Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Catena of the Legion of Mary
Catena is the Latin word for link or chain. It is the sign of the Holy Slavery of Jesus and Mary as taught by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. It reminds Legionaries that they are bound by the sweet chain of Love and Loyalty to Mary and to each other. Members of the Legion of Mary are not lone rangers working on their own. They are in the service of the Queen of Heaven and they stand shoulder to shoulder in army that has set itself to conquer the world.
Even those who have left are encouraged to pray the Catena and thereby keep a connection with the Legion. The opening Antiphon of the Catena is a panorama of the whole role of Mary: Fair as the Moon, Bright as the Sun, and like an Army in battle array! At once attractive and awesome!
In the Magnificat Mary does what we all need to do: She points to the Lord. For our part we often focus on ourselves -- our projects and our problems and make them still larger. Mary sweetly and surely makes the problems into possibilities as she teaches us instead to magnify the Lord. She is the Magnifier of God and his kingdom. Like her Son, she prays thy name, thy Kingdom, thy will. As we grow in this spirit of Mary, the apostolate becomes no longer my kingdom my project, my problem. As our little kingdom decreases, so does the Kingdom of God take root and grow great.
Pride is the most destructive force in the world and blocks the stream of grace. The Lord scatters the proud hearted. We know this to be true from our own experience and have seen that how it can destroyed or gravely diminish even Mary’s own Legion. Humility on the other hand is the foundation on which the Kingdom is established.
Mary acknowledges that anything that is good in her is the work of the Lord. Her soul proclaims the greatness of God. She knows that God has saved her and she rejoices in God my Saviour. Legionaries should remember the words of St. Ephraem so well: ‘May the spirit of Mary be in every soul to glorify the Lord.’
Fr. Bede the Head spiritual director of the Legion of Mary suggests that while we pray the Magnificat together at all our meetings sometimes we should pray and meditate over it personally and in solitude.