And so was I established in Sion, and in the Holy City likewise I rested; and in Jerusalem was my power; and I took root in an honourable people, even in the portion of my God, His heritage, and in the fulness of the saints was my tarrying.
The application of this lesson to our ever dear and blessed Lady is clear.
Sion is the Church on earth ; and in it we are drawn after her by the sweet smell of her virtues. How fixed and firm is devotion to Mary in Christ's Church is seen from the position she holds in the Divine Economy, viz., that of the Neck which unites the Head to the Body, the appointed channel of all communications between them.
The Holy City we may take for that dim land of Purgatory, truly a Holy City full of God's own children, where the Church Suffering is. There does Mary's love and power of intercession rest in a peculiar way, for the holy souls are her special children, the sinners for whom she has prayed at the hour of their death, the souls who are going through the last courses of that education which Divine Wisdom has planned for making in them the new man who, according to God, is created in justice and holiness of Truth [Eph. iv. 24.].
Jerusalem, we must take for the Urbs beata, "the blest vision of peace," where the Church Triumphant reigns. There is fully displayed Mary's power with her Son, for there she reigns in all her beauty and holiness, undisputed Queen. The Angels with jubilee hail her as such : the Patriarch and Prophets acknowledge her ; the Apostles acclaim their Master's Mother as their Queen ; Martyrs recognise in her Sorrows a martyrdom far above theirs. Confessors throng round her, as courtiers their sovereign ; and Virgins tell forth the praise of her who has taught them to minister before the Lord and to love Him above all earthly loves.
Amidst the honourable people of God's elect she has taken root, and rejoices in the heritage God has appointed her.
In the fulness of the saints was her tarrying; for she sums up all their virtues. She has, says her servant, St. Bernard, the faith of the Patriarch, the spirit of the Prophets, the fear of the Apostles, the gratitude of the Martyrs, the continence of the Confessors, the purity of Virgins, the gratefulness of Spouses, and the splendour of the Angels.
Blest art thou, Maiden Mary, who hast borne the Lord, the Maker of the world. Thou hast begotten Him Who made thee and remainest for ever a maiden.
Hail, Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee Thou hast, &c.
The incomparable beauty and dignity of our Lady is the theme of this Responsory. As one likes to linger over some beautiful sound, or perfume, to let it penetrate our being and leave behind a sweet impression, so the thought of Mary's greatness, her fulness of grace, is very sweet to linger over. Thoughts come welling up from our hearts as we ponder over her : Faith in the Incarnation ; Awe at God's dealing with men ; Adoration at the marvellous Wisdom displayed; and Wonder and Thanksgiving for the great things He hath done to her. These are all expressed in the Responsory and should find an echo in our heart.
Through the Maiden Mother may the Lord grant us health and peace.
This Blessing and the subsequent Lesson refer us to the Third Nocturn, wherein is set before us Mary's office to the
Church at large. Its meaning, in brief, is, may we through her intercession obtain from God grace, the true health of our souls, and peace, that is, friendship with God.
From - The Little Office of Our Lady; a treatise theoretical, practical, and exegetical - Taunton, Ethelred L. (Ethelred Luke), 1857-1907