Guest Columnists

Mother of Mercy

By Father Ronan Murphy

Brothers and sisters, in the Old Testament, the queen mother in the royal Davidic court had a special role as the advocate of the people and mediator on their behalf with the king. The king would never deny a request from his mother, the queen. Her place in the royal court was called the “Mercy Seat.” And so, from her mercy seat in heaven, Mary as Queen and Mother of Mercy has obtained on behalf of us, her people of these times, a time
of great grace, a time of great mercy for our eternal salvation.

St. Faustina saw Jesus one day, like a king in great majesty looking down upon the earth with great severity, but because of his mother’s intercession, he prolonged the time of mercy. She again saw Mary in a vision shed-
ding bitter tears over sinful humanity and shielding us from God’s justice, reminding us of the third secret of Fatima where Our Lady is seen staying back or holding back an angel with a flaming sword from executing God’s justice upon the world.

The great feast of Divine Mercy, which is an Easter Feast, as it falls on the Octave day of Easter, inspired me to write this article of Mary, Queen, and Mother of Mercy. The Kingdom of God consists of justice and mercy. The psalmist says, “Give to the King Thy Judgment O God, and the King’s Son Thy Justice.”

St. Bonaventure paraphrases these words of David saying, “Give to the King thy Justice O God, and the King’s
Mother Thy Mercy.” God consecrated Mary as Queen of Mercy, anointing her with the Oil of Gladness.

St. Bernard says that the Church calls Mary “The Queen of Mercy” because she opens the abyss of the Mercy of God to whomsoever she wills, when she will, as she wills, so that there is no sinner, however great, who is lost if Mary protects him.

In the “Hail Holy Queen,” the Church has taught us to address her as Mother of Mercy. “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope.”

Mary is in every sense a Mother of Mercy because she is the Mother of Christ, who is Divine Mercy and brought mercy to our world. These words are applied to Mary from the book of Judges: “By me, his handmaid, he has fulfilled his mercy which he promised to the House of Israel.” The mercy of her Son towards men has made her thus merciful to-
wards men.

No child no matter how sinful should ever fear to go to Mary. She is all sweetness, offering milk and wool to all, the milk of her mercy and the wool of her protection against the thunderbolts of God’s Divine Justice. According to some of the mystics, the good thief on the Cross looked upon Mary with compassion and said, “In the name of your dying son, pray for me.”

And as Mother of Mercy so she did and thus obtained his conversion and salvation, “this day thou shalt be with me
in paradise.”

The Blessed Virgin once told St. Bridget: “However much a man sins, if he returns to me with a real purpose of amendment, I am instantly ready to welcome him; neither do I pay attention to the greatness of his sins,
but to the intention alone with which he comes. I do not disdain to anoint and heal his wounds, for I am called, and truly am, the Mother of Mercy.”

We should all be familiar with the story of St. Augustine who was converted by the prayers and tears of his earthly mother, St. Monica. But he declared that his conversion was due not so much to the tears and prayers of his earthly mother, but the tears and prayers of his heavenly mother, Mary.

Into her mouth can be put the words of Sacred Scripture: “I desire not the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”

And when the sinner converts and repents and receives God’s mercy through her, she rejoices in union with the rest of heaven. The whole of heaven rejoices over one repentant sinner than over 99 who don’t need repentance.

Brothers and sisters, it will be only through this Gracious Queen that we sinners having been taken hostage by the evil one will be liberated and given once again better clothing, meaning the robe of grace, to return safely to our Father’s house. He who finds Mary finds life and shall have salvation from the Lord. Amen!

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