The Banishment of our Natural Parents, Adam and Eve, from Paradise - by DOMENICHINO - from Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble
|To no avail, Adam and Eve try to 'Blame' Others for their Original-Sin against the All-Loving God. God Justly Banishes our Natural Parents, and Us their Children, from Paradise to our current existence, in this Valley-of-Tears. Henceforth their Lot is to be one of Pain and Hardship, and Man is Condemned to the Toilsome Task of Winning his Sustenance, from a Soil which, on his account, has been Cursed with Barrenness.|
Blessed, says Mary, is he who Listens to my Counsels,
and Watches continually at the Gate of my Mercy,
and Invokes my Intercession and Aid
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii evae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes,
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Hail our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope.
To you do we Cry, Poor Banished Children-of-Eve,
to you do we Send-up our Sighs,
Mourning and Weeping in this Valley-of-Tears.
Turn then, most Gracious Advocate
your Eyes-of-Mercy, toward us.
And after this, our Exile,
Show us the Fruit of your Womb, Jesus.
O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.
|Nota Bene: Bible verses quoted in this Book, are from the English Douay-Rheims Translation, Commissioned-by the Catholic Church.|
Truly Unfortunate are we, Poor Children-of-Eve; for, Guilty before God of her Fault, and Condemned to the same Penalty, we have to Wander-about in this Valley-of-Tears, as Exiles from our Country, and to Weep over our many Afflictions of Body and Soul. But, Blessed is he, who, in the Midst of these Sorrows, often Turns-to the Comfortress-of-the-World, to the Refuge-of-the-Unfortunate, to the Great Mother of God, and Devoutly 'Calls' upon her, and 'Invokes' her! "Blessed is the Man that Heareth me, and that Watcheth Daily at my Gates" - ("Beatus homo, qui audit me, et qui vigilat ad fores meas quoddie" Proverbs 8:34). Blessed, says Mary, is he who 'Listens' to my Counsels, and 'Watches' continually-at the Gate-of my Mercy, and 'Invokes' my Intercession and Aid.
The Holy Church carefully 'Teaches' us, Her Children, with what Attention and Confidence we should unceasingly have Recourse-to this Loving Protectress; and for this Purpose, 'Commands' Devotions peculiar-to Mary. And not only this, but She has 'Instituted' so many Festivals that are 'Celebrated' throughout the Year, in Honor of this Great Queen: She 'Devotes' One (1) Day in the Week, in an especial manner, to her Honor; in the Divine Office all Ecclesiastics and Religious are Daily Obliged to 'Invoke' her in the Name of all Christians; and, finally, She Desires that all the Faithful should 'Salute' this Most Holy Mother of God Three (3) Times a Day, at the Sound-of the Angelus-Bell. And that we may 'Understand' the Confidence that the Holy Church has in Mary, we need only Remember that in all PublicCalamities, She invariably 'Invites' all to have Recourse-to the Protection of this Divine Mother, by Novenas, Prayers, Processions, by 'Visiting' the Churches 'Dedicated' in her Honor, and her Images. And this is what Mary 'Desires'. She 'Wishes' us always to 'Seek' her and 'Invoke' her Aid; not as if she were Begging-of us these Honors and Marks-of-Veneration, for they are in no way Proportioned-to her Merit; but she Desires them, that by-such Means, our Confidence and Devotion may be Increased, and that so she may be-able-to 'Give' us Greater Succor and Comfort: "She Seeks for those", says Saint Bonaventure, "who Approach her Devoutly and with Reverence, for such she Loves, Nourishes, and Adopts as her Children" - ("Ipsa tales quaerit, qui ad eam devote et reverenter accedant; hos enim diligit, hos nutrit, hos in filios suos suscipit" Stim. Am. p. 5, c. 16).
This last-named Saint, 'Remarks' that Ruth, whose name 'Signifies' "Seeing and Hastening", was a Figure of Mary; "for Mary, seeing our Miseries, Hastens in her Mercy to Succor us" - ("Videns etiam nostram miseriam, est et festinans ad impendendam suam misericordiam" Spec. B. M. V. lect. v). Novarino adds, that "Mary, in the Greatness of her Desire to Help us, cannot Admit-of-Delay, for she is in no-way an Avaricious Guardian of the Graces she has at her Disposal, as Mother-of-Mercy, and cannot do otherwise-than, Immediately Shower-down the Treasures of her Liberality, on her Servants" - ("Nescit nectere moras, benefaciendi cupida, nec gratiarum avara custos est; tarda nescit molimina misericordiae Mater, beneficentiae suae thesaurus in suos effusura" Umbr. Virg. exc. 73).
