THE FIRST EPISTLE OP S. PAUL TO THE THESSALONIANS. CHAPTER II.
7 Whereas we might have been burdensome to you, as the apostles of Christ: but we became little ones in the midst of you, as if a nurse should cherish her children :
8 So desirous of you, we would gladly impart unto you not only the gospel of God, but also our own souls : because you were become most dear unto us.
11 As you know in what manner, entreating and comforting you (as a father doth his children).
Might not Mary say: Though the great Mother of God, I have become amongst you the little servant of the Lord, not claiming any burdensome honour, but as your own dear Mother cherishing you as my children: not only giving you my own Son, who is the Son of God, to be your Saviour, but willing gladly to give you my own soul and life a thousand times with Him, because you were become most dear unto me: entreating and comforting you as a mother doth her children, that so I may secure your soul's salvation, and win for myself your filial devotion, and tender love. See supra, 2 Cor. vi. 11-13.
17 But we, brethren, being taken away from you for a short time in sight, not in heart, have hastened the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18 For we would have come unto you, I Paul indeed, once and again : but satan hath hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glory ? Are not you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming ?
20 For you are our glory and joy.
How well might these burning words of the Apostle be applied to Mary. Thus, and far more ardently than S. Paul on earth did over his dear converts, does Mary in heaven yearn over, and long to see, us, her own beloved children, who are her crown, and glory, and joy. And shall not Mary be also to us one day our crown, and glory, and joy, who is now our life, our sweetness, and our hope ?
23 And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things ; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mary attained this spotlessness and sanctification in perfection from the beginning to prepare her for the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
" In Mary were three things, spirit, soul, and body, and these three she gave to her Son : for she gave her body and her womb for Him to dwell in ; she united her soul to the soul of Christ by love, and in a manner made both one ; and she indissolubly conjoined her spirit with the divinity of Christ," - " In the Blessed Virgin were three places-of-repose (redinatoria), her spirit, soul, and body, whereof is said : May your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless. In these three Christ rested : in her spirit, inasmuch as she gave herself to continual contemplation ; in her soul, in that her reason was never withdrawn from Christ ; in her body since sensuality never opposed her reason." -- " Mary had the perfect integrity of purity, in her body, because she ever preserved it inviolate ; in her soul, since she cut off every evil movement and sense ; in her spirit, for never was she separated from God by any sin." [B. Jacob, rle Voragine Serm. 2. Sabbat, v., hebdomadae Ouadrag.. also Serm. 2 et 5, De Nativ. B. V. M.]