Newsletter of the District
- December 2005
Everyone….must pour himself into another Soul.
The following address was given by the Concilium President in
New York, during his brief visit to the U.S.A. on the occasion
of his reception of the Annual Marianist Award, 1956 from the
University of Dayton, Ohio. He addressed an audience of some 1,100,
including a hundred Priests, with Auxiliary-Bishop Flannelly of
New York presiding.
It is an indescribable pleasure for me to stand here in your
midst tonight because I did not think that I would ever have that
experience. Circumstances seemed to be against my indulging in travelling,
but the Legionaries of the different places were kind enough to
want to have me come along. But if you go to one place there is
a difficulty about the other places, and only one week before the
events took place that have landed me in your midst, I had declared
that I regarded it as more than unlikely that I would ever visit
the United States of America. Within one week of that declaration,
the events took place which placed me here where I stand. Whatever
the experience is going to prove to you, I assure you that is a
very happy one for me, all the more happy by reason of the unexpectedness
of the gift that Our Lady has given to me in enabling me to make
a closer acquaintance with all of you. Many of you I have already
met when you made the long journey across the Atlantic, and I do
hope that many more of you will be able to come along and visit
the cradle spot of your organization.
I was overjoyed
to see such a numerous crowd, and particularly I am touched by the
number of the priests who have honoured the gathering by being present.
I thank them for this additional service to the Legion. We realize
the utter dependence of the Legion upon the priests and therefore
it is a complete satisfaction to see them here in such numbers,
showing they have taken the Legion to their hearts. With that union
of the priests and Legion nothing can stand in our way if our spirit
be right. And why should it not be right?
I have to
give you some sort of message to-night. I am going to talk to you
about your destiny and about your idealism and about the sort of
spirituality you should have. I must ask the forgiveness of the
priests for talking about those things which I do so much more feebly
than any of them would do. Still here I am for my sins standing
before you. If I were to talk to you in any other terms than those
of the spiritual about the Legion, I would only be making a mockery
of the subject because the Legion is Our Lady’s Spirit come to life
in people. And only in the measure that such takes place, and that
we realize it and act in accordance with the idea, are we going
to get anywhere. If we merely esteem ourselves to be an organization,
no matter how good or useful an organization, and leave that other
thing out, it is the old proverbial case of the body without the
those introductory words I now attack my subject and I ask you to
be very patient with me.
In the Handbook,
there are a few phrases which I would venture to commend to your
close attention. Your eyes have strayed over them many times and
perhaps there is the danger that things which we have looked at
a great number of times may fail to attract our close attention.
is a quotation from a great writer, and it is something to this
effect: “Everyone, if he would survive, must pour himself into another
soul.” Another phrase, also a quotation, is : “We will be called
upon to give an account of every soul in the whole world.” A statement
like that could easily be taken by us representing a sort of poetic
exaggeration. How could we be held accountable for souls that we
know nothing about and will never touch? Another phrase is
a heading to one of the sections of the Handbook, and perhaps
it is the most important of all.
It is the little heading: “Seek out and talk to every soul.” Seek
out and talk to every soul! Why? Chiefly
because Our Lord’s command to the Church is to reach out to every
creature and as units
of the Church we must play our part in realizing His commands.
is another reason which is less important but at the same time has
its great weight; it is the very necessity of the case. To-day every
heart is a seething pot; every man is a problem which, if left to
itself, will fester and corrupt others. It used to be supposed that
all was well if our own people were attending Mass and going in
a reasonable fashion to the Sacraments. It also would be contended
in certain places that all was well and that the Faith was firmly
held even if people were inattentive both to the Mass and the Sacraments.
It used to be said: Even if there is neglect, it is a surface transaction;
underneath, the Faith is there and can be relied upon.
soothing, reassuring phrases have proved to be unreal. In modern
times we have seen the great historic Catholic nations crumble away
into non-practice, unbelief and communism. And at the present moment,
the world, as we look out over it, affords a dismal contemplation.
in America, are very privileged in one way. You have not experienced
the worst horrors of war and devastation. Over in the other lands
they have had their awful experience. They have seen their cities
wiped out. They have seen hunger and displacement and misery untellable.
And in those older nations a very different spirit prevails from
that which fills you. You are full of optimism. You see the menace
of the future but you are not afraid of it. Over there, I report,
everything looks out over his world with fear and there is no man,
really, who faces up to the situation with any sort of confidence.
You are very fortunate to have that buoyant spirit. But I ask you
not to allow it to deceive you too much. Try to look out over the
world in, perhaps, a less optimistic vein than that which you have.
In particular you must be realistic in regard to the religious position.
