The honour of Mother of God

The whole history of the Church shows how near it lies to His Sacred Heart. It was the love of her that specially drew Him down from heaven, and it was she who merited the time of the Incarnation. She was the chosen one of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity, the elected daughter of the Father, the predestinated Mother of the Son, and the chosen Spouse of the Holy Ghost. The right doctrine of Jesus has in all ages been wrapped up with the true devotion to Mary; and the Mother can be wounded only through the Son. Thus Mary is the heritage of humble and obedient Catholics. As devotion to her increases, so does holiness increase.

The saints are moulded on the love of her. Sin has no greater enemy than Mary, for the thought of her is a charm against it, and the devils tremble at her name. No one can love the Son, but the love of the Mother grows in Him also; no one can love the Mother, without his heart melting with tenderness toward the Son. Thus has Jesus put her in the front of His Church, that she should be the token of all good, and the stumbling-block of His enemies. What wonder then that His interests are deeply concerned with her honour. Every heretical blasphemy against her dignity, for which you make reparation by an act of love, or an act of thanksgiving for her Immaculate Conception and her Perpetual Virginity, gives you an opportunity of advancing the interests of Jesus.

Everything you can do to spread devotion to her, and especially to make Catholics feel more tenderly toward her, is a distinct work for Jesus, and one which He will most lovingly repay. To get people to go to communion on her feasts, to be enrolled in her Confraternities, to have a picture of her, to gain indulgences for the souls in purgatory that in lifetime were most devoted to her, to pray for the speedy definition of her Immaculate Conception, to say one-third of the Rosary every day, — everybody has an opportunity of doing one or the other of these things, and they are all for the interests of Jesus.

Ah! There is one devotion I will mention! I wish we were all inspired with it. We should do well then for the interests of Jesus, and our dear Lord would get such abundance of new love all the world over! It is, — to have more confidence in our Blessed Mother's prayers, more undoubting trust, more bold petition, more real faith in her. There would be more love for Mary, if there were more faith in Mary.

But we are in a heretical country; and it is hard to live among the icebergs, and not be cold. Jesus! animate our confidence in Mary, not only that we may work more for Thy sweet interests, but that we may work in the way Thou wouldst have us work, letting no creature be dearer to us than the one who was dearer to Thee than all other creatures put together!

Frederick William Faber, priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, “All for Jesus: or, The easy ways of divine love” (1855).

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