Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The following is from a talk to mark thirty years of the Charismatic Prayer Group in the Dominican Priory, Tallaght.
In keeping with the First Reading of our Mass, we too can praise God this night and say: The Lord our God has carried us as a father carries his son, all the way we went until we have reached this place. This has been the secret of our thirty years of praise and thanksgiving in this place.
The text is taken from the farewell of Moses to his people as he has brought them through the desert to the gateway to the Promised Land: Already he has told them how the Lord has carried them on eagle’s wings and in Chapter 33 he gives them the assurance that “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms”
One might recall the story of the boy caught in the blaze at the window of the Burning house. His father is standing beneath and calling: Jump, son.
The lad hesitates crying Daddy The smoke is blinding my eyes. I can’t see.
That’s all right, son, I can see you.
The lad made the leap of faith and was caught in the outstretched arms of the Father beneath.
We thank God this night,that the eyes of the Lord have been upon us. This has been the blessing of the Charismatic Renewal. It has helped us make that leap of faith, that surrender of all that we are and all that we have into the caring arms of the Lord. Even if we sometimes doubt and fail to see the hand of God, we are assured that he sees us.
Underneath all our striving and all sorrows and joys have been the everlasting arms and we rejoice the Father has carried us on eagles wings all the way to this place and this time.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
God our Father, You inspired your servant Frank Duff with a profound insight into the mystery of your Church, the Body of Christ, and of the place of Mary the Mother of Jesus in this mystery. In his immense desire to share this insight with others and in filial dependence on Mary he formed her Legion.
Here we have what might be called the founding message of the Legion and the key to our own Legion of Mary life. The primary principle of the founder was not a mere pragmatic one. In other words, apostolic outreach was not the driving force that moved Frank Duff to give birth to the Legion of Mary. Rather was it that others might share his vision. Frank was a prophet, a mystic with a dream that brought him to the heart of the Church the Body of Christ and the role of Mary in that Mother and Child Scheme of Salvation. That dream, that vision is our privilege to share and to promote. The vision is described in the Legion of Mary Handbook in the section entitled:
Mary and the Mystical Body of Christ: The various offices which Mary fulfilled, of nourishing, tending, and loving the actual body of her Divine Son, are still her offices in regard to each member of the Mystical Body, the least brethren as well as the most honourable. So that, when "the members may have the same care for one another" (1 Cor 12:25), they do not act independently of Mary, even when, through thoughtlessness or ignorance, they fail to recognise her presence.
They but join their efforts to Mary's efforts. It is already her work, and she has been exquisitely busied on it from the time of the Annunciation to this very day.
Legion work, can never be chore or a mere service. We have been chosen to share a work already in the hands and the heart of our heavenly Mother. In a sense she has need of no one, but it is God’s plan and purpose that we should have the privilege of lending her our hands and hearts.
The Legion system embodies a profound spirituality a whole mystical way of life. While it inserts us into the institutional life of the church, it immerses us in the mystery of the Church as the Body of Christ, making us members of that body and taking us to its very heart which is the Immaculate Heart of his Mother.
Every meeting , every prayer and every breath we breathe in our Legion life, is more than a simple devotional exercise. It is a sharing in the very life of Christ. Like St. Paul we can exclaim: It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Gal 2:20
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Welcome to this celebration of Our Lady’s Birthday. If you have the heart of a child, then its a party and all are invited. Here are some things to remember when invited to a party.
Acknowledge the situation and respond appropriately. You dare not ignore or forget. Either Accept graciously or express regret that you cannot come.
Focus on the one whose Birthday it is, rather be wrapped up in yourself.
Have a good time but above all reach out and rejoice with your host. The food and drink are important, but more important are the relatives and friends around the table with you. When we pray we have words and thoughts to share, but above all we try to be totally present to the sacred persons we are meeting with.
Since it is our Mother Mary’s Birthday we are speaking of I am reminded of a four-year old child who was pestering his Mum for something that was not good for him, she gently said: “No!”
“You stink!” he snapped
“Is that so son?” Mum quietly replied.
Remembering what he heard in play- school from his pals, the four-year old came back. “Yes, you stink the whole world!”
There are times when we adults act like that four year old and treat God and his Blessed Mother in more or less the same fashion. How often we hear the remark: “I’m sick and sore of asking. If I don’t get my request this time, that’s the end of it. I’m giving up on prayer and going to Mass. It’s all a cod or a con job!”
Perhaps Our Lady replies in her gentle way. “Is that so child?” Mothers being what they are understand our frustration and what is really best for us.
But surely we are called to grow up and find a better way of relating to life and to the ways of heaven. The secret is to realise that heaven knows what is best for us. At the Birthday party we take the focus off ourselves and reach out to the one who has invited us.
Mary is a Mother, with a large family to care for. So our prayer should never be self-centred or selfish. We should have something of her mind and heart and pray But mothers But mothers as she did: Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. Let your word be done unto me.