The Ready Assistance of Mary

I am starting the week off with an excerpt from the beloved St. Alphonsus Liguori, and his book, The Glories of Mary. This particular section of the book refers to the quick assistance that Our Lady renders when invoked via prayer.

Here is today’s excerpt which is taken from Chapter 4, section 1, of The Glories of Mary:

St. Bonaventure observes that Ruth, whose name means “seeing and hastening,” was a figure of Mary; “for Mary, seeing our miseries, mercifully hastens to help us.”

Novarinus adds that “Mary, in her intense desire to help us, can brook no delay, for she is not at all an avaricious hoarder of the graces at her disposal, but a Mother of Mercy, and instantly showers down the treasures of her liberality on her servants.”

Richard of St. Lawrence assures us that Mary pours out her compassion on everyone who prays for it, even if the prayer be only a simple Hail Mary.

How quickly this good Mother helps all who pray to her! She not only runs, but flies, to our assistance.

God has wings when He comes to His own; Mary too has wings. Hers are the wings of an eagle; she flies with the love of God.

With speed more than that of the seraphim she goes everywhere to aid her children.

When she went into the hill country to Elizabeth, bringing grace with her, she went, we are told, in haste (Lk. 1:39).

Remember what Bernardine de Bustis says: She is more eager to grant us graces than we can be to receive them.

Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our confidence. Mary is the Mother of Mercy. But there would be no reason for mercy if there were no one who needed it. No good mother shrinks from applying a remedy to her children when they are infected with some disgusting skin disease, however nauseating the sight may be. Neither does our good Mother shrink from us when we come to her to heal the wounds of sin, no matter how loathsome they are.

So great is this good Mother’s compassion, and her love so urgent, that she does not even wait for our prayers — she anticipates them. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of people’s desire (Wis. 6:14).

Her heart is full of pity for poor sinners, and scarcely has she noticed our miseries when she lavishes her tender mercies on us.

For any who doubt whether Mary will help them when they come to her, Innocent III has this encouraging reminder: “Who ever called upon her and was not heard by her?”

If there are any, O most Blessed Virgin Mary, who can recall having been refused by you when they came to you in their hour of need, let them no more speak in praise of your mercy!

Sooner would Heaven and earth be destroyed than Mary would fail to assist anyone who turned to her with the right dispositions to ask her help.

St. Anselm, to increase our confidence, says this: “When we pray to the Mother of God we are heard more quickly than when we call directly on the name of Jesus — for her Son is not only our Lord but our Judge. But when we call on the name of His Mother, though our own merits will not insure an answer, yet her merits intercede for us and we are answered.”

This does not mean that Mary is more powerful than her Son to save us. We know that Jesus is our only Savior, and that he alone by His merits has obtained and will obtain salvation for us.

However, when we have recourse to Jesus, we regard Him at the same time as our Judge, whose business it is to chastise ungrateful souls. Therefore the confidence necessary before we can be heard may fail us.

When we go to Mary, however, she has no other office but to show compassion as Mother of Mercy, and to defend us as our advocate. Hence our confidence is more easily aroused and is often greater than when we go directly to Jesus.

Many things are asked of God and are not granted; they are asked of Mary and are obtained not because she is more powerful than God, but simply because God decrees to honor her in this way.

Once St. Bridget heard our Lord make a most sweet and consoling promise: “You shall bring Me no petition,” He said to His Mother, “that will be denied. Ask what you will; I will never refuse you anything.

“And remember — I promise to give grace to those who ask it in your name, even though they be sinners, if they resolve to change their lives.”

That is quite beautiful.

It is lovely to be the children of Mary.

May we always have recourse to Our Mother, Mary.

May you have a good day, especially as it is the 25th day of the month, and is Little Christmas: Merry Little Christmas!


~Image: interior view of the altar at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Covington, KY, picture snapped by CFW, yesterday.