THE EPISTLE OF S. PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS. CHAPTER VI.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is just.
In the Lord, that is, conformably to the precept and also to the example of Jesus Christ, Who obeyed His parents. This is just : Mary then received as her due, as a matter of justice, the obedience and honour of her Son. [Luke ii. 51.]
"The Lord Jesus was subject to His parents," says S. Jerome, " He honoured His Mother, whose Father He Himself was. He reverenced His nursing father, whom He had nourished, and remembered that He had been Himself carried in the womb of another, and borne in another's arms. For this cause also when hanging on the Cross, He commends to the disciples that parent, whom before the time of His Cross, He had never given up. " [Ep. 117, n. 2.]
17 And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).
18 By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints :
19 And for me . . .
" It is of this sword of the Spirit" says S. Antoninus, " that S. Ambrose seems to explain the words: ' And thy own soul a sword shall pierce.' [Luke ii. 35.] 'Simeon,' says the holy Doctor,
' shows here that Mary's prudence was not ignorant of the mystery.' The sword of the word of God therefore pierced through the intellectual soul of Mary, since she understood the word spoken by Simeon, viz., that her Son was set for the ruin of the Jewish people, and for the resurrection of the Gentiles who should be converted to the Faith : and for a sign which should be contradicted by many in regard to the truth of the mystery of the Incarnation—to wit, by Pagans, Jews, and heretics, and through the evil lives of many bad Christians. All the mysteries of Christ, of His birth, life, passion, and resurrection were, in fact, foretold and figured forth by the prophets; so that when the Blessed Virgin Mary read and heard the Scriptures, and saw the several mysteries successively accomplished, the sword of the word of God pierced through her intellectual soul by reason of the acute and perfect understanding which she had of them." [P. iv. T. 15 c. 36, 2.]
— If the prayers of Christians are of so much avail, what efficacy must the prayers of the Divine Mother possess : and if the duty of continual mutual intercession is incumbent on all, how must Mary have practised it when she was on earth, and still maintain its exercise in heaven.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption. Amen.
In incorruption, that is, with a pure and perfect love. Who thus loved our Lord Jesus Christ as Mary, and who so full of grace ?