Mary’s glory is not dimmed by sin or lacking in potential merit

September 13, 2021 • 3 min

From The Glories of Mary, page 506
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

The works of Mary, as St. Ildephonsus says, certainly incomparably surpassed in merit the works of all the saints, and therefore the reward and the glory she merited cannot be conceived.

And if it is certain that God rewards according to merit, as the apostle says, “Who will render to every man according to his works;” it is also certain, says St. Thomas, that the Virgin who excelled in merit all, both men and angels, must have been exalted above all the celestial orders.

In fine, adds St. Bernard, let us measure the singular grace that she acquired on earth, and then we may measure the singular glory that she has obtained in heaven.

The glory of Mary, remarks a learned author, which was a full glory, a complete glory, is different from that which the other saints have in heaven.

It is true that in heaven all the blessed enjoy a perfect peace and full content; yet it will always be true that no one of them enjoys that glory that he could have merited if he had loved and served God with greater fidelity. Hence, although the saints in heaven desire nothing more than what they possess, yet, in fact, there is something they could yet desire.

It is also true that the sins which they have committed, and the time which they have lost, do not bring suffering; but it cannot be denied that the most good done in life, innocence preserved and time well employed, give the greatest content.

Mary in heaven desires nothing, and has nothing to desire. Who of the saints in paradise, says St. Augustine, if asked whether he has committed sins, can answer no, except Mary? It is certain, as the holy Council of Trent has defined, that Mary never committed any sin, not even the least; not only she has never lost divine grace—never bedimmed it, but she has never kept it unemployed; she never did an action that was not meritorious; she never said a word, or had a thought, or drew a breath, that was not directed to the greatest glory of God; in a word, she never relaxed or stopped one moment in her onward course to God; she never lost anything through negligence, for she always corresponded with grace with all her power, and loved God as much as she could love him.

Oh Lord, she now says to him in heaven, if I have not loved thee as much as thou dost merit, at least I have loved thee as much as I could.

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