Let us honor Mary, …. since she knows the course and outcome of all miseries, she soothes our fears, she awakens our faith, strengthens our hope, drives away our cowardice, and encourages us when we are timid. You fear to approach the Father? Terrified by the mere sound of his voice, you flee to the woods. He has given Jesus as a mediator. What can such a Son not gain from such a Father? He will be heard because of his humble submission. For the Father loves the Son. Or are you afraid of him too? Your brother is your own flesh, tempted in all things yet without sin, that he might be merciful. This is the brother Mary gave to you. But perhaps you fear the divine majesty in him, because although he became man, yet he remained God. Do you want to have an advocate with him? Have recourse to Mary.
Now if the humanity of Mary is pure, it is not only pure from all contamination; it is also pure by the matchlessness of her nature. I say equally surely that she will be heard for her humble submission. The Son will listen to his mother and the mother to her son. My little children, she is the ladder for her sinners, she is my great reason for confidence, she is the ground my hope. Now, can her son drive her away, or support her when she is driven away? Can the son refuse to hear her, or not be heard by her? He can do neither. You have found favor with God, said the angel. How happily! She will always find favor, and her favor is all that we need. The wise virgin asked, not for wisdom, like Solomon, or riches or power, but grace. And it is by grace alone that we are saved.
What else do we want? Let us ask for grace, and let us ask through Mary, because she has found what we seek, and she cannot be disappointed. Let us ask for grace, but grace from God. For from humans grace is a delusion. Let others ask for merit; let us eagerly seek to meet with grace. Why? Is it not because of grace that we are here?
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons for the Autumn Season, On the Nativity of Blessed Mary v. 7,8 (CF 54, p. 74-75)