Saturday, June 14, 2008
Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces
For many people, Mary as the Mediatrix of all Graces is a huge stumbling block. Some people even mistakingly think that it makes Mary omnipresent, on the same parallel as God. But if you were to read the writings of the saints and learned theologians on this subject, you would come to understand that Mary does indeed dispense graces at the will of God. St Bernard says that all graces pass through the hands of Mary, and that this is the will of God. This does not mean that God cannot dispense graces without Mary; it means that He wills for Mary, who Jesus gave to us as our Mother, to be a channel of grace for our salvation. Jesus wishes to honour his Mother, and God wants to exalt this holy woman whom He chose to dignify as the Mother of His Son, and who, more than all others, loved and honoured Jesus during His life on earth.
What is meant by that? Isn't Jesus the only mediator between man and God? Yes, just as Jesus is the only mediator between man and God, so Mary is the mediator between Jesus and man. Jesus, as mediator of justice, obtained for us all graces and salvation; but we say that Mary is the Mediatrix of Grace, and that she received this honour from Jesus Christ, because she prayers and asks for everything in the name of Jesus, her Son, and whatever graces we receive come through her intercession.
Is this teaching in accordance with the Church? Yes, and it has been believed for centuries by the faithful. The Church, in its public and approved prayers, teaches us to have recourse to Mary, and to invoke her as the refuge of sinners, the help of Christians, our life and our hope, etc. Indeed, Mary has been referred to by the Church as "the happy gate of heaven," and St Bernard explains it like this: "As every mandate of grace that is sent by a king passes through the palace gates, so does every grace that comes from heaven to the world pass through the hands of Mary." St Bonaventure adds that Mary is called the gate of heaven by the Church because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her."
When Mary conceived Jesus in her immaculate womb, and He issued forth from her womb into the world, all of His divine gifts flowed from Mary at the moment of His birth. God willed for Jesus to be born of Mary, and He chose to reward her cooperation in His divine plan. It is thus that God wills that all graces flow through the hands of Mary.