While exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a friend of mine pointed out a beautiful painting of Our Lady, The Intercession of Christ and the Virgin. In this image, Christ kneels and looks towards God the Father in Heaven, while the Virgin Mary kneels across from Him. Looking at Christ, Mary guides a small group of kneeling worshippers closer to her Son. This beautiful, thought-provoking (and prayer-provoking) painting perfectly depicts how Our Lady has interceded for humanity in the past and up to this present moment.
Our Lady has never failed to intercede for us. During the Wedding at Cana, Mary is the first to notice that there is no wine, and she intercedes for the couple. Thanks to her intercession, Jesus performed His first miracle. Mary noticed what the couple needed before anyone else and interceded for them, and we can continue to count on her powerful intercession today. She knows what we need before we even realize it. Like this painting illustrates, Mary is constantly interceding for us, pushing us closer and closer to Jesus.
In today’s readings of the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Jesus teaches us that “whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother” (MT 12: 50). We learn that doing the will of Our Father unites us to His family. Our Lady is the perfect example of following God’s will. Let us strive to imitate her and ask for her intercession.
Today, let us pray the Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
Oh, most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother. Oh, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity (make request). There are none that can withstand your power. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. Amen.
Image: Attributed to Lorenzo Monaco (Piero da Giovanni), The Intercession of Christ and the Virgin / PD-US