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Header-5 Reasons why we need the Blessed Mother

 by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

 

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1)  Although we receive the necessary graces for our salvation, we still need special graces to persevere. This is because the process of the decadence of a soul generally follows a pattern. First, one commits acts of ingratitude that cause a retraction of grace. This causes the person in the state of grace to deteriorate slowly and stand in need of exceptional graces. When graces dwindle, one goes from one abuse to the next, until eventually falling into mortal sin.

 

2)  Devotion to Our Lady is crucial in obtaining the necessary graces to save the soul from this process.  We need an intercessor who supplements this gap with requests for additional graces, so that we might have sufficient graces for our salvation.

 

3)  Our Lady obtains for us the graces necessary to attain salvation.  The mere fact that we are devoted to her makes us pleasing to God Who is thus predisposed to answer our requests. However, human nature is so weak that we often abuse grace to such an extent that it is difficult to find those who practice sufficient fidelity to save themselves without Our Lady's intervention.

One might ask if this means that Our Lady is not the Mediatrix of all graces, but only of extraordinary graces. No, she also obtains the minimum of essential graces for us. However, our malice serves to demonstrate that we cannot persevere in the spiritual life without her full support.

Imagine a friend who is in a "state of grace," so to speak, in relation to you. In other words, he is a friend who depends completely on your kindness, and generally acts correctly toward you. However, although this friend does not commit grave faults against you, he nevertheless constantly commits small faults such as lack of courtesy, respect or affection. Of course, to the degree that he insists upon doing this, you gradually withdraw your friendship from him.

If he commits a grave fault, it is understandable that you severe your relationship with him.

This is a bit like the image of a sinner who, without losing the state of grace, almost inevitably, falls into mortal sin at a certain moment. To prevent this fall, the intercession of Our Lady is greatly needed. It is not only greatly needed, but indispensable since after a mortal sin, a person has no claim to obtain forgiveness.

Even if he were to repent, it is doubtful that God would give Heaven to a person in this state of soul without subjecting him to grave trials as a punishment for his attitude.

 

4)  Some people suppose that death comes as an accident, a disaster outside the ways of Providence, and that God has nothing to do with death.

Man walks along the ways of the spiritual life as he so pleases, and then all of a sudden death comes and interrupts God's plans and the development of his soul. In fact, it is nothing like this at all. No hair drops from our head without God allowing it. Everything is proportional to the orientation of our spiritual life.

In fact, the moment of our death is perfectly chosen with regard to our sins and merits. Without an intercessor with the merits of Our Lady, it would be impossible to remain in the state of grace.

Imagine that a friend commits several small faults toward you, but nothing atrocious. All of a sudden he shows up asking you for a gift. Would you be ready and willing to give it? Depending on the situation, you might refuse any request on his part.

 

5)  Our spiritual life is not a plateau next to an abyss. It is an inclined ramp, in the middle of which is a line that separates the state of grace from mortal sin. When someone is on the upper part of this ramp, he can go down without falling into mortal sin.

When a person on the upper part of the ramp commits an infidelity, God normally diminishes His graces; and with the dwindling of grace a person can fall into such a state of destitution as to be reduced to strictly indispensable grace.

When one says that venial sin leads to mortal sin, it does not mean that man lacks the sufficient grace not to fall, but that he all too often does not correspond to grace and thus falls.  Human nature has a very strong penchant to abuse grace.

However, in each concrete case, man has the will to react.  Man can only obtain all the necessary and opportune graces not to fall however, if he has recourse to Our Lady.  And that is why we need Our Lady.

  


The preceding text is adapted from a lecture given by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. It has been translated and edited for publication without his revision. –Ed.

 

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 5, 2020

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do...

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July 5

 

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,
but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Her goodness went as far as raising her husband’s illegiti...

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Elizabeth of Portugal known as “The Holy Queen” was born Isabel of Aragon in Zaragoza, Spain, the daughter of King Pedro III of Aragon and Queen Constanza of Naples. She was named after her great aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

From childhood, having received a most Christian upbringing, she learned to practice self-discipline, mortification of wayward tendencies, the avoidance of sin and the pursuit of virtue, prayer and union with God’s holy will.

Beautiful, talented and good, she was sought in marriage by several European monarchs, and was ultimately betrothed by proxy at the age of thirteen to King Dinis of Portugal.

A year and a half later she arrived in Portugal to assume her responsibilities as queen. Although he was an able ruler, her husband had an irate temper and sinful habits. While he respected and revered his queen, he was unfaithful to her and had several illegitimate children.

Elizabeth bore the conjugal betrayal with exquisite patience and heroic magnanimity, praying continuously for her wayward spouse. She and Dinis had two children: Constanza and Alfonso.

The young queen started her day with Mass and prayer, and then proceeded to see to the governance of her palace. In the free moments she sewed and embroidered with her ladies for the poor, and personally tended to their needs. Afternoons were dedicated to the care of the elderly, the poor or anyone else in want.

Amazingly talented, Elizabeth mastered several languages, sang beautifully, and enjoyed a remarkable understanding of engineering and architecture. She herself designed and oversaw the building of several churches, monasteries and hospitals, developing her own “Elizabethan Style.”

One day while inspecting a construction site, a girl approached and gave her a bouquet of flowers. The queen then distributed the flowers, one to each of the workers saying: “Let’s see if today you will work hard and well for this pay.” The men reverently placed their flower each in his own satchel, only to find, at the end of the day, a gold coin in place of the flower.

In her city Elizabeth built hostels for the poor, a hospital, a house for repentant wayward women, a free school for girls, and a hospice for abandoned children. She built bridges in dangerous places, visited and procured doctors for the ill, and endowed poor girls for the convent or for marriage. She kept a beautiful tiara and wedding dress to lend to poor brides so they could “shine” or their special day. Her goodness went as far as raising her husband’s illegitimate children.

A great devotee of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy centuries before the dogma was declared; she obtained from the bishop of Coimbra the establishment of the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, which was afterwards observed with great solemnity throughout the whole country.

A constant peacemaker, the holy queen ironed out many a conflict between bellicose rulers and nobles. Twice she reconciled her husband and son, on one occasion, even interposing her person between them in the battlefield.
In the end, Dinis died a most repentant man. In one of his poems he left his ultimate tribute to his ultimate queen:

God made you without peer
In goodness of heart and speech
As your equal does not exist,
My love, my lady, I thus sing:
Had God so wished,
You’d made a great king.  

After her husband’s death, Elizabeth took the habit of a Franciscan Tertiary and retired near a convent of Poor Clares which she had built, dedicating herself to the sick and the poor.

The saintly queen died at age sixty-five invoking Our Lady, and was canonized in 1625 by Pope Urban VIII who had vowed not to canonize anyone during his pontificate. He made the exception for Elizabeth at being promptly healed of a serious illness after praying to her.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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