It is really bad. It would be fatal to relax into a false comfort.
analyse things a little.
many of the older countries we are face to face with the phenomenon
of Catholic children abandoning the practice of the Faith immediately
after they leave school, and that in countries where religious education
is at a high level. It is said that in many such cases fifty per
cent, of the children abandon practice as soon as they leave school.
Imagine that result of all the
care and thought and money which has been poured into the education
of the young!
recent authentic case is that of a boys’ secondary school, where
an entire class abandoned the
practice of religion on leaving school. One entire class without
that is the case with the young people fresh from the source of
knowledge, let us draw a line from that to the more hardened adults
and try to imagine what the position is. A distinguished priest,
a very balanced man, speaking about his own country which he has
traversed from end to end and in a manner which brought him into
touch with the minds of the Catholic people, has said that the valuation
of their religion held by a large portion of the Catholic population
was no higher than that “there might be something in it.” His estimate
was that this was true of half of the people. That would amount
to it that they were practicing the Faith on a sort of insurance
principle, instead of in terms of fiery conviction. They feel that
there might be something
in it! Therefore it is better to be one the safe side!
faith reduce itself to a level lower than that? Practice on that
level is precarious in the extreme. It only requires a slight jolt
to knock one off from practice. Such people are only driftwood,
a liability, and of course completely non-converting. Put in the
middle of opportunities of the most lively description, those people
are found to be a purely negative proposition so far as the Church
is concerned, and in fact worse than negative because they cannot
but be giving great scandal to the non-Catholics around them who
are far-seeing enough to realize the situation.
fear that we must go even further than this and suggest that the
very badge of a Catholic in the world today is that he is reluctant
to help another person in point of religion. That is a thought which
afflicts one, because in saying it one has stated the very opposite
of the Christian idea. A great French writer has defined a Christian
as one to whom God has confided the care of his fellow man. And
here we find ourselves looking out over our people and having sorrowfully
to admit that the great bulk of them are not prepared to help another
person in regard to the things
that matter - in regard to Faith.
would be catastrophic. But I am satisfied that things are so. And
I feel that you must realize it fully, if you are to be stimulated
towards that programme which we are discussing. Therefore I ask
of you to pardon me if I inflict a dismal little litany upon you.
distinguished lady over in my own city, a lady who was in her ninety-sixth
year, stated to a Catholic friend some little time before her death
that we Catholics were the strangest of folk, that
in her whole long lifetime not a Catholic had ever attempted to
year a few of us were indulging in a cycling trip. We came into
a village in the North of Ireland composed of two-thirds Protestants
and one-third Catholics. The relations between the two sections
are kindly. We were told that in the one and only pub which the
place boasts of, the Protestants had started asking questions about
Catholicism. It was obvious that those questions were based upon
a desire to know. We ask: “Are they getting the answers?” No! No
Catholic was prepared to give an answer. I am not saying that this
arose from indifference. I am only giving you the facts.
our two envoys went out last year to Brazil, they travelled on a
great liner carrying about nine-hundred persons. Those two Legionaries
were the only people aboard that liner who did anything for the
cause of religion during the journey. They worked as we would expect
our members to work. Nobody else did. During their rounds they got
down among the crew and they encountered two good Catholics, one
of them a Scot and the other an Irishman. Those men told them that
during their voyages a constant barrage of questions and difficulties
in on them from the other members of the crew. They were asked:
“Do you try to help them?”
Answer: “We do not feel ourselves equipped to do so.” No help!
sent Sister Twomey out to South America the other day by the Alcantara.
During that voyage, she again was the only person on board that
ship who worked for the Faith. She spoke to a large number of people
– many of them Protestants—and made a certain amount of headway
with each of them. What that will turn into we do not know, but
that is not the question. She endeavored to do something because
she was a Legionary. One episode I put before you as significant.
She has been dealing with a young Protestant who was definitely
interested. He went on shore to visit Lisbon. With him was a Catholic
lady from the ship. She was a good person; she had gone to Mass
on board. They visited a Church and he asked her a question which
was part of his seeking for information. The lady’s answer was of
the briefest. She
just cut him off with the word ”No.” It answered his question, but
it certainly finished off the
was a recent case where a Legionary approached a Protestant lady
and asked her whether she has ever thought of becoming a Catholic.
The reply was: “I have been waiting sixteen
years for somebody to ask me that,” and she was readily brought
into the Church.
another case, a Protestant lady working with a well-educated Catholic
girl began to talk about her own sorrows. She said that in these
trials which appeared to be so great to her, her own church had
no message for her and no help to give and that in these circumstances
she had resolved to go to Mass daily. She said: “I have the belief
that that will help me.” You will realise that what she was really
saying was: “”Bring me into the Church.” What did the Catholic girl
do? She said “Oh!” That was her contribution! What a terrible tragedy!
