Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
Our Lady the Fulfilling of the Revealed Doctrine of Prayer
1. INTROD.—In this week we especially consider our Lady as rising to her doctrinal position in the Church. Her first feast and this. The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, both doctrines.
2. She is the great advocate of the Church. By which is not meant Atonement, of course. We know perfectly that she was saved by her Son. But she is His greatest work, and He has exalted her to this special office.
3. Hence from the first, advocata nostra. St. Irenaeus, and pictures at Rome in St. Agnese, etc.
Now to understand this, we must throw ourselves back into the world as it is by nature. Everything goes by law. This order is the most beautiful proof of God, but it is turned against Him, as if it could support itself.
Hence Revelation is an interruption and contravention—all of it miraculous.
4. Now here we have a most wonderful doctrine of Revelation brought before us in its fulness, viz. the efficacy of prayer.
5. Nature uniform. How has prayer its power? Worship [we understand to be] right, and adoration and thanksgiving; but how petitioning and supplication?
6. This then is the marvel, and the comfort which Revelation gives us, viz. that God has broken through His own laws—nay, does continually.
7. This so much that prayer is called omnipotent.
8. Even Protestants grant all this. (Quote Thomas Scott.)
9. Now our Lady has the gift in fulness; not different from us except in degree and perfection. This is her feast.
10. Hence it is that the more we can go to her in simplicity, the more we shall get.