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And most certainly she willingly salutes us by her benefits and her consolation, if we willingly greet her with Ave Maria. Mary not only had charity in her heart and in her words, but she also exercised herself in charitable deeds. For she is that same Mary of whom it is said: "Mary remained with her about three months.

Ambrose saith: "She who came out of charity, remained at her post. For she is that same Mary who said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord. Therefore, the soul of Mary most befittingly magnified God and most securely rejoiced in God, because she so ardently loved God. Of this love Master Hugh of St. Victor saith a good word: "Because the love of the Holy Spirit burned in a singular manner in her heart, therefore the power of the Holy Ghost did wonderful things in her flesh.

Thirdly, see how Mary was most meek by gentleness, most patient in all adversity. For she is that same Mary to whom it is said, according to St. Luke: "And he Simeon said to Mary His Mother: Behold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted, and thine own soul a sword shall pierce. The material sword cannot kill or wound the soul, so the sharp Passion of Christ, although by compassion it pierced the soul of Mary, never dealt it a mortal wound.

For Mary never killed the executioners of her Son by hatred nor wounded them by impatience. Now, if other martyrs were most patient in their bodily martyrdom, how much more so was our martyr, Mary, in her spiritual martyrdom? Of her noble martyrdom St. Jerome saith: "O marvelous patience and meekness of Mary, who was not only most patient while her Son was crucified in her presence, but also before the crucifixion, when her Son was reviled, as it is said in the Gospel of St. Mark, 'Is not this the Son of the carpenter and of Mary? Alas, how far from the grace of Mary most meek are they who are so peevish, so impatient, so irritable as to torment their neighbors, companions, and fellowworkers.

Fourthly, see how untiring and diligent Mary was by her assiduity in good works. For she is that Mary of whom it is said: "They were all persevering in prayer in one mind, with the women, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus" Acts I, Mary, by persevering indefatigably in prayer, gave an example, which it behooves us to follow, and not to faint. And if Mary prayed so sedulously on earth, why should she not pray most earnestly for us in Heaven?

Augustine well doth admonish us, saying: "Let us with all earnestness implore the patronage of Mary: that while we serve her on earth with suppliant ardor, she by her fervent prayer may deign to help us from Heaven.

For she is that same Mary of whom it is said in the Gospel of St. Luke: "Mary kept all these words, pondering in her heart" Luke II, Mary was never idle or slothful, and therefore she not only occupied her mind in holy meditations, and her tongue in devout prayers, but also her hands in good works. It was thus that Mary remained three months with Elizabeth. To what purpose? Bede answers: "That the virgin might render diligent service to her aged relative.

Fifthly, see how detached Mary was by her poverty. The poor shepherds found the poor Mother, Mary, and the poor Infant in the poor spot, not in splendid pomp, but in a poor manger.

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But if the Mother had not been poor, she would indeed have found fitting hospitality. While you diligently consider these things, you may realize how great was the poverty of Mary, of which St. John Chrysostom says: "See the greatness of the poverty of Mary, and whoever is poor, may receive thence great consolation. Most certainly, whoever is poor willingly and freely for God's sake, or who is poor of necessity, yet patiently, can be much consoled by the poverty of Mary, and of Jesus Christ.

Far from this consolation are those rich men who seek things so very different. But the rich must not despair, because not only the poor shepherds, but also the rich kings, found the poor Mary and her poor Son, as it is said in St. Matthew's Gospel: "Entering into the house, they found the child. II, So also these rich ones found them who had brought gifts. The poor find this consolation by poverty; the rich by liberality. While the poor are conformed to Christ by poverty, the rich are reformed to the likeness of Christ by liberality. Sixthly, see how temperate Mary was by sobriety.

Note that it is said: "thou hast found grace. For grace and gluttony do not go together. And it is impossible that a man should at the same time be pleasing to God by grace, and displeasing by gluttony. It is good, therefore, to seek grace and to fly gluttony. Paul says: "It is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them" Heb. XIII, 9. Note that it is said: "Thou shalt conceive in the womb" Luke I, Never would Mary have conceived God in her womb if she had given way to gluttony.

How far from the grace of Mary are they who so often exceed due moderation in food and drink! Seventhly, see that Mary was most chaste by virginity. We have as witnesses of the resplendent chastity of Mary: the Evangelist, Mary herself, and the Angel. For she was chaste in her virginal body, as the Evangelist testifies, saying: "And the name of the virgin was Mary" Luke I, In her virginal mind Mary was even more chaste, as she herself testifies.

