Full of Grace

ADAM OF PERSEIGNE

If you stand in need of mercy, it is found in full measure in the heart of the Virgin.

If you reverence the truth, give thanks to the Virgin, since from the ground of her virgin flesh the truth which you worship has arisen.

No less give thanks to the Virgin if you follow after peace, since from her is born for you the peace which passes all understanding.

If you pursue justice, see that you are not ungrateful to the Virgin, for at the opening of her womb justice looked forth from heaven.

If your faith is shaken by some assault from an enemy, turn your eyes upon the Virgin and that which was wavering will be firmly fixed; if the lust of the flesh delights you, turn your gaze upon the Virgin, and the danger to your chastity is removed; if pride disturbs your spirit, turn your gaze upon the Virgin, and by the merit of her unsullied humility your swelling spirit will subside.

If you are set on fire by anger's torches, lift your eyes to the Virgin and you will grow gentle through her calm.

If ignorance or error have led you astray from the way of life, look to Mary, star of truth; if the vice of avarice commands your idolatrous worship, call to mind the generosity of the Virgin and with a love of poverty there will come to you the goodness of openhandedness.

In every peril the goodness of the Virgin comes to succor, and powerful is it to succor.

Give thanks for her childbearing; from her fullness the sum total of graces has flowed.

For us the Virgin brought forth, ours is the birth, for us the child was born and to us the Son was given.

 

 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Adam of Perseigne. "Full of Grace." excerpt from The Letters of Adam of Perseigne (Cistercian Publications., 1976).

Reprinted with permission of Cistercian Publications.

THE AUTHOR

Adam of Perseigne, (c. 1145–1221) was a French Cistercian, Abbot of the monastery of Perseigne in the Diocese of Mans. Adam was born around 1145 into a serf, or peasant, family. He is thought to have been first a canon regular, later a Benedictine of Marmoutier and then a Cistercian. In 1188, he became Abbot of Perseigne, wither his reputation for holiness and wisdom drew the great personages of his time to seek his counsel. He was spiritual director to kings and clerics, nuns and nobles and adviser to Richard the Lion-hearted. Adam also found favor at the witty court of the Countess of Champagne. He had at Rome a conference with the celebrated mystic, Joachim, Abbot of Flora, (in Calabria, Italy), on the subject of the latter's revelations, and aided Foulques de Neuilly in preaching during the Fourth Crusade. His letters and sermons were first published at Rome in 1662 under the title Adami Abbatis Persenić Ordinis Cisterciensis Mariale.

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