Monday, September 12, 2016

Help Before We Even Ask for It

A Lesson from the Wedding at Cana

St. Alphonsus notes that Mary's action at the wedding feast at Cana shows how she wants to help us EVEN BEFORE we ask for her help.

Mary, even when living in this world, showed at the marriage feast of Cana the great compassion that she would afterwards exercise toward us in our necessities.

Even now it compels her to have pity on us and assist us, even before we ask her to do so.

This good mother's compassion is so great, and the love she bears us is so great, that she doesn't even wait for our prayers before she comes to assist us.

Richard of Saint Victor remarks that her love for us is so tender, that in our needs she anticipates our prayers, and her mercy is more prompt to help us than we are to ask her aid: "The heart of Mary is so filled with compassion for poor sinners, she no sooner sees our miseries than she pours her tender mercies upon us. Neither is it possible for this kind queen to see the need of any soul without immediately assisting it."

In the second chapter of St. John we read that at this feast the compassionate mother saw the embarrassing situation in which the bride and bridegroom found themselves, and that they were quite ashamed at seeing the wine fail.

So she listened only to the dictates of her compassionate heart, which could never behold the afflictions of others without feeling for them.

Without being asked, she begged her Son to console them simply by laying their distress before him:

"They have no wine" (Jn 2:3).

No sooner had she done so, than our Lord, in order to satisfy everyone present, and still more to console the compassionate heart of his mother who had asked the favor, worked the well-known miracle by which he changed the water, brought to him in jars, into wine.

From this, the spiritual writer Luigi Novarini argues:

"If Mary, unasked, is so prompt to help the needy, how much more so will she be to help those who call upon her and ask for her help?"
  —St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary

IN GOD'S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . . Are there concerns in my life right now that I haven't yet brought to Mary in prayer? Might she already be intervening in those matters before I ask for her help?


Lord Jesus, I must confess that in some areas of my life, I "have no wine." I am empty, thirsty, dry. Through your Blessed Mother's intercession, fill the stone jar of my heart to overflowing with your life-giving water, and turn the water into the wine of gladness in your love.

Stay Strong!

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