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MEDITATION OF THE DAY

Mary’s Compassion for Sinners

 

The kingdom of mercy would be of no use if there were none who needed mercy; because it would be a kingdom without subjects. “Who are the subjects of mercy,” asks Saint Bernard, “if not the miserable?” The kingdom of Mary, Queen of Mercy, is immense, and extends over the whole earth; because the whole earth is full of miseries.

 

But of all miseries, the greatest is sin; of all who are miserable, the most miserable are sinners. Over these, more than all others, does Mary, the Queen of Mercy, exercise her power and command. These are the subjects who most of all oppress her heart, and employ all her cares, all her thoughts, and all her authority, in order to liberate them from their extreme miseries and render them happy and blessed, provided they only desire it. These are the most precious gems of her royal crown. Come from Lebanon, my spouse; come from Lebanon, come, says the Holy Spirit, her Spouse. You shall be crowned…from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards (Sg 4:8). Why should her crown be so monstrous, so horrible, composed of lions, of leopards, tigers, and wild beasts? These monsters, these wild beasts, are the bright gems in the crown of the Queen of Mercy, for these monsters and these wild beasts are sinners, whom Mary has converted and saved. “You shall be crowned from the dens of these lions,” says Rupert the Abbot, “for their salvation shall be your crown.” Saint Gertrude once saw this most merciful Lady with her mantle spread out, and under it lions, bears, tigers, and many other wild beasts, who were gathered together and protected by Mary, with the greatest kindness; and the saint understood that those wild beasts were sinners, not yet lost, on whom Mary exercises her most tender compassion.

 

Dom Roberto, Er. Cam.

Dom Roberto was a 17th-century Camaldolese hermit at Monte Corona in Italy. / From The Love of Mary: Readings for the Month of May. © 1984, TAN Books, Charlotte, NC (www.tanbooks.com). Used with permission.

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