Morning Meditation for the Third Saturday in Advent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE RELIGIOUS STATE. XI.

Consider how much Religious ought to confide in the patronage of Mary.

I.

The divine Mother loves all men. How much, then, does not this great Queen love Religious who have consecrated their liberty, their life, and their all to the love of Jesus Christ, her Son? My happiness on this earth, O Mary, shall be to serve, bless and to love thee.

If it be true, and most true, indeed, it is, that, as St. Peter Damian teaches, the divine Mother, most holy Mary, loves all men with such an affection that, after God; there is not, nor can there be, any one who surpasses or equals her in her love: “She loves us with an invincible love”: how much must we think this great Queen loves Religious, who have consecrated their liberty, their life, and their all to the love of Jesus Christ? She well sees that the life of Religious is more conformable to her own life, and to that of her divine Son; she sees them often occupied in praising her, and continually attentive to honour her by their Novenas, Visits, Rosaries, Fasts, etc. She beholds them often at her feet, intent on invoking her aid, asking graces of her, and graces all conformed to her holy desires; that is, the grace of perseverance in the divine service, of strength in their temptations, of detachment from this world, and of love of God. Ah, how can we doubt that she employs all her power and mercy for the benefit of Religious, and especially of those who belong to this holy Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, in which, as it is well known, we make a special profession of honouring the Virgin Mother by Visits, by mortifications on Saturdays and during her Novenas, etc. and by everywhere promoting devotion to her by sermons and Novenas!

I thank thee, O Mary, my advocate, for to thee do I owe this great mercy that I am consecrated to Jesus Christ in Religion. Help me that I may not be ungrateful to that God Who has loved me so much. Let me die rather than prove myself unfaithful to His holy grace. O Mary, I consign my soul to thee; thou hast to save it. I love thee, O my Queen, and I hope always to love thee. Behold, I place all my confidence in thy clemency; do not cease to assist me in all my wants. Thou art my hope, O Mary; I look for all things through thy powerful intercession.

II.

She, the great Mistress is grateful: I love those who love me (Prov. viii. 17). Yes, she is so grateful that, as St. Andrew of Crete says, “To him who does her the the least service she is accustomed to return great favours.” To those who love her, and who promote her honour among others, she graciously promises to save them from sin: Those that work by me shall not sin. She also promises them Paradise: Those that explain me shall have life everlasting (Office of the B. V. Mary).

For which reason we especially ought to thank God for having called us to this Congregation, where, by the usages of the Community and the example of our companions, we are often reminded, and in some way constrained, to have recourse to Mary, and continually to honour this, our most blessed Mother, who is called, and is, the joy, the hope, the life, and the salvation of those who invoke and honour her.

My most beloved, most lovely, amiable, and most loving Queen, I thank my Lord and thee, and will always thank thee, who hast not only drawn me out of the world, but also called me to live in this Congregation, in which a special devotion to thee is practised. Accept of me, then, my Mother, to serve thee. Among so many of thy beloved children, disdain not to let me serve thee also, miserable though I be. Thou after God shall always be my hope and my love. In all my wants, in all my tribulations and temptations I will have recourse to thee; thou shalt be my refuge and my consolation. I will not that any one except God and thee should comfort me in my combats, in the sadness and the tediousness of this life. For thy service I renounce the kingdoms of the whole world! My kingdom on earth shall be to serve, bless, and love thee, O my most lovely Mistress, “whom to serve is to reign” as St. Anselm says. Thou art the Mother of perseverance; obtain for me to be faithful unto death. By so doing I hope, and firmly hope, one day to come where thou reignest, to praise and bless thee forever, and never more to depart from thy feet. “Jesus and Mary,” I will say with thy loving servant, Alphonsus Rodriguez, “my sweetest Loves, let me suffer for You, let me die for You, let me be all Yours, and in nothing my own.”

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