Morning Meditation for Saturday – Twenty-first Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

“MARY’S ONLY THOUGHT, TO SUCCOUR THE MISERABLE”

From the hour Mary came into the world her only thought, after the glory of God, was to succour the miserable. And in order to succour the miserable she enjoys the privilege of obtaining whatever she asks. She has only to speak and her Son immediately grants her her request.

I.

From the hour Mary came into the world her only thought, after the glory of God, was to succour the miserable. And in order to succour the miserable she enjoys the privilege of obtaining whatever she asks. This we know from what occurred at the marriage feast of Cana in Galilee. When the wine failed, the most Blessed Virgin, being moved to compassion at the sight of the affliction and shame of the bride and bridegroom, asked her Son to relieve them by a miracle, telling Him that they had no wine. Jesus answered: Woman, what is that to thee and me? My hour is not yet come (John ii. 4). Although our Lord seemed to refuse His Mother the favour she asked, yet, as if the favour had already been granted, Mary desired those in attendance to fill the jars with water, for they would be immediately satisfied. And so it was. To content His mother, Jesus changed the water into the best wine. But how was this? As the time for working miracles was that of the public life of our Lord, how could it be that, contrary to the Divine decrees, this miracle was worked? No, in this there was nothing contrary to the decrees of God; for though, generally speaking, the time for miracles was not come, yet from all eternity God had determined by another decree that nothing that she asked should ever be refused to the Divine Mother. And, therefore, Mary, who well knew her privilege, although her Son seemed to have refused her the favour, yet told them to fill the jars with water, as if her request had already been granted. That is the sense in which St. John Chrysostom understood it; for, explaining these words of our Lord, Woman, what is it to thee and me? he says, that “though Jesus answered thus, yet in honour of His Mother He obeyed her wish.” This is confirmed by St. Thomas, who says that by the words, My hour is not yet come, Jesus Christ intended to show, that had the request come from any other, He would not then have complied with it; but because it was addressed to Him by His Mother, He could not refuse it. St. Cyril and St. Jerome, quoted by Barrada, say the same thing. Also Gandavensis, on the foregoing passage of St. John, says, that “to honour His Mother, our Lord anticipated the time for working miracles.”

II.

It is certain that no creature can obtain so many mercies for us as this tender advocate, who is thus honoured by God, not only as His beloved handmaid, but also as His true Mother. And this William of Paris says addressing her: “No creature can obtain so many and so great favours as thou obtainest for poor sinners; and thus without doubt God honours thee not only as a handmaid, but as His most true Mother.” Mary has only to speak, and her Son executes all. Our Lord conversing with the spouse in the sacred Canticles — that is Mary — says, Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the friends hearken; make me hear thy voice (Cant. viii. 13). The Saints are the friends, and they, when they seek favours for their clients, wait for their Queen to ask and obtain; for, as we said “no grace is granted otherwise than at the prayer of Mary.” And how does Mary obtain favours? She has only to let her voice be heard — make me hear thy voice. She has only to speak, and her Son immediately grants her prayer. Listen to the Abbot William explaining, in this sense, the above-mentioned text. In it he introduces the Son addressing Mary: “Thou who dwellest in the heavenly gardens, intercede with confidence for whomsoever thou wilt; for it is not possible that I should so far forget that I am thy Son as to deny anything to thee, My Mother. Only let thy voice be heard, for to be heard by Thy Son is to be obeyed.” The Abbot Godfrey says, “that although Mary obtains favours by asking, yet she asks with a certain maternal authority, and therefore we should feel confident that she obtains all she desires and asks for us.”

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 favour of us poor miserable creatures. Remember that it was also for our good that thou didst receive so 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 dispense at will the riches of Divine mercy to sinners.

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.

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