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Salve Regina (Thine eyes of mercy)

Eia ergo, Advocata nostra illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.

Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us.

Now we come to what the first part of the actual petition is. Interestingly enough, it is not what you might expect. We do not ask for joy, or health, or even salvation. We ask her just to "turn" her eyes to us. "Just look at us" we say. In other words, "Mother Mary, please do not turn away from us, but see how sad we are in our suffering, and act accordingly." We have already acknowledged that she is our merciful Mother, so now we are seeking that she will be motherly to us. As a little child wants to show his mother when he skins his knee, so also we want her to see us. No, she is not divine and so cannot, of herself, see everything. Yet, by a miracle of God she is made aware of our situation and able to attend to our prayers.

We also call her here, our "most gracious advocate". In other words we are admitting that we do not deserve her care for us because "gracious" refers to her advocacy being undeserved. Calling her our "advocate" points out that she is in Heaven speaking to Jesus on our behalf. She says something like, "I know they have sinned against You, and do not deserve Your salvation, but You gave them to me as my children and I ask You to show mercy to them." This is all we ask, because we do not know how else to pray. We are confused and unable to understand what is going on even in our own lives at times and so we throw ourselves on to the mercy of God and ask Mary to pray for us in the way that is best.

More to come...


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