A Scriptural Hymn in Honour Of Mary

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Mary: Mother of Divine Grace and the Throne of Grace


A Scriptural Hymn to the Mother of God
The following hymn is composed entirely of Scripture verses from the Douay Rheims (with some very minor adjustments). Not a single text has been chosen arbitrarily; on the contrary, I have drawn only upon Catholic liturgical texts (Mass propers, principally), the Church Fathers, and the writings of the Saints.

At the bottom of the page you will find the lyrics set to a particular version of the ‘Te Deum’ (for private use only), with Scriptural references to the side. To hear the melody, try this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypZEKyjQSK0

THE KING’S DAUGHTER
King’s Daughter, Queen all fair, Mother of the Sun of Justice.
Woman clothed with the Sun, most beautiful among women.
In thy light we shall see Light: fair as the moon, bright as the sun, unspotted mirror.
Mother of my Lord, Emmanuel: Mother of our Everlasting Saviour.
Virgin. Mother. Mary, glorious things are said of thee.
Blessed art thou by the Most High, perfect handmaid above all women.
Thou hast surpassed them, Mother of All the Living.
Full of Grace, thou art the honour of our people:
House of God, a garden enclosed, most blessed Tree of Life.
Wonderful tabernacle: the Gate of Heaven and the Throne of Grace.
Thou art the Mother of Holy Hope.
Thou hast prevented our ruin, brought our enemies to nought.
By thee, Mary, He hath fulfilled His mercy.
Let thy voice sound in my ears!

Little ones, blessed are they that keep my ways.
Come to me, I am an infinite treasure to men: children, my spirit is sweet above honey.
I am the firstborn before all creatures: in me is all grace and all good things; be filled with my fruits.
Come, drink the Wine which I have mingled, Wine springing forth virgins.
He that shall find me shall find the True Light.
I love them that love me; with me are riches and glory: give me thy heart and magnify the Lord with me!
Where thou shalt dwell I also will dwell: at the breasts you shall be carried.
If thou wilt follow the words of thy handmaid, the Lord God will do with thee a perfect thing.
Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye; let us extol His Name.
For the dwelling in me is of all rejoicing.
I will keep thee; my bands are a healthful binding: I will draw thee with bands of love.
Forget not the groanings of thy Mother: O put me as a seal upon thy heart!

My Mother, speak to the King for us: deliver us from death.
The King said: My Mother, ask: for I must not turn away thy face;
what wilt thou? it shall be given to thee.
Thou art the Mother of Fair Love; draw me: we will see Him with thee!

Giorgi G. (1777), Madonna della neve detta del Piano di Medicina

Some Scriptural References to Mary (i.e. Marian types, symbols) from the Latin Vulgate

Some Pertinent Quotations from ‘The Glories of Mary’ by St. Alphonsus
+ She was seen by St. John clothed with the sun: ‘And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun.’ She is said to be clothed with the sun, because, as ‘There is no one that can hide himself from His heat,’ so there is no one living on the earth who is deprived of the love of Mary.”

+ “There were anciently, in Judea, cities of refuge; and criminals, who sought protection in them, were free from the penalty of their offences. Now, there are not so many cities of refuge, but instead of these there is one only, Mary; of whom it was spoken: ‘Glorious things are said of thee, oh city of God: Gloriosa dicta sunt de te, civitas Dei.’ But with this difference, that not all criminals could find refuge in those ancient cities, nor for all sorts of crime; but under the mantle of Mary all offenders may find protection, whatsoever crimes they have committed. It is sufficient for anyone to have recourse to her for protection. “I am the city of refuge for all those who flee to me,” as St. John of Damascus says, speaking in her name.”

+ “Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all. If Mary has surpassed all in the riches of grace, she then possessed original justice, as Adam and the angels had it.”

+ ‘In me is all grace of the way and of the truth: In me gratia omnis vise et veritatis.’ In me are all the graces of true blessings that you men can desire in your life. Yes, our mother and our hope, well do we know, to use the words of St. Peter Damian, that all the treasures of the divine mercies are in thy hands.”

+ “St. Lawrence Justinian applies to Mary that other text of Ecclesiasticus: ‘Her bands are a healthful binding: Vincula illius alligatura salutaris’: and then adds: “Wherefore bands? unless to bind her servants, that they may not go astray into unlawful fields.” Mary binds her servants that they may not take too much liberty, and thus cause their ruin. Oh, mother of God, in thee l place all my hopes: thou must save me from falling again into sin. Oh my Lady, do not abandon me; obtain for me the grace to die rather than to lose the grace of God.”

The King’s Daughter (with notation and Scriptural references)

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What The World Needs Now…

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… is SAINTS! ‘Save me, O Lord, for there is now no saint: truths are decayed from among the children of men’ (Ps. 11:2).

It is said of St. Teresa of Avila that, by a single burning prayer, she – or rather, God acting in her – converted 10,000 criminals! Bl. John Massias obtained the release of 1.2 million souls from Purgatory. On the day St. Mechtilde died it was revealed to St. Gertrude, her intimate confidante, that no soul was lost (Rev. Auguste Saudreau notes this; another work says that “not one Christian soul” was lost. I defer to the experts; I have not read the Latin original.) Such anecdotes could be multiplied.

The question is: how do we account for this? Blosius provides the answer:

“Those, indeed, who are united to God without any medium, and allow Him freely to work in them, are the most dear friends of God, and in one little hour are of more advantage to the Church than others who have not attained to this union can be in many years.”
– Ven. Louis de Blois (Blosius), O.S.B. (‘A Book of Spiritual Instruction’)

Christian = Temple, Priest, Victim

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Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart

In the latter part of the 19th century, a humble religious in Germany was accustomed to receiving visits from Our Lord. Like St. Lydwine of Schiedam (d. 1433), St. Marie of the Incarnation (d. 1672), Bl. Elizabeth Canori-Mora (d. 1925) and Ven. Philomena of St. Columba (d. 1868) before her – to name only a few privileged souls – Our Lord would speak with her ‘face to face, as a man is wont to speak with his friend’ (Ex. 33:11).

