Mystical rose . . .

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Each person is a plant in God's garden which is nourished, blossoms and grows through acceptance of God's love and grace.  Our calling is to produce good seeds 30, 60, 100 times.  Mary is the fairest flower in God's garden and her beauty is compared to that of an exquisite rose, a flower admired and prized by all.  But Mary's beauty is more than merely earthly.  More importantly, she is favored by possession of a heavenly beauty.  As the Mother of God, she possesses a beauty which is above and beyond all the beauties found on earth.  Because she was so favored to be the Mother of God's divine Son, her spiritual beauty is said to be mystical.  She possessed the very life of God in her immaculate sinless soul, and is described as a beautiful rose flower, with the title, "Mystical Rose."  The fragrance of this Mystical Rose reaches, and effects everyone throughout the world.  It extends to all her children who become beautiful offerings to her Son.

The Virgin may suitably be called a blooming rose.  Just as the gentle rose is placed among thorns, so this gentle Virgin was surrounded by sorrow. (1)
        St. Bridget

Eve was a thorn, wounding, bringing death to all; in Mary we see a rose, soothing everybody's hurts, giving the destiny of salvation back to all.  Mary was a rose, white for maidenhood, red for love; white in body, red in soul; white in her seeking after virtue, red in treading down vice; white in cleansing her affections, red in mortifying her flesh; white in her love of God, red in compassion for her neighbor. (2)
        St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Our Lord planted all the flowers which adorn the Church in this garden; and among the others the violet of humility, the lily of purity, and the rose of charity. (3)
        St. Bernard

A rose is red, and of a fiery color which denotes love of God and of our neighbor.  On account of the ardent love with which the heart of Mary was always inflamed toward God and us, she is called a rose. (4)
        Blessed Raymond Jordano

Where can we find an advocate who is more earnest in the affair of our salvation, or who loves us more than Mary? (5)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

O my dear Mother, could I but love you as you love me!  I will not, however, cease to do all that I can to honor and love you.  My most sweet Lady, obtain for me grace to be faithful to you. (6)
        St. Alphonsus de Liguori

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