O how Prompt is this Good Mother, to Help those who Call-upon her! "Thy Two Breasts", says the Sacred Canticle, are "like Two Roes, that are Twins" - ("Duo ubera tua, sicut duo hinnuli capreae" Canticles 4:5). Richard-of-Saint-Laurence explains this Verse, and says, that as Roes (Gazelle) are Swift in their Course, so are the Breast-of-Mary prompt to 'Bestow' the Milk-of-Mercy on all who 'Ask' it. "By the Light Pressure of a Devout Salutation and Prayer, they Distil large Drops" - ("Compressione levissima devotae Salutationis et orationis, larga distillabit (Virgo )stillicidia" De Laud. B. M. l. 1, c. 8). The same Author 'Assures' us that the Compassion of Mary, is Poured-out on every one who 'Asks' it, even should it be 'Sought' for, by no other Prayer than a Simple "Hail Mary". Wherefore Novarino declares that the Blessed Virgin not-only 'Runs', but 'Flies' to 'Assist' him who 'Invokes' her. "She", says this Author, "in the Exercise of her Mercy, knows not how to-Act Differently-from God; for, as He Flies at-once to the Assistance of those who Beg His Aid, Faithful to His Promise, 'Ask, and you shall Receive'" - ("Petite, et acipietis" John 16:24), so Mary, whenever she is 'Invoked', is at once Ready-to Assist him who Prays to her. "God has Wings when He Assists His Own, and Immediately Flies to them; Mary also takes Wing when she is about to Fly to our Aid" - ("Alis utitur Deus; ut suis opituletur, statim advolat; alas sumit et Virgo, in nostril auxilium advolatura" Umbra Virg. exc. 74). And hence we see who the Woman was, Spoken of in the following Verse-of the Apocalypse, to whom Two (2) Great Eagle's Wings were given, that she might Fly-to the Desert. "And there were Given to the Woman, Two Wings of a Great Eagle, that she might Fly-into the Desert" - ("Et datae sunt mulieri alae duae aquilae magnae, ut volaret in desertum" Apocalypse 12:14). Ribeira 'Explains' these Wings to-Mean the Love with which Mary always Flew-to God. "She has the Wings of an Eagle, for she Flies with the Love of God" - ("Pennas habet aquilae, quia amore Dei volat"). But the Blessed Amadeus, more-to our Purpose, 'Remarks' that these Wings of an Eagle, 'Signify' "the Velocity, exceeding that of the Seraphim, with which Mary always Flies to the Succor of her Children" - ("Motu celerrimo Seraphim alas excedens, ubique suis ut mater occurrit" De Laud. B. V. hom. 8).
This will 'Explain' a Passage in the Gospel-of-Saint-Luke, in which we are told that when Mary went to 'Visit' and 'Shower' Graces on Saint Elizabeth and her Whole Family, she was not Slow, but went with Speed. The Gospel says, "And Mary, Rising up, went into the Hill Country with Haste" - ("Exurgens autem Maria . . . abiit in Montana cum festinatione" Luke 1:39). And this is not said of her Return. For a similar Reason, we are told in the Sacred-Canticles, that the Hands-of-Mary are used-to the Lathe: "her Hands are Skillful at the Wheel" - ("Manus illius tornatiles" Canticles 5:14), meaning, says Richard-of-Saint-Laurence, "that as the Art-of-Turning is the Easiest and most Expeditious Mode of Working, so also is Mary the most Willing and Prompt of all the Saints, to Assist her Clients - ("Sicut ars tornandi promptior est aliis artibus, sic Maria ad benefaciendum promptior est omnibus Sanctis" De Laud. B. M. l. 5). And Truly "she has the most Ardent Desire to Console all, and is no sooner Invoked, than she Accepts the Prayers, and Helps" - ("Omnes consolatur, et. Vel tenuiter invocate, praesto adest" Par. An. fid. p. 1, c. 18). Saint Bonaventure, then, was Right in-Calling Mary the "Salvation of All who Call upon her" - ("O salus te invocantium!" Cant. p. Psalt.), meaning, that it Suffices-to 'Invoke' this Divine Mother, in-order-to be Saved; for, according to Richard-of-Saint-Laurence, she is always Ready-to Help those, who seek her Aid. "Thou wilt always find her Ready to Help thee" - ("Semper paratam auxiliary" De Laud B. M. l. 2, p. 1). And Bernardine-de-Bustis adds, "that this Great Lady is more Desirous to Grant us Graces, than we are Desirous to Receive them" - ("Plus desierat ipsa facere tibi bonum, quam tu accipere concupiscas" Marial. p. 2, s. 5).
