Spiritual Reading for Good Shepherd Sunday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading



O blessed are they who live under the protection of so loving and powerful a Mother! The Prophet David, although she was not yet born, sought salvation from God by dedicating himself as a son of Mary, and thus prayed: Save the son of thy handmaid-(Ps. lxxxv. 16). “Of what handmaid?” asks St. Augustine, and he answers, “Of her who said: Behold the handmaid oj the Lord.” “And who,” says Blessed Cardinal Bellarmine, “would ever dare to snatch us from the bosom of Mary, when we have taken refuge there? What power of hell, or what temptation, can overcome us if we place our confidence in the patronage of this great Mother, God’s Mother and ours?” There are some who say that when the whale sees its young in danger, either from tempests or pursuers, it opens its mouth and swallows them. This is precisely what Novarinus asserts of Mary: ” When the storms of temptations rage, the most compassionate Mother of the faithfui, with maternal tenderness, protects them as it were in her own bosom until she has brought them into the harbour of salvation.”

O most loving Mother! 0 most compassionate Mother! Be thou ever blessed! And ever blessed be God, Vvho has given thee to us for our Mother, and for a secure refuge in all dangers of this life! Our Blessed Lady herself, in a vision, addressed these words to St. Bridget: “As a mother, on seeing her son in the midst of the swords of his enemies, would use every effort to save him so do I, and will do, for all sinners who seek my mercy.” Thus it is that in every engagement with the infernal powers we shall always certainly conquer by having recourse to the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, saying and repeating again and again: We fly to thy patronage, 0 holy Mother of God.” Oh, how many victories have not the faithful gained over hell by having recourse to Mary with this short but most powerful prayer! Thus it was that the great servant of God, Sister Mary Crucified, of the Order of St. Benedict, always overcame the devils.

Be of good heart, then, all you who are children of Mary. Remember that she accepts as her children all those who choose to be so. Rejoice! Why do you fear to be lost when such a Mother defends and protects you? ” Say, then, oh my soul, with great confidence: I will rejoice and be glad; for whatever the judgment to be pronounced on me may be, it depends on and must come from my Brother and Mother.” “Thus,” says St. Bonaventure, “it is that each one who loves this good Mother, and relies on her protection, should animate himself to confidence, remembering that Jesus is our Brother, and Mary our Mother.” The same thought makes St. Anselm cry out with joy, and encourage us, saying: “0 happy confidence! 0 safe refuge! The Mother of God is my Mother! How firm, then, should be our confidence, since our salvation depends on the judgment of a good Brother and a tender Mother.” It is, then, our Mother who calls us, and says, in these words of the Book of Proverbs: He that is a little one, let him corne to me-(Prov. ix. 4). Children have always on their lips their mother’s name; and in every rear, in every danger, they immediately cry out: Mother! Mother! Ah, most sweet Mary! Ah, most loving Mother, this is precisely what thou desirest: that we should become children, and call on thee in every danger, and at all times have recourse to thee, because thou desirest to help and save us, as thou hast saved all who have had recourse to thee.

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