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One Heart

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Happy mid-summer! How did we get to mid-August so quickly? What happened to the summer that we longed for although with limited activities? I know that all of us have been challenged in many ways with physical distancing, adjusting to masks, and making major revisions in our summer vacations. Have you seen the signs on lawns, “We will get through this together.” Are we? 

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary reminds me of this. It is the day we commemorate when Mary “went to sleep” and was raised to heaven, body and soul. More importantly, it was the greatest joy for her to be reunited with her Son, Jesus. Inseparable. Closely united. Alternatively, we can use the Latin term, “Cor Unum.” One Heart. We can imagine the tremendous celebration in heaven when they were reunited. 

Since I was named after the Blessed Mother, I looked up the name Mary with the new interpretation. It means, “Beloved.” Yes, Mary was the beloved of God, and of her son, Jesus. She invites us to that deep relationship with Jesus so that we, too, might experience being His beloved.

It is that unity that Jesus invites us to daily. We are each on a journey of discovering Him in our life. What did you learn about yourself in the past months? What carried you and strengthened you in times of fear and anxiety? Did you feel nudged to come closer to our Lord; to place your trust in Him? Did you feel a need to reach out more to your family members, friends, and relatives? 

I come from a close-knit family. My brother-in-law has a re-occurrence of cancer. When one whom you love suffers, you also suffer. Family pulls together. We rely on the prayers of loved ones, and we want to make every moment together an experience of “one heart.”

Posted by Mary Lestina
in Mary

Consecrated to Mary

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I have created a special place for Mary in my life. When I was in fourth grade, my mom introduced me to the events of Fatima. When she told me of how Mary appeared to the three small children; Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I wanted to have that happen to me. To see and hear and talk with Mary. In person. I prayed for it. When I would tell my friends, they thought that was silly all except for one. She and I would talk about what that would have been like. Wouldn’t you be scared? I didn’t think so because it was Mary. Why would anyone be scared of Mary? As I grew older, I wanted, more than anything to be like her. I studied everything I could get my hands on to learn what she was like. I continue to gravitate to books about the apparitions because I simply can’t know enough about Mary. She fascinates me. She amazes me. As I grew and came to better appreciate Scripture and the role of Mary, as well as our faith traditions and rituals that involve Mary, I paid closer attention to how to include her in my life as an advocate and intercessor. Mary knows what it is like to love, to suffer, to feel joy, and to have profound loss. She knows how to abandon oneself completely to God. I want to do that, I want to be completely at His will. She has become my best friend because she has the answers for what needs to be done. Prayer with her is very consoling. She will take my worries, my prayers, my fears, my wonderings, directly to the heart of Jesus. Jesus WILL listen to his mom. Why not go right to her? This is why I have consecrated myself to her and why I have consecrated our school to her.

What does that mean to consecrate yourself to Mary or to Jesus or to God? To be consecrated means to pledge full and complete dependence. We consecrated our school to Mary in October 2016. In doing so, we have said that we will not do anything without it being the Lord's will. When big decisions have to be made, it will be prayed for. When policies are to be written, it will be prayed for. When a direction needs to be taken, it will be prayed for. We will always make an intentional place for Jesus and Mary in our school. This is why our daily prayer ends the way it does, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. St. Dominic, pray for us.

Enduring our Cross

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How are you all doing out there? Me? Well, words do not exist for what I am feeling. I simply can’t put a finger on just the right adjective. I guess the closest would be brokenhearted. My cup gets filled by the kids and the teachers. Their worlds of instruction and learning are going on, persevering in their studies, undoubtedly doing amazing and wonderful things, and I can’t see nor hear them. I did not sign up to be a principal of a virtual school. I need people. I need kids. I need the Knights!

Last week, I was talking about how this experience is supposed to be teaching us something. I am learning a lot about myself as a child of God and as a servant to His people. I have always known that I am not perfect, but I am learning how truly imperfect I am. Therefore, I am making a change to my Lenten sacrifice for the remainder of the season and into the Triduum. This is all a level of suffering that is helping me to identify with my Lord and His Blessed Mother.

Mary, my mother, your heart desires to alleviate suffering. Help me first to offer my suffering to the Lord so I may find peace from what afflicts me. Then help me see the suffering of others and give me the desire to alleviate that suffering just as you desire to alleviate it yourself. Amen (A Heart Like Mary’s: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does, p. 107)

Each of us are carrying a cross right now, it is our job to recognize  that and be empathetic toward it. I am working to be vigilant for how God is moving among us so that I don't lose sight of Him. Places I would usually find Him are gone or hidden from me. I am left looking for it in the words that come across my screen or through my family. One must be vigilant toward looking for it to see it. A Knight is vigilant. God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! Good will come from all of this. Good is occurring.

In times of trial, it is imperative that we strive to find hope and bring hope. As an Easter people, this is what our faith depends on. Hope. Hope is trusting in God’s loving plan with our hearts set on the goal of heaven. To lose hope is to lose God. Don’t lose hope.

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