THE EPISTLE OF S. PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS. CHAPTER IV
1 Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren, and most desired, my joy and my crown ; so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
S. Paul calls the Philippians his joy and his crown : why may we not call Mary " our life, our sweetness and our hope " ?
So stand fast ..." That is," as S. Antoninus remarks, " by conformity to the will of God. The Blessed Virgin stood by the Cross, conforming herself to the divine will. She knew that it was God's will that her Son should suffer, and that for this He came into the world. The Scriptures, too, which were well known to her, foretold this ; and they must be accomplished. And since in all things she sought for rest, as is written of her [Ecclus. xxiv. 11.] —and this can be found in no other way than by conformity to the divine will according to reason—for this cause she stood, and did not murmur because her most innocent Son had to suffer: she did not speak evil of the Jews, because He was so cruelly treated by them, though He had done them so much good: she did not seek for vengeance from Him, that they should be swallowed up by the earth alive, as they deserved : she did not tear her hair and face, because she was being left a desolate widow, and without son to console her: but she stood, reverend, modest, full of tears, overwhelmed by sorrows." [P. iv. tit. 15, c. 41, § i.]
4 Rejoice in the Lord always ; again, I say, rejoice.
5 Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh.
6 Be nothing solicitous; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.
9 The things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, these do ye, and the God of peace shall be with you.
Where shall we see all these precepts fulfilled, and these virtues shown forth, as in the Blessed Virgin Mary ? What a theme is she for our meditation, what a model for us to imitate!
21 Salute ye every saint in Christ Jesus.
If we are to salute Saints on earth, why not Saints in heaven ? Why not the Queen of Saints ? Are not they, is not she, in Christ Jesus ? Is not such salutation in Christ Jesus ? Ave, Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.