Dear Members of the Marist College Ashgrove Family,
The month of May concludes tomorrow. The month of May has a special devotion to Mary. The Catholic Church document Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy) states the following about the month of May:
The Church honours with special love Mary, the Mother of God, who is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son. In her the Church holds up and admires the most excellent effect of the redemption and joyfully contemplates, as in a flawless image, that which the Church itself desires and hopes wholly to be. (SC 103)
As Marists, Mary is referred to as “Our Good Mother”. This is a term of endearment that St Marcellin gave to her. The Marist spirituality book, Water From the Rock, informs us:
“The relationship of Marcellin to Mary was deeply marked by an affective and total trust in her, as the “Good Mother,’’* because it was her work that he undertook. He wrote once: Without Mary we are nothing and with Mary we have everything because Mary always has her adorable Son within her arms or in her heart. This belief remained constant all throughout his life. Jesus and Mary were the treasure on which Marcellin had learned to place his own heart. This intimate relationship helped shape the Marial dimension of our spirituality. In our tradition, the phrase “Ordinary Resource”* has come to encapsulate our constant reliance on Mary. The motto attributed to Champagnat by his biographer, All to Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus, captures this close relationship between the Son and the Mother and our Founder’s attitude of confidence in Mary, which we are invited to live.”
So for us as Marists, Mary is our conduit to Jesus. We believe in her love and care for us and her willingness to intercede for us.
On Friday, May 17, I attended a professional development breakfast where Br Neville Solomon and Fr Gerry Hall SM reflected on the role that Mary plays in the life of the Church.
A few musings from that experience are replicated here:
Mary waited in silent hope; an image of Mary pondering quietly; Mary turned a stable into a home. And from Pope Paul VI “….. truly our sister, who as a poor and humble woman, fully shared our lot.”
Fr Francois Marc SM wrote about the Marian Church with many examples. One to consider …
The Marian Church lives in Nazareth in silence and simplicity. She does not live in a castle. Her home is like all the other homes. She goes out to chat with the other villagers. She weeps with them, she rejoices with them, but she never preaches at them. Above all, she listens. She does her shopping, she goes to look for water at the well, and she is invited when there is a marriage. It is in these places that she encounters people. Many people are happy to have her rest a while in their home; they consider it a blessing.
And so should we!
Let’s all choose to belong.
Yours in Jesus, Mary and St Marcellin.