The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 91.

6. They have no wine.

When our Blessed Lady spoke thus, she was for the first time (at least in public) exercising her office of Advocate with her Son. As we prayer at listen to Mary's petition, we understand that our Blessed Mother, ever full of sympathy and kindness, is ready not only to plead for us in our spiritual needs which relate to eternity, but even in the passing anxieties of the moment that concern our everyday welfare. We are thus encouraged to seek her help in every emergency, knowing that she will never fail us, if only we will trust her always.

"And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine."

This word of Mary is a pattern for us of that perfect prayer which shall never be disappointed— simple, full of confidence, preparing for the answer that was to come, though the answer could only come by miracle. When our wine faileth, may the Mother of Jesus, who prayed of old for those at Cana, pray for us too in our hour of need, and once again shall the water of our discontent be changed by God into the wine of His holy Love.

7. Whatsoever He shall say to you, that do ye.

If our Lady's Word at the Annunciation, " Be it done unto me according to Thy Word," expresses, in a sentence, the attitude which befits a soul in presence of her God, so this last Word which Mary spoke to the servants at the Feast contains in itself a complete summary of all Christian Perfection. What further can be said by any Novice-Master to his novices yet unversed in the spiritual life, what further by a director of souls training a contemplative nun in the ways of highest sanctity, what further by any Christian teacher to those committed to his care, than is contained in these words of our Lady to her servants: " Whatsoever my Son shall say to you, that do ye " ? If any man will fasten this exhortation of Mary in some place where it may often be visible to his eyes, so that he may keep it always before his mind—and will then strive to make it the rule of his life, he will need no other teaching. If he will but follow it faithfully, he will walk ever in the ways of security, for he will be walking in the ways that all the Saints have trod. This should be our main endeavour, wherever our lot be cast—in the camp or in the field, in a monastery or in the midst of divers activities—to strive to do the Will of Christ, listening to His Voice, as He on earth heard the Voice and did the Will of His Father in Heaven. " As," He said, " My meat is to do the Will of Him that sent Me," even so should it be our supreme delight to strive to do His Will, who has redeemed us to Himself. This is the command that Mary once gave to the Jewish waiters—which she now gives to all who hail her as Queen and Mother.

To be the servants and children of so great a Lady is indeed an unspeakable privilege, but privileges bring duties in their train. Our duty it is to listen to Mary's Word—and Mary sends us to her Son.

We may, if we will but bend our ears to listen, hear the Voice of Christ our Lord on every side speaking to our souls through the teaching of His Church, through the maxims of His Gospel, through the admonitions of our appointed Superiors, through the duties of our state in life, through the dispositions in our regard of God's Providence, through the inspirations of His Holy Spirit to our consciences. Wherever we may hear that Voice, our Lady warns us to do that which we are bidden, as the condition of safety and the pledge of our bliss. " Whatever He shall say to you, that do ye."

With good reason, then, does the Venerable Bede close the Homily, from which I have already quoted at considerable length, with these words :

"By the grace of God, if we always keep in mind the acts and words of Blessed Mary, we shall always persevere in the observance of the works of a pure and virtuous life. It is a most excellent and useful custom that has grown up in the Holy Church, that Mary's hymn is sung by all daily at Vespers. Thus the minds of the faithful are stirred by a more frequent memory of our Lord's Incarnation to a greater devotion and are confirmed in solid virtue by the frequent thought of the example of His Mother."