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Ven. Philomena of St. Columba (d. Aug 13, 1868)

The vocation of this noble soul, Bl. Mother Mary of the Divine Heart (d. 1899), was simple: she was, in imitation of Our Lord, to offer herself as a host for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. “Why”, Our Lord would say to her (I am paraphrasing different parts of her writings), “do you not leave the path of fear? Why will you not follow the path of love, which is shorter and easier?… It is My Will to be all for you… Your heart is an altar upon which everything must be consumed by Divine Love.” (As an aside, it is worth noting that St. Marie of the Incarnation, mentioned above, was never led by the path of fear; rather, she made giant strides along the path of Love).

Let me repeat those final words: “Your heart is an altar upon which everything must be consumed by Divine Love.” Are these words directed to a privileged few? Absolutely not. This is the sublime vocation of all souls, and it is to this that we must all aspire with all our being. We must, in a word, offer to God that sacrifice most pleasing to Him, without which all our other sacrifices are a mere farce. And what sacrifice is this? The sacrifice of our will.

It is only when God – Who is spirit (Jn. 4:24) – possess our wills, that can He act freely, thereby glorifying Himself in us: ‘For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams’ (1 Kg. 15:22). Obedience, the Saints tell us, pleases God more than great sacrifices “because obedience has no self-will” (Our Lord to St. Bridget of Sweden).

The next time you are tempted to murmur, remember that Jesus is offering Himself to the Father upon the Altars of our churches for your salvation; your vocation is to unite yourself, as did Mother Adele Garnier* (d. 1924), to this mystical immolation of Christ on the Altar of your heart; “by Him,” writes Dom Gueranger, “the Holy Ghost, Who sacred Fount He is (cf. Jn. 4:14; 7:37, 39), pours Himself out upon man, whereby to adapt him to his sublime vocation, and to consummate, in infinite love (which is Himself), that union of every creature with the divine Word.”

*An article on Mother Adele Garnier:
https://www.clairval.com/lettres/en/2015/04/12/2080415.htm

Concretely, you can unite yourself to Christ by receiving Him in Holy Communion, giving Him the key of your will. Always remember that this is the ‘one oblation’ by which ‘He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified’ (Heb. 10:14). There is no greater aid to holiness. Pray to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and you will see that this is true.

Mother Cécile Bruyerè‘s Masterful Explanation of the Christian Vocation

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Mother Cécile Bruyerè, 1895

‘But this, for that He continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood, whereby He is able also to save for ever them that come to God by Him, always living to make intercession for us.’ (Heb. 7:24-25)

“Thus the sovereign pontificate is eternal, and it is exercised for ever; not only in the adorable Person of the Son of God, but in that priestly tribe of which He is the Head, ‘a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood’ (1 Pt. 2:9), wherein all are priests, although in different degrees, and all are called to concelebrate with the supreme Pontiff (p. 409).

A temple, a sanctuary, an altar, a victim, the very presence of the living and true God – all these are not sufficient for liturgical worship; there must moreover be a pontiff. Now man is truly a priest, truly a pontiff in the august function which is celebrated in the sanctuary of his own soul: ‘Thou hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests’ (Apoc. 5:10). Every baptised Christian is priest and king in the secret temple of his own soul, although he is but a single living stone of the edifice built by the hand of God, of which edifice our Lord Jesus Christ is the corner-stone. Such, in his first epistle, is the teaching of the Prince of the Apostles: ‘Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ’ (1 Pt. 2:5).

But to realise all the perfection of this priesthood, man must, freely and voluntarily, offer his sacrifice, after the example of the eternal Pontiff whom we hear insisting on the absolutely free character of His oblation: ‘No man taketh my life away from Me; but I lay it down of Myself, and I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again’ (Jn. 10:18). This liberty, which shows him truly to be a priest, was understood by Isaias, when he said: ‘He was offered because it was His own will’ (Is. 53:7) (‘The Spiritual Life and Prayer’, p. 423-424).

“In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly…”
– From St. Therese’s Act of Oblation to Merciful Love

An Extremely Powerful Prayer of Thanksgiving For Holy Communion

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Some time within the last year or so, I began to pray Mary’s Magnificat as part of my thanksgiving for Holy Communion, in imitation of Bl. Mary d’Oignies and other holy souls who have profited immensely thereby. What profit there is in clinging to the Mother of God, the sole Spouse of Christ! We cannot separate Jesus and Mary: in Christ, we are sons in the Son; in Mary, we are spouses in the Spouse. To be all hers is to the best way to be all His.

In addition to the Magnificat, I also like to add various Scriptural passages, including the first verse of Psalm 102: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME bless His Holy Name.’

I was very pleased, then, to discover the prayer of St. John Eudes at the time of receiving Holy Communion:

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His Name.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath shewed might in His Arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
(Lk. 1:46-55; Ps. 102:1)

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Why did I write ‘Soul’, rather than ‘soul’? Listen to Our Lord’s words to Ven. Anne-Marguerite Clement (‘Divine Communications’, Vol. II, p. 156, Saudreau, OP):

“Since I have indeed given you My heart, why can I not give you My Soul as well? Yes: I will that It shall be yours, in order that, even as we have but one Heart, so may we also have but one Soul; and so you shall be able to say continually in Me and by Me: Benedic, anima mea, Domino: bless the Lord, O my soul.”

Read also Our Lord’s words to Mother Deleloe (which I have shared before):

“What more can you desire than to have within you the true source of all good, My Divine Heart?… All these great things are yours, all these treasures and riches are for the heart that I have chosen… Draw as much as you desire of these infinite delights and riches.”

