The Blessed Virgin Mary takes the initiative on her own, acting decisively to ensure optimal happiness for others.
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Just how we can expect to benefit through prayerful reliance on the Blessed Virgin Mary is revealed at the wedding feast of Cana (Jn 2:1-12). There, Our Lady — sensitive to the wants of the wedding guests, solicitous to potential sorrow, and in service to those in need — mediates with her divine Son.
At Cana, nobody asks the Mother of God to intervene. The Blessed Virgin Mary takes the initiative on her own, acting decisively to ensure optimal happiness for others. Dante hails this always-other-directed grace of Our Lady in The Divine Comedy: “O Virgin Mother, your loving kindness not only comes to the aid of those who ask for it but very often spontaneously precedes the request for it” (Canto XXXIII).
Cana actually gives us a claim on Mary. As Bishop J.-B. Bossuet (+1704) stresses: “The great point for us to remember, as the solid ground of our devotion, is that Mary’s power with Our Lord remains the same now that it was during his life on earth.” And what a power it is: “The prayers of all these who cry out of whatever tribulation she gladly receives and, making supplication to her Son, in her pity she turns from them every evil. For just as wax melts at the touch of fire and as ice melts in the heat of the sun, so the army of her foes perishes before her face and at her bidding nothing hostile stands” (Bishop Amadeus of Lausanne +1159).
Let us dare to follow the superb counsel of Abbot Adam of Perseigne (+1221):
If you stand in need of mercy, it is found in full measure in the heart of the Virgin. If your faith is shaken by an assault from an enemy, turn your eyes upon the Virgin and what was wavering will be firmly fixed. If the lust of the flesh tempts you, turn your gaze upon the Virgin, and the danger to your chastity will be removed. If pride disturbs your spirit, gaze upon the Virgin, and by the merit of her humility your swelling spirit will subside. If you are set on fire by anger’s torches, lift your eyes to the Virgin and you will grow gentle through her calm. In every peril the goodness of the Virgin comes to succor. From her fullness the sum total of graces flows.
Follow Fr. Cameron’s series on prayer here.
See his two previous reflections on praying to Mary: