Morning Meditation for Saturday – Twentieth Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

MOST HOLY MARY, ADVOCATE OF SINNERS

So far is the Blessed Virgin Mary from disdaining to assist sinners, she ever takes pride in her office as Advocate of Sinners. “Next to the dignity of Mother of God,” she herself once said, “there is nothing I value so much as my office of Advocate of sinners.”

I.

So far is the Blessed Virgin Mary from disdaining to assist sinners, she ever takes pride in her office as Advocate of Sinners. “Next to the dignity of Mother of God,” she herself once said, “there is nothing I value so much as my office of Advocate of sinners.”

It was for this end that Mary was chosen from eternity to be God’s Mother that those whose sins should exclude them from participation in the merits of her Son might be made partakers of them by her intercession. This was the principal office for the fulfilment of which God created Mary, and placed her in this world: Feed thy kids (Cant. i. 7). By kids He means sinners, and those kids are given to Mary’s care, in order that they who on the Day of Judgment should by their sins have deserved to stand upon the left, may by her intercession stand upon the right. “Feed thy kids,” says William of Paris, “whom thou shalt convert into sheep, that they who should have been placed to the left may through thy intercession take their stand upon the right.”

St. Bridget one day heard Jesus Christ saying to His Mother: “Thou givest assistance to every one endeavouring to ascend to God.” Mary assists every one who does himself violence to abandon his evil life and turn to God, or who at least prays to her that he may receive strength to do so; if he have not that desire, the Divine Mother herself cannot assist him. Mary then assists only those sinners who honour her by some special devotion, and who, if they yet remain in disgrace with God, have recourse to her that she may obtain pardon for them, and work their deliverance from their present unfortunate condition. The sinner who acts thus from his heart is secure, because Mary, as we have said before, has been created that she might have charge of sinners, and lead them to God. The Lord revealed this to St. Catherine of Sienna: “She is chosen by me as a most delicious food, so as to attract and capture men, especially sinners.” And the Blessed Mother herself said to St. Bridget, that as the magnet attracts iron, so she draws the hard hearts of men to herself and to God. But we must always bear in mind that these hearts, notwithstanding their hardness, must desire liberation from their unhappy state.

II.

“How can he fear he shall be cast away,” asks the Abbot Adam, “to whom Mary offers herself for a Mother and an Advocate?” He inquires again, “Could it be possible that you, the Mother of Mercy, should not intercede with the Redeemer for the soul He has redeemed?” He answers: “Ah, thou must intercede, because God, Who has placed His Son as Mediator between man and Heaven, has placed thee Mediatrix between His Son and guilty man.”

Then, O sinner, says St. Bernard, give thanks to God Who has provided you with such a Mediatrix. Thank your God, Who, in order to manifest His mercy towards you, has given you not only His Son for a Mediator in His own right, but that you may have more confidence, has given you Mary as a Mediatrix with that Son. Therefore, it is that St. Augustine calls her the only hope of sinners. And St. Bonaventure: “If by reason of your iniquities you see the Lord in anger, and fear to approach Him, have recourse to the hope of sinners, who is Mary.” She will not reject you because you are too wretched, for “it is her office to assist the wretched.” Hence, when we have recourse to Mary, let us say to her with St. Thomas of Villanova: “Come, therefore, thou our advocate, and fulfil thy office.” Since thou art Mother of God, and advocate of the wretched, assist me who am so wretched; if thou dost not assist me I shall be lost! Let us address her in the words of St. Bernard: “Remember, O most pious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions; but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.”

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