Mother of Good Counsel
"Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother."
St. Padre Pio
Who do you turn to in time of need? Who do you ask for insight when you're stuck and don't know what to do? I think most people don't know how much the Blessed Mother desires to come to their aid in time of need. Girls will turn to their friends and ask their opinions on who they should date or what clothes they should wear. But how many turn to Mary to ask her opinion? Who better to invoke than the one who alone found favor with God. So much so that God desired her to be His very own mother. So much so that He filled her with every possible grace; no grace is lacking in her. She is the Mother of God and she is Our Mother who wants to help us.
A beautiful Catholic speaker, Ali-Marie Ingram, in one of her talks explains the temptation to fall into past sin and vice. She touches upon the fact that the consequence of our past sins weakens us and that we must be on guard against specific vices that we know we have struggled with, therefore are prone to. The human person is prone to vice. Past vices are something that can impact and effect us later on in our lives. We are in a constant battle against the flesh and the devil. Ali-Marie says how if she had known what she knows now about sin and the effects of sin, maybe she could've avoided her falls. Nevertheless, she emphasizes the great gift of confession and exhorts us to trust in the great mercy of God.
We serve a God Who is mercy and love Itself, and Whose greatest desire is to forgive, pardon and save souls. In His unfathomable goodness not only has He "blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens"* He also gave us the Blessed Mother; His very own Mother to be our mother. As He hung upon that cross, the cross that was carried upon His scourged and bloodied shoulders, having given all He could possibly offer to mankind, hanging from the wood He gives us His mother..."behold your Mother"*. His desire to save every soul led Him to give everything, His very own self and His very own beloved Mother. He refused to hold nothing back, so as to reveal the unfathomable depth of His love for mankind. Mary is His gift to the human race.
"On Calvary, Jesus gave me all men for my sons; come then for you are my child."*
Mary daily admonishes and instructs her children in the ways of purity and modesty. She lovingly exhorts us to die to our old selves. It is a daily struggle, but as Father Sudhir had once told me, that whenever we find ourselves struggling in overcoming our weakness, we must think of the Lord Jesus hanging upon the cross. To remember that Jesus struggled immensely in His agony, yet He accomplished and fulfilled the Father's Will.
Before I began praying the Rosary, I found myself swamped in vice. I must admit with all of my heart that not until I had recourse to the Blessed Mother did I find myself pulled out of the miry pit. The temptations to sin do assail me everyday and I stumble and must make amends through the grace of God, but Mary has and continues to help me through everything, more than I could ever express. She is the one who brings me to Jesus and reveals His great mercy and compassion. I'm a poor sinner, who is in need of constant assistance from Heaven and who fears everything from my own weakness, but who knows that through the great mercy of God, the Blessed Mother is a refuge and an ever present help. Truly, I am forever indebted to her.
"Love Our Lady. And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle."
St. Josemaria Escriva
The weaknesses that we have will be our constant battles throughout our lives. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."* It is a spiritual battle and Mary is entrusted with the task of defending and guiding Christians safely to the port of Heaven. She knows our struggles and her desire is to save and bring all souls to her Beloved Son. She is Our Lady of Perpetual Help and "never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thine intercession was left unaided."*
St. Louis De Montfort had written in "True Devotion to Mary" that if all the mother's hearts were combined into one, it would still not equal the heart of the Blessed Mother. She desires her children to leave the fragrance of purity and modesty in the world. She knows our weaknesses well and still calls us to become saints.
"What a joy to remember that She is Our Mother! Since she loves us and knows our weakness, what have we to fear?"
St. Therese of Lisieux
Do not be afraid to entrust yourself to Mary's care. Anyone who desires to love Jesus with all of his heart, find Mary and abandon yourself to her. She will fulfill this desire.
St. Padre Pio, pray for us.
Ephesians 1:3, 6:14
Words of Love compiled by: Fr. Bartholomew Gottemoller O.C.S.O.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help prayer