The Meaning of “The Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima (Oct 13, 1917)

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Part 1: The Theological Backdrop
Part 2: The Meaning of the Event

PART I: THE THEOLOGICAL BACKDROP

Mother of All the Living
“It would be easier,” writes St. Louis de Montfort, “to separate light from the sun than Mary from Jesus.” This is no hyperbole. Mary, according to the Fathers, is, in the spiritual order, the ‘Mother of All the Living’ (Gen. 3:20); she is the true ‘Tree of Life’ (Prov. 3:18), that is, the ‘Mother of Jesus’ (Jn. 2:1), who nourishes us with the Blessed Fruit of her womb (Lk. 1:42).

No Tree, No Fruit
We have need of our holy Mother, Mary, just as we have need of our holy Mother the Church. No Mother, no Son; no Tree, no Fruit. Do not all graces descend upon us, without exception, in and through the Church, of which Christ is the Head? And is Mary not Mother of the Church: Mater Ecclesiae [Feast: Whit Monday]? “Jesus and Mary,” writes Dom Gueranger, “cannot be separated, for Isaias tells us [Is. 11:1] that She is the Branch, and He the Flower.”

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Mediatrix of All Graces
A corollary of these important teachings is that Mary is necessarily the Mediatrix of All Graces: Mediatrix Omnium Gratiarum [Feast: May 31, 1962 Missal]; if she were not, how else would the Church have access to ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ’ (Eph. 3:8)? IN ME,’ says the Mother of All the Living, is all grace of the WAY and of the TRUTH, in me is all hope of LIFE and of virtue’ (Ecclus. 24:25). Let us, then, imitate St. John the Beloved Disciple, the firstborn of Mary’s adopted sons, who seems to invite us in these words: there is great delight in her friendship, and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands… I went about seeking, that I might take her to myself’ (Wis. 8:18; cf. Jn. 19:27).

‘Fair as the Moon, Bright as the Sun’ (Cant. 6:9)
Mary is so ‘full of grace’ (Lk. 1:28), that her treasury, ‘like a round bowl never wanting cups’ (Cant. 7:2), “overflows onto all mankind” (St. Thomas). She is ‘fair as the moon’ (Cant. 6:9), tempering for us the brightness of the Divine Light: ‘For with thee is the fountain of Life; and in thy light we shall see Light’ (Ps. 33:10). She is ‘bright as the sun’ (Cant. 6:9) in so far as she, the ‘Woman clothed with the sun’ (Rev. 12:1), “bears within herself the Author of light” (cf. ‘The City of God’ by Ven. Mary of Agreda).

The Queen of Saints
To be deprived of Mary’s intercession is far worse than to be deprived of the intercession of all the other Saints combined. In fact, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Bernard, and others go further; they say that, without Mary’s mediation, our prayers are not presented to Christ, thus explaining the words of Scripture:all the rich [i.e. the Church Triumphant] among the people, shall entreat thy countenance’ (Ps. 44:13). Thankfully, as the same Saints attest, it is not difficult to win the favour of this all-merciful Queen!

Spouse of the Holy Spirit
Mary is the sole Mother of Christ (Head and members), the sole Mother of Divine Grace: Mater Divinae Gratiae [Feast: July 23]; she alone brought Him forth, and she alone, in union with the Holy Spirit, “her inseparable Spouse” (St. Louis de Montfort), brings Him forth in souls.

Not for nothing did Our Lady reveal herself to St. Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception,” that is, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Who is the Uncreated Immaculate Conception, the Gift of God (“Gift” being a title for the Holy Spirit, according to St. Augustine, St. Thomas, etc.), the Life-giver. The Holy Spirit always works through His Spouse, the Mother of the Church. Again, she it is who gives us Life: ‘He that shall find me,’ she says, speaking through the Holy Liturgy,shall find Life, and shall have Salvation from the Lord’ (Prov. 8:35).

A profound consequence of Mary’s mediation – which, like the Sacraments, is entirely dependent upon her Divine Son, Who is the sole Mediator with the Father (Mary is our “Mediator with the Mediator”) –  is that every grace received is a kind of Visitation [Feast: July 2, 1962 Missal]! A most consoling thought!

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PART II: THE MEANING OF THE EVENT

Let us now turn to the miracle of the sun at Fatima. I will take for granted that you are familiar with this miracle. If not, you might want to look it up.

Without presuming to know the precise meaning of this multi-faceted miracle, and without having read all of Sr. Lucia’s writings, I would like to at least propose a reflection. 

We Cannot Hide From His Heat
Jesus Christ, the ‘Sun of Justice’ (Mal. 4:2), came that we ‘may have Life, and may have it more abundantly’ (Jn. 10:10): that is, He came ‘that we may live BY HIM’ (1 Jn. 4:9). This ardent love extends to us all, for He did ‘not appoint, or make any thing hating it’ (Wis. 11:25). On the contrary, ‘the mercy of God is upon all flesh’ (Ecclus. 18:12); God, being all good, maketh His sun to rise upon the good, and bad’ (Mt. 5:45), ‘and there is no one that can hide himself from His heat’ (Ps. 18:7).

Nevertheless, not all receive His light and love alike; it depends on our dispositions. Consider that “the sun, by one and the same power of its heat, melts wax indeed, but dries up and hardens mud” (Origen). And so it is in the world of souls. “For God,” writes St. Thomas, “so far as is in Him, is ready to give grace to all… but they alone are deprived of grace who set up an impediment to grace in themselves.”

This is where Mary comes in.

Recall that the Mother of God, ‘fair as the moon, bright as the sun’ (Cant. 6:9), is the Mediatrix of all graces (we cannot approach God without her assistance). She is not the mediatrix of justice; Jesus will be our Judge. But He has given us His Mother that we might have the upmost confidence in His Merciful Love (according to St. Guerric of Igny, for those who serve Jesus and Mary faithfully, Mary will be the seat/throne from which Christ judges us).

