Montfort first lays down the following principle and affirms the following words: ‘God being absolute Master can communicate through Himself what as a rule He only communicates through Mary. We should be rash to deny that He does not sometimes do so.’
These words of Blessed de Montfort have often been contested. They seem to restrict the power and the extent of the mediation accorded to the Blessed Virgin in the distribution of graces. We must not therefore attach more importance to these words than they possess. They are countered and amended by many other statements, in which he affirms on the contrary, the universal mediation of Mary in the distribution of all the graces. Error, slip, inadvertence? Let us leave it as Rome left it when she approved of the writings of Blessed de Montfort.
In theory, God, being the Master, can without Mary, communicate His grace to mankind; Montfort says so. But in practice, by virtue of His pre-established will and redemptive plan, God does not do so. Montfort says so too, ‘Nevertheless, according to the order established by Divine Wisdom, as a rule He does not communicate Himself to men, according to S. Thomas, in the order of grace, except through Mary. Let us leave out “as a rule.”’
Bossuet, when considering the conduct of God in the redemptive plan, at Nazareth, Bethlehem, Cana, on Calvary, at the Last Supper, in the examples of our Lord, in His miracles and the evangelical mysteries, wrote down this famous rule: ‘God having once for all willed to give us Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin, the gifts of God are without repentance, and this order cannot change. It is and always will be true that having received through her charity, the universal principle of grace, we still receive through her mediation its different applications in all the different states which compose the Christian life. Her maternal charity having contributed to our salvation in the mystery of grace, she will eternally contribute to it in all those other operations which follow from it.’
Blessed de Montfort expresses the same idea in almost identical terms. ‘Things being supposed as they are now, God having willed to commence and complete His greatest works by the Most Holy Virgin, since He created her, we may think He will not change His conduct in the eternal ages, for He is God, and He changes not either in His sentiments or in His conduct….The Most Holy Virgin being necessary to God by a necessity which we called hypothetical, in consequence of His Will, she is far more necessary to men, in order for them to arrive at their Last End…He gives no heavenly gift to men which does not pass through her virginal hands.’
From these remarks and quotations two conclusions must then be drawn. First that God, ‘always independent and sufficient to Himself, did not and does absolutely need the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of His will and the manifestation of His glory. His will is enough.’
Then, that Mary having been chosen by God as a necessary means of His coming to mankind, this order of things, as God’s plans are unchangeable, does not change; and that therefore through her He communicates Himself and His graces to mankind, and that consequently through her lies our way back to God, that we may obtain His grace and go to Him as to our final, necessary and supreme End.
‘Then,’ says Montfort, ‘to ascend to Him and to be in union with Him we must use the same means which He used for coming down to us, for making Himself Man and for communicating to us His graces, and this means is a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin.’
We could not state the matter more clearly. What we now have to do, then, is to find this true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. This Blessed de Montfort does, and we, following in his steps, can do so also.
(To be continued.)