MAY

 

LOVE OF MARY:  IMITATION OF HER VIRTUES

 

May   1:  In order to become penetrated with the spirit of our holy Institute we need only consider its title.  For as “The Company of Jesus” founded by St. Ignatius, implies “Association with Jesus,” and each Jesuit ought to portray the spirit of Jesus, the virtue of Jesus, the strength and power of Jesus, so the Sisters of Notre Dame are “The Company of Mary,” and in each Sister should be found the spirit of Mary, the virtue of Mary, the strength and power of Mary.

 

            2:  Let us ask Mary, our Mother, to obtain for us a great love of humiliation; what a happiness it would be for us to follow her Son Jesus.

 

            3:  It was above all at the foot of the cross that Our Lady practiced perfect conformity to the will of the Heavenly Father.  We are unworthy Sisters of Notre Dame if we are unwilling to suffer; if we are discouraged as soon as the good God tries our fidelity by sending us some cross.

 

            4:  We have our great Patrons, our good and tender Mother to watch over us.  Put your trust in her, and no harm will come to you.

 

            5:  With Our Lady’s help let us follow in the footsteps of her Divine Son.  In her company we shall be strong because we shall be both humble and full of confidence.

 

            6:  If all Christians ought to have recourse to Mary, much more should Sisters of Notre Dame say with filial love and trust, “Show thyself a Mother.”

 

            7:  The heart of this Mother of goodness is open to us and in it are stored up all the graces of our vocation, because we are entirely consecrated to her.

 

            8:  I have but a moment, my daughter, in which to tell you how good God is.  I beg of Him to let His blessed Mother bring you safe to the harbor of His Holy Will.  In all the trials He pleases to send you may He give you strength.

 

            9:  Can we doubt that this good Immaculate Mother protects all the members of our Institute, after the care she took of us when so many others were in distress, and that too in so special a way.

 

            10:  How can a Sister of Notre Dame who knows her origin help having a boundless confidence in her good Mother Mary after such a mark of tenderness, or not be animated with zeal to honor her, and make her, more than ever, honored by others.

 

            11:  We must imitate Mary especially in her humility, her obedience and her charity.

 

            12:  Mary is the most privileged of creatures and at the same time the most humble.  Without her humility she would never have drawn down upon herself the regard of God, as she herself tells us in her Magnificat, “He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid.”

 

            13:  Although Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God, she never lost sight of her lowliness.  What an example for us!  We ought to be animated at the thought of being employed in a work so great as that of saving souls, because the measure of our humility is the measure of the glory we give to God and the fruit we reap in souls.

 

            14:  We must imitate Our Lady’s charity, for love is never better proved than by a full and perfect conformity to the holy and adorable Will of God, in whom we love above all things.

 

            15:  The greatest of Our Lady’s sufferings was at the foot of the cross when the adorable Blood of her Son and God flowed over her and reddened the ground of Calvary.  There, too, Sisters of Notre Dame should draw courage and zeal to surmount every obstacle, and devote themselves entirely to the salvation of souls. 

 

            16:  In order to make efficacious use of the sufferings of our divine Savior and the sorrows of Mary, we shouldl ask the Blessed Mother to gather the Precious Blood of her dear Son from the hilltop of Calvary, and apply it to the souls committed to our care.

 

            17:  No Sister of Notre Dame must have a selfish heart;  she must be large hearted and generous.  It is not for nothing that we have Our Lady for both Mother and Sister.  She had a large and loving heart, and if we want to be true daughters and worthy sisters, we must dilate our hearts, and try to urge them to the sublime heights of our holy vocation.

 

            18:  Let us strive earnestly to imitate that love which made Mary willingly share the sufferings of Jesus for the Redemption of the world.  Like Mary, we should count ourselves happy to have something to suffer, since we are called to co-operate in the sublime work of the Redemption.

 

            19:  My good daughters, how few are occupied with the thought of Mary’s sufferings.  Nevertheless, those who meditate on them receive great blessings.

 

            20:  We should often ask Our Lady to prepare us herself to receive her Divine Son into our hearts.  We are told that Mary conceived Our Lord in her heart before He was conceived in her womb, and it was that which merited for her the great grace and exalted dignity of becoming the Mother of God.

 

            21:  Let us ask Mary to teach us how to make Our Lord become incarnate, as it were, in our hearts and minds by our desires and conduct, before we present ourselves to receive Him in Holy Communion.

 

            22:  We have our great Patroness, our good and tender Mother to watch over us.  Put your trust in her, and no harm will come to you.

 

            23:  My dear daughters, how closely knit is my heart to yours in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and His blessed Mother.  I keep all your hearts present with me, and continually offer them to Jesus, so that you may all advance more and more in the perfection of the holy vocation to which God has deigned to call you.

 

            24:  We, who are chosen to be Our Lady’s Sisters, and spouses of Jesus Christ, should make our Lord live in us.  We should espouse Him in our minds and hearts by sacrificing to Him all we hold dearest in the world, if it does not help us towards God, Who is our sole Good.

 

            25:  Like Mary, we should build our spiritual edifice on a strong foundation of humility.  This would be really imitating her.

 

            26:  Let us, everyday of our lives, ask the Blessed Mother to protect our holy Institute.

 

            27:  Tell my daughter that she must have patience.  If she has a good vocation the evil spirit is sure to pay her some visits, but she must despise him, and have recourse to the Blessed Virgin, our good Mother.

 

            28:  To have no fear of being humiliated, to pass as good for nothing in the eyes of men is the true glory of a Sister of Notre Dame, whose joy ought to be found in self contempt.  If this is not so her spiritual edifice will soon fall, for Our Lady helps those who honor her -- not merely by prayers -- but also by example, by imitating her virtues.  Without this piety is false, ending only in illusion, and leading often to the loss of the soul.

 

            29:  We are the beloved children of Our Blessed Lady.  We are also her sisters, for we bear that glorious title.  But we must not rest satisfied with honoring Mary’s perogatives.  We must also strive to imitate our Heavenly Mother, so as to acquire a true resemblance to her.

 

            30:  May Jesus live in us, and His blessed Mother.  She is our Mother too, our loving Protectress and most kind Mother.

 

            31:  It was Our Lady’s humility which rendered her pleasing in the sight of God, and made her the means of salvation for the whole human race.  In the same way, if God finds us very humble, very little, counting ourselves as nothing before Him, He will make us instruments for the saving of souls, angels of peace for the whole world.