By the time you read this I will hopefully have arrived safely for the Alpha International Conference in London. But I would, of course, like to continue to send you a word for each week until I return. As we move into the month Of May, we are invited to reflect in a special way on the role of Our Blessed Mother in our faith journey.
During the month of May—the month of Mary—we feel a special protection of Our Lady that extends to all the faithful; we feel a special joy that shines and illuminates our hearts expressing the universal certainty of Catholics that the indispensable patronage of our heavenly mother becomes even more tender, more loving and more full of visible mercy during her month of May.
Even after the month of May passes, a remnant of this remains if we have profited from those thirty-one days especially consecrated to Our Lady. We are left with an increased devotion, a keener confidence and, so to speak, such an increased intimacy with Our Lady that in all the vicissitudes of life we will know how to petition her with respectful insistence, hope in her with invincible confidence and thank her with humble tenderness for all the good she does us.
Our Lady is the Queen of Heaven and Earth and, at the same time, our mother. We enter the month of May with this conviction, and it becomes more deeply rooted in us when we leave it, strengthening our faith and increasing our fortitude. May teaches us to love Mary Most Holy for the glory she rightly possesses and for all that she represents in the plans of Divine Providence. It also teaches us to be more constant in our filial union with Mary. Children are never more sure of the loving vigilance of their mothers than when they suffer. All of mankind suffers today; all peoples suffer. They suffer in every conceivable way.
Hearts suffer, torn by the revolutionary psychological war, which is so intense in our days. Bodies suffer, impoverished by work, undermined by malady, overwhelmed by necessities of every kind. The contemporary world could be likened to the time when Our Lord was born in Bethlehem: Its tortured mouth opens with a loud and agonizing groan, the groan of the evildoers who live far removed from God and the groan of the just who live tormented by the evildoers.
The more sombre circumstances become and the more excruciating sundry pains grow, the more we should ask Our Lady to put an end to so much suffering not merely for our own relief, but for the greater benefit of our souls. Sacred theology says that Our Lady’s prayers anticipated the moment of the world’s redemption by the Messiah. At this anguished moment in history then, let us turn our eyes to Our Lady with confidence, asking her to hasten the great moment we all await, when a new Pentecost will kindle beacons of light and hope in this darkness and restore the kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.
We should be like Daniel, whom Holy Scripture describes as, a man full of great desires. Let us desire many great things for the glory of God. Let us always ask Our Lady for everything. And let us, above all, ask her for that which the Sacred Liturgy beseeches of God: (Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth). We should ask, through the mediation of Our Lady, that God once again send us the Holy Spirit ,with the plenitude of His gifts, so that His kingdom may be created anew and be purified by a renewal of the face of the earth. In the Divine Comedy, Dante wrote that praying without the patronage of Our Lady is like wanting to fly without wings. Let us then confide to Our Lady this heartfelt yearning and desire. The hands of Mary will be for our prayer a pair of pure wings that will carry it with certainty to the throne of God.
Fr Gerard, CSsR