As we continue with our series of steps designed to help you learn more about the Catholic Faith (and get closer to Jesus), I’d like to address the intercessory power of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the Catholic Truth apostolate, one of our favorite phrases is “Ad Jesum Per Mariam”, which is Latin for “To Jesus Through Mary”. This sums up the thinking of many great saints and theologians throughout the years; the best way to get close to Jesus is through His mother. An example of this belief can be found in the words of St. Augustine who said, “Our Blessed Lady is the means Our Lord made use of to come to us. She is also the means which we must make use of to go to Him”.
One of Pope John Paul II’s favorite books was True Devotion To Mary by St. Louis De Montfort. In the book’s preface, the late Holy Father writes, “The reading of this book was a decisive turning point in my life. This ‘perfect devotion’ is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself without reserve to Christ and to the work of redemption”. Because Catholics are sometimes accused of “worshipping” Mary, it is important to note that immediately following the pontiff’s comments is this quote from the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, which refutes that inaccurate argument, “There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, ‘for there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all’. The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ”.
The main premise of De Montfort’s book is that “we are unworthy and unfit to approach Jesus by ourselves; and it is on this account that we avail ourselves of the intercession of the most holy virgin”. Her powerful intercession can be seen in the Gospel of John, when Jesus performs His first miracle at the request of His mother (Jn 2:1-11). This miracle, when Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, features Mary’s profound words to the servers when she instructed them to “Do whatever He tells you”. These words still ring true today and provide a great example of Mary’s desire to focus all of the attention away from her and toward Jesus. This is indicative of how The Blessed Mother accepts our intentions and hands them over to The Lord. When we turn to her as we attempt to get closer to her Son, she won’t let us down.
An excellent means of asking for Mary’s intercession is The Holy Rosary. Saying it daily will provide a powerful weapon to combat the spiritual battles that you’ll face as you attempt to learn more about the Catholic Faith. Let Mary take you by the hand and she will lead you closer to The Lord.