Spiritual Reading for Saturday – Twenty-first Week After Pentecost

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading

“WHAT GOD CAN DO BY HIS POWER, HIS MOTHER CAN DO BY HER PRAYERS.”

Valerius Maximus relates that when Coriolanus was besieging Rome, the prayers of his friends and all the citizens were insufficient to make him desist; but as soon as he beheld his mother Veturia imploring him, he could no longer refuse, and immediately raised the siege. But the prayers of Mary with Jesus are as much more powerful than those of Veturia, as the love and gratitude of this Son for his most dear Mother are greater. Father Justin Micoviensis says that “a single sigh of the most Blessed Mary can do more than the united suffrages of all the Saints.” And this was acknowledged by the devil to St. Dominic, who, as it is related by Father Paciucchelli, obliged him to speak by the mouth of a possessed person; and he said that “a single sigh from Mary was worth more before God than the united suffrages of all the Saints.”

Saint Antoninus says that “the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, being the prayers of a Mother, have in them something of a command; so that it is impossible that she should not obtain what she asks.” St. Germanus, encouraging sinners to recommend themselves to this advocate, thus addresses her: “As thou hast, O Mary, the authority of a Mother with God, thou obtainest pardon for the most enormous sinners; since that Lord in all things acknowledges thee as His true and spotless Mother, He cannot do otherwise than grant what thou askest.” And so it was that St. Bridget heard the Saints in Heaven addressing our Blessed Lady: “O most blessed Queen, what is there that thou canst not do? Thou hast only to will, and it is accomplished.” And this corresponds with that celebrated saying, “That which God can do by His power, thou canst do by prayer, O sacred Virgin.” “To be thus jealous of the honour paid His Mother,” says St. Augustine, “would indeed ill become that Lord Who declares that He came into the world, not to break, but to observe the law: now this law commands us to honour our parents.” 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: “the Son, as if paying a debt, grants all thy petitions.” And on this the holy Martyr, St. Methodius, exclaims: “Rejoice, rejoice, O Mary, for thou hast that Son thy debtor, Who gives to all and receives from none. We are all God’s debtors for all that we possess, for all is His gift; but God has been pleased to become thy Debtor in taking flesh from thee and becoming Man.”

Therefore, Saint Augustine says that, “Mary, having merited to give flesh to the Divine Word, and thus supply the price of our Redemption, that we might be delivered from eternal death, she is more powerful than all others to help us to gain eternal life.” St. Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, in the time of St. Jerome, left in writing the following words: “The prayers of His Mother are a pleasure to the Son, because He desires to grant all that is granted on her account, and thus recompense her for the favour she did Him in giving Him His body.” St. John Damascene, addressing the Blessed Virgin, says: “Thou, O Mary, being Mother of the most high God, canst save all by thy prayers, which are increased in value by thy maternal authority.”

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, Who has been pleased to grant thee, O sovereign Mother, to us miserable sinners for our advocate, in order that thou, by thy powerful intercession, mayest obtain all that thou pleasest for us.” “O wonderful mercy of our God,” continues the same Saint, “Who in order that we might not flee away 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.”

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