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Mary Will Gather Us into the Barn


What mysterious power is it that a mother has over a son that, when he confesses his guilt, she strives to minimize it, even when it shocks her heart…. 

motherofGodgoldThe impure are rarely tolerant of the pure, but only the pure can understand the impure.  The more saintly the soul of a confessor, the less he dwells on the gravity of the offense and the more on the love of the offender. Goodness always lifts the burden of conscience, and it never throws a stone to add to its weight.

There are many sheaves in the field that the priests and sisters and the faithful are unable to gather in.  It is Mary's role to follow these reapers to gather the sinners in.  As Nathaniel Hawthorne said: "I have always envied the Catholics that sweet, sacred, Virgin Mother who stands between them and the Deity, intercepting somewhat his awful splendor, but permitting his love to stream on the worshiper more intelligibly to human comprehension through the medium of a woman's tenderness."

Mary will assist us if we but call upon her.  There is not a single unhappy soul or sinner in the world who calls upon Mary who is left without mercy.  Anyone who invokes her will have the wounds of his soul healed.  Sin is a crime of lèse-majesté, but the Blessed Mother is the refuge.  Saint Anselm said that she "was made the Mother of God more for sinners than for the just" — which could hardly be doubted, since our Lord himself said that he came not to save the just but to call sinners to repent.



sheenVenerable Fulton J. Sheen. "Mary Will Gather Us into the Barn." chapter one from The World's First Love (San Francisco Ignatius Press, 2011). 

This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press. 

The Author

sheen1sheenVenerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), U.S. Roman Catholic bishop, born in El Paso, Ill.; professor of philosophy Catholic University for America 1927-50; bishop of Rochester, N.Y., 1966-69; noted radio and television preacher; won 1952 Emmy as most outstanding male personality on television. Among his many books are: The Cross and the Beatitudes: Lessons on Love and Forgiveness, The World's First Love; Victory over Vice; Praying in the Presence of Our Lord; Life is Worth Living; The Life of Christ.

Copyright © 2011 Ignatius Press
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