If you’re over the age of 40, you remember a time when most homes had a telephone connected to a wall in the kitchen and a second telephone that sat on a nightstand in the master bedroom. Both phones were connected to the same telephone line (what is now referred to as a “landline”).
That’s the way it was in my parents’ home until 1973, when a second “teen line” was added. When the teen line was installed, my parents made it clear to the teenagers that we were not allowed to use the main line to call our friends, and our friends were allowed to call us only on the teen line.
It didn’t take very long before another rule was added concerning the teen line. We were given a time limit for how long we were allowed to use the telephone each day. At that time, my parents had 15 children, two of whom were away at college during the school year. There was a lot of complaining about a couple members of the family monopolizing the teen line, so my parents had to limit the amount of time we spent on the telephone.
Back then, every time the telephone rang, someone answered it. Every time. Caller ID had not yet been invented, so we never knew who was calling until we answered the telephone.
Today, because of modern technology, unless a call is private or blocked, we know who’s calling before we answer. If we receive a call that shows up on our phone display as a private or blocked call, we know that the person on the other end of the line is not a close friend or family member. When the phone rings, we can choose to answer or ignore the call, or we can ask someone else to answer.
At my law firm, instead of using caller ID to limit the calls that get through to me, I use my staff to field the calls. At the initial meeting that I have with my new clients, I tell them that when they call, they’re not going to be able to get through to me and that they’ll need to talk to the case manager who is assigned to their file. I let them know that if the case manager is not able to answer their questions or address their concerns, I’ll either return their call at a later time or I’ll have the case manager schedule an appointment for them to come to my office to meet with me.
If I were to allow my clients to get through to me whenever they call, I would never be able to get anything done. The continuous interruptions would severely restrict my ability to focus and follow-through on my work.
In business, people who are assigned to intercept calls and restrict access to a person are called “gatekeepers.” I use my receptionist and my case managers as gatekeepers. Medical doctors routinely use gatekeepers to restrict or deny patients direct access to the doctors.
Did you know that God has a gatekeeper? When you call on Him through prayer, although He sees and hears you in real time, He allows your prayers to go through His gatekeeper before He addresses them.
St. Louis De Montfort wrote extensively about how all our prayers pass through the mother of God before they are addressed by God, and all graces that are dispensed by God pass through the Blessed Mother before they reach us.
One of the more than 1,000 titles attributable to the Blessed Virgin Mary —“Mediatrix of all Graces” — recognizes her as the dispenser of all of God’s graces. Two recent saints, St. John Paul the Great and St. Maximillian Kolbe, both agreed with St. Louis De Montfort that all prayers pass through Mary before they reach God and all graces pass from God through Mary before they reach us.
When most Catholics are made aware of this teaching, they refuse to accept it. They have trouble believing that God would relinquish such power to any person.
Just as there is no way for our limited minds to understand why Christ came to Earth through a woman, there is no way for us to understand why God would utilize that same woman to dispense His graces.
When Christ was in attendance at the wedding reception in Cana, although He knew that the host of the wedding had run out of wine, He held off on doing anything until after his mother approached him. When she expressed her concerns to Him, instead of taking immediate action, He responded by saying “Woman, what is that to me?” He chose to hold off on performing His first public miracle until after His mother told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
How did she know that He would perform a miracle and replenish the supply of wine? She knew because He always did what she asked and she had perfect faith and confidence that He would continue to do whatever she asked of Him.
Why would God give this humble handmaiden such power? It is a mystery that none of us will ever fully understand.
It is anticipated that sometime this century, the Catholic Church will formally declare that Mary is the Mediatrix of all Graces, just as the Church formally declared in 1950 that her body and soul were assumed into Heaven after her earthly death. Such a declaration is desperately needed to wake up the sleeping giant known as the Catholic Church.
There are many paths to God, both inside and outside the Catholic Church. The easiest and most direct path is through His mother. It is the preferred path that He has chosen for us. Why would any Catholic want to use any other path?