Thursday, August 2, 2007

In Honor Of The Feast Of St. Alphonsus De Liguori

Unless I am mistaken, yesterday was a feast day in the Catholic church. It was to honor Alphonsus De Liguori. He is better known as the author of the book The Glories Of Mary.

Of him, it was written:

When the grave of Alphonsus was opened at Nocera, three fingers of his right hand were taken and sent to Rome. This was the wish of Pope Pius VII, who said: "Let those three fingers that have written so well for the honor of God, of the Blessed Virgin and of religion, be carefully preserved and sent to Rome."

In honor of his feast day, here are a few snippets of his aforementioned work. I am going to post an opening scripture before each quote, just to add a little perspective.

John 3:16 states:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

de Liguori writes:

But again, we are exceedingly dear to Mary on account of the sufferings we cost her. Mothers generally love those children most, the preservation of whose lives has cost them the most suffering and anxiety; we are those children for whom Mary, in order to obtain for us the life of grace, was obliged to endure the bitter agony of herself offering her beloved Jesus to die an ignominious death, and had also to see him expire before her own eyes in the midst of the most cruel and unheard-of torments. It was then by this great offering of Mary that we were born to the life of grace; we are therefore her very dear children, since we cost her so great suffering. And thus, as it is written of the love of the Eternal Father towards men, in giving his own Son to death for us, that God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son ("Sic Deus dilexit mundum, ut filium suum unigenitum daret."—John, iii. 16). "So also," says St. Bonaventure, "we can say of Mary, that she has so loved us as to give her only-begotten Son for us" ("Sic Maria dilexit nos, ut Filium suum unigenitum daret"). And when did she give him? She gave him, says Father Nieremberg, when she granted him permission to deliver himself up to death;Chapter 1, Section 3

Jeremiah 17:5 states:

Thus says the LORD,
"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the LORD."

de Liguori writes:

"Modern heretics cannot endure that we should salute and call Mary our hope: "Hail, our Hope!" They say that God alone is our hope; and that he curses those who put their trust in creatures in these words of the prophet Jeremias: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man ("Maledictus homo qui confidit in homine"—Jer. xvii. 5). Mary, they exclaim, is a creature; and how can a creature be our hope? This is what the heretics say; but in spite of this, the holy Church obliges all ecclesiastics and religious each day to raise their voices, and in name of all the faithful invoke and call Mary by the sweet name of "our Hope,"—the hope of all."
-- The Glories of Mary Ch.3 section 1 "Mary, Our Hope"

de Liguori goes on to state:

"The King of Heaven, being infinite goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with his graces; but because confidence is requisite on our part, and in order to increase it in us, he has given us his own Mother to be our mother and advocate, and to her he has given all power to help us; and therefore he wills that we should repose our hope of salvation and of every blessing in her. Those who place their hopes in creatures alone, independently of God, as sinners do, and in order to obtain the friendship and favor of a man, fear not to outrage his divine Majesty, are most certainly cursed by God, as the prophet Jeremias says. But those who hope in Mary, as Mother of God, who is able to obtain graces and eternal life for them, are truly blessed and acceptable to the heart of God...

de Liguori writes in support of the above:

St. Ephrem, reflecting on the present order of Providence, by which God wills (as St. Bernard says, and as we shall prove at length) that all who are saved should be saved by the means of Mary, thus addresses her: "O Lady, cease not to watch over us; preserve and guard us under the wings of thy compassion and mercy, for, after God, we have no hope but in thee" ("Nobis non est alia quam in te fidueia, O Virgo sincerissima! sub alis tuae pietatis protégé et custody nos"—De Laud. Dei Gen.). St. Thomas of Villanova repeats the same thing, calling her "our only refuge, help, and asylum" ("Tu unicum refugium, subsidium, et asylum"—In Nat. B. V. Conc. 3). St. Bernard seems to give the reason for this when he says, "See, O man, the designs of God,—designs by which he is able to dispense his mercy more abundantly to us; for, desiring to redeem the whole human race, he has placed the whole price of redemption in the hands of Mary, that she may dispense it at will" ("Intuere, O homo, consilium Dei, consilium pietatis: redempturus humanum genus, pretium universum contulit in Mariam"—De Aquaed).

Philippians 2:9-10 states:

9. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10. so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth

de Liguori writes:

The great name of Mary, which was given to the divine Mother, did not come to her from her parents, nor was it given to her by the mind or will of man, as is the case with all other names that are imposed in this world; but it came from heaven, and was given her by a divine ordinance. This is attested by St. Jerome (De Nat. M. V.), St. Epiphanius (Or. de Praes. Deip.), St. Antoninus (Hist. p. 1, t. 4, c. 6, #10), and others. "The name of Mary came from the treasury of the divinity" ("De thesauro Divinitatis, Mariae nomen evolvitur"—S. de Annunt.), says St. Peter Damian. Ah, yes, O Mary, it was from that treasury that thy high and admirable name came forth; for the most Blessed Trinity, says Richard of St. Laurence, bestowed on thee a name above every other name after that of thy Son, and ennobled it with such majesty and power, that he willed that all heaven, earth, and hell, on only hearing it, should fall down and venerate it; but I will give the author's own words: "The whole Trinity, O Mary, gave thee a name after that of thy Son above every other name, that in thy name every knee should bow, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" ("Dedit tibi, Maria, tota Trinitas nomen quod est super omne nomen, post nomen Filii sui, ut in nominee ejus omne genu flectatur coelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum"—De Laud. B. M. l. 1, c. 2). But amongst the other privileges of the name of Mary, and which were given to it by God, we will now examine that of the peculiar sweetness found in it by the servants of this most holy Lady during life and in death.
chapter 10, paragraph 1

Happy belated Feast Of St. Alphonsus De Liguori Day!


gordan said...

My invitation to the party must've gotten lost in the mail. Darn Post Office.

Rhett said...

I knew I had a hankering to BBQ a pig! Too bad I missed it!

Gojira said...

Tellin' ya what's the truth! They must have forgotten to send that memo.