Dear Members of the De La Salle Community:
“The mightiest helper of the Christian people, and the most merciful, is the Virgin Mother of God. How fitting it is to accord her honour ever increasing in splendour.” – Leo XIII, Adiutricem pouli, September 5, 1895
This morning after the celebration of the Eucharist His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, in union with other Bishops throughout North America, consecrated their dioceses to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help and protect us during this time of pandemic.
The month of May stirs up in us a renewed time of devotion to Our Lady. In the tradition of St. John Baptist de La Salle, who urged the Brothers always to show a special devotion to Her. The daily recitation of the Rosary and placing ourselves and all our intentions under Her maternal care is a very Lasallian characteristic. Many may not know that the Rosary used by the Brothers has six decades, not the usual five. This sixth decade is dedicated each day to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the needs of the Church and of our Institute. It is during the recitation of this sixth decade that we remember above all the intentions of our students and their families.
Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus, is the first and greatest of Christ’s disciples. Today we are being called to deepen our discipleship as we suffer the loss of not having the privilege of being able to worship and gather publicly. We do so by renewing our private and familial devotions as did the first Christians in their homes and in small gatherings. Mary is with us just as she was present with the Apostles in the Upper Room. Although we lament the deprivation of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, which is essential for our life as Christians, we can and should join in remembrance those who, for many years, behind the Iron Curtain had to worship in secret at great sacrifice. Similarly, those who in concentration camps during the Second World War continued to gather in small groups to remember the Lord’s Supper or today those in many countries of the Middle East where the Christian life is being exterminated.
The current crisis is also a crisis of faith. Let us go to Mary and ask Her to intercede for us and to give us the wisdom to face the dominant culture of death, which rejects the Christian message and way of life. Ask Her help to renew and restore the Christian family, marriage and sacredness of all life.
We have been chosen to live in these times. Let us not be downcast or sad but rejoice that our Lord is asking us to rebuild His Church. Churches that are first and foremost in us, the true temples and tabernacles of the presence of God. First, we go to His mother. She will tell us: Go, do as He tells you.
Our Dear Lady, Mother of Tranquility and Mother of Hope, look upon us in this time of confusion and unrest. Teach our hearts to know God’s love for us is unchanging and unchangeable; and, that true human love can only begin and grow by touching His love. Let your gentle peace, which this world cannot give be always with us and help us to bring the same peace into the lives of others. Holy Mother of God, listen to our prayers and come swiftly to our help. Amen.
Holy Mary, Patroness of our Institute. Prayer for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Brother Domenic, fsc