Mirror Of The Blessed Virgin Mary by Saint Bonaventure. CHAPTER IX.


We must now consider that this Lord, of whom it is said, "The Lord is with
thee," is in a special manner the Lord of rational creatures, as man, the
rational creature himself, says in the eighth Psalm: "O Lord, our Lord,"
etc. He is the Lord of all men; He is especially our Lord. As it is said in
Isaias: "The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our
king" (Is. XXXIII, 22.) The Lord is our lawgiver in this world; the Lord is
our judge at the last judgment; the Lord is our King who will crown us in
Heaven. This particular Lord of ours was with Mary in such a manner that He
made her also our special Lady. Which St. Bernard acknowledged when he
said: "Our Lady, our mediatrix, our advocate, reconcile us to thy Son,
commend us to thy Son, present us before thy Son." But behold, this Lord of
ours is a most loving, a most just, a most sure, a most renowned Lord. A
Lord who was not loving in benefits, just in judgments, true in promises,
nor renowned among his people, would not be thought much of. But Our Lord
is most loving in liberality; most just in equity; most true in fidelity;
most renowned in fame.

First, therefore, we must note that our own Lord, who is with Mary, is a
most loving Lord in His infinite mercy. For He is the Lord of whom the
Prophet saith: "Thou, Lord, art sweet and mild, and of much mercy to those
who invoke Thee" (Ps. LXXXV, 5.) He is a Lord of much mercy in many
temporal benefits, also in spiritual and eternal ones, which out of his
great mercy He has bestowed upon us, and never ceases to bestow. Would that
we were not ungrateful for so great mercies ! Would that to such a merciful
Lord we were very grateful as Isaias was, who said: "I will remember the
tender mercies of the Lord, the praise of the Lord for all the things that
the Lord hath bestowed upon us" (Is. LXIII, 7.) Behold, Mary, what a Lord
He is, how loving, how merciful, the Lord who is with thee. And because
this most merciful Lord is so merciful with thee, therefore thou art most
merciful with Him, and truly of thee can it be said: "A throne shall be
prepared in mercy, and one shall sit upon it in truth" (Is. XVI, 5.) The
throne of divine mercy is Mary, the Mother of mercy, in whom all find the
solace of mercy. For as we have a most merciful Lord, so have we a most
merciful Lady. Our Lord is of much mercy to all who invoke Him, and our
Lady is of much mercy to all who invoke her. Therefore St. Bernard
excellently saith: "Let him be silent on the subject of thy mercy, O
blessed Virgin, who, having invoked it in his necessities, found it
wanting." The Lord, therefore, is with thee, O most merciful Mary.

Secondly, note that our own special Lord, who is with Mary, is the most
just Lord of equity, as it is well said in the Psalms: "The Lord is just
and hath loved justices" (Ps. X, 8.) And again: "Thou art just, O Lord, and
Thy judgment is right" (Ps. CXVIII, 137.) The Lord is most certainly just
in all His judgments, in all causes, in all His deeds, as it is once more
said in the Psalms: "The Lord is just in all His ways" (Ps. CXLIV, 17.) The
Lord is so just in every path of justice that for no one will He depart
from the way of justice. And therefore it is well said: "God will not
except any man's person, neither will he stand in awe of any man's
greatness, for He made the little and the great, and He hath equally care
of all." Behold, O Mary, what kind of a Lord He is, what a just Lord, the
Lord who is with thee ! And because the Lord is most just with thee,
therefore art thou most just together with Him. For thou art the rod of
Aaron, straight, erect, flowering and fruitful; straight and erect, by
justice and equity; flowering, by virginity; fruitful, by fecundity. For
who would be the straight rod or stem, the upright rod or stem, if the rod
of Aaron were not upright? What soul would be just, if Mary were not just ?
This is why St. Bernard says: "Who is just, if not the just Mary, from whom
sprang the Sun of Justice?" The Lord is, therefore, with thee, O most just

