Sunday, July 8, 2007

St. Alphonsus de Liguori

The Wife and I have been reading a little from The Glories of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. Suffice it to say, I highly recommend the book to all Christians.

Not a few passages struck me, and so I thought I would share at least a couple of them with you, my faithful blog readers.

But again, we are exceedingly dear to Mary on the account of the sufferings we cost her. Mothers generally love those children most, the preservation of whose lives has cost them the most suffering and anxiety; we are those children for whom Mary, in order to obtain for us the life of grace, was obliged to endure the bitter agony of herself offering her beloved Jesus to die an ignominious death, and had also to see him expire before her own eyes in the midst of the most cruel and unheard-of torments. It was then by this great offering of Mary that we were born to the life of grace; we are therefore her very dear children since we cost her so great suffering. And thus, as it is written of the love of the Eternal Father towards men, in giving his own Son to death for us, that God so loved the world as to give his only-begotten Son. "So also," says St. Bonaventure, "we can say of Mary, that she has so loved us as to give her only begotten Son for us."

"If a mother," continues St. Bernard, "knew that her two sons bore a mortal enmity to each other, and that each plotted against the other's life, would she not exert herself to her utmost in order to reconcile them? This would be the duty of a good mother. And thus it is," the saint goes on to say, "that Mary acts; for she is the mother of Jesus, and the mother of men. When she sees a sinner at enmity with Jesus Christ, she cannot endure it, and does all in her power to make peace between them. Oh happy Mary, thou art the mother of the criminal and the mother of the Judge; and being the mother of both, they are thy children, and thou canst not endure discords among them."


I am a wretched sinner, who, more than all others, have despised the infinite majesty of God, but the evil is done. To thee I have recourse; thou canst help me; my mother, help me. Say not that thou canst not do so; for I know that thou art all powerful, and that thou obtainest whatever thou desirest of God; and if thou sayest that thou wilt not help me, tell me at least to whom I can apply in this my so great misfortune. "Either pity my," will I say with Saint Anselm, "oh my Jesus, and forgive me, and do thou pity me, my mother Mary, by interceding for me, or at least tell me to whom I can have recourse, who is more compassionate, or in whom I can have greater confidence than thee." Oh no; neither on earth nor in heaven can I find any one who has more compassion for the miserable. You both love the most miserable, and go seeking them in order to save them. I deserve hell, and am the most miserable of all. But you need not seek me, nor do I presume to ask so much. I now present myself before you with a certain hope that I shall not be abandoned.

Behold me at your feet my Jesus, forgive me; my mother Mary, help me.

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