Bulletin – October 2016
“So the faith was planted: so must it be restored”
Eight Pond Place – Oyster Bay, NY 11771
To Jesus Through Mary
Taken from a sermon by The Most Rev. Clarence Kelly
Copyright © 2006 The Most Rev. Clarence Kelly
…..During the First World War a luncheon was held to raise money for the war effort. The room where it took place was filled with businessmen and professional people and their wives. Two speeches were delivered. They were emotional, patriotic speeches designed to move the hearts of those who were present. But when they were done, the people did not respond with any great generosity. The fundraiser fell far short of the goal.
…..It just so happened that an army chaplain who was home on leave was present in the audience. After the speeches someone asked him to say a few words. He agreed and addressed the crowd. He spoke of an incident that had occurred on the battlefield in which another chaplain was involved. He told the people about a fierce battle between the American and German forces. When the dust had settled, he said, the Americans had won the day.
…..After the battle the army chaplain was able to freely move among those who had fallen. As he did, he came upon a young soldier who had been fatally wounded but who was still clinging to life. After ministering to him, he sought to comfort him yet more. Leaning down, he spoke into his ear.
“Lad, is there anything I can do for you?”
…..The young man’s eyes lit up. There was a certain softness in them as he struggled to speak. The chaplain bent low to listen. He put his ear close to the fallen soldier’s face that he might hear. The soldier, who was little more than a boy, struggled to speak. When finally the chaplain made out his words, he heard him say: “Father, kiss me for my mother’s sake.” Profoundly moved, the good priest, like the loving father of a fallen son or like Our Lord Himself, bent low and kissed the dying soldier on the forehead. Consoled, the young man died peacefully.
…..At that point in the story, the chaplain paused. A great silence had come over the room. As he looked about, he could see that many eyes were wet with tears. Nor were the tears shed by just the mothers. The men wept, as did those who seldom wept at all. They were moved by the dying soldier’s thoughts of his mother. They were moved by the love he bore her. They were moved in heart and deed to great generosity.
…..The love of the dying soldier for his mother reminds us of Christ upon the Cross, caring for His Mother and thinking of us in the person of St. John. “Woman behold thy son,” He said. Then turning His eyes to St. John, and in him to you and to me and to all of us, He said, “Behold thy mother.”
…..Our Lord gave her to us because of the infinite immensity of His love for us and His desire to be loved by us. There is something about the human heart that ravishes the Heart of God. So true is this and so great is the intensity of God’s desire to be loved by us that St. Thomas says, and many of the saints with him, one would almost think that He could not be happy without our love.
…..Similarly, the human heart was made to love God. Nor can it find any lasting happiness apart from God. Men have but two destinies. They will love God in Heaven or hate themselves in Hell for all eternity.
…..That we may love God for eternity, we must have recourse to Mary and stand beneath the Cross with her. We must love her as that young soldier loved his mother with his last breath of life in this world. Until such time as Mary is known and loved, Jesus will not be known and loved. He came to us through her. Through her, we must go to Him.
…..For from Crib to Cross, the great Heart of Christ burned with an infinite filial love for the woman who gave Him birth and who was thus His true human mother. Flesh of her flesh and blood of her blood He became. It is perhaps this more than anything that makes us realize how truly good and kind He is. He has a common bond with us that we can easily comprehend. And that bond is His Mother. What a lesson this should be to all men!
…..October is the month of the Holy Rosary. October 11 is the Feast of the Divine Maternity of Our Lady. Let us then re-dedicate and re-consecrate ourselves to the Mother of God and through her to Jesus Christ, the only Savior of mankind. As a twelfth century Catholic poet put it:
To Mary pay,
. . . thy tribute praises high.
All her glory,
All her story
Celebrate and magnify. . . .”