Written by: Denise Serafini on Thursday, May 04, 2017
We began our 2017 season with a private presentation of “Call from the Crucified Heart” at the Church of St. Thomas, for a special apostolate, the Legion of Mary. Because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, we thought it fitting to kick off the year’s activities with a group that is centered on Marian prayer. To make it special we customized the prayers within the presentation to align them with the philosophies, prayers and quotes of Venerable Edel Quinn. Her lifetime focus on the Holy Eucharist and the rosary provided a perfect parallel for the context of our theme for 2017.
As we were setting up the parish pastor, Father Hellwig, happened to come by and asked about what we were doing, concerned by the amount of equipment we were bring in. Like many priests that we work with, he thought that the Legion of Mary was simply having a few relics brought in for veneration. We chatted for a few minutes, sharing the elements that make up our presentation and he insisted that we plan for a return event that would include his entire parish. We couldn’t have been more pleased to accommodate his request and scheduled an event for Palm Sunday, April 9, a most significant day for meditating on the Passion of Christ.
We were joined by a considerable contingent of Knights of Columbus Color Guard, which was particularly poignant since this is the church where their founder, the Venerable Michael J. McGivney, served as pastor at the turn of the twentieth century. His relic is permanently ensconced at the rear of the church.
We hope that both St. Thomas and Venerable Michael McGivney were pleased with the events of our day in that church. Hopefully the faithful in attendance used our meditations to help them be participating entities in one of the most significant events that forms the foundation of our faith, allowing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to speak to their heart, that they might experience the great love that God shares in the Passion of his Son.
Just as Thomas did, we all have our doubts and look for specific evidence of Christ with us beyond the tomb, as the ultimate source of hope for joining Him in life everlasting. Like Thomas, we can be touched and inspired by the incredible love God demonstrated in His Passion and Resurrection and having that confirmed, despite our human limitations.
In our program we highlight the lesson that Jesus provides for us in his encounter with His Apostles after the Resurrection; “because they saw and experienced Him, each according to their own needs, we meet the Risen Jesus too. He disappears from before our eyes, that we might find him in our hearts.” Like St. Thomas as well as Father McGivney and Venerable Edel Quinn, we seek to understand our faith better so that we might follow Jesus along the way. We ask, through the intercession of these holy men and woman, for the grace to imitate Jesus in His example of life and suffering and to die with Christ so as to live with him. We also pray for the grace to hide ourselves in Jesus’ wounds as Jesus, in his body, blood, soul and divinity comes to us to dwell within and heal our wounds. And we ask for their intercession for ourselves and indeed every Christian, that we might take up the mission we are all called to in proclaiming our Lord and God as they did, and bring Him and his message to the world.
As I was writing this journal entry I could see the many interconnecting threads associated with this event but I was having trouble connecting the dots for a singular theme. Then I happened upon the first reading from the Mass for St. Thomas from Ephesians, Chapter 1:19-22:
I think perhaps the bottom line in this accounting is that Jesus inserts Himself into all works that seek to welcome Him into our lives, even if for only a brief encounter as we did on that Sunday afternoon. When that happens Our Lady and all the saints join in to help align introductions, schedules and even spiritual concepts that bring us together to spend a little time with Jesus. When we take that step, the heavenly court reaches out to help us learn about His Love and Mercy and encourages us to recognize that we are all called to be saints.