THE SECOND EPISTLE OF S. PAUL TO TIMOTHY. CHAPTER I.
14 Keep the good thing committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in us.
The good thing committed to Mary's trust by the Holy Ghost was nothing less than the Son of God.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory.
11 A faithful saying : for if we be dead with him we shall live also with him.
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.
Much more might Mary say that all she endured in her dolours was for the sake of the elect; and far more availing for their salvation were the sufferings of Mary than those of S. Paul. Having suffered and died indeed with Jesus Christ her Divine Son, she now lives and reigns with Him the nearest to Him in glory. It is meet that she who is Regina martyrum, should be Regina caeli.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth: and some indeed unto honour, but some unto dishonour.
21 If any man therefore shall cleanse himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and profitable to the Lord, prepared unto every good work.
In the great house of God's Church, the holy immaculate Virgin Mary is prized, and constantly invoked by the faithful, as Vas spirituale, Vas honorabile, Vas insigne devotionis.
6 The time of my dissolution is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
8 As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day : and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
If such was the Apostle's confidence, what must have been that of Mary when the time of her dissolution was at hand, as she looked back at the course of her life upon earth, and all that she had done and suffered for God. What her joy at the assured reward, the bright crown which she saw awaiting her.
She, like the Apostle, thought not of herself alone, but also of all her children who love her Divine Son, and of the glory which they would one day share with herself. As the love she had for the coming of her Lord surpassed that of all others, so does the crown of justice that He awarded to her exceed that of all others in glory.