MARY IS ALL EYES TO PITY AND SUCCOR US IN OUR NECESSITIES
St. Epiphanius calls the Divine Mother many- eyed, indicating, thereby, her vigilance in assisting us poor creatures in this world. A possessed person was once being exorcised, and was questioned, by the exorcist, as to what Mary did. The devil replied, ‘She descends and ascends. ‘And he meant, that this benign Lady is constantly descending from Heaven to bring graces to men, and re-ascending to obtain the Divine favor on our prayers. With reason, then, used St. Andrew Avellino to call the Blessed Virgin the ‘Heavenly Commissioner,’ for she is continually carrying messages of mercy, and obtaining graces for all, for just and sinners. God fixes His eyes on the just, says the Royal Prophet: ‘ The eyes of the Lord are on the just.’ ‘But the eyes of the Lady,’ says Richard of St. Lawrence, ‘ are on the just, and on sinners.’ ‘For,’ he adds, ‘the eyes of Mary are the eyes of a mother, and a mother not only watches her child, to prevent its falling, but, when it has fallen, she picks it up.’ It was revealed to St. Gertrude, that when these words are addressed with devotion to the most Blessed Virgin, ‘ Turn then, 0 most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us,’ Mary cannot do otherwise than yield to the demand of whoever thus invokes her. ‘Ah truly, 0 great Lady,’ says St. Bernard, ‘ does the immensity of thy mercy rill the whole earth.’ ‘And, therefore,’ says St. Bonaventure, ‘ this loving Mother has so earnest a desire to do good to all, that not only is she offended by those who positively outrage her (as some are wicked enough to do), but she is offended at those who do not ask her for favors or graces.’
So that St. Idelbert addresses her, saying: ‘Thou, 0 Lady, teachest us to hope for far greater graces than we deserve, since thou never ceasest to dispense graces far, far beyond our merits.’ One day, when St. Gertrude was addressing the above words, ‘Turn thine eyes of mercy towards us,’ to the Divine Mother, she saw the Blessed Virgin pointing to the eyes of her Son, whom she held in her arms, and then said, ‘ These are the most compassionate eyes that I can turn for salvation towards all those who call upon me.’ A sinner was once weeping before an image of Mary, imploring her to obtain pardon for him from God, when he perceived that the Blessed Virgin turned towards the Child that she held in her arms, and said, ‘My Son, shall these tears be lost. And he understood that Jesus Christ had already pardoned him.
How then is it possible that any one can perish who recommends himself to this good Mother, since her Son, as God, has promised her that for her love He will show as much mercy as she pleases to all who recommend themselves to her ?
This our Lord revealed to St. Gertrude, allowing her to hear Him make the promise to His Mother in the following words : ‘In My omnipotence, 0 revered Mother, I have granted thee the reconciliation of all sinners who devoutly invoke the aid of thy compassion, in whatever way it may please thee.’ On this assurance the Abbot Adam Persenius, considering the great power of Mary with God, and, at the same time, her great compassion for us, full of confidence, says, ‘O Mother of mercy, thy tender compassion is as great as thy power, and thou art as compassionate in forgiving as thou art powerful in obtaining all.’ And when,’ he asks, ‘ did the case ever occur in which thou, who art the Mother of mercy, didst not show compassion? 0, when was it that thou, who art the Mother of omnipotence, couldst not aid? Ah, yes, with the same facility with which thou seest our misfortunes thou obtainest for us whatever thou willest.’
Should the sight of our sins ever discourage us, let us address the Mother of mercy in the words of William of Paris: ‘ O Lady, do not set up my sins against me, for I oppose thy compassion to them. Let it never be said that my sins could contend in judgment against thy mercy, which is far more powerful to obtain me pardon than my sins are to obtain my condemnation.’
‘Who can there be in the world,’ exclaims St. Bonaventure, ‘who refuses to love this most amiable Queen? She is more beautiful than the sun, and sweeter than honey. She is a treasure of goodness, amiable and courteous to all.’ ‘I salute thee then,’ continues the enraptured Saint, ‘O my Lady and Mother, nay, even my heart, my soul. Forgive me, 0 Mary, if I say that I love thee, for if I am not worthy to love thee, at least thou art all worthy to be loved by me.’
In Naples there was a Moor, a slave of Don Octavius del Monaco, who, notwithstanding all the exhortations which were made him to renounce Mahometanism, remained obstinate, but yet he never failed to light every evening, at his own expense, a lamp before an image of Mary, which was in the house. He used also to say, ‘I hope that this Lady will do me some great favor.’ One night the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and told him to become a Christian. The Turk even then resisted, but Mary, putting her hand on his shoulder, said, ‘Resist no longer, Abel, be baptized, and take the name of Joseph.’ On the very next morning, he went to be instructed, and, with eleven other Turks, was baptized, on the tenth of August, in the year 1648. It must be here remarked, that when the Divine Mother appeared to him, and had converted him, she was about to depart; but the Moor took her by the mantle, saying: ‘Lady, when I am in affliction, I beseech thee to let me see thee.’ She promised him that it should be so; and in fact, on an occasion when he was afflicted, he called her, and Mary again appeared, and by saying, ‘Have patience,’- filled him with consolation.
0 greatest and most sublime of all creatures, most sacred Virgin, I salute thee from this earth, I, a miserable and unfortunate rebel against my God, who deserve chastisements, not favors; justice, and not mercy. O Lady, I say not this because I doubt thy compassion. I know that the greater thou art the more thou dost glory in being benign. I know that thou rejoicest that thou art so rich, because thou art thus enabled to succor us poor miserable creatures. I know that the greater is the poverty of those who have recourse to thee, the more dost thou exert thyself to protect and save them. O, my Mother, it was thou who didst one day weep over thy Son who died for me. Offer, I beseech thee, thy tears to God, and by these obtain for me true sorrow for my sins. Sinners then afflicted thee so much, and I, by my crimes, have done the same. Obtain for me, 0 Mary, that at least from this day forward I may not continue to afflict thee and thy Son by my ingratitude. What would thy sorrow avail me if I continue to be ungrateful to thee? To what purpose would thy mercy have been shown me, if again I was unfaithful and lost? No, my Queen, permit it not, thou hast supplied for all my short-comings. Thou obtainest from God what thou wilt. Thou grantest the prayers of all. I ask of thee two graces; I expect them from thee, and will not be satisfied with less. Obtain for me that I may be faithful to God, and no more offend Him, and love Him during the remainder of my life as much as I have offended Him.
TWENTY-SECOND DAY – MONTH OF MARY