Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Faith to conquer the world

The concluding prayer of the Legion of Mary has these wonderful sentiments:   Confer, O Lord, on us, that fullness of faith to which it is given to conquer the world.  Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity, a faith, firm and immovable as a rock, a faith which will be our Legion's Pillar of Fire

Faith is of two kinds: Faith in doctrine and faith in action: Faith in the truth of God and faith in the God of truth

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. Ramona C. Carroll

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Legion speaks of taking Symbolic Action. That is a matter of taking the first step in faith and trusting that the Lord will honour your trust.

It is clear from the Concluding prayer that the faith presented to the Legionary of Mary is something that springs from the fire of charity and moves out courageously to become a pillar of fire. The chosen people in the desert followed the Pillar of fire until it led them into the Promised Land to conquer it for the Lord. Legionaries are in the fore-front of those Chosen people leading them into a place of eternal hope.

As faith is strengthened there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. Emmanuel Teney  This is one of the benefits of being in an organization like the Legion of Mary. You don’t need to be in control. Like Our Lady, you yield in faith to the unknown and the human impossibility: Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let your word be done unto me.

You are not setting to conquer the world on your own or in your own strength. You are part of that Pillar of Fire which is of God’s making and is continually fanned into flame by the grace of your weekly meeting and the support of your officers and fellow members.  The faith written of in our concluding prayer is very much a faith that steps out taking the next peaceful step in faith.

 You may have heard the story of the watch bought in for repair: “I had great faith in that watch,” said the client to jeweller.  "I’m afraid," he replied,  “Like Grandmas old clock, it has stopped short—never to go again. Faith’s fine but without good works its not much good. So while trusting the Lord in everything, we still have to expend all our energy in God's service and do everything that is in our human power.


Friday, April 10, 2009

The Venerable Edel Quinn

The sons and daughters of St. Patrick are ever ready to say: “We have kept the faith.” The founder of the Legion of Mary always went further: “It is not enough to keep the faith, we have to proclaim it—to spread it.”

This is evident in the life of heroic life of the servant of God, Edel Quinn. Going to Africa she would say is not a picnic! In Edel’s heart were engraved those words of Grignion de Montfort that are enshrined in the conluding prayer of the Legion: Confer, O Lord on us who serve beneath the standard of Mary, that fullness of faith in thee and trust in her to which it is given to conquer the world.

This young woman, knew her own frailty, but she put her trust completely in the hands of the God who was her strength. The Eucharist was the food that nourished her soul and while she knew the weakness of body, her daily profession was that of Christ himself: “This is my body given up for you..” What she lacked, she knew God would supply out of his own unlimited resources. And so she conquered, not only the physical territory assigned to her, but she conquered every human heart that has heard her story.

Edel never failed or flinched before the obstacles that lay in her path. We’ve all heard of the swollen river and the hidden bridge beneath the waters and the motorist who would not dare drive through. Edel did not want to fail the waiting expectant legionaries who awaited her. “O Father,” she said, please go on. I’m sure Our Lady will protect us.” The priest couldn’t resist such faith and they drove on.

Edel despite her continual illness never complained, but pushed herself to the ultimate. She was there to serve and be at the disposition of others. She knew the secret of the Scriptures: " Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Mat.16,25

Frank Duff, speaking about Edel in her native Kanturk, remarked on how strongly she attracted people to her. Like St. Francis what brought about this attraction, was the conviction that she was really interested in each one. This should be powerful motive for seeking Venerable Edel Quinn's intercession.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I have just been reading the following by James Bone in new York. 
The two surviving Beatles have reunited on stage to promote transcendental meditation among schoolchildren around the world. The reunion came at a concert to bring transcendental meditation to one million schoolchildren. "It started for us when we met the Maharishi in India, and it's going to get bigger and bigger and rule the world," McCartney told the crowd.

What a pity that our Catholic schools are not hearing much about their own tradition of meditation. The few that have been introduced to it are very happy and I would like to hear from some of them. The stillness and security that this practice brings is a blessing beyond description.  All that is needed is to set aside a short time of silence and rest and let one of the Christian words of life enter the soul. The sacred word of Jesus will do infinitely more than a mantra from the Maharishi of India. Let the Jesus word linger in your heart in love.