Every morning, I begin my day with the following prayer: “O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in thanksgiving for your favours, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my family and friends, and in particular for the intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Francis.”
Truth be told, I’m not always completely awake. There are times when I mumble through the words on autopilot, too lost in my morning fog to appreciate their significance. But there is one thing that always gives me great confidence. My prayer is to Jesus, but I ask Mary, our Blessed Mother, to bring my petitions to Him; I make my prayer “through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Why? Because though I have confidence in Jesus’ love and know that He is always ready and waiting to welcome me, I know that I am unworthy to stand in His Presence.
Mary, on the other hand, is completely worthy. She was preserved from Original Sin from the moment of her conception in her mother’s womb, and she remained sinless for her entire life. It’s why Catholics refer to her as “Immaculate.” She is kind and tender, and everything that she does helps us to draw closer to her Son. Mary’s great love for God and for Jesus is so pure that it inspires us to try to understand it and to imitate her. But best of all, Mary loves us so much that we can be confident that when we place our prayers in her hands, no petition – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant – will go unnoticed.
St. Louis-Marie De Montfort writes, “It is by [Mary] that Jesus Christ came to us, and it is by her that we must go to Him. … She is so loving that she rejects none who beg her intercession, however sinful they may be, for, as the Saints say, never has it been heard since the world existed, that anyone has had confident and persevering recourse to Our Blessed Lady, and was rejected. She is so powerful that her petitions have never been denied. She has but to appear before her Son, in order to pray to Him: at once He grants; at once He receives; He is lovingly conquered by the prayers of His dearest Mother who bore Him in her womb, and nursed Him at her breast.”1
Can we pray directly to Jesus? Absolutely. But if you would like a loving and powerful Mother to speak on your behalf, don’t hesitate to entrust your petitions to Mary. She will never let you down. “Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God; that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
– Sharon van der Sloot
1 Saint Louis-Marie De Montfort, The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin (London, UK: Baronius Press, 2008), #85.
2 In Byzantine and later Eastern Orthodox Art, the “Deesis” is a traditional iconic representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and St. John the Baptist. (Other figures may also be present.) Our Blessed Mother and St. John are traditionally depicted facing Jesus, with their arms raised in supplication as they pray on behalf of humanity.