Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Mirror of justice, pray for us!"

In the first part of Loreto Litany we admire numerous traits of character of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. The second part then praises the relation of these traits to Church militant and suffering. One of the first such relations is proclaimed with the title "Mirror of justice". This title says that Our Lady's soul and her conduct is: "the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God's majesty, and the image of his goodness." (Wisdom 7:26). She did for God not only what she was obliged to do but much, much more than mere fulfillment of her duties. We see this clearly in her participation in the ceremony of purification in the Temple after Jesus' birth. And yet she was the Most Pure and Immaculate creature of God. St Bernard says the birth of her child was miraculous, her virginity was totally preserved and there was no need whatsoever for this ceremony. O Most Blessed Virgin, you had no slightest reason to keep the law of purification with burnt offering! The rules prescribed by the law (Leviticus 12:1-8), were in close connection to original sin and its consequences experienced by delivering mothers. Mary, herself conceived without sin, was not obliged to keep the rule of purification, nevertheless, she surrendered totally to it. St Luke in his Gospel, repeats no less than three times what she did out of her exceptional obedience, for she did all: "according to the law" - "as it is written in the law of the Lord" - "according as it is written in the law of the Lord" (Luke 2: 22, 23, 24). Immaculate Virgin never asked if she needed to keep the law. Just in the contrary, she did all according to her principal desire to fulfill Lord's Commandments in the most perfect way. Let us always follow Our Lady and look at her, who is the mirror of most perfect justice. Whenever the lower nature will tempt us to sin against Lord's law in His Commandmends, or to limit the practices of religious life to mere basics, let us take refuge in Our Lady's arms and ask the question: "What would she do in my place?" Let us follow the spirit of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, so beautifully expressed in the following maxim: "O how have I loved thy law, O Lord! it is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 118:97).

The image is "Immaculate Mary" - Cuzco School 19/20 century after Jackson's auctions