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Vol. I, May 1995

 

Never Without Mary!

Dear Brothers in the priesthood!

In these days of joy at Christ’s victory over the enemy and death, we accompany Him anew in spirit, reliving His life and teachings. In this month of May we do this in union with our Lady, even as the Apostles were intimately associated with her in the Cenacle during the Pentecost Novena. Where Mary is present, there is the Holy Spirit, there is the grace of God, there are the angels of God, and so there too ought to be the disciples of Jesus!

The astonishing apparitions of the Risen Christ, and the fact that only one Apostle, the youngest, was present at Christ’s death on the Cross explains which His great gift and testament, His Mother as our Mother, received such little recognition.

The gift of forgiveness was repeated on Easter Sunday, accompanied by the fruit of peace of heart. It seems that the Apostles heeded the gift of the Blessed Mother -- "Behold, your mother!" -- only in their hour of abandonment and despair and in their helplessness after the Ascension of Christ. Necessity taught them what love had offered. It is true that throughout the years we found our mother always near us, when we were hungry, when we were hurt, when we needed something. After having matured we understood, that she did all this because she loved us and that we had not just to help her, but to love her too.

2. During the days of that first Pentecost Novena she reflected with them on all the events of the life of Jesus so that they be strengthened in their faith. And they discovered how firmly she had been united with Him every day of His life on earth. They see, how in His childhood, He was freely and totally submissive to her. She told them about her intimate conversations with Him about God and man, about His love and their sins as they, she and Jesus, read passages of Scripture and spoke and mediated upon them. First, she taught Him, and later, He, her. She had offered Him in the temple, and constantly offered her motherhood to God, so that she was continually aware of acting in all things solely in the name of God.

  • This then is the reason, why the Holy Spirit deigned to have recorded but a single word from her to the disciples during the public life of our Lord: "Do whatever He tells you!" (Jn 2,5). It is a counsel which comes as the fruit of the many lessons she had received from Him in Nazareth, it is the fruit of her common life with Him through many years!
  • Such obedience, without commentary, without questions and conditions, without "why’s" and "if’s" is Scripture’s witness to her during the public life of Jesus: she was always and only with Him, she accompanied Him in her humble and hidden way, constantly present, and yet "standing outside", remaining "behind" the scenes. The reason for this Scripture tells us: She wants to see Jesus and to speak to Him, she finds no peace except near Him! Her life is her Divine Son, Jesus, and her only personal suffering should be the separation from Him!
  • This is, finally, the reason why we find her beneath the Cross: it is her desire for union through love, guaranteed through obedience. Not even the worst circumstances can separate her from Him, because of this absolute principle of her life -- need we say, of her ‘spiritual’ life, or is it clear that this is the only life which matter to her, which had always been her natural element? Because of this union with Christ and because of His will, we find her in the Cenacle as she was before in Nazareth; we find her with the Apostles as we found her before with Jesus, serving, listening, helping the Apostles in any way possible as she had done before for Jesus.

3. As our Lady was always found with Jesus, so we too should be always found with her. If people find us with her, they shall surely find Jesus with us. Let us take her into our own home! Holy Mother the Church invites us to celebrate her as the "Disciple of Jesus": "Blessed are you who pondered in silence the heavenly words and did become the disciple of the divine word... who asked attentively for Your will and fulfilled it faithfully" (Entrance Antiphon and Preface from the 10th Mass in the Marian Missal).

  • We should be found in constant prayer, in constant conversation with Jesus, as Mary was found to be in Nazareth. In order to become priests of prayer, she should help us pray devoutly our liturgy of the hours, to fix our face upon His in our daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Let us share her incapacity of living without Him, let us be anxious lest we lose Him. With her help we will try to listen carefully to His holy will, to ponder His word in our daily meditation and be firmly committed to do whatever He tells us through His Vicar on earth, the Holy Father or the Bishop.
  • Following her counsel we shall not go our own way, nor preach nor counsel others in any direction but towards the Church and Christ in her. We want to follow Him faithfully with her fervent love for Christ in our hearts so that our heaven will be communion with Him, His presence; and darkness and pain will be his absence.
  • With her motherly zeal it will be our honor to suffer for and with Him, completing in our flesh what is lacking to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His Body, the Church, knowing that suffering brings about the conversion of sinners and gains the grace of repentance for the dying.

    "Never without Mary!" This admonition of Cardinal Ballestrer becomes an internal law and necessity for those who docilely go through the life of Jesus and always behold our Lady with Him. After the Ascenion of Jesus the Apostles went back to the Cenacle and passed the novena of Pentecost together with the Mother of Jesus. Let us pass our entire life with her! To this end let us dedicate this month of May: that our lives be revised according to the model of Mary’s life: our prayer life and obedience, our zeal and faithfulness. To respond tangibly, verifiably to this most solemn gift and entrustment from Jesus on the Cross, we could commit ourselves:

  • To be with her daily for fifteen minutes to recite the rosary, as Our Lady requested at Lourdes and Fatima.
  • To greet her daily three times with the "Angelus", which is, incidentally, a duty for all the members in the Confraternity of the Guardian Angels.
  • To renew our resolve to ponder silently the word of God in our daily meditation, so that the Holy Spirit can guide us through the holy angel.
  • To lead the children of God entrusted to us, to their Mother by sermons about her and by devotions in her honor.

The Holy Archangel Gabriel was the first creature to honor our Lady as the Mother of the God-Man. Therefore, as priest united to the holy Angels, we too ought to be identified by our marian character and the presence of her virtues in our lives.