“WITH ME ARE RICHES.”
We should have recourse to the Divine Mother with the greatest confidence. Why did Jesus Christ deposit in the hands of His Mother all the riches of Mercy that He intends for us, unless it was that Mary might therewith enrich all her clients who love and honour her and have recourse to her with confidence. With me are riches … that I may enrich them that love me (Prov. viii. 18, 21). Thus the Blessed Virgin herself assures us that it is so, in this passage which the Holy Church applies to her on so many of her Festivals. Therefore, for no other purpose than to serve us, says the Abbot Adam, are those riches of eternal life kept by Mary, in whose breast our Lord has deposited the treasury of the miserable, and that the poor being supplied from it may become rich: “The riches of salvation are in custody of the Blessed Virgin for our use. Christ has made Mary’s womb the treasury of the poor; thence the poor are enriched.” And St. Bernard says, “that she is a full aqueduct, that others may receive of her plenitude.” Mary was therefore given to the world that her graces might continually descend from Heaven upon men.
Hence the same holy Father goes on to ask: “But why did St. Gabriel, having found the Divine Mother already full of grace, according to his salutation, Hail, full of grace! afterwards say, that the Holy Ghost would come upon her to fill her still more with grace? If she was already full of grace, what more could the coming of the Divine Spirit effect?” The Saint answers: “Mary was already full of grace; but the Holy Ghost filled her to overflowing, for our good, that from her superabundance we miserable creatures might be provided.” For this same reason Mary was called the moon of which it is said, “She is full for herself and others.”
He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord (Prov. viii. 35). Blessed is he who finds me by having recourse to me, says our Mother Mary. He will find life, and will find it easily; for as it is easy to find and draw as much water as we please from a great fountain, so it is easy to find graces and eternal salvation by having recourse to Mary. A holy soul once said: We have only to seek graces from our Blessed Lady to receive them.” St. Bernard also says, that “it was because the Blessed Virgin was not yet born that in ancient times the great abundance of grace which we now see flow on the world was wanting; for Mary, this desirable channel, did not then exist.” But now that we have this Mother of Mercy, what graces are there that we need fear we shall not obtain when we cast ourselves at her feet? “I am the city of refuge” (thus St. John Damascene makes her speak) “for all those who will have recourse to me. Come, then, to me my children; for from me you will obtain graces, and these in greater abundance than you can possibly imagine.”
What the Venerable Sister Mary Villani saw in vision has been experienced by many. This servant of God beheld the Divine Mother as a great fountain, to which many went, and from it they carried off the waters of grace in great abundance. But what then happened? Those who had sound vessels preserved the graces they received; but those who brought broken vessels, that is to say, those whose souls were burdened with sin, received graces, but did not long preserve them. It is, however, certain that men, even those who are ungrateful sinners and the most miserable, daily obtain innumerable graces from Mary. St. Augustine, addressing the Blessed Virgin, says: “Through thee do the miserable obtain mercy, the ungrateful grace, sinners pardon, the weak strength, the worldly heavenly things, mortals eternal life, and pilgrims their country.”
Let us then, O devout clients of Mary, rouse ourselves to greater and greater confidence each time that we have recourse to her for graces. That we may do so, let us always remember two great prerogatives of this good Mother; her great desire to do us good, and the power she has with her Son to obtain whatever she asks.
Immaculate and Blessed Virgin, since thou art the universal dispenser of all Divine graces, thou art the hope of all, and my hope. I will ever thank my Lord for having granted me the grace to know thee, and for having shown me the means by which I may obtain graces and be saved. Thou art this means, O great Mother of God, for I now understand that it is principally through the merits of Jesus Christ, and then through thy intercession, that my soul must be saved. Ah! my Queen, thou didst hasten so quickly to visit, and by that means didst sanctify the dwelling of St. Elizabeth; deign, then, to visit, and visit quickly, the poor house of my soul. Ah! hasten, then, for thou well knowest, and far better than I do, how poor it is, and with how many maladies it is afflicted, with disordered affections, evil habits, and sins committed, all of which are pestiferous diseases, which would lead it to eternal death. Thou canst enrich it, O treasurer of God; and thou canst heal all its infirmities. Pray for me, O Mary, and commend me to thy Son. Amen.