Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Our Lady Takes a While to Grant
Great Graces to the Souls She Loves Most
Saint of the Day, May 21, 1964
“A Roman and Apostolic Catholic, the author of this text submits himself with filial devotion to the traditional teaching of Holy Church. However, if by an oversight anything is found in it at variance with that teaching, he immediately and categorically rejects it.”
The words "Revolution" and "Counter-Revolution" are employed here in the sense given to them by Prof. Plínio Corrêa de Oliveira in his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, the first edition of which was published in the monthly Catolicismo, Nº 100, April 1959.
As the novena to Our Lady Help of Christians continues, perhaps it would be well to say something more about this invocation.
We should not be surprised when Our Lady's assistance delays. In the latest Saint of the Day (of May 18), I said that it is a real grace when She deigns to establish a relationship with someone by heeding his small requests -- I could almost say small intentions -- showing small maternal affections. We indeed must regard this as very precious.
On the other hand, we also need to see that while Our Lady heeds, sometimes She takes time to do so. And She takes time precisely to give great graces, which She wants us to ask for persistently.
In general, throughout the life of a person who is very devoted to Mary Most Holy, just as some graces are obtained immediately, there are some that She grants but takes a long time to do it. That occurs with souls that Our Lady loves most. For them – among a wreath of easily granted graces -- She places some tough ones to get. In general, these are graces of a spiritual character but sometimes of a temporal nature, the delay of which will have a bearing on the person's spiritual life.
Therefore, there are some delays in the providence of Our Lady as Help of Christians in which She gives more later than if She heeded the request immediately. That is due partly because, if Our Lady answered all our requests immediately, the Earth would become a paradise, and suffering would disappear.
Now, crosses or sufferings are one of the greatest graces that Our Lady gives us. And when we suffer, She often delays heeding our requests to provide us with the grace and merit of suffering.
It is necessary to add that sometimes She takes her time to test our faith, to develop our faith and confidence, and only afterward, She obtains these graces for us in a super-eminent way.
So if there is a soul in this auditorium that is taking too long to receive a grace, I think that you should not consider this as a refusal from Our Lady but as a promise that if you ask persistently, it will be given to you with extraordinary abundance.
During this novena of Our Lady Help of Christians, who as Help of Christians is a generous distributor of graces, we must then ask Her – just as She pities the souls in Purgatory and abbreviates their torments – to deign to shorten these great delays and obtain what we want as long as it suits our souls and benefits our spiritual life.
In general, everyone's spiritual life needs to receive some grace, and that gets a little "stuck" for one reason or another. Sometimes there are spiritual lives that are entirely "stuck."
Let us, then, ask Our Lady for a grace to get our spiritual lives "unstuck."
The other day, I read a statement by the US Secretary of State regarding underdevelopment in Latin American countries. He stated that their development was like an airplane: all it needs is to take off, and then it remains in the air on its own.
There are souls in this state: they have all the impetus to take off and fly, but still, need to take off. This "takeoff" is a grace that one must obtain. Let us ask Our Lady to give us a "lift-off" on the occasion of Her feast under the invocation Help from Christians.