Month of Mary – May Devotions – Day 17 – Mary Mother of Mercy!
Recently, a young lad called and shared with me his worries about the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary as echoed by the Litany of Loreto. But besides the titles contained in the Litany of Loreto is the most troubling title of “Mary Mother of Mercy.” He reported that his mother passionately invoked the title and had told them to also learn to approach Mary for succour because she is the Mother of Mercy. And then he asked, “Why is Mary, the Mother of mercy?” I was impressed by the young lad’s question, at least it shows that he is listening and accepting the impartations of his mother. For me curiosity is a special way that augments learning and enlightenment. We usually refer to the Blessed Mother as Mother of mercy when we pray the famous Marian prayer: “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy …” Mercy meaning her tender compassion towards us. Our Mother’s mercy can truly be understood and appreciated through the mystery of her Immaculate Conception. Through this mystery, she became the door for us sinners to have our Holy Redeemer enter our world and transform evil to good. St. Maria Faustina eloquently speaks of her experience of Mary as Mother of Mercy in the words of Our Lady: “I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy, and your Mother” (Diary of St. Faustina, 330). Do not forget that mercy begets mercy. Therefore, Jesus who is God and Divine Mercy Incarnate shares in the divine attribute of mercy with His Father and through the mystery of Incarnation, Mother Mary also was endowed with the gift of God’s mercy, hence she is rightly venerated as Mother of Mercy.
One of the unique ways to show our faith is to be merciful and there is a reward for being merciful. The Divine Mercy Incarnate teaches: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matt. 5:7). Accordingly, we need to remind ourselves of the acts or works of mercy as taught by Jesus Christ. They are the judgement codes for us Christians (Matt. 25:34). They are categorized into two. First, the Corporal Works of Mercy – meeting up with the material and physical needs of our neighbours such as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, burying the dead, and giving alms to the poor. Second, the Spiritual Works of Mercy, which are acts of compassion, towards our neighbours’ emotional and spiritual needs. They are acts of compassion such as instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving, and bearing wrongs patiently. Remember that the Blessed Mother opened the door for the Divine Mercy Incarnate to enter the world and teach us how to be merciful. He says: “Be merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Matt. 6:36).
Prayer: Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.