My dear friends, today, finding ourselves in the midst of the Month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, I wish to speak to you of the Virgin Mary.
If we have been talking about happiness and joy during this Easter season, there can be hardly any topic as joyful as this one. Because when we speak of our Blessed Mother, we speak of our greatest hope and refuge. We speak of the sweetest and kindness help that we can have in heaven, after God himself.
Now, in order to move our hearts to love the Virgin Mary, we will find it useful to enlighten our minds first, with the reasons that we have to love her, but even more, with the reasons that God himself has to raise the Virgin Mary to the heights that she enjoys.
This is, indeed, a stumbling block for many Protestants and non-believers. They find it hard to believe and understand, that God would give such privileges to a mere creature. And that God would want her to be so exalted, as to become the Mother of God, and the mediatrix of all graces.
My dear friends, let me try to explain this, from a Logical, and theological point of view, in three points.
First: God has determined, that the Virgin Mary be the one who will crush the head of Satan.
We read this in the first book of the Bible, Genesis 3, 15, where God tells Satan: “I will put enmities between Thee and the Woman, and Thy seed and her seed, she shall crush thy head…”
Of this no Catholic has any questions. But one might ask why this is so?
We must remember that God is perfection, Justice, and Wisdom. Everything that God has done to restore mankind, he has done in such a way, that not only where the plans of the devil thwarted, but God even defeated the devil, there where the enemy thought he had his triumph secured.
Satan used a woman to bring the fall of man. It wasn’t through the sin of Eve, that we all loss grace, but through the sin of Adam. However, Satan used a woman as an instrumentality to bring man to sin.
In the same way, God determined that we should be saved by Jesus Christ, God and Man, not through the woman, but he also decreed that the woman, our Blessed Mother be used now, as an instrumentality for our salvation.
Eve was an instrument of sin, the Virgin Mary, is made by God to be an instrument of salvation and Grace.
It is also a fitting punishment for the devil, that he be destroyed, humiliated and crushed, by a woman, a descendant of Eve, his first victim.
I was told once, by a Priest from Spain who is an Exorcist, that the devil has great hatred and fear of the Virgin Mary. He mentioned to me that he recalled that in a particular Exorcism, the Devil would never name her unless forced to do so. All the other time, he would only say “her” or “she”, and he hated her, particularly, because he said (if I remember correctly) “she takes the souls away from us!”
Another reason why God has determined to raise the Virgin Mary to such a degree of sanctity is the following:
It was Necessary that there would be a creature, in whom God’s plan for creation would be fulfilled, without defect.
My dear friends: If you have an artist, he will only be a successful artist, if he achieves a masterpiece, without any defect or fault. As long as there are pieces with defects, one could say that the artist has not been perfect.
Now, in Creation, both men and women have fallen into sins, and defects, and these sins and defects, which have separated us from God, have made the work that God intended to do in us, incomplete to an extent. That is not a defect from God, but from ourselves. We are the ones that have hindered his work.
But God is almighty, and it was fitting that in one creature, pure creature, there would be no hindrance to his work. It was becoming that in one creature, grace acted abundantly and without defect, and that in one pure human being, the work of God was made perfect and without blemish or fault.
This pure creature is the Virgin Mary.
In her, we see the work of God perfect to its completion. She is like a model, God’s masterpiece. And so, in looking at her, now angels and saints and ourselves can see and say: “Ah! This is what things would have been like, had we not ruined God’s work in ourselves!”
They say of a Saint from the very first times of the Church, that had just converted to paganism, that upon meeting the Virgin Mary for the first time, he said later on to others, that if his Catholic Faith didn’t tell him otherwise, and if he was still with the ideas of paganism, he would have thought her to be one of the deities.
The last reason why God wanted to exalt her was this my dear friends:
God is all justice. And our sins sometimes make us unworthy of receiving graces from God. Especially the sins that are committed after having known and loved our Lord Jesus Christ, make us unworthy of God’s help.
But in order to sidestep this terrible Justice, God came up with a Holy Trick. He put Graces in the hands of the Virgin Mary, a pure creature, so that those who become unworthy of receiving grace from Jesus, could obtain the pardon of their sins, and the change in their lives, through the intercession and prayers of the Virgin Mary.
Think of it this way: Imagine that there is a boat, and that you fall of this boat. That boat is grace. The captain then sends a life raft, to save you. That is our Lord Jesus Christ made man. But then, what if you reject that life raft? It will need to go back, and then you would perish at sea.
But God sends you another aid, a little life jacket, attached with a rope. Your last chance of Salvation. That is the Virgin Mary.
In Christ there must be both Justice and Mercy, because he is both God and Man. But in the Beautiful Virgin Mary, there is only mercy.
On a certain occasion, a Franciscan Friar had a vision. He saw this terrible valley, filled with monsters and threats, where all the Franciscan brothers were. This valley represented the world.
At one edge of the valley, there were stairs to heaven with Jesus Christ on the top. This represented the perfect practice of the Gospel. Many of the brothers ran towards those stairs, but as they committed sins and faults, they fell to the sides of the stairs, and would have to go back and begin again.
As the brother that was seeing this vision was afflicted at this sight, he saw, on another part of the valley, other stairs, smaller and easier, and at the top of them the Virgin Mary. I would add from my own imagination, that one could picture the Virgin Mary throwing ropes at them to come up, ropes, in the shape of the brown scapular, in the form of rosaries. These stairs represented the good will of those who want to practice the Gospel, but make up for their shortcomings with a strong Devotion to the Mother of God.
In these stairs, hardly anyone fell, and most of them made it up to heaven, where Our Lord Jesus Christ waited for them. My dear friends, don’t let this month of May go by, without making sure that you have a special devotion to the Virgin Mary. Love her as you would a Mother, and even More so. As St. Bernard said:
Whoever you are, when you find yourself tossed by storms and tempests upon this world’s raging waters … When the winds of temptation blow, when you run upon the rocks of disaster, look to the star. Cry out to Mary! When anger, avarice, or the lusts of the flesh assail the ship of your mind, look up to Mary. When you are worried by the enormity of your sins, troubled by a confused conscience, or terrified by the horrors of the judgment to come, when you begin to drown in the bottomless pit of sorrow or sink in the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In danger, in difficulties, in doubts, think of Mary. Call upon Mary! Never let her name be absent from your lips or absent from your heart. If you would obtain the help of her prayers, do not neglect to follow the example of her conduct. If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you need not despair. If you think of her, you will not err; sustained by her, you will never fall; protected by her, you need not fear; guided by her, you will walk without weariness. If she smiles upon you, you will succeed. You will experience in your own heart with what justice it is said: The servant of Mary shall never perish!