Today, August 8, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Mary Helen MacKillop (1842-1909), the first Australian to be beatified, and as of October 17, 2010, the first to be declared a saint. Known as Blessed Mary of the Cross, she founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, struggling against opposition from within the Church to realize her calling and help her order reach fruition. Her motto of “Never see a need without doing something about it” continues to call us forth to action
"The primary end of the Institute is the sanctification of its members by the practice of the three simple vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, and by the exact observance of this Rule. The secondary end of the Institute is the instruction of poor children. However, by way of exception and at the request or with the consent of the Ordinary, other works which may be required by necessity can be added to the work of education."
"Who led their expeditions and under whose command
Through dangers and through hardships
Sought they the Promised Land?
A second Moses, surely, it was who did it all.
It was. A second Moses in bonnet and in shawl."
"I do not know how to describe the feeling, but I was intensely happy, and felt nearer to God than I had ever felt before. The sensation of the calm, beautiful presence of God I shall never forget." Instead of blame, she prayed that some good would come from the action, and she suffered through the humiliation and persecution. In 1872 her bishop, having determined the baseless nature of the accusations, apologized, and returned Mary to full communion. At that point, Mary, having every door closed to her in Australia, begged passage to Rome, traveling alone on the kindness of strangers, seeking approval of her order from the Holy See.
"May God's Holy Spirit direct all: that a pure intention of seeking His Glory in doing His Will may guide all - we must pray most earnestly.”
"When I am gone, our Congregation will flourish. I have made the way smooth for those who will come after me. I have had uphill work; but my sweet Jesus knew what was best for me, and I thank Him for giving me something to suffer for His sake." Mother Mary of the Cross suffered for her beliefs, her calling, her God. Through her tireless work and service to others, she transformed a governmental system and provided human dignity, education, and care to thousands. Her legacy reminds us of the positive work we can achieve, when we draw into the interiors of our hearts where God resides, gently urging us to take up His Cross.
"I do indeed feel such a grateful love of God when He denies me my natural desires - even when they sometimes seem best ... I do so long to love God, and be grateful to Him when He denies me anything I expect."
"At Mass, Communion, prayers, and any duty I am engaged in, I can think of nothing but giving myself with my whole heart to the Will of God ... and giving myself thus takes from me the power of even in the smallest thing repining at what He sends to myself or to those I love ... I am willing to be in darkness and suspense all my life, and to suffer eternal darkness in the next, provided I hate not my God there as well as serve Him so coldly here - anything, so long as the Will of God be done in me and in all creatures ... It is only my own faults, my own coldness, that keep me back from Him, and yet, were the choice left to me, and I knew it to be His Will, I would ask Him to let me serve Him thus, as no other suffering could be suffering to me with His Holy Will."
"Our good God sees that I must not have comfort, at least, not much, from those I know He loves; so I must go on praying that He may do what He pleases with me, and give me true comfort only in Himself in Heaven, and in His Will on earth."
"We have no will of our own, but must do and follow the path which is traced out for us ... so God's Holy Will, more of the Cross, and a long, weary life and rest only when we will go to Him."
"Let us do the Will of Him we love, and not by one willful sigh wish for life or death, but as He pleases; so that no shadow of earthly will or of self remain in hearts chosen by the God of Love for Himself."
"Oh, do have more courage under your little disappointments and trials; they are intended by your Divine Spouse to do your soul much good and to lead you closer to Him ... I know that out of all our hearts' troubles He will bring glory to Himself."
"I will not shrink from any cross or trial, but rather follow Him as closely as possible in the daily and hourly discharge of every duty of my state. If, now and then, some little sacrifice to nature is required, Oh then, my God, let me look up to Thee, and let my faint heart take courage. Let me not prove a coward in Thy service. Let me love to be humiliated and persecuted and this that I may, during the remainder of this short life, remain as near to Thee, my Jesus, in the thickest of the strife, as in Thy Divine Wisdom Thou art pleased to permit."
"We have much sorrow and are still suffering but sorrow or trial lovingly submitted to does not prevent our being happy; it rather purifies our happiness, and in so doing draws our hearts nearer to God. That such may be the same with all of us, my dear Sisters, I earnestly pray. I think we can all honestly admit that we wanted some external cross to make us among ourselves what true Sisters of St. Joseph and humble spouses of a suffering and most charitable God should be."
"You must know, dear ones, how often Charity was thoughtlessly wounded, how often deviations from obedience in little matters were made, how often criticism and murmuring were indulged in. These and similar faults had to be corrected, and our good God has chosen His own way. It is but right that He should let the heaviest part of the Cross fall upon your Mother, who was so little able to be to you what the Mother-General of such an Institute should be. I am glad that it should be so, and oh, my dearly-loved Sisters, listen to me now, and if you do what I ask you, you will indeed be happy, and my sorrow shall not have been in vain."
Most loving God
We thank you for the example of Mary MacKillop,
who in living of the Gospel
Witness to the human dignity of each person.
She faced life's challenges with courage.
We pray for each intercessions for our needs....
May her holiness soon be accepted by the Church.
We make this prayer through Jesus the Lord. Amen
Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Psalm: Psalm 105: God’s Fidelity to His Promise
1 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
5 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6 O descendants of Abraham his servant,
O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever,
the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 "To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.” (verses 1-11)
Day 220 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage to follow the Will of God; Respect for the dignity of every person.
Requested Intentions: For employment for two sons (R); For sanctification of a fried considering a move (A); For friends experiencing job difficulties (A); Health, employment, and conversion of a son (S); Health, financial success, positive move (S); Financial security, and health, guidance, and protection for children (ML); For the religious and children of Saint Xavier’s Boarding School, India (FB); Fortitude and faith, Career success (A); Healing of a relationship, employment (A); End to debt and legal difficulties; immigration success (B); For a mother’s continued employment (S); For continued blessings on a relationship (S); For a sick grandmother (R); For the building of a Catholic community, family, and law practice (M); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm 105: God’s Fidelity to His Promise
Day 2 of Novena to Saint Cajetan for the Unemployed