Words of Wisdom from St. Peter Damian
Peter Damian attests: “that by the prayers of Mary, who stood between the cross of the good thief and that of her Son, the thief was converted and saved, and thereby she repaid a former service.” For, as other authors also relate, this thief had been kind to Jesus and Mary on their journey to Egypt; and this same office the Blessed Virgin has ever continued, and still continues, to perform.
And here we say, that although Mary, now in heaven, can no longer command her Son, nevertheless her prayers are always the prayers of a Mother, and, consequently, most powerful to obtain whatever she asks. And therefore, says Saint Peter Damian, “the Blessed Virgin can do whatever she pleases both in heaven and on earth. She is able to raise even those who are in despair to confidence; and he addresses her in these words: “All power is given to thee in heaven and on earth, and nothing is impossible to thee, who canst raise those who are in despair to the hope of salvation.” And then he adds, that “when the Mother goes to seek a favour for us from Jesus Christ,” (whom the Saint calls the golden altar of mercy, at which sinners obtain pardon), “her Son esteems her prayers so greatly, and is so desirous to satisfy her, that when she prays it seems as if she rather commanded than prayed, and was rather a Queen than a handmaid. Jesus is pleased thus to honour His beloved Mother, who honoured Him so much during her life, by immediately granting all that she asks or desires.”
And thus Saint Peter Damian, reflecting on the great power of Mary, and begging her to take compassion on us, addresses her, saying: “O, let thy nature move thee, let thy power move thee; for the more thou art powerful, the greater should thy mercy be.” O Mary, our own beloved advocate, since thou hast so compassionate a heart, that thou canst not even see the wretehed without being moved to pity; and since, at the same time, thou hast so great power with God that thou canst save all whom thou dost protect; disdain not to undertake the cause of us poor miserable creatures who place all our hope in thee. If our prayers cannot move thee, at least let thine own benign heart do so; or, at least, let thy power do so, since God has enriched thee with such great power, in order that the richer thou art in power to help us, the more merciful thou mayest be in the will to assist us.