Let us have confident recourse to the protection of Mary. Before showing how confidently we can trust in the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, it will be well to consider our destitution and our pitiful situation. It is unfortunate to have enemies; however, it is certainly more dangerous to have them but not know them. It will help us therefore to identify our enemies.

We are human; we are sinful. As human beings, hell is our enemy; as sinners, heaven is our enemy. The devil unjustly wants us damned; God justly wants us punished. Thus we have heaven and hell against us and we are in the middle, exposed to both the wrath of God and the cunning of the devil. How can we protect ourselves from two opponents as powerful as these?

Do not worry, my brothers and sisters. In Mary, we have a defender against the anger of heaven and the fury of hell. She can disarm the justice of God and defeat the designs of the devil. She frightens the enemy of our souls, for she is as strong as an army prepared for battle. She is that sturdy tower which no enemy can storm; a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all shields of valiant men. This armament is for our defense and the overthrow of our enemies. To be safe, we need only retreat to this tower and remain in it. If we have any further fear, let it be the fear of alienating ourselves from Mary and her protection. Let us then be confident and fear nothing. Yet I hear someone object: we must dread not only the fury of the devil but also the just anger of God Who is, unfortunately, too often seriously provoked by our sins. This is what terrifies us; this is what makes us falter. It is true that good people have Mary as a protector in every crisis of life; but we are not good, we are sinners. God is vexed with us. Who can deliver us from Him? No one can resist the Almighty. If He wants to punish us because of our sins, who can prevent Him? Mary can by her intercession. She has more influence with God than the whole company of saints in heaven…

The grace we lost by sin, Mary found. She did not find grace lost by herself because she never lost it. It was the grace we had lost that she found. Let us search for that lost grace; let us search for it through Mary. She always finds what she is looking for and can never look in vain. Mary’s quests are never fruitless; neither will ours be if we seek our lost grace through her.

- Fr. Dominic of the Mother of God (†1849), born Dominic Barberi, was an Italian Passionist priest and theologian. He received John Henry New-man into the Catholic Church.

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