Evening Meditations for the Twenty-first Saturday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

MARY, OUR ADVOCATE, DEFENDS THE CAUSE OF EVEN THE MOST MISERABLE.

I.

Mary is so tender an advocate that she does not refuse to defend the cause of even the most miserable. So many are the reasons we have for loving this our most loving Queen, that if Mary was praised throughout the world; if in every sermon Mary alone was spoken of; if all men gave their lives for Mary; still all would be little in comparison with the homage and gratitude we owe her in return for the tender love she bears to men, and even to the most miserable sinners who preserve the slightest spark of devotion for her.

Blessed Raymond Jordano, who, out of humility, called himself Idiota, used to say that “Mary knows not how to do otherwise than love those who love her; and that even she does not disdain to serve those who serve her; and in favour of such a one, should he be a sinner, she uses all her power in order to obtain his forgiveness from her Blessed Son.” And he adds that “her benignity and mercy are so great, that no one, however enormous his sins may be, should fear to cast himself at her feet; for she never can reject any one who has recourse to her.” Mary, as our most loving advocate, herself offers the prayers of her servants to God, and especially those which are placed in her hands; for as the Son intercedes for us with the Father, so does she intercede with the Son, and does not cease to make interest with both for the great affair of our salvation, and to obtain for us the graces we ask.

With good reason, then, does Denis the Carthusian call the Blessed Virgin the special refuge of the lost, the life of the miserable, the advocate of all sinners who have recourse to her.

O great Mother of my Lord, I see full well that my ingratitude towards God and thee, and this too for so many years, has merited for me that thou shouldst justly abandon me, and no longer have a care of me, for an ungrateful soul is no longer worthy of favours. But I, O Lady, have a high idea of thy great goodness; I believe it to be far greater than my ingratitude. Continue, then, O Refuge of sinners, and cease not to help a miserable sinner who confides in thee. O Mother of mercy, deign to extend a helping hand to a poor fallen wretch who asks thee for pity. O Mary, either defend me thyself, or tell me to whom I can have recourse, and who is better able to defend me than thou, and where I can find with God a more clement and powerful advocate than thou, who art His Mother. Thou, in becoming the Mother of our Saviour, wast thereby made the fitting instrument to save sinners, and wast given me for my salvation. O Mary, save him who has recourse to thee.

II.

Should there be, by any chance, a sinner who, though not doubting Mary’s power, might doubt the compassion of Mary, fearing perhaps that she might be unwilling to help him on account of the greatness of his sins, let him take courage from the words of St. Bonaventure. “The great, the special privilege of Mary is, that she is all-powerful with her Son.” “But,” adds the Saint, “to what purpose would Mary have so great power if she cared not for us?” “No,” he concludes, “let us not doubt, but be certain, and let us always thank our Lord and His Divine Mother for it, that in proportion as her power with God exceeds that of all the Saints, so is she in the same proportion our most loving advocate, and the one who is the most solicitous for our welfare.”

“And who, O Mother of Mercy,” exclaims St. Germanus, in the joy of his heart, “who, after thy Jesus, is as tenderly solicitous for our welfare as thou art?” “Who defends us in the temptations with which we are afflicted as thou defendest us? Who, like thee, undertakes to protect sinners, fighting, as it were, in their behalf?” “Therefore,” he adds, “thy patronage, O Mary, is more powerful and loving than anything of which we can ever form an idea.”

“For,” says the Blessed Raymond Jordan, “whilst all the other Saints can do more for their own clients than for others, the Divine Mother, as Queen of all, is the advocate of all, and has a care for the salvation of all.”

Mary takes care of all, even of sinners; indeed she glories in being called in a special manner their advocate, as she herself declared to the Venerable Sister Mary Villani, saying: “After the title of Mother of God, I rejoice most in that of advocate of sinners.”

O my Lady, I am a sinner and I do not deserve thy love, but it is thine own desire to save sinners that makes me hope that thou lovest me. And if thou lovest me, how can I be lost? O my own beloved Mother, if by thee I save my soul, as I hope to do, I shall no longer be ungrateful, I shall make up for my past ingratitude, and for the love which thou hast shown me, by my everlasting praises, and all the affections of my soul. Happy in Heaven, where thou reignest, and wilt reign forever, I shall always sing thy mercies, and kiss for eternity those loving hands which have delivered me from hell, when I deserved it by my sins. O Mary, my liberator, my hope, my Queen, my advocate, my own sweet Mother, I love thee. I desire thy glory and to love thee forever. Amen, amen. Thus do I hope.

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