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Brookline Carmel Bulletin

July17, 1960

Cogitatio Sancta

(Holy Meditation)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

 

 

Speciosa facta es, et suavis in deliciis tuis, Sancta Dei Genetrix. (Thou art become lovely, and sweet toward thy favorites, O Holy Mother of God. From the Office of the Feast)

 

When we reflect over our past life and try to follow the course of our devotion to Our Lady, we see that it all began with a vague awareness of her as a person of great importance looming large on our spiritual horizon. As we got to know more about her, we became more and more impressed by her dignity, majesty and power. When we learned that devotion to her is a sign of predestination, we hastened to approach and attach ourselves to her. Awe and fear soon gave way to love, and finally we were led to give ourselves to her unreservedly, consecrating ourselves to her by means of the Scapular Devotion. Perhaps, too, we even entered her own Order, the Order of Carmel. In all this we were conscious that we were the agents; we were perfectly aware of our freedom as we placed the acts that drew us closer and closer to her, and which eventually bound us to her as members of her very own spiritual family.

 

Though it is true that we freely chose to become children of Our Lady in the most perfect way possible, it is also true that we did not choose Mary, but that she has chosen us. Or better, Our Lord Himself has singled us out and given us to Mary to be her favorites, so that she might be magnified in us, and He in Mary.

 

It is perfectly natural for a man to want to show off his prized possessions. He desires to demonstrate to his acquaintances their outstanding qualities, hoping to excite in them the same admiration for them as he himself experiences; he wants them to rejoice in them, and in his possession of them. He has to show them off and exhibit how truly wonderful they are, for unless these are known, no one will join him in praise of them. Virtue and excellence are, indeed, the only legitimate titles to esteem and admiration.

 

We can certainly expect this to be true of Our Lord Jesus. Since He is God as well as man all that is good in human nature is in Him in the most perfect possible degree. Now the Blessed Virgin Mary is His masterpiece. No other mere creature can come close to her in loveliness of body and soul. With all humility, Mary is able to say of herself: As a vine I have brought forth a delightful odor; my flowers are fruits of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of reverence, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is the grace of every way and of every truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue (cf. Eccli. 24, 23-25). Jesus is so delighted with His mother that He wants her to be known and loved by all. In particular, He desires that her exalted virtues as a mother be known. And so He has seen fit as the book of Instructions, O.C.D. informs us to make Mary the mother of a special family, the Order of Carmel. It is His will that she give full sway to her maternal instincts, pouring out upon the Carmelites the full measure of tender love and solicitude. We in turn are supposed to excel in rendering her our love and our gratitude, so that here upon earth there may not be lacking the counterpart of the devotion she receives from her son Jesus and all her other children of Heaven.

 

Devotion to Our Lady is incumbent upon us in a very special way. We fail in our vocation if we do not try to surpass all other Orders in the Church in this regard. Thus we can understand why the Mass and the Office of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, together with the Votive Mass are exuberant in praise of her. It is from them that we should learn the exalted magnitude of her love towards us, and the greatness of the privileges she has bestowed upon us. We may justly say to her: How gracious is thy bearing, O daughter of the Prince! Thy lips distill as the honeycomb, and the odor of thy garments is as the odor of frankincense. And she can say in turn: My spirit is sweeter than honey, and my inheritance better than honey and the honeycomb. I have brought you into the land of Carmel to eat the fruits thereof, the choicest of them all.

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