The Catholic's Secret|
Many Catholics call it the "back door sure-fire entrance" by going to Mary for it is to Jesus through Mary that we honor Our Lord more because He honored His Blessed Mother. He expects us to extend the same honors which He did. When we do, He can't say no for He cannot deny the requests of the one who bore Him, who is the ideal model to all - especially Catholics and to whom He bequeathed upon the cross to His Church to best guide us to Him that we may share eternal life with Him.
Father James F. Wathen
"The Catholic's secret is that he who is devoted to Mary is in the best of care and is more truly a disciple of Christ than those who are cold to her. She is unfailing and her patronage infallibly brings about what is good and auspicious. If you would do well in this life and win eternal salvation, therefore, devote yourself to this Blessed Mother, this most gracious Queen. Beg her to befriend and protect you, to include you in her motherly solicitude as one of her most poor and dependent children. Implore her for all your needs and in every difficulty, rely on her intercession in all things, large and small, temporal and spiritual."
Father James Wathen
There is an element in Catholic faith and practice which some make more of that others by virtue of a special insight of the Holy Ghost. Protestants are blind to this mystery, so that they at one time wonder, at other times scoff; they see our devotion as unwholesome and inappropriate.
We speak of our relationship with and devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. Devotion to the Virgin Mary is absolutely necessary, for God has given ample evidence of His desire for Maryís ever greater exaltation, this particularly in the last four centuries. No more does the honoring of a great manís mother detract from his eminence than does the veneration of Mary derogate in any way the glory of Christ and the Triune God.
The Catholic's secret is that he who is devoted to Mary is in the best of care and is more truly a disciple of Christ than those who are cold to her. She is unfailing and her patronage infallibly brings about what is good and auspicious. If you would do well in this life and win eternal salvation, therefore, devote yourself to this Blessed Mother, this most gracious Queen. Beg her to befriend and protect you, to include you in her motherly solicitude as one of her most poor and dependent children. Implore her for all your needs and in every difficulty, rely on her intercession in all things, large and small, temporal and spiritual.
The Assumption and exaltation of Mary as the Queen of Heaven is demonstration enough of what it means for God to love, for God to have such a one to love as
The Queen of angels,
The Queen of patriarchs,
The Queen of prophets,
The Queen of Apostles,
The Queen of martyrs,
The Queen of confessors,
The Queen of virgins,
The Queen of all saints.
He should consider himself specially blessed who recognizes that God wills that Mary be extolled and honored by all the angels and all men as the
The Mirror of Justice,
The Seat of Wisdom
The Spiritual Vessel,
The Vessel of Honor,
The Singular Vessel of Devotion,
The Gate of Heaven.
In Mary, the human will is most ordered to the divine. God wants to shower the world with his mercy and grace, and to do it through the Virgin Mary, the Comforter of the Afflicted, and the Help of Christians. Those who are close to Mary know how she takes care of them, and find great solace in her maternal embrace; those who are not wish that it were so, because, in their hearts, despite a proud spirit, they know that they are weak, ignorant, and defenseless in the evil world.
If, then, you would possess and enjoy the fruit of this precious secret, begin with the faithful and fervent devotion of the Rosary. (Attend, particularly, to the words, "Pray for us, sinners...") Ask Mary to take you as her special charge, as one who sorely needs her guidance, strength, and love. Admit that you are spiritually poor and too much attached to the world, your own will, and usually follow the path of least resistance. Confess that you are too earthbound, fickle, and irresolute. Declaim to her the burdens you bear, your anxieties, your problems, your cares. Tell her your failings, your faults, your temptations, your fears, your sloth, your needs. Name these things often in your pleas for her maternal love and assistance. Do not expect some miraculous or wondrous manifestation; expect rather that all will be well, as long as you demonstrate this filial spirit, this confident reliance. Mary enjoys the role of our quiet and self-effacing, and most perfect advocate.
The closer and truer your union with her, the more you will be changed. To the extent that you speak to her, depend upon her, defer to her, attend upon her, you will be reformed in your affections, your perceptions, your sensibilities, your preferences, your manners, your aspirations. In so far as you allow it to happen, Mary will add strength to your character, timber to your virtue, substance to your being, quality to your actions. Expect, desire, and ask that she remake you according to the pattern of her Son. Even if your original hope be modest, even if you wish only for her to make you safe, to help you manage in the world, you must be open to something greater, something higher. There is no limit to the salutary and salubrious effect that
The Virgin most prudent,
The Virgin most venerable,
The Virgin most renowned,
The Virgin most powerful,
The Virgin most merciful,
The Virgin most faithful can produce within you.
It goes without saying that all that Mary will effect in you will be by the power of the Holy Spirit, Whose mystic Tower of Ivory, House of Gold, and Ark of the Covenant she is. Further, all will be according to the grace and excellence of Her Son. This is what she does, bring forth in her children her Son--she, the Second Eve, "the Mother of all the living."
What we speak of here is hidden from nonbelievers, whose proud skepticism them to the world of supernatural mystery and this spiritual metamorphosis. Most important of all is the truth that all that your heavenly Mother accomplishes in her votaries is after the manner of, and by virtue of, her Divine Maternity. As the Son of the Father grew and became human within her, so He grows and takes form in her children, His members. The growth, to be sure, is spiritual primarily, but virtue transfigures in Christ the whole person, body and soul, and subordinates the faculties and powers and passions of the body to the "divinized" soul. Not for nothing is she proclaimed
The Mother of Christ,
The Mother of divine grace,
The Mother most pure,
The Mother most amiable,
The Mother of good counsel,
The Mother of our Creator,
The Mother of our Savior,
The Seat of Wisdom,
The Cause of our joy,
The Spiritual Vessel.
Go to Mary, therefore, pitiable and anxious child, and beg her, importune her, to enfold you within her Immaculate Heart, as she enclosed the Sun of Justice within her virginal womb, that you may grow and be perfected in the image of her Son.
I wish again to thank everyone who prays for me, and beg him to continue. My hope is to get well enough that I can return to priestly work. We priests who have held on to the Traditional Catholic practice are dying one by one, as is to be expected. I ask the good God for a few more years, since, despite my present difficulties, I have a lot of healthiness.
My brother John however is having a hard time of it, but is taking it like Christian. He is at St. Mary's Rehabilitation Institute, where he is in therapy during the day. As I understand it, a stroke victim must exercise his effected members or he will not regain the use of them. His address is: 3700 Washington Avenue Evansville, Indiana 47750; his room number: 2909. I ask for prayers for him as for myself. He has been a true brother to me for the last year or so, putting himself out for me in every way.
I wish to acknowledge the letters and cards of encouragement I continue to receive, and the contributions of money which are most helpful. Please pardon my not writing a note of thanks. Today is the Feast of the Assumption and the 22nd the Feast of the Immaculate Heart. Pray that your heart may beat in unison with hers.
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