Mother Mary

4th Sunday of Easter
Beloved in Jesus Christ, today is Mother’s Day, and being that it is also May, the month of Mary, I thought today we could speak about our Mother in Heaven. The Blessed Virgin is called that – ‘Virgin’ – because Mary never had any other children than Jesus. But she does have many spiritual children, all of us! We know this, because at the cross, Christ said to St. John, who represents us, ‘She is now your mother!’ Also in chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation, it says that she has many children: ‘And the devil was angered at the Woman, and went to wage war against the rest of her children.'[i]

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So let us see today, the power that Christ has given this Mother to help her children. In his book about Mary, St. Alphonsus says[ii] mothers have great authority over their sons; even if her son is a king, and has dominion over every person in his kingdom, yet never can mothers lose their authority over their son. It is true that Jesus now in heaven has dominion over all, but it will nevertheless always be true, that when he was living on earth, he humbled himself to be subject to Mary. St. Luke says this.[iii]
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Today in the Gospel we see Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He leads his lambs to pasture; because they know his voice, the lambs follow him. Speaking of those faithful to Christ, scripture says ‘they follow the Lamb wherever he goes.'[iv] But we must say of Mary, that in his earthly life, the Lamb followed her, and was subject to her. And even though Mary is now in heaven, her prayers to her Son will always be the prayers of a Mother.
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Now it appears that Christ has foreordained that some favors will only come by the prayers of Mary. For example, at the Wedding at Cana in Galilee, when Mary asked for the water to be made wine, it seemed that the time for miracles had not yet come, for Jesus said, ‘my hour has not yet come?’ And yet Mary, as if the favor had already been granted, told the attendants to do whatever he said.
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But how could this be? The time for working miracles seemed to not be part of the Divine Plan. Yet from all eternity, God has also decreed, that nothing should ever be refused from the Mother of Christ. So although her Son seemed to resist the favor, yet he told them to fill the jars with water, as if her request had already been granted. This is confirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas who says, by his words ‘My hour has not yet come,’ Jesus Christ intended to show that had the request come from anyone else, he would not have complied with it. But because it was addressed to him by his Mother, he could not refuse.[v]
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‘Therefore, says St. Peter Damien, the Blessed Virgin can do whatever she pleases both in heaven and on earth. She is able to raise even those who are in despair to the hope of salvation.’
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Jesus is the Good Shepherd, he leads us with his voice. But there are contrary voices, enemy voices which try to lead us astray. ‘the devil prowls around the world seeking someone to destroy.’ When the devil knocks us down or harms us or tempts us, Mary helps us to fight, and if knocked down, to get up and begin again. When we are in trouble, we must immediately call on those sacred names: Jesus, Mary. ‘Jesus help me.’ ‘Mary, O Mother of God, pray for me.’
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If the devil fears Jesus Christ, he fears Mary more. The humble gaze of this sweet Lady, makes him feel double-shame in his having been defeated. St. Bernard says that Lucifer was beaten down and trampled under foot by the Blessed Virgin; therefore, as a slave conquered in war, he is forced to always obey the commands of this Queen. St. Bonaventure says that the infernal spirits tremble at the very thought of Mary.
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As you know, in the days of St. John Vianney, our patron, in the town of Ars, France, people went to him for Confession from miles around. Well, it so happened that in another town, there lived a man and his wife. The woman tried to be a faithful Catholic, practiced works of charity for neighbors and prayed often; but she worried for her husband who never attended Mass.
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Now it was a custom of this woman to decorate a statue of the Blessed Virgin at their house, and often her husband gathered the flowers for her to place on the statue. One day, peering out the window, she noticed that her husband himself laid a flower at Mary’s statue. Years passed, and without warning her husband died, a sudden death without the sacraments. The woman was full of inconsolable grief at the thought that her husband was in hell, and even she herself became ill over it.
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Years passed, her sadness worsened. But she and a friend decided as so many others, to make a pilgrimage to Ars, and visit St. John Vianney. Though her health was poor, they made the trip, and arriving at the little church, what did they do? They got into the long line for confession. Finally it was her turn, she knelt down and confessed. As she arose to leave, John Vianney called to her: ‘Do not worry about your husband, he said.’
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Now the woman had said nothing at all of her husband. ‘But I do worry,’ she said. He was irreligious and died without the Sacraments. ‘Do you not remember that single flower he once gave to the Blessed Virgin, said St. John. ‘Mary did not forget it, she saved him from hell. So go along, and be at peace.’ With that she immediately regained her health and found peace.
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Mary never forgets the love we show her. A day should never pass, when we don’t speak to our dear Mother in heaven. Perhaps its time to take up her Rosary once again, we stay close to Our Mother through the Rosary. Mary makes men better men, and women better women; she helps all to be better disciples of Christ in this life, until we see her and Jesus in the next life.
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Entrusted to the prayers of St. Augustine

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[i] Rev 12:17

[ii] Glories of Mary, p. 179

[iii] Luke 2:51

[iv] Rev 14:4

[v] Glories of Mary, p. 184

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