Following all the Saints and mystics, we may confidently assert that none need fear being rejected by Mary, the Mother of Mercy; being entirely empty of self, she has only Love to give; she can no more refuse grace to those who implore her intercession than can a mother refuse her milk to her little one: ‘Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me. And to the unwise she said: Come, eat my Bread, and drink the Wine which I have mingled for you’ (Prov. 9:4-5).

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Without Mary, we may well – weak and inconstant creatures that we are – be scorched by the rays of Divine Justice. But with Mary, what have we to fear! Her Immaculate Heart, as she has said so often in recent times, is a haven of refuge (I allude here only to the writings of credible mystics, like Bl. Elena Aiello, Bl. Alexandrina da Costa, etc., or approved Marian apparitions, like Fatima and Akita, the latter of which is highly pertinent to this article – especially the revelation given to Sr. Agnes on October 13, 1973).

Go, then, with haste to the Mother of All the Living; she will console you; she will nurture, enlighten, love and protect you, especially if you say her Rosary devoutly and consecrate yourself to Jesus through her. ‘For to him that is little [i.e. humble], mercy is granted: but the mighty [i.e. proud] shall be mightily tormented’ (Wis. 6:7).

To that end, you might find the following articles helpful:
33 Reasons to Consecrate Yourself to Jesus Through Mary:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/33-reasons-to-consecrate-yourself-to-mary/
A Prayer Every Christian Should Know and Love:
https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/a-prayer-every-christian-should-know-and-love/

A Prophecy of St. Louis de Montfort
“Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might and grace, in these latter times: in mercy, to bring back and lovingly receive the poor strayed sinners who shall be converted and shall return to the Catholic Church; in might, against the enemies of God, idolaters, schismatics, Mahometans, Jews and souls hardened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible revolt against God to seduce all those who shall oppose them and to make them fall by promises and threats; and finally, she must shine forth in grace, in order to animate and sustain the valiant soldiers and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, who shall battle for His interests.”

Mary’s Little Ones
Those who take Mary for their Mother will, in time, grow in humility, without which none are saved. They will, in imitation of her who appeared at Fatima as the true Queen Esther (something worth researching), serve their King as they would the most loving of Fathers, relating to him as a ‘little one’ (Est. 2:20), as Esther always did. And like Esther, the King’s most favoured daughter (Est. 2:17), they will win the favour of God, Who cannot refuse grace to ‘her young ones’ (Ps. 83:4), her little ones (Prov. 9:4). Such as these will be protected in the days and years ahead:

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‘… And they [the just] cried to God: and as they were crying, a little fountain grew into a very great river, and abounded into many waters [i.e. Esther; cf. Est. 10:6]. The light and the sun rose up, and THE HUMBLE [the little ones] WERE EXALTED, and they devoured the glorious [the proud] (Est. 11:10-11).
‘I [the Lord of Hosts] will turn my hand to the LITTLE ONES. And there shall be in all the earth, saith the Lord, two parts in it shall be scattered, and shall perish: but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined: and I will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say: Thou art my people: and they shall say: The Lord is my God’ (Zach. 13:7 – 9).
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[Lord] shalt protect them in Thy tabernacle [Mary, ‘His tabernacle in the sun’ – Ps. 18:6] from the contradiction of tongues’ (Ps. 30:21).
[They] SHALL BE PROTECTED UNDER HER COVERING FROM THE HEAT, AND SHALL REST IN HER GLORY’
(Ecclus. 14:27).

+
‘FATIMA’ by Tennyson: A Prophetic Poem?

(completed in 1842)

O LOVE, Love, Love! O withering might!
O sun, that from thy noonday height
Shudderest when I strain my sight,
Throbbing thro’ all thy heat and light,
Lo, falling from my constant mind,
Lo, parch’d and wither’d, deaf and blind,
I whirl like leaves in roaring wind.

Last night I wasted hateful hours
Below the city’s eastern towers:
I thirsted for the brooks, the showers:
I roll’d among the tender flowers:
I crush’d them on my breast, my mouth;
I look’d athwart the burning drouth
Of that long desert to the south.

Last night, when some one spoke his name,
From my swift blood that went and came
A thousand little shafts of flame
Were shiver’d in my narrow frame.
O Love, O fire! once he drew
With one long kiss my whole soul thro’
My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.

Before he mounts the hill, I know
He cometh quickly: from below
Sweet gales, as from deep gardens, blow
Before him, striking on my brow.
In my dry brain my spirit soon,
Down-deepening from swoon to swoon,
Faints like a daled morning moon.

The wind sounds like a silver wire,
And from beyond the noon a fire
Is pour’d upon the hills, and nigher
The skies stoop down in their desire;
And, isled in sudden seas of light,
My heart, pierced thro’ with fierce delight,
Bursts into blossom in his sight.

My whole soul waiting silently,
All naked in a sultry sky,
Droops blinded with his shining eye:
I will possess him or will die.
I will grow round him in his place,
Grow, live, die looking on his face,
Die, dying clasp’d in his embrace.

Recommended reading:
– ‘Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons’ (the title is somewhat misleading)

How to Pass the Days in Peace and Joy: Advice from a Saintly Cardinal

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Mary Magdalene at Christ’s Feet (Tissot)

[Various quotations interspersed]

“The grace of prayer is one of the highest favours that God imparts to the human soul. Prayer is indeed the atmosphere in which holiness develops and flourishes; it enables the Holy Ghost to communicate Himself with the bonds of love.

+ ‘With me is prayer to the God of my life.’ (Ps. 41:9)

The whole essence of asceticism is contained in this one word: “prayer.” We first pray in order to obtain the help of God’s grace in our struggles in the path of purification; and, when we are engaged in the path of meditation, again we have recourse to prayer.

+ “Only a mortified heart is free.” (Bl. Edward Poppe)

In Heaven itself we shall do nothing else but pray, so we may consider prayer as the beginning of our future state of blessedness.

