Fourth principle: It is more humble to have an intermediary
83. It is more perfect because it supposes greater humility
to approach God through a mediator rather than directly by
ourselves. Our human nature, as I have just shown, is so
spoilt that if we rely on our own work, effort and
preparedness to reach God and please him, it is certain that
our good works will be tainted and carry little weight with
him. They will not induce him to unite himself to us or answer
our prayers. God had his reasons for giving us mediators with
him. He saw our unworthiness and helplessness and had pity on
us. To give us access to his mercies he provided us with
powerful advocates, so that to neglect these mediators and to
approach his infinite holiness directly and without help from
any one of them, is to be lacking in humility and respect
towards God who is so great and holy. It would mean that we
have less esteem for the King of kings than for an earthly
king or ruler, for we would not dare approach an earthly king
without a friend to speak for us.
84. Our Lord is our Advocate and our Mediator of redemption
with God the Father. It is through him that we must pray with
the whole Church, triumphant and militant. It is through him
that we have access to God the Father. We should never appear
before God, our Father, unless we are supported by the merits
of his Son, and, so to speak, clothed in them, as young Jacob
was clothed in the skin of the young goats when he appeared
before his father Isaac to receive his blessing.
85. But have we no need at all of a mediator with the
Mediator himself? Are we pure enough to be united directly to
Christ without any help? Is Jesus not God, equal in every way
to the Father? Therefore is he not the Holy of Holies, having
a right to the same respect as his Father? If in his infinite
love he became our security and our Mediator with his Father,
whom he wished to appease in order to redeem us from our
debts, should we on that account show him less respect and
have less regard for the majesty and holiness of his person?
Let us not be afraid to say with St. Bernard that we need
a mediator with the Mediator himself and the divinely-honoured
Mary is the one most able to fulfil this office of love.
Through her, Jesus came to us; through her we should go to
him. If we are afraid of going directly to Jesus, who is God,
because of his infinite greatness, or our lowliness, or our
sins, let us implore without fear the help and intercession of
Mary, our Mother. She is kind, she is tender, and there is
nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or
too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at
its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the
brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the
moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and
adapts it to our limited perception.
She is so full of love that no one who asks for her
intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The
saints say that it has never been known since the world began
that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and
perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her
prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer
before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her
requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of
the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.
86. All this is taken from St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure.
According to them, we have three steps to take in order to
reach God. The first, nearest to us and most suited to our
capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; the third is
God the Father. To go to Jesus, we should go to Mary, our
mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go
to Jesus, our Mediator of redemption. This order is perfectly
observed in the devotion I shall speak about further on.