Lettera Madre August 2020

Lettera Madre August 2020

United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters …

Via Aurelia, 773


Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where our faith tells us,
“having completed the course of her earthly life, she was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” (70th anniversary, when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as a dogma of faith, 1950)
From the beginning of her life Mary is “full of grace”; she is “blessed” because of “the fruit of her womb,” and “blessed” because of her faith (cf. Lk. 1:42, 45). In the light of the Assumption, Mary’s Magnificat takes on a new meaning. She proclaims the greatness of the Lord and joy in God her Saviour. God has done marvellous things for her and she leads us to recognize God’s greatness and holiness. She is the lowly handmaid who throughout her life, welcomed God’s will with its joys and sorrows and was taken into His glory.
In a homily for the Solemnity of Assumption, 2013, Pope Francis offered this reflection, which resonates with us today:
“The Gospel suggests to us the word: hope.
Hope is the virtue of those who, experiencing conflict – the struggle between life and death, good and evil – believe in the resurrection of Christ, in the victory of love. We heard the Song of Mary, the Magnificat: it is the song of hope, it is the song of the People of God walking through history. It is the song many saints, men and women, some famous, and very many others unknown to us but known to God: mums, dads, catechists, missionaries, priests, sisters, young people, even children and grandparents: these have faced the struggle of life while carrying in their heart the hope of the little and the humble. Mary says: “My soul glorifies the Lord” – today, the Church too sings this in every part of the world.
This song is particularly strong in places where the Body of Christ is suffering the Passion. For us Christians, wherever the Cross is, there is hope, always. If there is no hope, we are not Christian. That is why I like to say: do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope. May we not be robbed of hope, because this strength is a grace, a gift from God, which carries us forward with our eyes fixed on heaven. And Mary is always there, near those communities, our brothers and sisters, she accompanies them, suffers with them, and sings the Magnificat of hope with them.
…With all our heart let us too unite ourselves to this song of patience and victory, of struggle and joy, that unites the triumphant Church with the pilgrim one, earth with heaven, and that joins our lives to the eternity towards which we journey. Amen.”
Bl Antonio Rosmini reminds us: “We need to bear in mind always that our model is, after Christ himself, the Blessed Virgin, who lived the most hidden of lives, in poverty and 

tranquillity. Yet God glorified her above all others; and while she left herself wholly in the care of God, he, by his grace, brought about greater marvels in her than in any other creature. With good reason she is considered by the Church as the archetype of wisdom, since there is no greater wisdom than to live at peace in God and to exult in him with complete faith in his mercy, giving praise and thanks to him for all the workings of his Providence — that is, for everything without exception.”
“We must fear nothing while we have our Mother and Captain at our head, leading us” (AL Vol.1 lett 74)
Six months into this Pandemic, where the nations of the world are being turned upside down – the number of coronavirus cases has passed 20 million registered cases and 750,000 deaths. Behind these statistics, there is enormous pain and suffering. The changes in the spread of the virus in various countries tells us how dynamic the situation is and how quickly things can change. There is no room for complacency. We pray, we pray and we hope while we continue to take personal responsibility to do our part in keeping ourselves safe and in keeping the other persons close to us – safe and well.
As Pope Francis said today, “The pandemic has highlighted how vulnerable and interconnected we all are. If we do not take care of each other, starting with the least, those who are most affected, including creation, we cannot heal the world”. (General Audience 12 August 2020)
Happy Feast of the Solemnity of the Assumption!
United in prayer and with affection, c.m.

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