The Obligation of All Mankind to Have a Special Devotion
to the Different States and Mysteries of the Life of the Most Sacred Virgin
There are reasons infinite in number why we should show ardent zeal in honoring the various states and mysteries in the life of our most amiable Savior, but I shall confine myself to the five principal ones.
First; there is absolutely nothing, not even the baseness and lowliness of that divine infancy, which is not of itself great, and which does not merit the same adoration that is due to the Divine Majesty.
Second; this Adorable Son has rendered and will render eternally to His Father, infinite glory, even in the smallest things He did during the course of His mortal life, because all that He did merits to be adored and glorified infinitely by all creatures on earth and in heaven.
Third; there was nothing that He did in this world which was not actuated by an incomprehensible love for us and zeal for our salvation.
Fourth; all within Him is the source of grace, of life and of benediction for us.
Fifth; all the mysteries and the actions of the life of Christ, are the rule we should follow and the model upon which we should form our life and our manners, according to St. Paul, who says: “Aspicientes in auctorem fidei et consummatorem Jesum” (Heb 12:2). Have always before your eyes, the Author and Finisher, the beginning and the end of our faith and of our religion, Jesus, in order to render Him due adoration in all the stages and mysteries of His life, to draw thence the fruits that we should and to follow and imitate the examples of virtue and of holiness which He has given us therein. For if we act otherwise, our neglect on this point will be the principal subject of our condemnation at the hour of death. All those works and mysteries which our Divine Savior operated upon earth for our salvation, which are now so many fountains of grace and mercy for us, if we render them the homage and thanksgivings which we should, will be then so many avenging tongues to pronounce against us the awful sentence of perdition.
Now all the reasons which oblige Christians to honor the different stages and mysteries in the life of their Savior, oblige them in due proportion to revere these same stages and mysteries in the life of His divine Mother:
1. Because there was nothing regarding her even in the feebleness of infancy which was not both noble and holy, meriting the honor due to her whom God had chosen for His Mother.
2. Moreover, this Queen of all Saints was more replenished with grace and sanctity even from the first moment of her life, than were the greatest Saints in the fullness of their days, and as she performed her smallest actions according to her measure of grace, she always rendered very great glory to God even in the smallest things. For this reason alone everything she did merits from us a singular veneration.
3. Because all she did throughout the course of her life tended to cooperate with her Divine Son in the work of our salvation, or to dispose her soul for this marvelous cooperation.
4. Because, being the Mother of grace, and, after her Divine Son, the source of all the blessings of Christianity: “Omnia bona venerunt mihi pariter cum ilia,” (Wis 7:11) all that is in her carries grace and benediction for those who serve and honor her.
5. And since God has given her to us as Queen and Mother, besides revering everything in this great Queen and most worthy Mother, we have the obligation of following and imitating the examples of virtue and sanctity with which her entire life is replete. Otherwise we shall have another terrible subject of condemnation at the hour of death.
This article was excerpted from St. John Eudes, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God (Albany, NY: Preserving Christian Publications, Inc., 2000), part I, chapter 2. St. John Eudes is a spiritual father of the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a contemplative community of lay and religious dedicated to serving the Hearts of Jesus and Mary through Eucharistic Adoration, contemplation, and corporal works of mercy. For more information on the order, visit heartsofjesusandmary.org.