(since I will not be posting in the next few days) on her Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, from Kelly’s
Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
St. Thomas, the Angelical Doctor, acknowledges that Mary brought the blessings of heaven to earth by making us children of grace and heirs of heaven. St. Idephonsus honors her with the title of reconciliator of men, whom she has delivered from the bondage of Satan and restored to the peace of God. St. Lawrence Justinian glorified God in Mary, and bursts out in thanksgiving to God for calling her for His glory and our happiness…the repairer of the world, the light of the universe… Endless would be our task were we to cite all the eulogiums, all the expressions of admiration, gratitude and love uttered to the Blessed Virgin by the saints, the Holy Fathers, and the Doctors of the Church. We shall merely in conclusion cite once more St. Bernard, who says: “If Eve was a poisonous thorn, which wounded us to death, Mary has been a rose, which has wonderfully and with sovereign power cured us. He rejoices with Mary, and proclaims her the object of the praise and blessings of all creatures, who acknowledge her as their repairer, since in her, with her and by her, has the right hand of the Most High restored what had been destroyed.
The works of God are all perfect and adapted to the ends for which He created them. The woman whom He had selected to second Him in the incomparable work of the Incarnation… was therefore to be perfect, and to correspond worthily to so high a destiny. She should be such that it would be impossible to find her equal in heaven or on earth. Then, in order that there might be some proportion or resemblance between the Son and the Mother, it was necessary that she should be, in the natural order, absolutely superior to all other women. It was necessary too, that her soul should be perfect, and worthy to receive that superabundance of graces which the Almighty was to pour out upon her. But for her to be such as God wished her, it was indispensable that God should Himself prepare and form that privileged creature by extraordinary means, and this God actually did…
“God,” says he [Cornelius Lapide] “created the heavens thinking of that animated heaven, where the divinity in all His glory was to dwell corporally. He resolved to make [Mary] more beautiful, to enrich her with greater purity, charity and sanctity than the very heavens. He created the air and the fountains of waters, and he had in His mind Mary, who was to be a sweet restoring zephyr over the miseries of the sons of Adam, a never failing fountain of grace, and He prepared to lavish His favors upon her. He created the sea and enclosed it within its limits, thinking of that immense sea of divinity which was to be enclosed in the Virgin’s womb; He destined her to be herself a boundless sea of goodness. He created the earth, and setting it as a centre towards which all gravitates, he thought of Mary to make her the centre of the perfections and prerogatives of men and angels. And that this work of His predilection should be incomparable, God stamped on every creature that came from His divine hands an image as it were of the graces which He blended in her. The angels recall her virginity, the cherubims her wisdom, the heavens her purity, the stars her splendor, the fields and flowers her beauty, the ocean her greatness. But the chosen Virgin unites all these perfections in a supreme degree. Hence that excellence, that superiority of Mary over all creatures, which makes St. Bernard style her “the masterpiece of all ages.”
In the celebrated epistle of the priests of Ahcaia, an epistle which narrates the martyrdom of St. Andrew, we are told that the apostle, proclaiming his doctrine before the proconsul Egeus, uses this expression with regard to the Virgin: “And because the first man had been created of an immaculate earth, it was necessary that the perfect man should be born of an immaculate Virgin, in order that the Son of God, who had previously formed man, should restore the eternal life which they had lost by Adam.”
On this stormy sea where the billows of the passions incessantly arise and threaten to swallow us up, we all have an utter need of God’s graces. If we wish to obtain them certainly and abundantly, let us have recourse to Mary, our good Mother.