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ON THE

ANNUNCIATION

(2)

May 11

MARY IS THE SPECULUM

JUSTITIÆ,'

THE MIRROR OF JUSTICE

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HERE first we must consider

what is meant by justice,

for the word as used by the Church has not that sense which it bears in ordinary English. By 'justice' is not meant the virtue of fairness, equity, uprightness in our dealings; but it is a word denoting all virtues at once, a perfect, virtuous state of soul-righteousness, or moral perfection; so that it answers very nearly to what is meant by sanctity. Therefore when our Lady is called the Mirror of Justice,' it is meant to say that

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she is the Mirror of sanctity, holiness, supernatural goodness.

Next, what is meant by calling her a mirror? A mirror is a surface which reflects, as still water, polished steel, or a looking-glass. What did Mary reflect? She reflected our Lord-but He is infinite Sanctity. She then, as far as a creature could, reflected His Divine sanctity, and therefore she is the Mirror of Sanctity, or, as the Litany says, of Justice.

Do we ask how she came to reflect His Sanctity?-it was by living with Him. We see every day how like people get to each other who live with those they love. When they live with those whom they don't love, as, for instance, the members of a family who quarrel with each other, then the longer they live together the more unlike each other they become; but when they love each other, as husband and wife, parents and children, brothers with brothers or sisters, friends with friends, then in course of time they get surprisingly like each other. All of

us perceive this; we are witnesses to it with our own eyes and ears; in the expression of their features, in their voice, in their walk, in their language, even in their handwriting, they become like each other and so with regard to their minds, as in their opinions, their tastes, their pursuits. And again doubtless in the state of their souls, which we do not see, whether for good or for bad.

Now, consider that Mary loved her Divine Son with an unutterable love; and consider too she had Him all to herself for thirty years. Do we not see that, as she was full of grace before she conceived Him in her womb, she must have had a vast incomprehensible sanctity when she had lived close to God for thirty years?-a sanctity of an angelical order, reflecting back the attributes of God with a fulness and exactness of which no saint upon earth, or hermit, or holy virgin, can even remind us. Truly then she is the Speculum Justitiæ, the Mirror of Divine Perfection.

ON THE

ANNUNCIATION

(3)

May 12

MARY IS THE 'SEDES

SAPIENTIÆ,

THE SEAT OF WISDOM

MARY has this title in her

Litany, because the Son of God, who is also called in Scripture the Word and Wisdom of God, once dwelt in her, and then, after His birth of her, was carried in her arms and seated in her lap in His first years. Thus, being, as it were, the human throne of Him who reigns in heaven, she is called the Seat of Wisdom. In the poet's words:

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His throne, thy bosom blest,
O Mother undefiled,

That Throne, if aught beneath the skies,
Beseems the sinless Child.

But the possession of her Son

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lasted beyond His infancy--He was under her rule, as St. Luke tells us, and lived with her in her house, till He went forth to preach --that is, for at least a whole thirty years. And this brings us to a reflection about her, cognate to that which was suggested to us yesterday by the title of Mirror of Justice.' For if such close and continued intimacy with her Son created in her a sanctity inconceivably great, must not also the knowledge which she gained during those many years from His conversation of present, past, and future, have been so large, and so profound, and so diversified, and so thorough, that, though she was a poor woman without human advantages, she must in her knowledge of creation, of the universe, and of history, have excelled the greatest of philosophers, and in her theological knowledge the greatest of theologians, and in her prophetic discernment the most favoured of prophets?

What was the grand theme of conversation between her and her

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