Nor should the Multitude-of our Sins, 'Diminish' our Confidence that Mary will 'Grant' our Petitions, when we 'Cast' ourselves at her Feet. She is the Mother of Mercy; but Mercy would not be Needed, did None Exist who Require it. On this Subject, Richard-of-Saint-Laurence remarks, "that, as a Good Mother does not Shrink-from Applying a Remedy to her Child, Infected with Ulcers, however Nauseous and Revolting they may be, so also is our Good Mother unable to Abandon us when we have Recourse to her, that she may Heal the Wounds caused-by our Sins, however Loathsome they may have Rendered us" - ("Non enim Mater haec dedignatur peccatores, sicut nec bona Mater filium scabiosum; quia propter peccatores factam se recolit Misericordiae Genitricem; ubi enim non est miseria, misericordia non habet locum" De Laud. B. M. l. 4). This is exactly what Mary 'Gave' Saint Gertrude to-Understand, when she 'Showed' herself to her, with her Mantle Spread-out to Receive all who have Recourse-to her. At the same-Time, the Saint was told that "Angels constantly Guard the Clients of this Blessed Virgin, from the Assaults of Hell".
This Good Mother's Compassion is so-Great, and the Love she 'Bears' us is Such, that she does not even Wait-for our Prayers, in-order-to Assist us; but, as it is Expressed-in the Book-of-Wisdom, "She Preventeth them that Covet her, so that she First showeth herself unto them" - ("Praeoccupat, qui se concupiscent, ut illis se prior ostendat" Wisdom 6:14). Saint Anselm applies these Words to Mary, and says that she is Beforehand, with those who Desire her Protection. By this, we are to Understand that she 'Obtains' us many Favors from God, Before we have Recourse-to her. For this Reason, Richard-of-Saint-Victor 'Remarks' that she is called the Moon, "Fair as the Moon" - ("Pulchra ut luna" Canticles 6:9), Meaning, not only that she is Swift-as the Moon in its Course, by Flying-to the Aid of those who 'Invoke' her, but that she is still more so, for her Love for us is so-Tender, that in our Wants, she 'Anticipates' our Prayers, and her Mercy is more-Prompt to Help us, than we are to 'Ask' her Aid - ("Velocitate praestat. Velocius occurrit ejus pietas, quam invocetur, et causas miserorum anticipat"). "And this Arises", adds the same Richard, "from the fact that the Heart-of-Mary is so Filled with Compassion for Poor Sinners, that she no sooner sees our Miseries, than she Pours her Tender Mercies upon us. Nor is it possible for this Benign Queen to Behold the Want of any Soul, without Immediately Assisting it" - ("A Deo pietate replentur ubera tua, ut, alicujus miseriae notitia tacta, lac fondant misericordiae: nec possis miseries scire, et non subvenire" In Cant. c. 23).
Mary, even when Living in this World, 'Showed' at the Marriage-Feast-of-Cana, the Great Compassion that she would afterwards 'Exercise' towards us, in our Necessities, and which now, as-it-were, 'Forces' her to have Pity on us and Assist us, even before we 'Ask' her to do so. In the Second (2nd) Chapter of Saint Luke, we Read that at this Feast, the Compassionate Mother 'Saw' the Embarrassment, in which the Bride and Bridegroom were, and that they were quite Ashamed on seeing the Wine Fail; and therefore, without being 'Asked', and 'Listening' only to the Dictates-of her Compassionate Heart, which could never 'Behold' the Afflictions of others, without Feeling-for them, she 'Begged' her Son to Console them, simply by 'Laying' their Distress before Him: "They have no Wine" - ("Vinum no habent" John 2:3). No sooner had she done so, than Our Lord, in-order-to 'Satisfy' all present, and still more to Console the Compassionate Heart of His Mother, who had 'Asked' the Favor, 'Worked' the well-known Miracle, by which He 'Changed' the Water, Brought-to Him in Jars, into Wine. From this, Novarinus 'Argues', that "if Mary, Unasked, is thus Prompt to Succor the Needy, how much more so will she be to Succor those who Invoke her and Ask for her Help?" ("Si tam prompta ad auxilium currit non quaesita, quid requaesita praestitura est?" Umbra Virg. exc. 72).
Should there be any one, who Doubts as to whether Mary will Aid him, if he has Recourse-to her, Innocent III thus 'Reproves' him: "Who is there that ever, when in the Night-of-Sin, had Recourse to this Sweet Lady, without being Relieved?" - (Quis invocavit eam, et non est exauditus ab ipsa?" De Assumpt. s. 2).
"Who ever", 'Exclaims' the Blessed Eutychian,"Faithfully Implored thy all-Powerful Aid and was Abandoned by thee?" - ("Quis, O Domina! Fideliter omnipotentem tuam rogavit opem, et fuit derelictus? Revera nullus unquam" Vit. S. Theoph. Ap. Sur. 4 Febr). Indeed, no one; for thou canst Relieve the most-Wretched, and Save the most-Abandoned. Such a Case certainly never-did and never-will 'Occur'.
