Health of the Sick

Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us.

Mary is the Health of the Sick by the many providential or miraculous cures which have been obtain through her intercession in christian sanctuaries up to our own days. So many have these cures been that it may be said that Mary is a fathomless ocean of miraculous healing. But it is to help the infirmity if the soul that she cures the body. Her most important cures are those if the four spiritual wounds which we have suffered as a result of original sin and our persnal sins-the wounds of concupiscence, of weakness,of ignorance, and of malice.

She heals concupisence – a wpund of our sensibility – by diminishing the ardour of our passions ad by breaking our sinful habits. She helps the sinner to begin to will what is right with sufficient firmness to enable him to regret evil desires as well as the appeal of honors and riches. In this was she cures the concupiscence of the flesh and that of the eyes.

She heals the wound of weakness too, our feeble pursuit of the good, our spiritual sloth. She makes the will constant and firm in its practice of virtue and helps it to despise the attraction of this world by throwing itself into the arms of God. She strengthens those who falter and lifts those who have fallen.

She heals the wound of ignorance by lighting up the darkness of our minds and providing us with the means to escape error. She calles to our minds the simple and profound truths of the Our Father, thereby lifting our minds up to God. St. Albert the Great, to whom she gave the light to persevere in his vocation and to see through the wiles of Satan, said frequently that she preserves us from losing rightness and firmness of judgment, that she helps us not to grow weary in the pursuit of truth, and that she leads us eventually to a relish of the things of God. He himself speaks of her in his Mariale with a spontaneity, an admiration, a freshness, and a fluency which are rarely found in the works of great students.

She heals us finally of the wounds of malice, by urging our wills Godwards, sometimesby gentleadvice, sometimesby stern reproaches. Her sweetness checks anger, herhumility lowers pride and restrains the temptations of the evil one. In a word, she heals us of the wound which we bear as a result of original sin and which our personal sin has made all the more dangerous.

Sometimes this healing power of hers works in a miraculous manner by producing its effects instantaneously. An example is the conversion of the young Alphonse Ratisbonne, at the time a Jew and far removed fromfaith, who visited the Church of Sant’ Andrea delle Frate in rome through curiosity. Mary appeared to him there, as she is represented on the miraculous medal, with rays of light issuing from her hands. She indicated gently to him to kneel. he obeyed, and while on his knees lost the use of his senses. When he returned to himself he expressed an intense desire for baptism. He was baptised and later, with his brother who had been converted before him, founded the congregation of the Fathers of Sion and that of the religious of Sion, to pray, suffer, and work for the conversion of the Jews, saying daily at Holy Mass: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

From The Mother of Our Saviour and Our Interior Life by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

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