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DUPLICATE FOR THE SAME

DAY

ON THE

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

(5)

May 7

MARY IS THE 'ROSA MYSTICA, THE MYSTICAL ROSE 1

How

OW did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God's spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God. Scripture makes use of the figure of a garden, when it would speak of heaven and its blessed inhabitants. A garden is a spot of ground set apart for trees and plants, all

This was written and used in 1874, but the following year it was superseded, and 'Sancta Maria' was written and added instead.

good, all various, for things that are sweet to the taste or fragrant in scent, or beautiful to look upon, or useful for nourishment; and accordingly in its spiritual sense it means the home of blessed spirits and holy souls dwelling there together, souls with both the flowers and the fruits upon them, which by the careful husbandry of God they have come to bear, flowers and fruits of grace, flowers more beautiful and more fragrant than those of any garden, fruits more delicious and exquisite than can be matured by earthly husbandman.

All that God has made speaks of its Maker; the mountains speak of His eternity; the sun of His immensity, and the winds of His Almightiness. In like manner flowers and fruits speak of His sanctity, His love, and His providence; and such as are flowers and fruits, such must be the place where they are found. That is to say, since they are found in a garden, therefore a garden has also excellences which speak of God, because it is their home. For instance, it

would be out of place if we found beautiful flowers on the mountaincrag, or rich fruit in the sandy desert. As then by flowers and fruits are meant, in a mystical sense, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, so by a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose, stillness, peace, refreshment, and delight. Thus our first parents placed in a garden of pleasure' shaded by trees, 'fair to behold and pleasant to eat of,' with the Tree of Life in the midst, and a river to water the ground. Thus our Lord, speaking from the cross to the penitent robber, calls the blessed place, the heaven to which he was taking him, 'paradise,' or a garden of pleasure. Therefore St. John, in the Apocalypse, speaks of heaven, the palace of God, as a garden or paradise, in which was the Tree of Life giving forth its fruits every month.

Such was the garden in which the Mystical Rose, the Immaculate Mary, was sheltered and nursed to be the Mother of the All Holy God, from her birth to her

were

Joseph, a term
For three years

espousals to St.
of thirteen years.
of it she was in the arms of her
holy mother, St Anne, and then
for ten years she lived in the
temple of God. In those blessed
gardens, as they may be called, she
lived by herself, continually visited
by the dew of God's grace, and grow-
ing up a more and more heavenly
flower, till at the end of that
period she was meet for the in-
habitation in her of the Most Holy.
This was the outcome of the Im-
maculate Conception. Excepting
her, the fairest rose in the paradise
of God has had upon it blight, and
has had the risk of canker-worm
and locust. All but Mary; she
from the first was perfect in her
sweetness and her beautifulness,
and at length when the angel
Gabriel had to come to her, he
found her 'full of grace,' which
had, from her good use of it,
accumulated in her from the first
moment of her being.

ON THE

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

(6)

May 8

MARY IS THE VIRGO VENERANDA,

THE ALL-WORSHIPFUL VIRGIN

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WE

E use the word' Venerable' generally of what is old. That is because only what is old has commonly those qualities which excite reverence or veneration.

It is a great history, a great character, a maturity of virtue, goodness, experience, that excite our reverence, and these commonly cannot belong to the young.

But this is not true when we are considering Saints. A short life with them is a long one. Thus Holy Scripture says, 'Venerable age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years,

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