Power of the Mother With the Son
For if “God heareth not sinners, but if a man be a worshipper of Him and do His will, him He heareth”; if “the continual prayer of a just man availeth much”; if faithful Abraham was required to pray for Abimelech, “for he was a prophet”; if patient Job was to “pray for his friends,” for he had “spoken right things before God”; if meek Moses, by lifting up his hands, turned the battle in favour of Israel, against Amalec; why should we wonder at hearing that Mary, the only spotless child of Adam’s seed, has a transcendent influence with the God of grace?
And if the Gentiles at Jerusalem sought Philip, because he was an apostle, when they desired access to Jesus, and Philip spoke to Andrew, as still more closely in our Lord’s confidence, and then both came to Him, is it strange that the Mother should have power with the Son, distinct in kind from that of the purest angel and the most triumphant saint?
If we have faith to admit the Incarnation itself, we must admit it in its fullness; why then should we start at the gracious appointments which arise out of it, or are necessary to it, or are included in it? If the Creator comes on earth in the form of a servant and a creature, why may not his Mother on the other hand rise to be the Queen of heaven, and be clothed with the sun, and have the moon under her feet? (Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, “Discourses to Mixed Congregations“)
Spiritual Rescue Operations
Priests caring for souls — and others as well: parents, spouses, and friends — may find themselves at times engaged in a kind of spiritual rescue operation on behalf of a particular person. In such situations it is crucial to recall two words of Our Lord from Saint John’s Gospel: “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5), and “Behold your mother” (Jn 19:27).
The Name of Jesus
No human agent, however devoted to prayer and fasting he may be, can by his own power, restore a soul to health. It is by the name of Jesus, that is to say, by His adorable Person, that souls are delivered from bondage and oppression, healed, and raised to life.
Thus taught the Apostle Peter: “Here is a man you all know by sight, who has put his faith in that Name, and that Name has brought him strength; it is the faith which comes through Jesus that has restored him to full health in the sight of you all” (Ac 3:16).
When a soul, weakened by sin, hardened by impenitence, and sometimes blinded by the powers of darkness cannot invoke the Name of Jesus for herself, the consoling doctrine of the Mystical Body authorizes others to do this on her behalf. This is the mystery of intercessory prayer. In its simplest form, intercessory prayer is the invocation of the Name of Jesus.
The Immaculate Virgin Mary
That being affirmed, know that no creature in heaven or on earth can pronounce the saving Name of Jesus as can the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The name of Jesus in the Heart of Mary, and on her lips, is a remedy of boundless efficacy. For this reason the sacred liturgy applies to the Mother of God the psalmist’s prophecy: Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis — “Thy lips overflow with gracious utterance” (Ps 44:3).
Guided by a sure instinct coming from the Holy Spirit, Christians have, from the earliest centuries, besought the Mother of God to invoke the Name of Jesus on their behalf. Instructed by experience, the Church acclaims her as omnipotentia supplex, all-powerful in her supplication. There are critical situations in which the wisest and most efficacious course of action is to entrust or consecrate the person or persons concerned to the all-holy Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception. Saved in advance by the Precious Blood of the Lamb, and full of grace at the very instant of her conception in the womb of her mother Saint Anne, the Immaculata crushes the head of the ancient serpent beneath the weight of the grace that fills her.
In November 2007 I served a fortnight as interim chaplain to the Benedictines du Saint-Sacrement at the Sanctuary of Notre Dame d’Orient in the Aveyron, France. (This particular title of the Mother of God refers not to the Orient (East), but rather to Our Lady’s readiness to tend her ear to us at every moment: auriens.) While at Notre-Dame d’Orient I was inspired to write a prayer of intercessory consecration to Immaculate Virgin Mary.
This prayer of consecration may be helpful when one experiences a need to entrust particular souls in difficulty to the Immaculate Conception. When a priest prays it, he may want to don the stole and pray it before a blessed image of the Most Holy Virgin. This intercessory consecration is appropriate for the unbinding and healing of situations marked by habitual sin and moral suffering. The Immaculate Virgin Mary is ever-ready to intervene in the lives of her children. She is the Mother of Mercy and the Mediatrix of All Graces. Here is the prayer, first in English, and then in the original French.
In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Most holy Virgin Mary.
– thou whom the FATHER didst preserve from the first instant of thy conception
from all evil and from the least shadow of sin,
– thou whom the Precious Blood of JESUS didst render immaculate and all-beautiful, even before that same Blood was formed in thy virginal womb and poured out upon the altar of the Cross,
– thou whom the HOLY GHOST didst fill full with every grace in view of the glorious motherhood of the Son of God for which thou wast created,
– thou art she who crusheth the head of the ancient serpent,
thou art she who alone overcometh the evil that is in us and around us.
