Friday, October 17, 2008

Sanctity Through the Rosary by Edouard Hugon, O.P.

Part I: The Rosary and the Author of Holiness.

Chapter III: The Rosary and the Grace of Jesus (Continued).

In speaking of grace, we have not departed from the consideration of Our Blessed Lord because on His soul alone were lavished all the treasures of grace. All these supernatural wonders we have touched on were found in Him in an eminent degree. From the very first instant of His creation. His blessed soul was inundated with torrents of grace. Wherever there is a source or cause we find that its influence on other things increases according as they draw near to it. The nearer we draw to a furnace, the more we feel the effects of its heat. God is the fountain, the ocean of grace, the hearth, home, the sun of love. But is it possible to be united more closely to God than was the soul of Our Redeemer? The divinity and His most holy soul were united in an embrace so ineffable and intimate, that there resulted therefrom but one person. His soul, coming into such close contact with the ocean of grace, was deluged by it; the ocean poured in and filled up all its depths, even to overflowing. When plenitude overflows, it is impossible to add any more. What can one add to an abyss when that abyss is filled?

Under the influence of this grace, all the virtues expanded in the soul of the Word, all blossomed forth into the exquisite flower of heroism. The vices which belong to the state of imperfection found no place in that garden. But the natural virtues, the infused virtues, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, the power of miracles and the gift of prophecy blossomed forth as on virgin soil fertilized by the sun of eternity. Nature and grace reached their full perfection in the soul of Jesus. Were we to behold that soul, we should fall into an ecstasy of admiration, rapture and love. God reserves this ravishment for eternity, but we can get a foretaste of it by means of the Rosary.

In order to get a true revelation of a soul, we must be able to study and see it in all those circumstances and occasions which are likely to bring to light its real nature. But, what incidents reflect more clearly the depths of the soul of Jesus than those recalled in the Mysteries of the Rosary? Grace shone in each of the Mysteries through the transparent veil of His flesh. It was enough to see Jesus working, speaking, teaching, to catch a glimpse of the brightness of His hidden grace. So also, in silent meditation on the Rosary, the soul of Christ passes before our eyes. His grace once again shines through the mystery. He makes His presence felt by us. We draw near to Him. The Rosary is the living revelation of the soul of Christ and of its divine riches.

We should like to show, above all, that the Rosary actually applies to us the grace of Our Redeemer. The grace Christ received constituted Him the spiritual head of all humanity and rendered Him capable of meriting for us. We do not receive a single supernatural thing which does not accrue to us from this first principle. Jesus is the great reservoir from which all men must draw if they wish to be saved. He is the vast ocean of grace. We draw from it unceasingly and this profound abyss remains always full. But the humanity of the Word merited this grace for us by each one of His Mysteries. We see, then, how meditation on the Rosary brings us into contact with the source, whence salvation comes to us. Communication is established between Christ and us. His divine life bursts in upon our soul. According to one holy Doctor, each Mystery is as a fruitful breast, from which flows the milk of grace. While reciting the decades we, so to speak, drink the milk of heaven.

We must be careful, no doubt, to avoid exaggeration in this matter. We do not mean to say that the Rosary directly applies sanctifying grace to our souls after the manner of the Sacraments. Such efficacy is not proper to the Rosary or to any other devotion. It would be an error to assert that the recitation suffices of itself to give us an increase of grace; but we are laboring under no illusion whatever, if we believe that through uniting ourselves piously with the Mysteries which have worked out our salvation, God will grant many actual graces to our souls. As the Gospel points out, it was sufficient to touch the garments of the Savior in order to be healed. In the Rosary we touch, as it were, the mantle of Jesus. May we not hope that a virtue which heals will escape from it? Virtus de illo exibat et sanabat omnes (Luke 6:19).

The Mystery which expiated our sins of pride will help us especially in the practice of humility; the Mystery which expiated impure vice will help us in the practice of the virtue of chastity, and likewise with the other Mysteries.

Our Blessed Lord is the light, the sun, which enlightens every man coming into the world; the Rosary exposes us to its heat and light. We assist at the rising of the sun of justice in the Mysteries of the Annunciation and the Nativity; we contemplate it at noon, in all its glory, while we meditate on the Glorious Mysteries. Its rays beam down on us, we reflect its brilliance. Our soul is rekindled by the fire of the divinity. Oh! if we only knew how to profit by this precious devotion, how quickly we would advance in the spiritual life! In the Rosary the greatest saints of the Order of St. Dominic found the secret of their holiness. (Br. M. Raphael Meysson, O.P., of holy memory used to call the Rosary the secret of holiness.) Hidden in the adorable soul of their God, they drank deeply from the source of all grace and obtained a little of that heroism which detaches us from earth. They tasted a little of that ineffable rapture which is a foretaste of heaven. Let us like these privileged souls descend every day into the depths of the soul of our Well-Beloved, to the source of salvation and happiness. The enemy cannot violate this sanctuary; the evil one, who finds easy entrance into worldly-minded souls, will never get access into those luminous depths where reigns a perpetual calm.

1 comment:

Jackie Parkes said...

Must read this more carefully..