary with God? The law of clemency is on her tongue-(Prov. xxxi; 26). Each of her prayers is, as it were, an establirhed law for our Lord, that He should show mercy to all for whom she intercedes. St. Bernard asks why the Church calls Mary “the Queen of Mercy”? And he replies that “it is because we believe that she opens the abyss of the mercy of God to whomsoever she wills, when she wills, and as she wills; so that there is no sinner, however great, who is lost if Mary protects him.”

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