Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mediatrix of all Graces

That the Blessed Virgin Mary obtains for us and distributes to us all graces is a certain doctrine...
In an encyclical on the Rosary, Leo XIII says: "According to the will of God, nothing is granted to us except through Mary; and, as no one can go to the Father except through the Son, so generally no one can draw near to Christ except through Mary." (24)

The Church, in fact, turns to Mary to obtain graces of all kinds, both temporal and spiritual; among these last, from the grace of conversion up to that of final perseverance, to say nothing of those needed by virgins to preserve virginity, by apostles to exercise their apostolate, by martyrs to remain firm in the faith. In the Litany of Loreto, which has been universally recited in the Church for many centuries, Mary is for this reason called: "Health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, help of Christians, queen of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins." Thus all kinds of graces are distributed by her, even, in a sense, those of the sacraments; for she merited them for us in union with Christ on Calvary. In addition, she disposes us, by her prayer, to approach the sacraments and to receive them well. At times she even sends us a priest, without whom this sacramental help would not be given to us.

Finally, not only every kind of grace is distributed to us by Mary, but every grace in particular. Is this not what the faith of the Church says in the words of the Hail Mary: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen"? This "now" is said every moment in the Church by thousands of Christians who thus ask for the grace of the present moment. This grace is the most individual of graces; it varies with each of us, and for each one of us at every moment. If we are distracted while saying this word, Mary, who is not distracted, knows our spiritual needs of every instant, and prays for us, and obtains for us all the graces that we receive. This teaching, contained in the faith of the Church and expressed by the common prayers (lex orandi lex credendi), is based on Scripture and tradition. Even during her earthly life, Mary truly appears in Scripture as the distributor of graces. Through Mary, Jesus sanctified the Precursor when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth and sang the Magnificat. Through His mother, Jesus confirmed the faith of the disciples at Cana, by granting the miracle that she asked. Through her, He strengthened the faith of John on Calvary, saying to him: "Behold thy mother." Lastly, by her the Holy Ghost came down upon the apostles, for she was praying with them in the cenacle on Pentecost day when the Holy Ghost descended in the form of tongues of fire.(25) - Garrigou-Lagrange, Three Ages of the Interior Life

Break the sinner's fetters...

"At times she even sends us a priest, without whom this sacramental help would not be given to us."  Our Lady has done this for me more than once.  Several years ago I needed to go to confession due to serious sin.  It was during a very difficult period of moral struggle in my life.  I went to a church which had an adoration chapel - if only to pray, although I hoped a priest might be in the chapel and I could ask him to hear my confession.  I prayed very much for Our Lady to send a priest.  When I entered the main church, though it was late in the evening and all was dark, I noticed that Monsignor's confessional had the light on, and I could see that there was a light inside as well.  To my surprise, Monsignor was sitting in his confessional!  I made my confession and stayed afterwards for adoration and thanksgiving.

It was really the Monsignor in there - not some apparition.  Another priest later told me that Monsignor may have been confused and thought that it was Thursday before First Friday, which may explain why he was in the confessional.  I give thanks to Our Lady.

That said, no matter what your state of soul, ask Our Lady to help you, just as she is Mediatrix, she is also the Refuge of sinners.  Pray the Rosary.


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