MAY 1 – Charity
We recognize and proclaim the rose as the queen of the flowers. The crown belongs to it by natural right. It possesses the most beautiful qualities of a flower. It is beautiful, with sweet fragrance, pleasant and delightful in its species; it has variety of colors and it grows into a rose-bush with marvelous abundance; it lasts throughout the seasons of the year; it is easy to cultivate, not delicate, resists cold weather as well as the rigorous heat of the sun; it grows in the field and in the garden and even if it buds forth among the sharp and coarse thorns of the rose-bush it does not get hurt. Through all these characteristics that distinguish it, it deserves to be put at the center of all the bouquets and to be recognized as the queen of all the May flowers.
The theological virtue of charity
In the garden of the Church all the virtues, the natural, supernatural, infused, acquired, intellectual, moral, cardinal and theological, all have unanimously proclaimed charity as their queen. What is charity? Why is it the queen of the virtues? Charity is a virtue infused in the soul, by which we love God with all the fullness of our affections for being what he is, the supreme goodness, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Charity brings along with her all the infused virtues, sanctifying grace, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit; and where she goes others follow. To this virtue corresponds the gift of wisdom.
Charity in Mary
Mary surpassed in charity to all men and angels together, and because of that she was exalted above all of them.
The rose to Mary
Search in the garden of your soul for this most excellent flower. Without it you will not be admitted into the triumphant Church. Do you possess true charity? Search well for it: if you have it, take it and put it into the hands of Mary: she will offer it to God and from now on the rose-bush will be under the care of a very skillful gardener. What if you do not have it? Plant it and see that it blooms in its time, then direct yourself to Mary and tell her:
Dear Lady, I present to you this rose;
it symbolizes my love for God and my neighbor.
I commit myself to love God with all the strength of my heart,
to love myself for God’s sake
and to love my neighbor as I love myself
and to love all things for God’s sake
and to love God above all things.