+ ‘Let us lift up our hearts with our hands to the Lord in the heavens’ (Lam. 3:41)

… We can always remain present in spirit before the Eucharistic Tabernacle, even when the material duties of our state necessitate our being absent in the body. Such was the practice of the saintly mother [St. Monica] of him [St. Augustine] who wrote in the ninth book of his “Confessions”: Ad pretii nostri sacramentum ligavit ancilla tua animam suam vinculo fidei (“To this Sacrament of our redemption Thy handmaid had bound her soul by the bond of faith.” – Sheed translation).

+ ‘But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection.’ (Col. 3:14)

… in the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus gives us His own Spirit, so that the multitude of those who receive Him may, through His grace, Who is their life, truly form cor unum et anima (‘one heart and one soul’ – Acts 4:32).

+ ‘They shall be converted that sit under His shadow.’ (Os. 14:8)

… In Heaven, besides the realization of the Beatific Vision, we shall derive special joy from the companionship of the Saints. The reason for this is that, as all the blessed are united among themselves by the most perfect bond of love, the happiness of each one will be infinitely multiplied by the happiness of the entire court of Heaven.”
– Bl. Cardinal Schuster (‘The Sacramentary’)

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“Child, life and death consist in loving God.”
– A revelation to Bl. Ossana of Mantua (aged 5)
‘to live is Christ; and to die is gain’
– Phil. 1:21

Jesus Lives On In The Church (Pt. 2): The Mystical Tradition

The_Pazzi_Crucifixion
God Deserves Infinite Praise

‘Great is the Lord,’
says the Psalmist, ‘and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain’ (Ps. 47:2). Truly, God is worthy of infinite praise: ‘exalt Him as much as you can: for He is above all praise’ (Ecclus. 43:33). How then are we to praise God adequately?

The Chalice of Salvation
The answer is simple: unite yourself to Christ; live by His life (1 Jn. 4:9), by His hidden, Eucharistic life. There is no other way: ‘What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things He hath rendered unto me? I will take the Chalice of Salvation; and I will call upon the Name of the Lord’ (Ps. 115:12-13).

God Alone Can Praise God Worthily
God alone can praise Himself sufficiently. For this reason, God was made man; to this end He established the Church (‘the City of our God’), which offers to Him, upon her Altars (‘His holy mountain’), the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that is, the perfect ‘sacrifice of praise’ (Ps. 115:17), which mystically renews the offering of Christ on Calvary:

‘For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, My Name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for My Name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Mal. 1:11).

God is ALL
To reiterate: ‘What shall we be able to do to glorify Him? for the Almighty Himself is above all His works’ (Ecclus. 43:30). Be a host. Thus we shall realise, in full, the prayer of Jeremiah: ‘Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved, for THOU ART MY PRAISE’ (Jer. 17:14). This is the key to Christianity:

‘Sing to the Lord,
in union with His Bride, the Church, Who lives by His life,
O ye His saints: and,
through the Holy Mysteries,
give infinite praise,
through Christ, the God-Man,

to the memory of His infinite holiness.’

– Ps. 29:5 (the words in italics are mine)

************

SOME REVELATIONS ON THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT

(1) A Vision of St. Hildegarde of Bingen
“As I gazed upon this Flesh and Blood I saw the signs of the Incarnation, the Birth, the Passion, of Our Saviour reflected in them as in a mirror, and just as we know these events to have been accomplished when the Son of God was on earth.” (‘Scivias’)

(2) Another Revelation of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Words of the Eternal Father: “Hence these mysteries shine before Me in the Heavenly places; for I have not forgotten them, but they will appear before Me in great brightness, like the dawn, until the end of the world.” (‘Scivias’)

Bl. Columba Marmion: “Doubtless we must never forget that under the Eucharistic species is found only the substance of the glorious Body of Jesus, such as it is at present in Heaven, and not such as it was, for example, in the crib of Bethlehem.
But when the Father looks upon His Son Jesus in the Heavenly splendours, what does He behold in Him? He sees the One Who lived thirty-three years upon earth for us; He beholds all the mysteries that this mortal life contained, the satisfactions and the merits whereof these mysteries were the source; He beholds the glory that His Son gave Him in living each of them.” (‘Christ in His Mysteries’)

Santa_Giustina_(Padua)_-_Ecstasy_of_St._Gertrude_by_Pietro_Liberi

St. Gertrude in ecstasy

(3) A Revelation to St. Gertrude the Great
“It is related in the life of St. Gertrude, that one day, on the Festival of the Ascension, when she received the Sacred Host from the hand of the priest, she heard Jesus say to her: ‘Behold Me: I come, not to bid thee farewell, but to take thee with Me to Heaven, and present thee to My Father.'” (‘Christ in His Mysteries’)

Jesus Lives On in the Church (Pt. 1): The Theological Tradition

800px-Cappella_Giustinian_dei_Vescovi_of_San_Francesco_della_Vigna_(Venice)_-_Ecstasy_of_Saint_Peter_(1765)_by_Francesco_Fontebasso

St. Peter of Alcantara, in ecstasy, being drawn to Christ, the ‘Sun of Justice’ (Mal. 4:2)


The Church: An Infinite Treasure to Men

The Catholic Church, cleansed and adorned with ‘the Precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb unspotted and undefiled’ (1 Pt. 1:19), is ‘an infinite treasure to men’ (Wis. 7:14); she is ‘the body of Christ’ (1 Cor. 12:27), redeemed out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation’ (Apoc. 5:9). United to Jesus Christ, the ‘Head over all the Church’ (Eph. 1:22), ‘we are members of His body, of his flesh, and of his bones’ (Eph. 5:30). He is ‘our Everlasting Saviour’ (Bar. 4:22), Who, having loved us ‘with an everlasting love’ (Jer. 31:3), is ‘always living to make intercession for us’ (Heb. 7:25).

