Rorate Caeli

Aperiatur Terra

Ego Dominus, et non est alter; formans lucem, et creans tenebras; faciens pacem, et creans malum: ego Dominus faciens omnia hæc. Rorate, cæli, desuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem: et iustitia oriatur simul: ego Dominus creavi eum. (From the fourth Lesson for the Ember Saturday in Advent, Isaias xi, 6-8: "I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a savior: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him.")

...Mary is in very truth full of the riches of a good life. Of this plenitude we can truly say: "The earth is the Lord's." By the earth is signified Mary, of whom we read in Isaias: "Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a savior!"

What more lowly than the earth? What more useful? We all tread the earth under our feet, and draw from it the nourishment of our life. Whence have we food and clothing, bread and wine, wool and thread, flax, and all the necessities of life, except from the earth, and from the fullness of the earth? What, therefore, is more lowly, what more useful than the earth?

In like manner, what is more humble, what more useful than Mary? She, by her humility, is the very least of all; by her fullness of grace, the most useful of all. For we have all that is needful for our spiritual life through Mary.

Well therefore doth St. Bernard say: "Let us look more deeply and see with how great a depth of devotion He wishes Mary to be honored by us who hath placed the fullness of all good in Mary, so that if we have any ground for hope, or for salvation, we should know that it is from her it springs." ("Serm. de Aquæductu.")

Hear now the Psalmist: "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." The fullness of the earth consists in fruits and divers riches, according to the Psalmist: "The earth is filled with Thy riches." The fruits and the riches of this most full earth, Mary, are the works, the examples, and the divers merits of the most holy life of Mary.

The Lord filled her with such riches and with so great gifts that it is said: "The Lord looked upon the earth, and filled it with his goods" (Ecclesiasticus XVI, 30. ). Saint Jerome, speaking of this fullness, says: "It was fitting that the Virgin should be pledged with such gifts, that she should be full of grace, she who gave glory to the heavens, God to the earth, who restored peace, who gave faith to the nations, put an end to vices, brought back order to life, and discipline to manners."
Conrad of Saxony,
Speculum Beatæ Mariæ Virginis