That is to say, I do not intend to know a man. But Mary was most chaste of all in her virginal offspring, as the Angel testifies, who spoke of her thus in St. Matthew's Gospel: "Joseph, Son of David, fear not.

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  • For from the time the Virgin Mary was divinely overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, her virginity was never dimmed, but was glorified in a divine and truly marvelous manner. By her Child she was approved, by her Child she was ennobled, by her Child she was enriched.

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    By thy Child, O Mary, thy virginity was gifted, endowed, and consecrated. Augustine well saith: "Truly do we proclaim Mary to be both Virgin and Mother, for true fecundity glorified her virginity and undefiled virginity glorified her true fecundity. Her virginity was rendered more glorious by her fecundity, and her fecundity by her virginity.

    Now, since the sweet name of Mary is of such favor as we have set forth, rightly do we call upon her, according to that word of St. It has been shown above, how Mary, because of the pure innocence of her life, is rightly saluted by the Ave. We have now to show how, by the abundance of her grace, she deserves the salutation "full of grace. Consider the truth, the immensity, the multiplicity, the utility of the grace of Mary.

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    For the grace of Mary is a most true grace, a most immense grace, a most manifold grace, and a most useful grace. First, consider the truth of the grace of Mary. Of this Gabriel saith: "Thou hast found grace," etc. Luke I, That grace is true which is found with God who is the Truth. He says "with God" and not with the devil.

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    For the devil offers the grace of an evil prosperity, that one may sin more freely. Holofernes, who signifies the devil, says: "Drink now, and sit down and be merry: for thou hast found favor before me" Judith XII, He says, "with God," not with the world, because with the world, that is, with worldly men, false grace and false contrition are often found. Therefore it is said in Ecclesiasticus: "Open not thy heart to every man, lest he repay thee with an evil turn; and speak reproachfully to thee" VIII, Solomon saith: "Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain" Prov.

    XXXI, For the Virgin Mary, so full of grace, condemned the false grace of the world, of the flesh and of the devil. Therefore did she find grace with God, true and pure, defiled by no base mixture, so that she could truly say with Ecclesiasticus: "My odor is as unmixed balm" Eccli. The balm of Mary is the unction of grace, which was most copiously poured forth on her. Bernard, speaking of the text, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee," says: "That precious balm flowed upon thee with such fullness and abundance that it overflowed abundantly all around thee.

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    But the balm of the Holy Spirit in Mary was not mixed, for it was adulterated neither by the honey of carnality and worldly consolation, nor by the oil of praise and flattery. But because the grace of, Mary was so true and pure, therefore St. Jerome well says of her: "Whatever was done in Mary, was all purity and simplicity, all grace and truth, all mercy and justice, which looked forth from Heaven.

    IV, And note that whoever wishes to find, must seek, and whoever wishes to seek, must bow down. Let him bow down with Mary in true humility, whoever wishes to find true grace with Mary. For it is said in Ecclesiasticus: "The greater thou art, the more humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace before God" III, Mary, because she truly humbled herself, found true grace, as it is said: "He hath regarded my humility.

    Secondly, consider the immensity of the grace because of which Mary is called "full of grace. An immense vessel cannot be full, unless that is also immense wherewith it is filled. Mary was an immense vessel, since she could contain Him who is greater than the Heavens. Who is greater than the Heavens?

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    Without doubt He of whom Solomon says: "If heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house which I have built? It was not indeed the house which Solomon built, but she of whom that house was the type, which could contain God. Thou, therefore, O most immense Mary, art more capacious than the Heavens, because He whom the Heavens cannot contain was borne in thy womb.

    Thou art more capacious than the world, because He whom the whole world cannot contain, being made man, was enclosed within thee. If Mary's womb then had such immensity, how much more had her mind?

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    And if so immense a capacity was full of grace, it was fitting that that grace which could fill so great a capacity, should also be immense. Who can measure the immensity of Mary? Behold what is said in Ecclesiasticus: "Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss? Mary is a heaven, as much because she abounded in heavenly purity, heavenly light, and other heavenly virtues, as because she was the most high throne of God, as the Prophet saith: "The Lord hath prepared His throne in heaven" Ps.

    CII, Mary was also the earth which brought forth for us that fruit of which the same Prophet saith: "The earth hath given its fruits" Ps.

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    • LXVI, 7. Mary is also an abyss in goodness and deepest mercy. Therefore she obtaineth for us the mercy of her Son, as it were an abyss calling upon an abyss. Therefore Mary is a heaven, Mary is the earth, Mary is the abyss.