I think everyone knows that certain things have to get done in the morning or they don’t get done at all. And, really, they mostly have to get done in the early morning. For me, there have always been two competing crack – of – dawn responsibilities – devotions and exercise. I have never been able to do both consistently, so I have by and large let exercise go. Fortunately, I am naturally slim so that is not a concern. And I have just had to hope that what I do around the house – and as you know, I love cleaning bathrooms and all! – is enough to keep me healthy when combined with walking, as I fit it in throughout the week.

But I have taken on this other responsibility – blogging – that also has to be done first thing, it seems. So, I have been writing spiritual material with less Bible reading and prayer undergirding my life than I have ever had. Now, this just can’t go on, can it? I have to figure out some way to work in that basic spiritual responsibility (and privilege) as I have for so many years. But how? If any of my readers have creative ideas, or have learned how to ‘lengthen’ their early morning hours, I would love to hear from you.

And now I would like to mention quickly a man named Charles Chiniquy. He was a French Canadian priest in the 1800’s, who eventually became a Protestant. Actually, I think I will leave the introduction there for now and tell you more in another post. But I just want to share with you a particular event in his life. He was a brilliant man, and it is fascinating to see how he worked out different theological issues on the road to his conversion.  Here is one I think you will appreciate, to do with Mary. His profound mind worked very simply and logically to reach a biblical conclusion. Enjoy! The conversation was with his bishop:

My Lord, will you allow me to put a few questions to you?

With pleasure, he answered.

Well! my Lord, who came to this world to save you and me? Is it Jesus or Mary?

The bishop answered, It was Jesus.

I then asked, When Jesus and Mary were on earth, who loved sinners with a more efficacious and saving love?

Jesus, being God, His love was evidently more efficacious and saving than Mary’s, answered the Bishop.

And to whom did Jesus invite sinners to go for their salvation; was it to himself or to Mary? I asked again.

The Bishop answered: Jesus; Come unto me. He never said come or go to Mary.

Have we any examples, in the Scripture, of sinners,who, fearing to be rebuked by Jesus, have gone to Mary and obtained access to him through her, and been saved through her intercession?

I do not remember of any such cases, replied the bishop

I then asked, To whom did the penitent thief on the cross address himself to be saved; was it to Jesus or to Mary?

It was to Jesus, replied the bishop.

Did that penitent thief do well to address himself to Jesus on the cross rather than to Mary who was at his feet? said I.

Surely he did better, answered the bishop.

Now, my Lord, allow me only one question more. Please tell me if you think that Jesus in heaven, since he is sitting at the right hand of His father, has lost any of His superior love and mercy for sinners? And is so can you show me that what Jesus has lost has been gained by Mary?

I do not think that Christ has lost any of his love and power to save us now that he is in heaven, answered the bishop.

Now, my Lord, if Jesus is still my best friend, my most powerful, merciful, and loving friend, why should I not go directly to Him? Why should we, for a moment, go to anyone who is infinitely inferior, in power, love and mercy, for our salvation?

The bishop was stunned by my questions…..

I guess so!!! The whole interchange is fascinating. But isn’t it particularly interesting that at the foot of the cross there was a test-case of the role of Mary? Jesus and Mary were both there as a man had a request. And, as Chiniquy put it, the man “did well” to go directly to Jesus. No re-direction to Mary as intermediary! Biblical doctrine  encapsulated and affirmed in a brief episode!

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