To Save is Why She Came
"Turn then most gracious Advocate
Since the Salve Regina first complemented the light of day, that plea to the Advocate has passed the lips of would-be conquerors, embattled kings, the serf in the bleak harvest field, the Christian galley slave at Moorish oars, the Pope watching invaders cross the Bridge of Angels. The Middle Ages were made incandescent by the awe and wonder devoted followers of Mary showered upon Her at the shrines and holy wells dotting the landscape, always delighting in attributing them to Her.
It is proof of the great good balance of Her role in the affairs of mankind that never once has She, in the eye of the heart of man, been separated from He whom She represents, nor ever has She been elevated above Him by the sinner or the saint. She is Advocate, pure and simple. An advocate stands between the supplicant and the judgement seat.
At Fatima, Mary not only unveiled God’s will for mankind, She promised to triumph over the evils besetting mankind, a promise made because, clearly, man the supplicant is powerless to accomplish this himself.
We turn to the saints of the Church and listen to what they surely would have said had they been there in the Cova da Iria October 13, 1917, when the great Miracle of the Sun displayed in the sky to over 70,000 eyewitnesses the great seal on the promises made by Our Lady to mankind.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori could scarcely have viewed that momentous spectacle without uttering a perception for which he is famous:
“As She is the universal advocate of all men, it is becoming that all who are saved should obtain salvation by Her means.”
To save is why She came. Fatima is a sunlit nugget of pure gold in the motherlode of treasures provided man for his salvation.
There was a time when our once-beautiful churches, sadly now reduced to the barren echo of a shopping mall after a fire sale, rang repeatedly with the beautiful spoken words of Liguori and other saints who hallowed every village and hamlet, where the faith resides, with praises to Mary’s attributes.
The ugliness of today’s church interiors is due to the fact that the beauty of Her Advocacy is no longer extolled.
The once-vibrant Faithful have been reduced to still life in spite of the aerobics in the aisles and the embarrassing grade school theatrics performed in the name of experimental liturgy. But the barren interiors are not still life interiors. They are a living violence. Whenever mankind has been deprived of advocacy, his fate is to be victim of the whims of the natural violence that entered the world at Adam’s fall.
The garden of the Church has been denuded of its most beautiful foliage, Mary Herself. Every Catholic in the face of this tragedy is called upon to restore to the faith the historically attested-to memory that one day in 1917 God, to honor the Advocate He had sent to us, caused the sun to leave its place in the sky and come down to decorate the earth with the very colors of the rainbow promise He made to Noah before Fatima even had a name.
O God, Who unto the glory of Thy majesty and the salvation of the human race hast ordained Thy only begotten Son a priest Most High and Eternal: grant that those ministers and dispensers of His mysteries whom He hath chosen may be found faithful in fulfilling the ministry which they have accepted. Through the same Christ Our Lord.
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX