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To Thee Do We Cry, Poor Banished Children of Eve.

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (Aug 4, 2018)
Catholic tradition holds August as the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To begin this month, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, is sharing reflections and insights on the great prayer "Hail, Holy Queen." We continue with the fourth line: "To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve."

Why do we cry to Our Lady in our needs?

It's because she is the Mother of Mercy in at least two senses: She's the Mother of Mercy Incarnate (Jesus Christ) and also the Mother of Mercy in the sense of mediating individual graces to us from the Holy Trinity. All children cry out to their mother for assistance. This part of the prayer is somewhat reminiscent of the Memorare where we are calling out to our mother, asking her to remember us in our plight. We have such a good Mother. We cry out to her when we are in a difficult situation or hurting.

How do we know that Our Lady is a powerful intercessor?

She has been equipped with what is necessary for her mission, her role as our Mother. She's the New Eve and the Mother of All the Living. Jesus gives her to us at the foot of the Cross (see Jn 19:27). As the New Eve, she's going to have the capability to help all of her spiritual children, so that means she is going to be a very, very powerful intercessor. We see that in Scripture at the wedding feast at Cana where our Lord does His first public miracle after Our Lady intercedes. He changes water into wine — a lot of wine! Then if you look at Pentecost, there's Our Lady praying with the disciples and the Holy Spirit comes upon them.

It seems counterintuitive that the "poor banished children of Eve" could turn to the Immaculate Mother of God for help. Why would she hear our pleas and say yes?

As the saints have said, when Christ came, His purpose was to be obedient and lay down His life, to undo what the first Adam did. By Jesus' side is the New Eve. We were banished from paradise because of the first Eve's disobedience. She's at the beginning of the human family; we are her children on some level.

Well, at the beginning of the New Covenant, at the beginning of the New Testament, Mary was established as the New Eve so she could make right what Eve did by her disobedience. Mary is in some sense representative of all of humanity. When she said her fiat, she spoke on behalf of all of creation. She continues to do that for us now in her role as Mother. In the beautiful prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots, we see that perfectly. The current pope has such a great devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, and gives a terrific example of crying out to Mary under that particular title.

A lot of people think, "Oh, I'm not holy; God won't listen to my prayer," or, "If I pray, He might notice I've sinned, and He'll smite me now."

A lot of people do have that perception. That's where mercy triumphs over justice. We do stand accused of sin, but Mary is our Advocate, a legal representative for us who, as the Mother of God, has a special appeal to the Heart of God when she brings the wounds of her children before Him. Motherhood, in a certain sense, trumps condemnation. Her prayers touch the Heart of her Divine Son, who is God. Though we are guilty, banished, she protects us, she cloaks us, she speaks to God about us on our behalf, even though we're guilty. And that means something to her Son, who is the Merciful Savior as well as the Just Judge, and He listens.

So Mary is the defense attorney to a certain extent.

Mary is our maternal Advocate, and her Spouse is the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Advocate. Many have said that wherever Mary is, there is the Holy Spirit because she's the Spouse of the Spirit. So it does make sense that it wouldn't be just Our Lady interceding or advocating for us, but also her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, who, of course, is God. So when we cry out to Mary to intercede for us, we're in a sense also implicitly invoking the Holy Spirit because she will come with the Holy Spirit wherever she is welcomed.

Share the Hail, Holy Queen with your family, friends, and community with our prayercard. To order, visit ShopMercy.org or call 1-800-462-7426.

Read the whole series at marian.org/hailholyqueen

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Cynthia - Aug 5, 2018

After reading that the prayer makes so much more sense to me thank you

Judy - Aug 4, 2018

"I'm not holy." We don't pray because we are holy. Rather we pray that we might become holy.