"I am Satisfied", says Saint Bernard, "that whoever has had Recourse to thee, O Blessed Virgin, in his Wants, and can Remember that he did so in-Vain, should no more Speak of or Praise thy Mercy" - ("Sileat misericordiam tuam, Virgo Beata, qui invocatam te in necessitatibus suis sibi meminerit defuisse" De Assumpt. s. 4).
"Sooner", says the Devout Blosius, "would Heaven and Earth be Destroyed, than would Mary Fail to Assist any one who Asks for her Help, provided he does so with a Good Intention, and with Confidence in her" - ("Cutuys ciekyn cyn terra oeruerutm qyan tym akuqyenm serui te unokirabtenm tya ioe destutyas" Consol. Pusil. c. 35).
Saint Anselm, to 'Increase' our Confidence, adds, that "when we have Recourse to this Divine Mother, not only we may be Sure-of her Protection, but that often we shall be Heard more-Quickly, and be thus Preserved, if we have Recourse to Mary and Call-on her Holy Name, than we should be if we Called-on the Name of Jesus our Savior"; and the Reason he gives for it is, "that to Jesus, as a Judge, it belongs also to-Punish; but Mercy alone, belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a Patroness" - ("Velocior est nonnunquam salus, memorato nominee Mariae, quam invocato nominee Jesu: Filius Dominus est et Judex . . . invocato autem nominee Matris, etsi merita invocantis non merentur: merita tamen Matris intercedunt, ut exaudiatur" De Excell. V. c. 6). Meaning, that we more-easily 'Find' Salvation, by having Recourse-to the Mother, than by going-to the Son not as if Mary was more-Powerful than her Son to Save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Savior, and that He alone, by His Merits, has 'Obtained' and 'Obtains' Salvation for us; but it is for this Reason: that when we have Recourse-to Jesus, we 'Consider' Him at the same-Time, as our Judge, to Whom it 'Belongs' also to 'Chastise' Ungrateful Souls, and therefore the Confidence Necessary-to be 'Heard', may Fail us; but when we go to Mary, who has no-other Office, than to 'Compassionate' us as Mother-of-Mercy, and to 'Defend' us as our Advocate, our Confidence is more easily 'Established', and is often Greater. We often 'Obtain' more-Promptly what we 'Ask', by Calling-on the name-of Mary, than by Invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is Lord and Judge of All, and 'Discerns' the Merits of each one; and therefore if He does not Immediately 'Grant' the Prayers of All, He is Just. When, however, the Mother's name is 'Invoked', though the Merits of the Suppliant are not such as to 'Deserve', that his Prayer should be 'Granted', Those of the Mother 'Supply', that he may 'Receive'.
"Many things", says Nicephorus, "are Asked from God, and are not Granted: they are Asked from Mary, and are Obtained" And how is this? It is "because God has thus Decreed to Honor His Mother" - ("Multa petuntur a Deo, et non obtinentur: multa petuntur a Maria, et obtinentur; non quia potentior, sed quia Deus eam decrevit sic honorare"). Saint Bridget 'Heard' Our Lord make a most Sweet and Consoling Promise; for in the 50th Chapter of the First Book of her Revelations, we read that Jesus 'Addressed' His Mother in the following Words: "Thou shalt Present Me with no Petition, that shall be Refused. My Mother, ask what thou wilt, for never will I Refuse thee anything; and know", He added, "that I Promise Graciously to Hear all those who Ask any Favor of Me, in thy name, though they may be Sinners, if only they have the Will to Amend their Lives" - ("Nulla erit petition tua ad me, quae non exaudiatur, et per te omnes, qui petunt misericordiam cum voluntate emendandi, gratiam habebunt" Rev. l. i. c. 50). The same thing was Revealed-to Saint Gertrude, when she heard our Divine Redeemer 'Assure' His Mother, that in His Omnipotence, He 'Granted' her Power to 'Show' Mercy to Sinners, who 'Invoke' her, in whatever Manner she might Please - ("Ex omnipotentia mea, Mater, tibi concessi potestatem propitiandi peccatis omnium qui devote invocant tuae pietatis auxilium, qualicumque modo placet tibi" Insin. l. 4. c. 53).
Let all, then, say, with Full Confidence in the Words of that Beautiful Prayer, Addressed-to the Mother of Mercy, and commonly Attributed-to Saint Bernard, "Remember, O most Pioius Virgin Mary, that it never was Heard of in any Age, that any one having Recourse-to thy Protection, was abandoned" - ("Memorare, piissima Maria, a saeculo non fuisse auditum quemquam ad tua praesidia confugientem esse derelictum").
by Saint Bernard