Put God First

Jesus Christ gave us two greatest commandments that we as Christians should obey: love God and love your neighbour.

Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of The Catholic Church, wrote about why we should love God, but he also told Catholics the following:

… If squalls of temptations arise, or thou fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star, call upon Mary. If thou art tossed by the waves of pride or ambition, detraction or envy, look to the star, call upon Mary. If anger or avarice or the desires of the flesh dash against the ship of thy soul, turn thine eyes towards Mary. If, troubled by the enormity of thy crimes, ashamed of thy guilty conscience, terrified by dread of the judgment, thou beginnest to sink into the gulf of sadness or the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in anguish, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let Her be ever on thy lips, ever in thy heart; and the better to obtain the help of Her prayers, imitate the example of Her life. Following Her, thou strayest not; invoking Her, thou despairest not; thinking of Her, thou wanderest not; upheld by Her, thou fallest not; shielded by Her, thou fearest not; guided by Her, thou growest not weary; favored by Her, thou reachest the goal ….

We read in John 14:6:

Jesus told him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

It is clear from John 14:6 that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Only Jesus Christ can lead us to the Father.

We read in Exodus 20:1–3:

Then God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.

It is clear from Exodus 20:1–3 that we should always put God first. So why did Bernard of Clairvaux tell Catholics to think of Mary, to call upon Mary and to always keep her in their heart when they are in “dangers, in anguish, in doubt”?

God gave us the gift of intelligence for a reason. We should use our God-given intelligence to think things over. Whoever and whatever steer us away from God are not from God.

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