Thirdly, note that our own special Lord, who is with Mary, is most sure in
fidelity and most faithful in surety, as the Prophet testifies, saying:
"The Lord is faithful in all His ways." Think, therefore, upon those words
of His, in which He has promised a crown to the just and hell to the
wicked; and know that the faithful Lord will keep His words faithfully. He
will faithfully do what He has spoken, as Ezechiel testifies: "I the Lord
have spoken, and I will do" (Ezech. XXX, 12.) The most faithful Lord will
most faithfully keep His words, as He Himself says in the Gospel: "Heaven
and earth shall pass away," etc. Behold, O Mary, what kind of a Lord He is,
what a faithful Lord He is, the Lord who is with thee! And because the most
faithful Lord is faithfully with thee, therefore art thou most faithful
together with Him. For thou art that most faithful dove of Noe, who hast
most faithfully stood forth as mediatrix between the Most High God and the
world submerged in a spiritual deluge. The crow was unfaithful, the dove
most faithful. So also was Eve unfaithful; but Mary was found faithful. Eve
was the unfaithful mediatrix of perdition; Mary was the faithful mediatrix
of salvation. St. Bernard saith: "Mary was the faithful mediatrix, who
prepared the antidote of salvation for both men and women." The Lord,
therefore, is with thee, O most faithful Mary.

Fourthly, note that our special Lord, who is with Mary, is the Lord who is
most renowned for fame. He is of a great name, as St. Jerome testifies,
saying: "There is none like to Thee, O Lord, and great art Thou, and great
is Thy name" (Jerem. X, 6.) The name of the Lord is indeed of great fame
and of great praise among all peoples, as the Royal Prophet testifies:
"Kings of the earth, and all ye people, princes and all ye judges of the
earth, young men and maidens, the old and the young, praise ye the name of
the Lord !" (Ps. CXLVIII, I 1-12.) The praise and fame of the name of God
has extended not only to every people, but also to all time, as is manifest
from the same Prophet who says: "May the name of the Lord be blessed from
henceforth, now and forever." Likewise, the fame and praise of the name of
the Lord has not only extended to every people and to all Lime, but also to
every place, as the same Prophet says: "From the rising of the sun even to
its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised" (Ps. CXII, 2.) Behold,
O Mary, how great a Lord, what a renowned Lord, is He who is with thee! And
because He is a renowned and famous Lord, who is with thee in so renowned a
manner, therefore art thou most renowned together with Him. For thou art
well prefigured by Ruth, of whom it is written: "Be thou the example of
virtue in Ephrata, and have a celebrated name in Bethlehem" (Ruth IV, 11.)
O Mary of the most renowned name, how can thy name not be celebrated, which
cannot even be devoutly uttered by anyone without some good coming to him ?
St. Bernard testifies to this, saying: "O great, O loving, O most
praiseworthy Mary, thou canst not even be named, but thou enkindlest love;
nor canst thou be thought of, without renewing the affection of those who
love thee; thou canst never enter the portals of a loving memory without
bringing with thee the sweetness which is divinely inseparable from thee."
Mary, therefore, is well prefigured by that woman of renown, Judith, of
whom it is written: "And she was greatly renowned among all, because she
feared the Lord very much; neither was there any one that spoke an ill word
of her" (Jud. VIII, 8.) Mary is indeed renowned because of her virtues and
her praiseworthy example; but she is even more renowned because of her
mercies and her unspeakable benefits, and more renowned still because of
her graces and wonderful privileges. For what is more wonderful than to be
a virgin mother, and the Mother of God ? What wonder if Mary is renowned in
the world from so many thousand benefits of her mercy, who is so renowned
for that one benefit which she bestowed on man? St. Bernard says: "The
renown of thy highest favor is that bestowed on the God-loving soul, who
was reinstated by thee." The Lord is, therefore, with thee, O most renowned
Mary. Rejoice, rejoice! Behold the most loving Lord is with thee in such a
manner that thou also art most loving. The most just Lord is so with thee
that thou, together with Him, art most just; the most renowned Lord is with
thee in such a manner that thou also, together with Him, art most renowned.
O most loving Mary, save us impious souls by thy merciful, loving kindness!
O most just Mary, save us unjust souls by thy just equity! O most faithful
Mary, save us perfidious souls by thy fidelity! O most renowned Mary, save
us by thy sweet renown!