Fifth Sunday After Easter GOSPEL John 16:23-30 Thursday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
At that time Jesus saith to His disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in My Name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name: Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but I will show you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in My Name; and I say not to you that I will ask the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father and am come into the world; again I leave the world and I go to the Father." His disciples say to Him: Behold, now Thou speakest plainly and speakest no proverb. Now we know that Thou knowest all things and Thou needest not that any man should ask of Thee: by this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.
As we are said, to ask in the name of Christ by saying our Lords prayer, as aforesaid: so may we by saying the Ave Maria, if we say it with the conditions aforesaid, with an intention to have our Blessed Lady to pray for us unto Christ her son. For if the four beasts, and four and twenty Elders in the Apocalypse, which signify the Saints, do offer up the prayers of the Saints, or holy people here on earth, and they ascend unto the presence of God like sweet odors or frankincense,in golden Censers, that is to say, in their charitable communion together: much more is the Blessed Mother of Christ ready to do the same if we direct our prayers unto her to that end. And if we be counseled in the Gospel by alms to the poor, to make them our friends, to receive us thereby, helping us thither by their prayers and intersession for us: no doubt we may make them our friends also by either good deeds, by praying them to pray unto God for us, and to offer up our prayers unto God for us, in the golden censers of their charitable communication with us, that they may be the more acceptable in the sight of God: and this also is to pray unto God in the of Christ, our prayers being either our Lords prayer,or conformable unto it, being presented to God in the merits of Christ, offered up for us by his Saints in heaven unto whom that office belongeth for the greater honor of God, according to that testimony of St. John aforesaid, and exhortation of Christ unto us, to make the Saints in heaven, our friends, and especially the Blessed & glorious Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, unto whom the office of mediation and intersession between us and her son, doth principally pertain; not that she, or the Saints be mediators between God and us, of redemption, or propitiation for our sins, for that only belongeth to Christ: but of intersession to Christ.
Children, sayeth St. John, if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ, the just one, and he is the propitiation for our sins, Out of of which words, we may prove both mediatorships; that of Christ, by these express words (we have an advocate Jesus Christ, the just one) and that of his Saints implicitly, by these words (and he is the propitiation for our sins) as if he should say, it is he only that is our Mediator of Redemption, the Saints are only mediators of intersession: for this word (and he) doth import a distinction between two mediatorships to wit,that of Christ, and that of his Saints as foresaid.
And this also may be an argument of the mediatorship of the Saints, that if where on earth are taught by Christ in that which we call our Lords prayer, not to pray for ourselves in particular, but for all faithful people in general, Give us this day our daily bread forgive us our trespasses &c. much more do the Saints in heaven observe that communion with us, not contenting themselves with their own salvation, but praying also for ours, especially if we be so wise and careful of our selves, as to desire it of them.
Wherefore that our prayers may be complete,praying ourselves in the name of Christ, that is to say his prayer he hath taught us, or others conformable thereunto, and desiring the Saints to offer up our prayers for us; the Church hath after our Lords prayer, added the Ave Maria, which was made partly by the Angel Gabriel, partly by St. Elizabeth St. John Baptists mother, and partly by our mother the Church.
Hail Mary full of grace our Lord is with thee, by the Angel, Blessed art thou amongst all women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, by St.Elizabeth; Holy Mary mother of God,pray for us sinners now, and in the hour of our death, which when the Church added she did but teach us to ask that in express terms,which saying the former two parts of the salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary mother of God, to wit, her intersession to her son for us.