To thee, O Mary,
thy Son hath entrusted the liberation of souls enchained by sin,
the healing of wounded souls,
and the sanctification of souls who have suffered evil’s worst ravages.
Thou hast only to open thy immaculate hands over them,
and they are shot through with the rays of thy purity.
Through thee, entereth the light to shine in the darkest places.
Through thee, souls are washed in a downpour of graces.
Through thee, the Holy Spirit succoureth the weakest souls
and giveth to the sterile a wonderful fecundity.
Thou, O Mary, art the only hope of thy children scarred by sin
and poisoned by its venom.
To those whom the enemy hath made to go astray in bitterness and in fear,
thou openest the path of life and of beatitude.
This is why, impelled today by the boldness that cometh of the Holy Ghost,
and by a confidence that is altogether that of a son,
[and when the consecration is made by a priest:
and in virtue of my priesthood,]
I entrust to thee N. and N.,
in consecrating them to thy pierced and immaculate Heart.
Show thyself the Mother of mercy.
Show thyself our all-powerful Queen,
for there is nothing that resisteth thy supplication
in the presence of Jesus, the King of Love.
Mediatrix of all graces,
save these souls from the tentacles of evil.
Heal them, even in those secret and painful wounds,
that only thy most gentle motherly hand can touch
without adding to their pain.
From this moment on,
these souls are consecrated entirely to thee.
Do thou for them whatsoever thy maternal Heart will suggest to thee.
Purify them in the Precious Blood of thy Jesus, the Lamb without stain,
so that now, and even unto the ages of ages,
they may live for the praise of the glory
of the Father + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Au nom du Père, + et du Fils, et du Saint Esprit. Amen.
Très sainte Vierge Marie,
– toi que le PÈRE a préservée dès le premier instant de ta conception
de tout mal et de la moindre ombre du péché,
– toi que le Précieux Sang de JÉSUS a rendu immaculée et toute belle,
avant même d’avoir été formé dans ton sein virginal
et répandu sur l’autel de la Croix,
– toi que l’ESPRIT SAINT a comblée de toute grâce
en vue de la glorieuse maternité du Fils de Dieu
pour laquelle tu as été créée,
tu es celle qui écrase la tête de l’antique serpent,
tu es celle qui seule parvient à vaincre le mal qui est en nous
et autour de nous.
À toi, ô Marie,
ton Fils a confié la libération des âmes enchaînées par le péché,
la guérison des âmes blessées,
et la sanctification des âmes qui ont souffert les pires ravages du mal.
Tu n’as qu’à ouvrir tes mains immaculées au-dessus d’elles,
et elles sont pénétrées par les dards de ta pureté.
Par toi, entre la lumière pour briller dans les lieux les plus obscurs.
Par toi, les âmes sont lavées dans une pluie de grâces.
Par toi, l’Esprit Saint vient au secours des plus faibles,
et donne aux stériles une merveilleuse fécondité.
Toi, ô Marie,
tu es l’unique espérance de tes enfants meurtris par le péché
et empoisonnés par son venin.
À ceux que l’ennemi a fait errer dans l’amertume et la crainte,
tu ouvres le chemin de la vie et de la béatitude.
Voilà pourquoi, aujourd’hui,
animé de l’audace qui vient de l’Esprit Saint,
et d’une confiance toute filiale,
[quand la consécration est faite par un prêtre :
et fort de la vertu de mon sacerdoce,]
je vous confie N. et N.,
en les consacrant à ton Cœur transpercé et immaculé.
Agis maintenant en Mère de miséricorde.
Agis en Reine toute-puissante,
car rien ne peut résister à ta supplication auprès de Jésus, le Roi d’Amour.
Médiatrice de toutes grâces,
sauve ces âmes de l’emprise du mal.
Guéris-les jusque dans ces blessures secrètes et douloureuses
que seule ta main très douce de Mère peut toucher
sans augmenter la souffrance.
À partir de ce moment,
ces âmes te sont entièrement consacrées.
Fais pour elles tout ce que ton Cœur maternel te dira.
Purifie-les dans le Précieux Sang de ton Jésus, l’Agneau sans tache,
pour que, de nouveau, et jusque dans l’éternité,
elles vivent à la louange de la gloire
du Père, + et du Fils, et du Saint Esprit. Amen.