MONTFORT’S TRUE DEVOTION to Mary does not only awe because of its epic import immortalized in his books. It also inspires because of the irreversible truth that he lived what he wrote. His life of obedience and poverty was molded in the Anawim virtues of Holy Mary’s grace-filled selflessness. She was entirely devoid of self; her seven sorrows attest to this.
Mary, as obedient as she was ordained to be, pondered this like she did the annunciation of her being favored to be the mother of God. She appeared at Fatima to warn the world, through the three shepherd children that, unless Russia is consecrated, “there will be wars and persecutions of the Church.” On the current crises beleaguering the Catholic Church (depleting environment, extremist attacks, same-sex marriages), Pope Francis has invoked World War III saying that it has begun in a piecemeal fashion. The third secret of Fatima could provide Christians a framework for considering this terrifying new development, the sword that will pierce the Catholic faith.
Mary’s love for her children cannot be questioned. Her incorrupt body’s assumption into heaven attests to her immaculate heart. Her apparitions are parallel to the angel’s caution to Joseph to save his family from imminent peril. She knew the weight of worry; therefore, prepares us for the inevitable through Montfortian instruments to lead the way to a consecrated life.
We have been warned yet seemingly take the warning for granted. Lent is an opportune time to ponder our borrowed lives while there is still time to make it worthy before giving it back to God. Before we lose it.
Trekking the stations of the cross is easier reenacted than imagining the agonies Jesus went through from Gethsemane to Golgotha. Forty days are all we have to sacrifice to remember Christ’s suffering for us. Then we can celebrate, depending on our certainty that our faith is reaffirmed because resurrected.
On this sacrificial legacy, I recall the homily of Fr. Edgar Alutaya, OFM, about Abraham and Isaac. Which gave me an insight: Little did Abraham know that his obedient sacrifice of Isaac could have “prodded” God to His later, supreme sacrifice of His Son for our salvation. What kind of worms are we to be incapable of even the least effort to “die” for God?
As a people, we are prone to giving all we can to honor our dead before we bury them. Probably because we were indifferent to them while they lived. Or too busy to have time for them. Whatever the futile justification, Mary was a paragon of perfection in that, all her silence-wrapped womanhood was dedicated to being a handmaid of the Lord. The only moment she distanced herself from Him was when she could no longer serve Him. But she was there, still and steadfast, at the foot of the Cross, bearing all His wounds, until He breathed His last. Truly, the most decent thing we can accord the dead is to be Lazarus’ Mary, not Martha.
Let not our hearts be hardened by the enticements of the earth. We do not even own, therefore trample on, it. In quiet moments of these 40 days, may we have the yearning to hold Christ and His mother together with an ardent desire to meld their sorrows with ours that they may melt in the bosom of our Father’s heaven, hallowed as His name, until His will to deliver us from evil, if we’re worthy, be done.