May 8 – NATURAL VIRTUES
A bouquet of rural wild flowers
There are in the fields, in the forest and among the large rocks in the mountains, splendid and numberless species of flowers with varied colors and forms that, without human care, sprout, grow, bud forth and multiply; they are the beauty, the ornament and the array and robe of the meadows, of the mountains and of the countryside. There is no single species of these, in spite of being trampled by animals that does not have a gift, a special quality; besides they are the most common of the entire vegetal breed.
There are virtues that we receive from God as the Author of nature: they are given and grow in us without much care on our part because by a natural gift we have the natural tendency, inclination, willingness and love for them. And some of these are intellectual and others moral. Without charity they are not perfect virtues, but are only according to the natural order.
Nevertheless, when transferred to a cultivated soil and developed under the influence of charity, they gain a new luster.
These virtues cannot be better signified than through the rural flowers. A bouquet of these, made and interwoven by a skillful gardener competes with the beauty and the perfumes of the cultivated plants in the gardens.
It is not because they do not require our work and cultivation that they become less worthy of appreciation than those we acquire with great trouble. A virtue that cost one many tears, to others is given free.
Natural virtues given to Mary
God, as Author of the natural order, gave to one destined to be his Mother, all the natural virtues to the highest degree of perfection that a rational soul is capable of: wisdom, knowledge, prudence, skill in the art of its respective condition, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, with all the virtues attached to these. These virtues given to Mary with great perfection, acquired a very eminent degree of excellence through care, proficient practice and exercise under the direction of charity.
Rural flowers to Mary
What good do you have that you did not receive from God? That same virtue that cost you nothing, and which others do not have, take good care of it and be grateful to the one who gave it to you.
The virtue that was born with you, and had grown and developed among the many vices without your care, do not disregard and despise them; cultivate it, transplant it to the brink of the water of grace, elevate it to a supernatural end and you will see the new aspect it will take.
Lady: I lay on your hands all the virtues, all the gifts that I have received from God; and I commit myself to the care, the cultivation and the conservation of these flowers. Receive them and present them to your Son.