Christ: The Life of the Church
If we seek to be saved; if we seek the grace of God in abundance, we have but one thing to do: we have but to cling to the Church, our Mother. We must understand that the prayer of Christ, Who ardently prayed ‘that they may be ONE’ (Jn. 17:11), is not something vague or remote; on the contrary, Jesus continues to live in and through His Church; He continues to offer Himself on its Altars, drawing all men to Himself (Jn. 12:32).

The Eucharist: The Sacrament of Love and Union
In His “unwearying, unconquerable love” (St. John Henry Newman), Christ ‘loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it’ (Eph. 5:25). And why? To the end that He might espouse Himself to the Church in the eternal nuptials of Paradise, of which the Holy Eucharist is both a sign and a pledge: ‘THIS IS MY BODY (Mt. 26:26)… I WILL ESPOUSE THEE TO ME FOR EVER’ (Osee 2:19).

The Prayer of the Bride
We cannot measure His love for His Bride, which lives by His very life (cf. 1 Jn. 4:9). The more intimately we are united with the Church, which is animated by His Spirit, the more surely will our prayers be heard. “The Prayer of the Church,” writes Dom Gueranger, on account of its intimate union with Jesus Christ, is “… the most pleasing to the ear and heart of God, and therefore the most efficacious of all prayers. Happy, then, is he who prays with the Church, and unites his own petitions with those of this Spouse, who is so dear to her Lord, that he gives her all she asks…

‘… shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.’
– Cant. 2:14

It is… Jesus Christ himself who is the source as well as the object of the Liturgy; and hence the Ecclesiastical Year… is neither more nor less than the manifestation of Jesus Christ, and his Mysteries, in the Church and the faithful soul.

“Indeed, although Christ is no longer upon earth, although the historical reality of His mysteries has gone by, He ever remains our Head and the virtue of His actions and of His life is ever fruitful.”
– Bl. Columba Marmion

It is the divine Cycle, in which appear all the works of God, each in its turn; the Seven Days of the Creation; the Pasch and Pentecost of the Jewish people; the ineffable Visit of the Incarnate Word; His Sacrifice and His Victory; the Descent of the Holy Ghost; the Holy Eucharist*; the surpassing glories of the Mother of God, ever a Virgin; the magnificence of the Angels; the merits and triumphs of the Saints.

*“This Sacrament embraces the entire mystery of our salvation.”
St. Thomas Aquinas

… Happy indeed should we deem ourselves, if we could make the faithful understand the grand glory which is given to the Blessed Trinity, to our Saviour, to Mary, to the Angels, and to the Saints, by this annual commemoration of the wondrous works of our God!

‘He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord.’ (Ps. 110:4)

If, every year, the Church renews her youth as that of the eagle, she does so because, by means of the Cycle of the Liturgy, she is visited by her divine Spouse, who supplies all her wants. Each year she again sees him an Infant in the manger, fasting in the desert, offering himself on the Cross, rising from the grave, founding his Church, instituting the Sacraments, ascending to the right hand of his Father, and sending the Holy Ghost upon men. The graces of all these divine mysteries are renewed in her; so that, being made fruitful in every good thing, the mystic Garden yields to the Spouse, in every season, under the influence of the spirit he breathes into her, the sweet perfume of aromatic spices.

“… Jesus lives the reality of His mysteries in us, and when we have faith, and rest lovingly united to Him, He draws us with Him, making us partakers of the virtue proper to each of these states. Each year, as the soul follows the Liturgical cycle, it shares ever more intimately in these mysteries, and is identified more and more with Christ, with His thoughts, His feelings, His life.”
– Bl. Columba Marmion (p. 319, ‘Christ the Ideal of the Monk’)

… Now, what the Liturgical Year does for the Church at large, it does also for the soul of each one of the faithful that is careful to receive the gift of God. This succession of mystic seasons imparts to the Christian the elements of that supernatural life, without which every other life is but a sort of death, more or less disguised.” (Dom Gueranger, ‘The Liturgical Year,’ vol. I)

 

The Devil’s Greatest Enemy (Pt. 3): Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

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PHOTO: An edited copy of a painting belonging to Ven. Marthe Robin (d. 1981). The words, ‘Marie Mediatrice’ (Mary, Mediatrix), interestingly, were the last intelligible words of the great Cardinal Mercier (d. 1926), who died shortly after offering the Mass of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. There is much more to the story…

The Enemy of the Woman: A Roaring Lion
Lucifer is a ‘murderer from the beginning’ (Jn. 8:44), the Father of Lies, who, full of malice and hatred, ‘as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Pt. 5:8). “I am a wretched creature,” he said to a Saint, “who cannot love.”

The Son of the Woman: A Consuming Fire
The Son of God and of Mary, on the other hand, seeks only to give Himself to souls, to consume us in that same Fire of infinite Love with which the Father loves Him – hence the Sacrament of His Love. His greatest sorrow is when we hinder His Divine action, when we place obstacles before ‘the perfect Will of God’ (Rom. 12:2), which seeks only to gather up souls and ‘take them up in His Bosom’ (Is. 40:11).

The Handmaid That Is All-Powerful Over Hell
Lucifer is bent on destruction; seething with hatred for all that he has lost, he turns his hatred against the souls created in God’s image. But he is no match for God, ‘for all things are possible with God’ (Mk. 10:27). ‘Who,’ says St. Michael the Archangel, ‘is like God?’

Nor is he a match for Mary, who, as we have seen in the two previous posts, has been chosen by God to crush the head of the ancient Serpent. She is the New Eve; she is the helper of Christ, the New Adam.

We cannot fathom the power of Mary’s intercession. Would you like, nevertheless, to know something of it? Then consider the following: Mary is the instrument of “the instrument of the Divinity” (St. John Damascene).

