MARY LEADS HER CLIENTS TO HEAVEN.
Oh, what an evident sign of predestination have the servants of Mary! St. Bonaventure says the gates of Heaven open to all who confide in Mary’s protection. St. Ambrose prays: “Open to us, O Mary, the gate of Paradise, for thou hast its keys!” And Holy Church prays to Mary: “Gate of Heaven, pray for us!”
Oh, what an evident sign of predestination have the servants of the Blessed Virgin! The holy Church, for the consolation of Mary’s clients, puts the words of Ecclesiasticus on her lips: In all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord (Ecclus. xxiv. 11). Cardinal Hugo explains these words, and says: “Blessed is he in whose house the most holy Virgin finds repose.” Mary, out of the love she bears to all, endeavours to excite in all devotion towards herself; yet many either do not admit it into their souls, or do not preserve it. But blessed is he that receives and preserves it, He shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord. Devotion towards the Blessed Virgin reigns in all who are the inheritance of our Lord; that is to say, in all who will praise God eternally in Heaven. Mary continues, speaking in the words of Ecelesiasticus: He that made me rested in my tabernacle, and he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect (Ib. 12, 13). My Creator has condescended to come and repose in my bosom, and His will is, that I should dwell in the hearts of all the elect, and that devotion and confidence in me should take root in all the predestined.
O, how many blessed souls are there now in Heaven who would never have been there had not Mary, by her powerful intercession, led them thither: I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth (Ecclus. xxiv. 6). Cardinal Hugo, in his commentary on the above text of Ecclesiasticus speaks in the name of Mary: “I have caused as many lights to shine eternally in Heaven as I have clients”; and then he adds, “There are many Saints in Heaven through Mary’s intercession, who would never have been there but through her.”
Saint Bonaventure says that “the gates of Heaven will open to all who confide in the protection of Mary.” Hence St. Ephrem calls devotion to the Divine Mother “the unlocking of the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.” The devout Blosius also, addressing our Blessed Lady, says: “To thee, O Lady, are committed the keys and the treasures of the kingom of Heaven.” And therefore we ought constantly to pray to her, in the words of St. Ambrose: “Open to us, O Mary, the gates of Paradise, since thou hast its keys.” Nay, more, the Church calls her: “the Gate of Heaven”: Janua coeli.
For the same reason, again, is the great Mother called by the Church the Star of the Sea, “Hail, Star of the Sea!” “For,” says the angelical St. Thomas, “as sailors are guided by a star to the port, so are Christians guided to Heaven by Mary.”
And finally, Mary is called by St. Fulgentius, “the heavenly ladder.” “For,” says the Saint, “by Mary God descended from Heaven into the world, that by her men might ascend from earth to Heaven.” “And thou, O Lady,” says St. Athanasius, “wast filled with grace, that thou mightest be the way of our salvation, and the means of ascent to the heavenly kingdom.”