THE SECOND EPISTLE OF S. PAUL TO THE THESSALONIANS. CHAPTER I.
4 So that we ourselves also glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith, and in all your persecutions and tribulations, which you endure.
With much more reason should the faithful throughout the Church glory in the graces and virtues of Mary, and take part in all her dolours.
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed.
How glorious will Jesus Christ be then seen in His holy Mother, the Queen of Saints. How wonderful will He then be made in her, whose faith surpassed far that of all other believers.— 0 gloriosa Virginum, Regina sanctorum omnium, Mater admirabilis, Virgo fidelis, Beata quae credidisti.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you ; that our God would make you worthy of his vocation, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power;
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mary was, as far as a creature could be, every way worthy of God's sublime vocation regarding her; and in her was fulfilled all the good pleasure of His goodness, through her perfect correspondence to His will: Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. In her, too, was accomplished the work of faith in power : Beata quae credidisti, quoniani perficientur ea quae dicta sunt tibi a Domino. Fecit mihi magna qui potens est. How greatly, then, was the name of our Lord Jesus glorified in Mary, and she in Him. The more she is magnified, the more is God magnified in her : Magnificat anima mea Dominum. Consequently the more we glorify Mary, the more do we glorify God, and that in proportionate accordance to the fulness of grace, which God bestowed upon her : Ave gratia plena, Dominus tecum !
3 Unless . . . the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,
4 Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.
Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, the blessed amongst women, has been revealed to us; and how different is her character and spirit from that of the man of sin, the son of perdition. She, indeed, as the true Mother of God is lifted up and worshipped in the Church above all other creatures, above all that is not called God. But she takes herself the , handmaid's place, and is in all things humble and entirely submissive to the Divine Will: Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi . . . Respexit humilitatem ancillae suae. And for this very reason shall she be praised and exalted the more in the Church through every age : Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes. Hence the distinctive mark of the true faithful of Christ in all generations is devotion to His Mother, whilst that of the children of perdition is aversion to her : Inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem, et semen tuum et semen illius. [Gen. iii. 15.]
12 But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you first-fruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth :
13 Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Should we not then give unceasing thanks to God on account of Mary, and especially on her Feasts, for the graces which God has bestowed upon her? Was she not chosen the first-fruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and faith of the truth, unto predestined glory ?
1 Brethren, pray for us.
Sancta Maria Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis. [1 See Job xlii. 8 ; Ezech. xx. 29, 30 ; Rom. xv. 30 ;Eph. vi. 18 ; 1 Thess. v. 25 ; Acts x. 4 ; xii. 5 ; Zach. i. 12 ; Dan. viii. 16 ; ix. 21 ; x. 19 ; xii. 1 ; Job xii. 12, 13 ; 4 Kings xix. 34 ; 2 Mac. xv. 22 ; Luke, xv. 7, 10 ; Heb. i. 14 ; Apoc. v. 8 ; viii.
9 That we might give ourselves a pattern unto you to imitate us.
Mary is given to us for a pattern, Speculum justitiae, expressly that we may strive to imitate her.