Sunday Reflection– 24 May – “Mary’s Month” – The Seventh Sunday of Easter, Readings: Acts 1:12-14, 1 Peter 4:13-16, Psalm 27(26):1.4.7-8, John 17:1-11 and the Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians
“Arise, make haste, my love, my dove,
my beautiful one and come.
For the winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers have appeared in our land.”
“One thing alone I know – that, according to our need, so will be our strength.
One thing I am sure of, that the more the enemy rages against us, so much the more, will the Saints in Heaven, plead for us;
the more fearful are our trials from the world, the more present to us will be our Mother Mary and our good Patrons and Angel Guardians;
the more malicious are the devices of men against us, the louder cry of supplication will ascend from the bosom of the whole Church of God, for us.
We shall not be left orphans;
we shall have within us, the strength of the Paraclete, promised to the Church and to every member of it.
My Fathers, my Brothers in the Priesthood, I speak from my heart when I declare my conviction, that there is no-one among you here present but, if God so willed, would readily become a martyr for His sake.
I do not say you would wish it;
I do not say that the natural will would not pray that that chalice might pass away,
I do not speak of what you can do by any strength of yours – but, in the strength of God, in the grace of the Spirit, in the armour of justice, by the consolations and peace of the Church, by the blessing of the Apostles Peter and Paul and, in the name of Christ, you would do what nature cannot do.
By the intercession of the Saints on high, by the penances and good works and the prayers of the people of God on earth, you would be forcibly borne up as upon the waves of the mighty deep and carried on out of yourselves by the fullness of grace, whether nature wished it or no.
I do not mean violently, or with unseemly struggle but calmly, gracefully, sweetly, joyously, you would mount up and ride forth to the battle, as on the rush of Angels’ wings, as your fathers did before you and gained the prize.
You, who day by day, offer up the Immaculate Lamb of God, you who hold in your hands the Incarnate Word under the visible tokens which He has ordained, you who again and again drain the Chalice of the Great Victim;
who is to make you fear?
what is to startle you?
what to seduce you?
who is to stop you, whether you are to suffer or to do, whether to lay the foundations of the Church ‘n tears, or to put the crown upon the work in jubilation?”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
1852 – “The Second Spring”
at the first Provincial Synod of the newly restored
Roman Catholic hierarchy in England.
(John Henry Newman – Spiritual Writings – Selected by John T Ford)