There are evidently sacraments in which Mary intervenes without our personal and voluntary concurrence: such as the baptism of infants. But in all, she acts without our knowledge. And when we are grown up and receive a sacrament, over and above her official and ever active intervention, we can pray to her personally to intercede then and there in our favor. And this is to unite our individual concurrence with that of our divine Mother.
This is why we, slaves of love of Jesus in Mary, know that we have to do in receiving the sacraments which are our right: to receive them through Mary.
And thus it is that this wide devotion brings even the sacraments within the scope of our life in Mary.
The adult who received Baptism, Confirmation, Absolution, the Eucharist, Marriage, the young deacon who receives the sacrament of Orders, the sick man who receives Extreme Unction, all these have only to entrust themselves to Mary. Whilst the priest and the bishop give life with their words of office to the signs with which they work, they need only pray to the Ever Blessed Virgin to take part herself in the sacramental act and to communicate to them the grace ensuig.
Then Mary will have her full place as Mother and Mediatrix between God and their souls through the sacrament administered by the priest or the bishop.
Blessed de Montfort specially points out to us how to communicate in union with Mary. We can apply the same method to all the sacraments, for each is capable of this application. Why should not one teach the adult baptized by the missionary, the little child making his first private Communion or receiving Confirmation, to receive these sacraments through Mary? The young levite, in the various orders, must find in his piety a very special charm and sweetness in receiving them through his tender and Heavenly Mother. The faithful soul who confesses and communicates, will surely obtain a surplus of strength, light, consolation, of every grace, in short, if he does so through Mary. Young Christians, united in true marriage, will do well dutifully to confide to that loving Virgin the life, so new, unknown, mysterious, which is opening before them. And the sick man, receiving the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction, will feel the growth of his supernatural strength, of his faith and his confidence in God, will find death more gentle and his Judge more clement, if he receives them through Mary. Thus it is that through this Devotion the Blessed Virgin enters our lives for good and all, to supernaturalize them, and as de Montfort sings:
‘Je fais tout en Elle et par Elle;
C’est un secret de sainteté
Pour être à Dieu toujours fidèle
Et faire en tout sa volonté.
(To be continued.)