Chaplain’s Corner – October 2017 – “The Blessed Virgin & Real Heroism”
In 1917, exactly 100 years ago this month, as the “War to End All Wars” raged on in Europe, it would make logical sense for the Mother of God to appear to world leaders like King George V, President Woodrow Wilson, or Emperor Wilhelm II to warn them of the horrors of war and the great consequences of waging a war that would lead to the deaths of over 16 million people. Instead, in a small village in Portugal, the Blessed Virgin appeared to three small shepherd children in order to bring about the spiritual conversion of the world and a consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Rather than speak about the specifics of this incredible intercession on behalf of the world and why Mary chose three unknown children instead of world leaders, it first must be understood why it is that Mary appears in the first place.
There have been countless apparitions of our Lady throughout the history of our Church in order to bring about some good; if there is one certainty about the apparitions of our Mother, it is this… she appears to call us to action! For some misguided and asinine reason, in contemporary society Mary has been viewed as a devotion solely for women. It is true that she is the model for true femininity and maternal love but where in Sacred Scripture or the Sacred Tradition of our Church does it indicate that a devotion to Mary is a task for women only? Not only is this entirely untrue but it is an outright lie formulated by the Devil himself in order to keep you away from your most powerful intercessor and She who would call you to your ultimate holiness. If we want to be the holiest, manliest, truest version of ourselves, we need our Mother.
St. Maximilian Kolbe who endured Auschwitz until he was starved and killed by lethal injection had an unbreakable devotion to the Blessed Virgin ever since Mary appeared to him as a boy; he even went on to found a group dedicated to evangelization by consecrating the world to Mary called the Militia Immaculata. St. Ignatius of Loyola formed the Jesuit Religious Order to change the world by sending missionaries to the most dangerous corners of the globe. The North American Martyrs (Jesuits) endured, what could be considered the most gruesome deaths in the history of the Church; make no mistake about it, these were real men of conviction and their blood spilled for the sake of making Christ and His Mother known spoke far louder than any voice or pen could. Yet, soon after renouncing his life as a knight and a solider, St. Ignatius encountered a Muslim Moor who made some insulting comments about the Blessed Virgin which sparked such a rage in him that it nearly drove Ignatius to kill the man. Instead, he decided to let his donkey decide what he was going to do: if the donkey went towards the Moor, he would kill him but if the donkey veered towards the open road, he would simply be on his way. Needless to say, the donkey took towards the open road and the Saint was spared the need to defend our Lady’s honor by slaying the disrespectful Moor.
St. Louis de Montfort, Pope Saint John Paul II, every single Apostle, and every single male (and female… but that’s not the point) saint ever loved our heavenly Mother deeply because if holiness consists in conforming our lives to Christ, no one loves Mary more than Jesus. There must be a revitalization of the understanding that Mary is our Queen and She is our Mother and it is the most noble of quests to dedicate your lives to venerating Her and defending Her. In the 19th chapter of the Gospel of John it reads, “But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag’dalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” If Saint John is the “Beloved Disciple” and the author of that Gospel, then why did he not just write his own name down? You are called to be Jesus’ Beloved Disciple and likewise, you are called to take Mary into your own home. Mary appears to call us into action and her appearance at the crosses presented in our own lives means that, like St. John, we too have an intercessor more powerful than we can imagine… but we must take action in calling her to action in our own lives.
If you do not pray the rosary frequently (this means daily), then you forgo one of the most potent spiritual weapons that God has ever given to mankind. Pray for your children, your friends, the world, yourself, everyone and everything and Mary, like a good and loving Mother will take a vested interest in even the smallest matters of Her child. There is nothing more manly than defending your Queen and your Mother and for those who wish to invite her into their home, they are one in the same. Venerate our Lady often. God Bless and be a saint, nothing less.
In Christ & Mary,
– Father Eric Silva
Chaplain – Candlewood Lake Council No. 11913