What does this mean? It means that Jesus took His Sacred Humanity (the instrument of the Divinity) from Mary – namely, that immaculate Flesh and Blood which He gave ‘for the life of the world’ (Jn. 6:51). What dignity, what sublime prerogatives must then belong to Mary, if, as St. Leonard of Port Maurice writes, “our good and loving Master promised us in the Gospel that for a cup of cold water, given in His Name, He will bestow the Kingdom of Heaven” (cf. Mk 9:40; Mt. 10:42)! It is one thing to give a cup of water in His Name; it is quite another to give Him that Immaculate Body by which He would work all His miracles, and through which all grace descends to man! This is that Divine Masterpiece that was fitted for Him (cf. Heb. 10:5) and fashioned by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin (cf. Lk. 1:35; Ps. 18:6) ‘in the day of His espousals, and in the day of the joy of His Heart’ (Cant. 3:11).

Krzewgorejący
Mary: Mediatrix of All Graces
“Every grace,” writes St. Bernardine of Siena, “that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed
(1) from God to Christ,
(2) from Christ to the Virgin,
(3) from the Virgin to us.”

The dignity of Mary is truly impenetrable to our limited minds; her greatness is, to quote St. Thomas, “quasi-infinite.” No, He is not exaggerating. Just ask yourself: What greater dignity could God bestow on Mary than that which He has already been pleased to bestow?

It is because Mary is Mother of God, and, by extension, the true ‘Mother of all the Living’ (Gen. 3:20) – that is, in the spiritual order – that she is necessarily the Mediatrix of All Graces. Were this not the case, she would not truly be ‘full of grace’ (Lk. 1:28), nor would the Church, which exists mystically in her virginal womb (cf. Cant. 7:2; Jn. 16:21; Ps. 86:5, etc.), have access to ‘every best gift, and every perfect gift’ (James 1:17) from on high.

In a word, if Mary is not Mediatrix of All Graces, how shall Christ be begotten in souls? How shall we attain to ‘the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ’ (Eph. 4:13)? Do we not know that Jesus has but one Mother, not only physically but also mystically? One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her’ (Cant. 6:8).

The Testimony of Saints, Mystics, Scholars
Suffice to say, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Veronica Giuliani, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi, Bl. Dina Belanger, Ven. Marthe Robin, Mother Magdalene of Jesus (Palmyre Ryckaert), Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity, among many other mystics, did not invent this doctrine, nor did St. Alphonsus, St. Bernard, St. Ildeponsus or anyone else. Conversely, it is all there in the Scriptures, if only one is willing to receive the Word from her who gave Him to us – namely, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who says to us: In me is all grace of the WAY and of the TRUTH, in me is all hope of LIFE and of virtue’ (Ecclus. 24:25).

Photo_Marthe_Robin

Ven. Marthe Robin

The Devil’s Most Hated Books
This all brings us to an interesting question: What books does Satan hate most? Generally speaking, he despises all that is holy, all that leads us to ‘the Way, and the Truth, and the Life’ (Jn. 14:6). It is precisely for this reason that he hates books that give praise to our Blessed Mother, for she, more than all the other Saints combined, draws us to the Blessed Fruit of her womb. This is the teaching of St. Bonaventure, among others.

Now, it is obvious enough that the Devil hates the Scriptures; but, more specifically, which Scriptures does he particularly detest? How about John, Chapter 6, which speaks of the Sacrament of Love and Unity? Absolutely. The Psalms? No doubt. But the Devil has a unique hatred for the following books of the Bible (among others):
+ Esther
+ Judith
+ Ecclesiasticus
+ Wisdom.

Why is this? It is because these inspired Books speak so forcefully, so highly, and so frequently of his sworn enemy – that is, ‘the Woman’ (Gen. 3:15; Jn. 2:4; Jn. 16:21; Jn. 19:26 Apoc. 12:1), who will crush his head! Do not be fooled: the Reformation did not give us the complete set of inspired texts; on the contrary, it presented us with an incomplete revelation of God and of the Divine Plan. No Bible is complete without the aforementioned Books (or, in the case of Esther, the complete Book).

Two other books that are much hated by Hell are St. Louis de Montfort’s classic, ‘True Devotion to Mary,’ as well as the abridged version of this book, ‘The Secret of Mary.’ The demons tried to destroy the former, as St. Louis de Montfort prophesied; the latter was brought by Our Lady herself to Ven. Marthe Robin, to whom she communicated her desire that this book spread across the globe. Indeed it has. But not enough.

Concluding Words…
Listen to Our Lord’s words from the Cross: ‘BEHOLD THY MOTHER’ (Mt. 12:47). Take note that these words are not qualified by any further statement. Why? Because we are always to keep our eyes on Mary. She has only Love for her children. To give us her Son is her sole purpose and joy. She it is, above all others, who will help us to taste and see that the Lord is sweet’ (Ps. 33:9); her ‘spirit is sweet above honey and her ‘inheritance above honey and the honeycomb’ (Ecclus. 24:27). Do not hesitate to give yourself to her without reserve: ‘Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable’ (Prov. 3:17).

[N.B. This year, Pentecost Sunday happens to fall on May 31, which is the traditional date for the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. It is also the 99th anniversary of said Feast being established.]

A Quick Anecdote
About 2 months ago, it occurred to me that Romans 8:32 could reasonably be applied to Mary. Later that evening, I opened a Marian devotional work from the 19th century and found the very text applied to Mary by St. Albert the Great. Coincidence? Somehow I think not.

‘SHE that spared not even HER own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath SHE not also, with Him, given us all things?’
– Rom. 8:32

 

 

The Devil’s Greatest Enemy (Pt. 2): Mary, the New Judith

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‘Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou most mighty.’
– Ps. 44:4

“Judith is one of the types of Mary, who crushed the head of the serpent.”
– Dom Gueranger, OSB

Our portrait of the Mother of God – not to mention our portrait of the Church, of which she is Mother – will be radically incomplete if we lack knowledge of the Old Testament types/figures of Mary. The book of Judith, for instance, as with the book of Esther, will be of little use to us if we do not see in them a mirror of Mary. Let us look, then, at some central passages in the book of Judith, bearing in mind that Mary, the true Judith, surpasses all her types: ‘Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all’ (Prov. 31:29). “She has surpassed all the daughters (Saints) in nature, in grace, in glory. She has surpassed all the souls of men, all the intelligences of Angels” (St. Bonaventure).

