Good Gluttony

"De Maria numquam satis." In English, that means, "Of Mary there is never enough." It's a line from the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, whose feast we celebrate on Aug. 20, and it represents one of the very few times when insatiable desire for some created reality is a good thing.

Someone who can never get enough ice cream, for instance, is liable to have a rather weighty problem before too long. Or someone with an insatiable desire for money, or pleasure, or power, or any other created good finds themselves very quickly ensnared by the seven deadly sins.

But someone who has an insatiable desire for truth, or goodness, or beauty, or being, or self-giving love - well, they're heading to the right place. They desire God.

So why is an insatiable desire for more of Mary-more things written, more praise for her, more good works done in her service-similarly good?

Because of God's example. God gave Himself entirely to her, not once, but several times in several ways. The Holy Spirit is her spouse. The Son of God is also Mary's Son. The Father shares the parentage of His eternal Son with a creature, with a being infinitely lower than God. God trusted her with Himself!

And so we, too, can trust Mary with ourselves, with our lives and works, with our children and families, with everything we have and are. And Mary, by the grace of God and the gift of her Son, can steward everything she is given according to the wisdom, love, and power of God.

Of Mary, there is never enough, for God so loved her that He gave His only begotten Son, that we all might have life. God so trusted her that He allowed her to raise the Son.

So let us ask St. Bernard of Clairvaux to intercede for us that we might be led to love Mary as Jesus does, to trust her with ourselves so that she might raise us to be good children of God. Let us ask St. Bernard to pray that we may also have that great love of Our Lady, our Mother, so that we, too, can say with all our hearts, "Of Mary, there is never enough."

Doctors of the Church

1. St. Ambrose
2. St. Jerome
3. St. Augustine
4. St. Gregory the Great (Pope)
5. St. Athanasius
6. St. Basil the Great
7. St. Gregory of Nazianzus
8. St. John Chrysostom
9. St. Ephraem the Deacon
10. St. Hilary
11. St. Cyril of Jerusalem
12. St. Cyril of Alexandria
13. St. Leo the Great (Pope)
14. St. Peter Chrysologus
15. St. Isidore of Seville
16. St. John Damascene
17. St. Bede "the Venerable"
18. St. Peter Damian
19. St. Anselm
20. St. Bernard of Clairvaux
21. St. Anthony of Padua
22. St. Albert the Great
23. St. Bonaventure
24. St. Thomas Aquinas
25. St. Hildegard of Bingen
26. St. Catherine of Siena
27. St. Teresa of Avila
28. St. John of Avila
29. St. Peter Canisius
30. St. John of the Cross
31. St. Robert Bellarmine
32. St. Lawrence of Brindisi
33. St. Francis de Sales
34. St. Alphonsus Liguori
35. St. Therese of Lisieux
36. St. Gregory of Narek


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