Thought for the Day – 14 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Refuge of Sinners
“Refuge of sinners, pray for us.”
This is one of the most beautiful invocations in the Litany of Loreto.
In the second half of the Hail Mary, the Church, knowing that we are all sinners, teaches us to pay to our heavenly Mother: “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
When a mother sees her sons going astray or behaving badly, she does not cease to love them.
One might say, that, she loves them all the more, because, in addition to her natural affection, she develops a sense of anxious compassion for them when she thinks of the way in which they have risked their eternal salvation by sinning.
Mary’s attitude to us is like this.
The only difference is, that our earthly mothers suffer as a result of our transgressions and ingratitude without being able to do much to change us.
Mary, on the other hand, being the Mother of Jesus as well as our Mother, is not only willing but able, to help us.
No matter how enormous our sins may be, no matter how irresistible our carnal instincts may seem, no matter how hopelessly we may have plunged into the depths of evil, it is enough for us to raise our eyes in confidence towards Mary.
Like a merciful Mother, she will obtain for us from God, forgiveness and the strength to return to the path of penitence and of peace.
“Poor ship-wrecked sinners,” says St Bonaventure, “have recourse to Mary and she will lead you to the port of salvation.” (In Ps 8).
Our good Mother, St Bernard tells us, does not shrink in horror from the most wretched of sinners.
He need only turn to her for help and she will save him from damnation (Or Pan ad BV).
How comforting it should be for us to realise that we have such a merciful and powerful Mother.
Let us turn to her with trust and humility and she will certainly assist us.”