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Ave Maria Meditations


Mary, Help Of Christians:  Feast, May 24

1. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Mother of mankind and therefore the Help of Christians, the all-powerful suppliant. You abound in divine life for yourself; for us you abound in grace. Your part in distributing God’s grace is a result of the part you played in obtaining it. Although it is true that Jesus in glory, by means of His divine wounds, is our intercessor before the Father and all God’s gifts come to us through His merits, you are the all-powerful suppliant, through whom every prayer reaches up to Him and every grace comes down. From the moment you said, “Be it done to me according to thy word,” the Father in heaven made Jesus and you, as it were, a redemptive pair; you, of course, have always been dependent on Him. In all of the mysteries of Jesus, in every part of His life, the Father always thought of you two together; together you labored to save men.

You were charged with dispensing the supernatural life to men because this was fitting. But you help Christians also by your prayers. You express your wishes to God, those wishes which have to do with our needs—needs of body and needs of soul. Because of your dignity, you reach to the borders of the divine. He who gives grace, takes your prayers for commands.

How earnestly you wish God’s grace for us! How earnestly, too, you want to help us in all our needs! When the Persons of the Blessed Trinity gaze on you, the Immaculate One, most pure, most beautiful, supremely pleasing to eternal love, what can they refuse you? They see Jesus Christ in you, the treasure-house of all their blessings. Everything which Jesus may claim in justice is yours by friendship’s title. Through your prayers and dignity the power and the fruits of the Passion of Jesus are applied to men No intercession, neither yours nor that of any saint, is of value except through Him, through His blessed wounds. But, if it is true that in the task of redemption you cooperated with Him in everything, in His joys and sorrows, in His winning our salvation then it is also true that you do the same in the dispensing of all the graces, material and spiritual, necessary for our salvation.

Mary, My Mother, I could go directly to God and ask Him for His grace without your help and that of the Saints, but God has not willed it so. Having once given us Jesus Christ by you, God does not change His way of helping us. Through you we have received Jesus Christ, the Universal Source of Grace, so through your intercession, we still continue to receive the various actual graces suited to our state of life. Jesus continues ceaselessly to pray for us, offering for us to His heavenly Father His infinite merits and atonement, and causing the floods of grace to descend upon us to save us. Since you had your place beside Jesus when there was question of ransoming us and meriting for us all the graces necessary for our salvation, you must in like manner have your place beside Him now, when there is question of securing for us by your prayers in heaven the graces prepared for us in view of the merits of Christ.

2. Mary, Mother of God, when I consider your compassion for mankind and your influence with God, I am urged to give my whole-hearted and unlimited confidence to you, Help of Christians. Your motherly interest in my needs and the salvation of my soul encourage me to make a prompt appeal to you in all my needs and dangers.

When I address the Almighty, I am frequently fearful because of my sinfulness in the presence of His infinite majesty and holiness. Jesus is my Savior and I have confidence in His infinite merits. Even in the Son of God I sometimes fear the Divine Majesty because although He became Man, He did not cease to be God. But because of my sinfulness, I also have need of an intercessor with Him. I need an advocate with God, and therefore I turn to you, the Mother of God. You are a human creature, but free from even the slightest sin or guilt, and absolutely pure by reason of the singular excellence of your nature. The Son will listen to you, His Mother, and the Father will listen to His Son.

Mary, My Mother, the word which best summarizes your whole career is “Mother.” Mother you are and that doubly in the terms of our Catholic belief: human Mother of Jesus, supernatural Mother of every Christian. You brought forth Jesus, your First-born, without pain; but in giving birth to your second-born, what agony did you not have to endure? May I weigh well at what price you became the Mother of the human race, so that I may remember how much you love me and how eager you are to help me and all Christians. For from the moment when Jesus told you to see Him, in John, you saw Jesus in all Christians. You took your only Son to heart in all men born. Then for His sake, be our Help! You are, indeed, the ladder by which Christians may ascend to heaven; you are their greatest hope, and the whole ground of their hope. Surely the Son cannot refuse her who gave Him birth, the one who never denied Him anything. This thought wonderfully strengthens my confidence in you, Help of Christians.

3. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Help of Christians because you are the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ. As you were the Mother of Jesus in the Incarnation, when He assumed a physical Body, so also you are the Mother of Jesus in His Mystical Body, and of all those who, as members of that Body, are the brothers and sisters of Christ by Divine adoption. Jesus, your First-born, was brought forth in joy at Bethlehem, but His brethren, your spiritual children, were brought forth in anguish of spirit at the foot of the cross.

As you cradled the new-born Savior and nourished and cared for Him, so at Pentecost you cradled the new-born Church, watched over its frail, delicate body and fostered and nourished it with motherly care.

As you were called to cooperate with your Divine Son on Calvary in acquiring the treasure of His infinite merits, so now in Heaven you cooperate with Him in dispensing those merits to His Mystical Body. I believe that all graces and heavenly favors flow to the Mystical Body of Christ as from the Head, but you are the channel, through which, by God’s will, all graces come to humanity.

Since you are the Mother of men, God gave you a special knowledge of the needs of every Christian that you might help us to save our souls. You would not be completely happy in heaven if you did not know the interests of those souls redeemed at the cost of so much pain to Jesus and you. I cannot for a moment suspect, all good and all powerful as you are, that you are unwilling to implore for me the graces which I need so much and above all. Moreover, I am confident that you will obtain for me.

Mary, My Mother, all the saints have prayed to you for help: the prophets, the evangelists, the apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, the heroic virgins and chaste widows. All those whose Queen you are have learnt of Jesus that they must call you Mother and ask your help. Following their example and striving to attain to their faith, joining in their admiration, in their intense pleading, I, a poor sinner, who am so in need of help and pity, in need of your mercy, cry out to you: Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us . . . pray for me! Pray for us, you who are so powerful, be all-powerful in our behalf! You know all our needs—needs of body and needs of soul—infinitely better than a mother. Pray for us Christians who sigh to you in this vale of tears so that we may be comforted, enlightened, strengthened, guided, and finally saved!

Fr. Lawrence Lovasik

Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Author Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Our Lady found this unworthy lukewarm person and obtained for her the grace to enter the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. May this person spend all eternity in showing her gratitude.

More posts by Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

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