Mother of Mercy

Friends in Christ. today is Saturday, Our Lady’s Day, and so let’s take for our reflection this morning, the first words we say in the Hail Holy Queen. We say: ‘Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, ‘Our life, our sweetness, and our hope …
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Here we address Mary as our ‘Mother of Mercy.’ Now the Blessed Virgin has been given this office of mercy by her Son Jesus, to gather up the sinners and to bring them home. Our Lord revealed to St. Catherine of Sienna that he had created Mary to catch men and especially sinners.[i] It is only required that the sinner call on this Mother, and repent of his sins.
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When any mother sees her child crying before her because of his misdeeds, she does not consider his failures but rather the intentions with which he comes to her. In fact, Mary said to St. Bridget: ‘However much a man sins, I am ready immediately to receive him when he repents; nor do I pay attention to the number of his sins, but only to the intention with which he comes, for I am the Mother of Mercy.'[ii]
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St. Bernard says, if a mother knew that her two sons were at enmity with each other, that each plotted against the other’s life, would she not work as hard as possible to reconcile them? This would be the duty of a good mother. And thus he says, does Mary act. For she is the Mother of Jesus and the mother of us. When she sees a sinner at enmity with Jesus Christ, she cannot endure it, and so she does everything in her power to make peace between them.[iii] The Blessed Virgin will do anything she can to get us safely home.
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I recall in my own youth, returning home late, past curfew; quietly tip-toeing upstairs in the dark; only to hear mom call out: ‘Son, is that you, are you home?’ A mother cannot rest until her child is safely home. Mary awaits any sinner who wishes to come home, but he must repent and turn from his sin.
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St. Alphonsus says, ‘whoever aspires to be a child of this great mother, must first abandon sin.’ Richard of St. Lawrence says, ‘no one can be a child of Mary without first trying to rise from the fault into which he has fallen.’
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So on this Saturday let us find confidence in Mary. And if we fear to face our Heavenly Father for the dread of the sins of our life, let us first go to our Mother. St. Gregory says: ‘Resolve to sin no more, and I promise that undoubtedly you will find Mary more ready to love thee than any earthly mother.’

[i] Glories of Mary, p. 204

[ii] Glories of Mary, p. 72-74

[iii] Glories, p. 74

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