By: Rick James
Seminarian, Third Theology
This month of May belongs to our Blessed Lady, the Mother of risen Savior. All seminarians and priest rely greatly upon her intercession at all times to remain close to her Son.
But what does it mean when we ask for our Blessed Mother’s intercession—or for that matter, any saint’s intercession. We can wonder: why do we go through the trouble of asking the saints to petition God for us? Could we not simply ask God for what we need directly?
Of course we can! However, when we pray to our Blessed Mother and all the saints, we ask them to make our prayers efficacious by their prayers and merits. But why are the prayers of the saints helpful for us? The answer to this requires remembering that the saints are in Heaven. When a person arrives in heaven, they are not in an unchanging or simply rigid and fixed state. In other words, when you arrive in heaven, you’re not just ‘done’. How boring! How could our encounter with the Eternal and Infinite God just be ‘done’, God has much more in store for us!
Heaven understood as it truly is, we are never finished with our communion with God—rather we will constantly grow in perfection. We will continuously grow in the eternal and all-loving Communion of the Blessed Trinity. Therefore, when we ask the saints in heaven to intercede for us, we are not just asking them to ‘put in a good word’ on our behalf. Rather they pray for us, and they apply their gifted state of increasing perfection in heaven to our needs.
We know that we can pray for others here and now, and we have faith that God hears and answers us—and helps those for whom we pray. The saints now in heaven, beholding our Heavenly Father’s face, also pray for us—in a state of grace far surpassing what we are capable of on Earth. Perhaps St. Jerome put its best:
“If , while still in the body, (people) can pray for others, at a time when they must still be anxious for themselves, how much more after their crowns, victories, and triumphs are won!”
So much more does all of this apply to our Blessed Mother, who is Queen of All Saints. She, who was redeemed from the moment of her Immaculate Conception, has been growing in perfection from that moment—and it is through her that the world receives her Son, Jesus Christ—the source of all grace and Eternal Life.
We recall Jesus’ attentiveness to Mary’s requests while they still walked the Earth. How much more is this continued in heaven! She was the first and only completely perfect response to the Father’s will to create, and to bring mankind to Communion with Him: “Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.” Our Lady’s intercession for the world is brought to the Father by the mother of His only Son. She is the mother of God, and the Mother of us all. She loves and cares for us— and she applies her fullness of Grace to our needs— and cares for us in a way that only a mother could.
Mary, Queen of All Saints, we love you. Pray for us!