201. Here now are the services which the Virgin Mary, as the
best of all mothers, lovingly renders to those loyal servantswho have given themselves entirely to her in the manner I have
described and following the figurative meaning of the story of
Jacob and Rebecca.
1. She loves them.
"I love those who love me." She loves
a) Because she is truly their Mother. What mother does
not love her child, the fruit of her womb?
b) She loves them in gratitude for the active love they
show to her, their beloved Mother.
c) She loves them because they are loved by God and
destined for heaven. "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
d) She loves them because they have consecrated
themselves entirely to her and belong to her portion, herinheritance. "In Israel receive your inheritance."
202. She loves them tenderly, more tenderly than all the
mothers in the world together. Take the maternal love of all
the mothers of the world for their children. Pour all that
love into the heart of one mother for an only child. That
mother's love would certainly be immense. Yet Mary's love for
each of her children has more tenderness than the love of that
mother for her child.
She loves them not only affectively but effectively, that
is, her love is active and productive of good like Rebecca's
love for Jacob -and even more so, for Rebecca was, after all,
only a symbolic figure of Mary. Here is what this loving
Mother does for her children to obtain for them the blessingsof their heavenly Father:
203. 1) Like Rebecca she looks out for favourable
opportunities to promote their interests, to ennoble and
enrich them. She sees clearly in God all that is good and all
that is evil; fortunate and unfortunate events; the blessings
and condemnations of God. She arranges things in advance so as
to divert evils from her servants and put them in the way of
abundant blessings. If there is any special benefit to be
gained in God's sight by the faithful discharge of an
important work, Mary will certainly obtain this opportunity
for a beloved child and servant and at the same time, give him
the grace to persevere in it to the end. "She personally
manages our affairs," says a saintly man.
204. 2) She gives them excellent advice, as Rebecca did to
Jacob. "My son, follow my counsels." Among other things, she
persuades them to bring her the two young goats, that is,
their body and soul, and to confide them to her so that she
can prepare them as a dish pleasing to God. She inspires them
to observe whatever Jesus Christ, her Son, has taught by word
and example. When she does not give these counsels herself in
person, she gives them through the ministry of angels who are
always pleased and honoured to go at her request to assist one
of her faithful servants on earth.
205. 3) What does this good Mother do when we have presented
and consecrated to her our soul and body and all that pertains
to them without excepting anything? Just what Rebecca of old
did to the little goats Jacob brought her. (a) She kills them,
that is, makes them die to the life of the old Adam. (b) She
strips them of their skin, that is, of their natural
inclinations, their self-love and self-will and their every
attachment to creatures. (c) She cleanses them from all stain,
impurity and sin. (d) She prepares them to God's taste and to
his greater glory. As she alone knows perfectly what the
divine taste is and where the greatest glory of God is to be
found, she alone without any fear of mistake can prepare and
garnish our body and soul to satisfy that infinitely refined
taste and promote that infinitely hidden glory.
206. 4) Once this good Mother has received our complete
offering with our merits and satisfactions through the
devotion I have been speaking about, and has stripped us of
our own garments, she cleanses us and makes us worthy to
appear without shame before our heavenly Father.
She clothes us in the clean, new, precious and fragrant
garments of Esau, the first born, namely, her Son Jesus
Christ. She keeps these garments in her house, that is to say,
she has them at her disposal. For she is the treasurer and
universal dispenser of the merits and virtues of Jesus her
Son. She gives and distributes them to whom she pleases, when
she pleases, as she pleases, and as much as she pleases, as wehave said above.
She covers the neck and hands of her servants with the
skins of the goats that have been killed and flayed, that is,
she adorns them with the merits and worth of their own good
actions. In truth, she destroys and nullifies all that is
impure and imperfect in them. She preserves and enhances this
good so that it adorns and strengthens their neck and hands,
that is, she gives them the strength to carry the yoke of the
Lord and the skill to do great things for the glory of God andthe salvation of their poor brothers.
She imparts new perfume and fresh grace to those garments
and adornments by adding to them the garments of her own
wardrobe of merits and virtues. She bequeathed these to them
before her departure for heaven, as was revealed by a holy nun
of the last century, who died a holy death. Thus all her
domestics, that is, all her servants and slaves, are clothed
with double garments, her own and those of her Son. Now they
have nothing to fear from that cold which sinners, naked and
stripped as they are of the merits of Jesus and Mary, will be
unable to endure.
207. 5) Finally, Mary obtains for them the heavenly Father's
blessing. As they are the youngest born and adopted, they are
not really entitled to it. Clad in new, precious, and sweet-smelling garments, with body and soul well-prepared and
dressed, they confidently approach their heavenly Father. He
hears their voice and recognises it as the voice of a sinner.
He feels their hands covered with skins, inhales the aroma of
their garments. He partakes with joy of what Mary, their
Mother, has prepared for him, recognising in it the merits and
good odour of his Son and his Blessed Mother.
- He gives them a twofold blessing, the blessing of the
dew of heaven, namely, divine grace, which is the seed of
glory. "God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual
blessing," and also the blessing of the fertility of the
earth, for as a provident Father, he gives them their dailybread and an ample supply of the goods of the earth.
- He makes them masters of their other brothers, the
reprobate sinners. This domination does not always show in
this fleeting world, where sinners often have the upper hand.
"How long shall the wicked glory, mouthing insolent
reproaches?" "I have seen the wicked triumphant and lifted up
like the cedars of Lebanon." But the supremacy of the just is
real and will be seen clearly for all eternity in the next
world, where the just, as the Holy Spirit tells us, will
dominate and command all peoples.
- The God of all majesty is not satisfied with blessing
them in their persons and their possessions, he blesses all
who bless them and curses all who curse and persecute them.