Monday, May 19, 2008

The Nineteenth Day of May

Mary Is an Advocate Who Is Able to Save All.

So great is the authority that mothers possess over their sons, that even if they are monarchs, and have absolute dominion over every person in their kingdom, yet never can mothers become the subjects of their sons. It is true that Jesus now in heaven sits at the right hand of the Father; that is, as St. Thomas explains it, even as man, on account of the hypostatic union with the Person of the Divine Word. He has supreme dominion over all, and also over Mary; it will nevertheless be always true that, for a time, when He was living in this world, He was pleased to humble Himself and to be subject to Mary, as we are told by St. Luke, ‘And He was subject to them.’ And still more, says St. Ambrose, Jesus Christ having deigned to make Mary His Mother, inasmuch as He was her Son, He was truly obliged to obey her. And for this reason, says Richard of St. Lawrence, ‘of other Saints we say, that they are with God; but of Mary alone can it be said, that she was so far favored as to be, not only herself submissive to the will of God, be even that God was subject to her will.’

And here we have to say, that although Mary, now in heaven, can no longer command her Son, nevertheless her prayers are always the prayers of a mother, and, consequently, most powerful to obtain whatever she asks. ‘Mary,’ says St. Bonaventure, ‘has this great privilege, that with her Son, she above all the Saints is most powerful to obtain whatever she wills.’ And why? Precisely because they are the prayers of a mother. And therefore, says St. Peter Damian, the Blessed Virgin can do whatever she pleases both in heaven and on earth. She is able to raise even those who are in despair to confidence; and he addresses her in these words: ‘All power is given to you in heaven and on earth, and nothing is impossible to you, who can raise those who are in despair to the hope of salvation.’ And then he adds, that ‘when the Mother goes to seek a favor for us from Jesus Christ’ (whom the Saint calls the golden alter of mercy, at which sinners obtain pardon), ‘her Son esteems her prayers so greatly, and is so desirous to satisfy her, that when she prays it seems as if she rather commanded than prayed, and was rather a Queen than a handmaid.’ Jesus is pleased thus to honor his beloved Mother, who honored Him so much during her life, by immediately granting all that she asks or desires. This is beautifully confirmed by St. Germanus, who, addressing our Blessed Lady, says, ‘You are the Mother of God, and all-powerful to save sinners, and with God you need no other recommendation; for you are the Mother of true life.’

Since the Mother then should have the same power as the Son, rightly has Jesus, who is omnipotent, made Mary also omnipotent; though, of course, it is always true that, where the Son is omnipotent by nature, the mother is only so by grace. But that she is so is evident from the fact, that whatever the Mother asks for, the Son never denies her; and this was revealed to St. Bridget, who one day heard Jesus talking with Mary, and thus address her, ‘Ask of Me what you will, for no petition of yours can be void.’ As if He had said, My Mother, you know how much I love you; therefore, ask all that you will of Me, for it is not possible that I should refuse you anything. And the reason that He gave for this was beautiful: ‘Because you never denied Me anything on earth, I will deny you nothing in heaven’—My Mother, when you were in the world you never refused to do anything for the love of Me, and, now that I am in heaven, it is right that I should deny you nothing that you ask. Mary, then, is called omnipotent in the sense in which it can be understood of a creature who is incapable of a Divine attribute. She is omnipotent, because by her prayers she obtains whatever she wills.

With good reason, then, O great advocate, does St. Bernard say, ‘You will, and all things are done.’ And St. Anselm, ‘Whatever you, O Virgin, will, can never be otherwise than accomplished.’ You will, and all is done. If you are pleased to raise a sinner from the lowest abyss of misery to the highest degree of sanctity, you can do it.

Blessed Albert the Great on this subject makes Mary say: ‘I have to be asked that I may will; for if I will a thing, it is necessarily done.’ St. Germanus encouraging sinners, who recommend themselves to this advocate, thus addresses her: ‘As you have, O Mary, the authority of a Mother with God, you obtain pardon for the most enormous sinners; since that Lord in all things acknowledges you as His true and spotless Mother, He cannot do otherwise than grant what you ask.’ And St. George, Archbishop of Nicomedia, says, that Jesus Christ, even as it were to satisfy an obligation under which He placed Himself towards His Mother, when she consented to give Him His human nature, grants all she asks.

Let us conclude with St. Bonaventure, who, considering the great benefit conferred on us by our Lord in giving us Mary for our advocate, thus addresses her: ‘O truly immense and admirable goodness of our God, which has been pleased to grant you, O sovereign Mother, to us miserable sinners for our advocate, in order that you, by your powerful intercession, may obtain all that you please for us.’ ‘O wonderful mercy of our God!’ continues the same Saint, ‘who, in order that we might not fly on account of the sentence that might be pronounced against us, has given us His own Mother and the patroness of graces, to be our advocate.’


A noble lady, who had an only son, was informed one day that he had been killed. The murderer had by chance taken refuge in her own palace. She then began to reflect that Mary had forgiven the executioners of her Son, and therefore determined that she also would pardon that criminal for the love of the sorrowful Mary. She not only did this, hut also provided him with a horse, money, and clothes, that he might escape. Her son then appeared to her, and told her that he was saved, and that for her generous conduct to his enemy, the Divine Mother had delivered him from purgatory, in which, otherwise, he would have had to suffer for a long time, and that he was then going to paradise.


I will address thee, O great Mother of God, in the words of St. Bernard: ‘Speak, O Lady, for thy Son heareth thee; and whatever thou askest thou wilt obtain.’ Speak, speak, then, O Mary, our Advocate, in favor of us poor miserable creatures. Remember that it was also for our good that thou didst receive such great power and so high a dignity. A God was pleased to become thy debtor, by taking humanity of thee, in order that thou mightest at will dispense the riches of Divine mercy to sinners. We are thy servants, devoted in a special manner to thee, of whom I trust that I also am one. We glory in living under thy protection. Since thou doest good to all, even to those who neither know nor honor thee —nay, more, to those who outrage and blaspheme thee —how much more may we not hope from thy benignity, which seeks out the wretched in order to relieve them,—we who honour, love, and confide in thee? We are great sinners, but God has enriched thee with compassion and power far exceeding our iniquities. Thou canst, and hast the will to save us; and the greater is our unworthiness, the greater shall be our hope, in order to glorify thee the more in heaven, when, by thy intercession, we get there. O, Mother of mercy, we present thee our souls, once cleansed and rendered beautiful in the blood of Jesus Christ; but alas, since that time defiled by sin. To thee do we present them; do thou purify them. Obtain for us true conversion; obtain for us the love of God, perseverance, heaven. We ask thee for much; but what is it? perhaps thou canst not obtain all? It is perhaps too much for the love God bears thee? Ah, no; for thou hast only to open thy lips and ask thy divine Son; He will deny thee nothing. Pray, then, pray, O Mary, for us; pray, thou wilt certainly obtain all; and we shall with the same certainty obtain the kingdom of heaven.


In Mary’s honor, forgive someone who has greatly offended you. And if you cannot forgive, ask Mary to obtain this grace for you. Do not stop asking her for this grace until it is granted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I just discovered your site. These prayers and the accompanying meditations, etc., are quite beautiful. Thank you.