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“…while no particular Marian devotion captures the heart of the Marist spirit, the Marist charism calls us simply to be Mary in the Church.”

(Ted Keating, SM Mary, Model of Contemplation In Action Today’s Marists, Spring 2018, Volume 4, Issue 1.)

Reflection by Pope Francis (Homily, January 1, 2019)

[In] times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to Our Lady, to Our Mother. Yet first, we should let ourselves be gazed upon by Our Lady. When she gazes upon us, she does not see sinners but children. It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul; the eyes of Mary, full of grace, reflect the beauty of God, they show us a reflection of heaven. Jesus himself said that the eye is “the lamp of the body” (Mt 6:22): the eyes of Our Lady are able to bring light to every dark corner, everywhere they rekindle hope. As she gazes upon us, she says: “Take heart, dear children; here I am, your Mother!”

This maternal gaze, which instills confidence and trust, helps us to grow in faith. Faith is a bond with God that en­gages the whole person; to be preserved, it needs the Mother of God. Her maternal gaze helps us see ourselves as beloved children in God’s faithful people, and to love one another regardless of our individual limitations and approaches. Our Lady keeps us rooted in the Church, where unity counts more than diversity; she encourages us to care for one another. Mary’s gaze reminds us that faith demands a tenderness that can save us from becoming lukewarm. Tenderness: the Church of tenderness. Tenderness is a word that today many want to remove from the dictionary. When faith makes a place for the Mother of God, we never lose sight of the center: the Lord, for Mary never points to herself but to Jesus; and our brothers and sisters, for Mary is mother.

Reflection Credit: Give Us This Day June 2020

Music Credit: Salve Regina by Beth Nielsen Chapman