N.B. Under each subheading below, the first verse is taken from the book of Judith, while the second (relevant) verse is taken from another Book of the Scriptures. Pay close attention to the clear connections with Mary’s Magnificat (in red).

THE BOOK OF JUDITH: A FORESHADOWING OF MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS

+ CHAPTER 13

Leads Us Into the Church
Judith: ‘Open the gates, for God is with us, Who hath shown His power in Israel.’ (v. 13)
‘Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates…’. (Prov. 8:34)

Loved and Honoured by All
‘And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest…’ (v. 15)
‘And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted…’ (Ecclus. 24:3; cf. Prov. 31:28)

The Spouse of Mercy Incarnate
Judith: ‘And by me His handmaid He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel: and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night.’ (v. 18)
Mary: ‘He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy.’ (Lk. 1:54)

Immaculate
Judith: ‘And the Lord hath not suffered me His handmaid to be defiled: but hath brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing for His victory, for my escape, and for your deliverance.’ (v. 20)
‘Thou art all fair, O My love, and there is not a spot in thee.’ (Cant. 4:7)

The Instrument by Which Hell is Conquered
‘The Lord hath blessed thee by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to nought.’ (v. 22)
Mary: ‘He hath showed might in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble.’ (Lk. 1:51-52)

Greater than All Those Who Prefigured Her
‘Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.’ (v. 23)
‘Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all.’ (Prov. 31:29)

Always to be Praised
‘Because He hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord, for ever…’ (v. 25)
Mary: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord… behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.’ (Lk. 1:46, 48)

Laid Down Her Life for Us
‘… thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulations of thy people; but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.’ (v. 25)
Prophecy of Simeon: ‘And thy own soul a sword shall pierce…’ (Lk. 2:35)

Deserving of Reverence
‘… he [Achior] fell down at her feet, and reverenced her…’ (v. 30)
‘And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.’ (Lk. 1:41)

Gives Life to the Elect
‘Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob…’ (v. 31)
‘Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in My elect.’ (Ecclus. 24:13)

Her Soul Magnifies The Lord
‘… in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee.’ (v. 31)
‘My soul doth magnify the Lord… O magnify the Lord with me: and let us extol His Name together.’ (Lk. 1:46; Ps. 33:4)

+ CHAPTER 14

Leads Us Into Battle
Judith: ‘… let every man take his arms: and rush ye out, not as going down beneath, but as making an assault.’ (v. 2)
‘Thy neck is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.’ (Cant. 4:4)

+ CHAPTER 15

The Glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem
‘… they all blessed her with one voice saying: Thou art the glory of Jerusalem…’ (v. 10)
‘God is wonderful (gloriosus) in His Saints: the God of Israel is He Who will give strength and power to His people.’ (Ps. 67:36)

The Joy of the Church
‘… thou art the joy of Israel…’ (v. 10)
‘The dwelling in thee is as it were of all rejoicing.’ (Ps. 86:7)

The Honour of Our Race
‘… thou art the honour of our people.’ (v. 10)
Mary: ‘Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His Name.’ (Lk. 1:49)

Ever-Blessed
‘… the Lord hath strengthened thee, and therefore thou shalt be blessed for ever.’ (v. 11)
‘And among the blessed she shall be blessed…’ (Ecclus. 24:4; cf. Prov. 31:28)

+ CHAPTER 16

Glorifies the Holy Name of God
Judith: ‘… extol and call upon His Name.’ (v. 2)
‘… let us extol His Name together.’ (Ps. 33:4)

Visits Us With Her Divine Son
‘He hath set His camp in the midst of His people, to deliver us from the hand of all our enemies.’ (v. 4)
Zachary: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people… Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us.’ (Lk. 1:68, 71)

The First to Intone the New Canticle*
Judith: ‘… let us sing a new hymn to our God.’ (v. 15)
‘Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He hath done wonderful things.’ (Ps. 97:1)
* This fact deserves a post of its own. Given time, I will write something brief at some stage.

Invites us all to serve God
Judith: ‘Let all Thy creatures serve Thee…’ (v. 17)
Mary: ‘Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.’ (Jn. 2:4)

Invites us to Fear of the Lord
Judith: ‘But they that fear Thee, shall be great with Thee in all things.’ (v. 19; cf. Ps. 33:10)
Mary: ‘And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.’ (Lk. 1:50)

The New Sanctuary
‘And the people were joyful in the site of the sanctuary: and for three months the joy of this victory was celebrated with Judith.’ (v. 24)
‘And Mary abode with her [Elizabeth] about three months.’ (Lk. 1:56)

Most Renowned
‘… she was most renowned in all the land of Israel.’ (v. 25)
‘And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise.’ (Ecclus. 24:4)

Perpetual Virgin
‘And chastity was joined to her virtue, so that she knew no man all the days of her life…’ (v. 26)
Mary: ‘How shall this be done, because I know not man?’ (Lk. 1:34)

Honoured Above All Saints in the Church’s Liturgy
‘And on festival days she came forth with great glory.’ (v. 27)
‘And a great sign appeared in Heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.’ (Apoc. 12.1)

Our_Lady_of_Grace_sheltering_under_the_folds_of_her_mantle_the_first_Grand_Masters_of_the_Military_Order_of_Montessa

‘… there is great delight in her friendship,
and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands…
love her, and she shall preserve thee…

forget not the groaning of thy Mother.’
(Wis. 8:18; Prov. 4:6; Ecclus. 7:29; cf. Jn. 16:21, Apoc. 12:2)