Saturday, August 22, 2009
Pope Piux XII established this feast in 1954, explaining that Mary is deserving of the title as “Queen” because of her special roles as Mother of God and the New Eve of Jesus’ mission as well as for her sinless state and intercessory power.
As members of a religious order that bears her name, we, as Marianists, share in a unique and special relationship with her that distinguishes us from any other group in the Church.
The theme of our Province retreats this past summer focused on Mary, allowing for opportunities to walk and pray with her during significant moments in her life: the Annunciation, Cana, the foot of the cross and Pentecost.
When reflecting on Mary’s own vocational call and how her faith journey unfolded, it is easy to realize the weight of challenges that God placed on her. Depite being born without sin, she remained faithful after making the initial commitment without knowing much about what it will entail or where it will lead (Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, 1998, p. 77).
Mary had to deal with the following: having a child out of wedlock; being a parent to God; watching her child become a political enemy and being executed in the most humiliating way in public despite his innocence. Through it all, she remained a model of faith and perseverance not only for us, but for the entire Church.
The opportunities of that retreat have helped me develop a stronger relationship with Mary. During these busy and hectic days, I’ve felt overwhelmed, tired and challenged. I’ve found myself calling on Mary to help me stay focused on my own relationship with God.
I would agree with Pope Pius the XII that Mary is most deserving of the title because of her exceptional qualities. As in Chess, the Queen is the most powerful character in the entire game; likewise, Mary is the most powerful intercessor we could have in our life, particularly as Marianists.
As we gather around the altar, let us reflect on what Chaminade once said: if we allow Mary to take possession of our hearts, we are able to reflect her tenderness and love to share with others. After all, Mary chose each one of us first and it is through the grace of providence that we chose the Society of Mary to live our religious vocation (Retreat of 1817. Notes of M. Lalanne, The Founders Thought V, 20.7-8).
Casa Maria Marianists