I have often wondered how many times these words have resounded in my head as I worried about many trifling things. These are words that were spoken by Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego almost 500 years ago and yet they still resonate in our ears today. Why?
Perhaps, it is because that so many of us are like Juan Diego. We do not know or understand the inscrutable designs of God and yet we worry when we are asked by Him to stand up for things that are right. We forget that we are under Our Lady’s mantle and that she will protect us by her intercession with God from all kinds of evils. So many Doctors and Fathers of the Church have stressed this point over and over again. Mary is our mother and she is here to protect us and to take care of us.
It seems to me, however, that we have forgotten the role of Mary as our mother. In a world that has grown cold with love, we have come to a point where our own love for Mary may not be what it is. There were times years ago, when there were things such as May processions and May Crownings of statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When novenas in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Mother of Perpetual Help were commonplace around the country. Yet those times are no more. Of course, there are those parishes that still manage to preserve a modicum of tradition with regard to Mary, but not many do in my own experience.
This particular month of October was designated and dedicated by Pope Leo XIII to Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary. Pope Leo directed that the rosary be prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar. I do not know whether this is the custom in many traditionalist Catholic parishes around the country this month, but I have heard that it is here and there. Yet how wonderful would it be if this were the case all over the world and throughout many different parishes. A large army of people praying the rosary and spreading Our Lady’s mantle across the whole of the world, while honoring Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament! How wonderful that would be! How great would be the graces that we could all gain through this!
Yet I wonder how much of this is true around the world. In our own country, we are beset by many great evils such as homosexuality, abortion, and various other sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. If there was any country in the world where the rosary could work wonders, America is one of them. We desperately need Our Lady’s help in this day and age. Yet we should not only pray for the country that gave us birth, but we should also pray for the conversion of the world and the conversion of sinners.
It seems appropriate to me that we should ask the Little Flower to intercede for us before the Lord with Our Lady for this intention. St. Therese sacrificed herself for sinners and she was named the Patroness of the Missions together with St. Francis Xavier. We need not think that the missions are places in distant lands that have never heard God’s word. Rather, the missions include the areas in which we live, the parishes in which we worship God, and the countries in which we live. All of these are in need of missionaries and all of them are need to hear Our Lady’s consoling words that she spoke to Juan Diego: “Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under the mantle of my protection? Do you have need of anything else?”
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas, pray for us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
St. Therese the Little Flower, pray for us!