Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mary: The Most Important Woman in the Life of a Priest

"Why are pulpits which resound with the Name of Christ, so silent about His Mother, who was chosen for such a dignity in the agelessness of eternity?

" was not the Church that made her important; it was Christ himself...she, of all creatures was closest to God. Without her as the key it is difficult to discover the treasures in the vault of Faith.

"God Who made the sun also made the moon. The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun...All its light is reflected from that glowing furnace. In like manner, Mary reflects her Divine Son...On dark nights we are grateful for the moon; when we see it shining we know there must be a sun. So, in this dark night of the world, when men turned their backs on Him Who is the Light of the World, we look to Mary to guide our feet while we await the sunrise.

"There must be a Woman in the life of a priest...When I was baptized as an infant, my mother laid me on the altar of the Blessed Mother...and consecrated me to her.

"I was drawn to her before I knew her, but never drawn to her without Christ. When I made my first Holy Communion...I made the conscious dedication of myself to Mary...words of my prayer...similar to the motto I chose for my coat of arms as bishop: Da per matrem me venire (Grant that I may come to Thee through Mary). My First Communion book...contained the Litany of the Blessed Virgin which I began reciting every night as a boy and have continued to this hour.

"The call to the priesthood was always in my mind; it was her intercession I sought, to make myself worthy and to be protected from great falls. While I was still in the first grade, a suggestion was made by a good nun that we put at the top of every page the initials J.M.J., standing for dedication to "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph." In the course of my life, I have written tens of thousands of pages. I do not believe I ever set my pen or pencil to paper without first having put that seal of dedication on my work. The practice continued even automatically when I was on television and used a blackboard.

"When I was ordained, I took a resolution to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist every Saturday to the Blessed Mother, renewing my feeble love of her and invoking her intercession. All this makes me very certain that when I go before the Judgement Seat of Christ, He will say to me in His Mercy: "I heard My Mother speak of you."

~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, from Treasures in Clay ~

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High priest, Mother of all priests, and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests.

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