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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 January 21, 2021

All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going...

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January 21

 

All the strength of Satan’s reign
is due to
the easy-going weakness of Catholics.


Pope St. Pius X


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Agnes

Even pagans were moved to tears at the sight of the radiant...

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St. Agnes

Agnes was born around 291 in a Christian, patrician family of Rome, and suffered martyrdom in the terrible persecution of Diocletian.

As a young maiden, she pledged herself to Christ and defended her virginity to the death.

Exceptionally beautiful, she turned down numerous suitors, but when she refused Procop, the Prefect’s own son, things became very complicated. Procop tried to win Agnes with gifts and promises but she answered: “I’m already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!”

Angered, Procop  took  the maiden before his father, and accused her of being a Christian. The Prefect tried to turn her from her Faith first by cajolements, and then by placing her in chains, but she only rejoiced.

The pagan official, set on overcoming Agnes by any means, next had her taken to a house of prostitution but she was visibly protected by an angel.

Finally, Agnes was condemned to death, but she was happy as a bride about to meet her bridegroom. Even pagan bystanders were moved to tears at the sight of the radiant maiden going to her death, and begged her to relent, to which she retorted: “If I were to try to please you, I would offend my Spouse. He chose me first and He shall have me!” Then praying, she offered her neck for the death stroke.

St. Agnes is one of seven women besides the Blessed Virgin to be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. She is the patron of chastity, young girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. She is depicted holding a lamb as her name in Latin means “lamb”, “agnus”. But the name “Agnes” is actually taken from the Greek “hagne” meaning chaste, pure, sacred.

Agnes’ relics repose beneath the high altar of the Church of Sant’Agnese Fuori le mura, built upon the place she was originally buried. This church was built in her honor by the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, and is one of the oldest in Rome.  St. Agnes’ skull is in the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone at Piazza Navona.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

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

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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