May 2020 - District Superior's Letter: Behold your mother!
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
“Behold your mother!"
Just as Easter came to us this year with a special message of peace, the month of May must rekindle in our hearts a boundless trust in the Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother. “If I love Mary, I am sure of my salvation!”
In order to appreciate the true value - and how important it is at this precise moment in the history of the world ! - of this short word of a blood-covered Son, dying on a Cross before the eyes of his compassionate Mother, it is good to take a step back and ponder at the circumstances. All the details - places, times, journeys, words - of Our Lord’s life were planned long before the creation of the world by the “Great Council” of the Holy Trinity (cf. 3rd Christmas Mass). This obviously includes the Seven Last Words that He, the Eternal Word made flesh, was to utter. Moreover, how often has Our Lord reminded His listeners that His words were not of Him but of the Father! “The words You gave me, Father, I gave them to them.” By doing so, He also fulfilling the prophecy of God to Moses shortly before his death: “I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren like to thee: and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him” (Deut. 18:18).
First conclusion to be drawn: this word has an eternal weight. “I have loved you with an everlasting love!”
On the battlefields, in the trenches, dying soldiers call on their mother, or, if they are given this grace, the one who sublimely replaces her, the priest with a maternal heart. On Calvary, our Saviour gave His Mother, detached Himself from her in a certain way, made that sacrifice in an act of total self-emptying. He truly consecrated her as our Mother - for it is indeed a consecration. Although she is not our physical mother, by His almighty word “Behold your son”, He created in her Immaculate Heart, in her soul, that indestructible maternal bond,, which lasts forever in the heart of every mother after the birth of her child. Saint John, already an ordained priest, was representing all of us at that moment. If our earthly mother carried us nine months before giving birth to this mortal life, it is for the period of our whole life on earth that our heavenly Mother carries us in her Heart until the day we arrive at the Father's House, our “dies natalis - true birth”, as the liturgy teaches us.
Let us continue our considerations.
What happens in a woman's soul when her doctor tells her that she is pregnant? A feeling of great joy, certainly, but also of grave responsibility: “I now carry within me another life, so delicate!” At birth, this responsibility will become a true providence which will have to provide for everything. The weaker the child is, the more the mother ‘puts herself’ in his body, feels, foresees his most minute needs. As soon as she hears the voice that calls her with more or less insistence, she rushes like a mother: my child needs me! History is full of this maternal heroism that responds to her child’s call at any cost. Here is one example among thousands.
We are in Nagasaki, Japan, shortly after 11:02 a.m., on August 9, 1945. The atomic bomb has just exploded and the nuclear blast has died down. Everything is in ruins, everything is burning. Suddenly a baby who is still breathing starts screaming for his mother, he is alive but is trapped by a collapsed beam of what is left of his house. The mother is lying on the lawn a few steps away, skinned alive, but not yet dead. She opens her eyes to her little one’s voice, gets up with a heroic effort, takes a few steps towards him, with her scorched and bleeding shoulder and what little strength she has left, she lifts the beam, pulls her child out, takes a few steps again, puts him gently on the ground, and she, the mother, collapses, dead. “Love is stronger than death.”
If a pagan mother, because not all Nagasaki was converted at that time, can manifest such maternal heroism, what can be said of one who, alone with God the Father, can call the Incarnate Word: my Son! With what eagerness will she not intercede with her Son when she hears the heart-rending calls of her children in torment? And she, “the almighty supplicant”, the new Esther, will unfailingly obtain from her Son, the King, the object of His requests: the salvation of her people, the Church, and of her children.
For all these reasons, in the circumstances of confinement in which we are, and also since this will be my last month of May among you, I invite the whole District to join in the daily Rosary which I will recite every day in May and which will be transmitted live, on our website at 6:00 pm. Some days there will also be Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, but we will always begin at 6:00 pm Eastern Time. After the litanies of the Blessed Virgin, we will also recite the magnificent prayer to Our Lady, “August Queen of Angels” which Father Louis-Édouard Cestac received from the Blessed Virgin in 1864 and which was indulgenced by Saint Pius X on July 8, 1908. The rosary will be recited in Latin, but you may answer in your own language, of course. It is advisable to pray in front of a small oratory to the Blessed Virgin with a small tablecloth, fresh flowers (which children can pick up), and candles, blessed if possible.
If “a family that prays the Rosary together stays together”, let us offer this Rosary, recited together thanks to modern technology, for our District, its priests, its vocations, its families, its schools, all its Mass centers, all the sick and the deceased, its benefactors, for our country “a mari usque ad mare”, for the Society of St. Pius X, for the Holy Church, “for peace in the world” and for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“August Queen of Heaven, Sovereign Mistress of the Angels, thou, who from the beginning hast received from God the power of the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly implore thee, to send thy holy legions so that under thy command and by thy power, they may drive the devils away, everywhere, fight them, subduing their boldness and thrust them down into the abyss.
Who is like unto God?
O good and tender Mother, thou willst always be our love and our hope.
O divine Mother, send Thy holy angels to defend me and drive far away from me the cruel enemy.
Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, keep us. Amen.”
God bless you all!
May 1, 2020
Father Daniel Couture
P.S. It seems morally certain, given the state of necessity in which we are, that the first Friday and Saturday Communions can be received later as soon as you have an opportunity to do so.