Our Mother Who Dispenses Mercy: Friday, December 11, 2015

J.M.J. In his remarkable book, The Mother of the Savior and Our Interior Life, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877-1964) addressed the subject of Our Lady as the Mother of Mercy. "The title of Mother of Mercy is one of Mary's greatest. Mercy is not the same thing as mere emotional pity. Mercy is in the will, pity is but a good inclination of the sensibility. Pity, which does not exist in God Who is a pure spirit, leads us to suffer in unison with our neighbor as if we felt his suffering in ourselves. It is a good inclination but usually a timid one, being accompanied by fear of harm to ourselves and often helpless to render effective aid."

Our Lady, along with her Divine Son, Jesus, offers to us a pattern for our efforts to be merciful. In fact, the Son and the Mother are the template for our attempts to pardon others. "She teaches us, though, that if mercy is not justice it is not opposed to it as injustice is, but unites itself to it and goes beyond it: most of all in pardoning, for to pardon is to go beyond what is demanded by justice in forgiving an offense."

Father Garrigou-Lagrange explained that Our Mother of Mercy, to whom Pope Francis has entrusted the preparations for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, "reminds us too that God often gives us His mercy more than we need, more than He is obliged in justice to Himself to give; that He gives us more than we merit--the grace of Holy Communion, for example, which is not merited."

Reflect on how the merciful Ever-Virgin is for us, in the words of the Litany of Loreto, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians.

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