Fortunately, the story came on to us, and we have been able to take
up the threads. That case is sad but it is typical.
a recent inaugural meeting of the Patricians, at the interval, somebody
pointed out a girl and explained that she was not a Catholic. One
of the Legionaries went to her and gently asked her how she had
been attracted to the meeting. Her answer was: “I have been knocking
around with this set for along time and I just came with them!”
The question was asked: “Does that mean you have any sort of interest
in Catholicism?” “Yes,” “Have you ever thought of becoming a Catholic?”
“Yes.” “Would you be willing to become one?” “Yes.” But nobody had
ever asked her.
I could go on with that litany indefinitely. Indeed it would be
hard to find an example to the contrary, that is, where the ordinary
Catholic will assert himself to help another in the matter of religion.
So I have to repeat my sad little definition that a Catholic is
one who is unprepared to help his fellow-man in point of religion.
now sum up by suggesting that no Catholic should be accounted safe
unless you have some evidence that real faith reigns in his heart,
and you should not take things for granted. You should not assume
the existence of an efficient working faith until you have reason
to believe that it is there.
how are you to find out what is in their hearts? This transports
me back to my initial quotations. We must get in touch with every
person. We must talk to people about themselves. We must induce
them to discuss religion, and this applies to those outside the
Church as well as those inside the Church; and of course the plight
of those outside is much more grievous than
the plight of those inside.
programme means personal contact, the contact of one soul with another.
That is why I stressed that little heading: “Seek out and talk
to every soul.” Talking is the main idea, and it is the thing
which we dodge most. We will do everything except go and talk to
people about religion. I honestly believe that mass contact – contact
with people in bulk – is only useful if the primary contact, the
personal contact, is there as well. In relation to that personal
contact, the mass contact (such as realised through the press, the
radio, etc.), is secondary, holding much the same position as the
plumage does to the bird. The plumage is only living and only has
real meaning when it is growing out of the bird. Divorced from the
bird, well, it is
a decoration for certain purposes. Similarly, if that personal contact
– which is the central Christian
idea – is not there, then be very doubtful about the feathers, even
though they be beautiful.
we set ourselves to such a project; that we resolve to go out to
reach people and to try to give them a little of our own conviction,
there are certain requirements which we must fulfil if we want to
be used by God with effectiveness. Obviously we must have faith.
That is the basic Christian requirement. Faith itself must not be
a vague thing. It is not enough to say: I believe in God and the
Catholic Church, while hardly knowing what the Catholic Church stands
for. We must have a modest understanding of Christian Doctrine,
and we must, as part of that, have Our Lady. When I say “have her”
I mean “properly understand her.” We must understand her not merely
in her role of obtaining favours, because that is the least part
of her function. We must understand her as Mother of Divine Grace,
as Mother of our Souls, as Mediatrix of all Graces. In other words,
Catholics who want to accomplish anything should understand Our
Lady in the manner that all of you do. Your action is spurred by
that idea of Our Lady and rendered confident and strong by it, not
merely in the psychological sense but in the fact that fullness
of appreciation of her has opened you fully to her maternal influence.
She is able to establish a union with you, and that union is a comprehensive
union. It is not merely that she bestows graces upon you, but that
she acts through you. In other words, she is your Mother and she
pours life into you – the life which is her Son. Then she does not
merely fill you, but she reaches out through you. Through those
who offer themselves to her she exercises her maternal function
towards all men.
is important when we begin to think in terms of that programme which
contemplates the whole world, which aspires to get in touch with
every member of the human race and to pour
the great treasure of faith into that person’s heart. You won’t
do it – you can’t even attempt
to do it – you won’t even think of it – unless you are in union
with Our Lady.
idea of Our Lady is not an exalted one. It is elemental, it is Christian.
If we do not understand Our Lady in that way, we do not understand
her properly. We are diminishing her, we are belittling her. We
are placing her in the category of the saints. It is no praise of
Our Lady to declare that she can obtain absolutely anything from
God that she asks for. That is not praise of her, because every
saint can do that. Every saint lives in God. Every saint seeks according
to God’s will. Every saint is automatically granted what he wants.
Therefore to talk about Our Lady in that vein is not to praise her
and it is not to understand her. If you do not understand Our Lady,
you do not understand Christianity, because Christianity puts her
in a most extraordinary position. It is true that she is redeemed
by her Son like every one of us is, and it is true that she is completely
dependent on Him. But when you have said those things, you have
then to go on to the fact that she has been assigned a most amazing
position, a position unique and unlike any other, and primary. She
was the means of introducing the Lord into the world. Without her
He would not have come. We would not have Him. And that law which
initiated things continues as the Christian Law to-day. Without
her He is not given; without her there is no grace, not even the
small graces. And what of the big graces, the great converting graces?
If you do not bring her into your life, you are beating the air.
You may put forth
prodigious exertions but in the end you will be left with precisely
the second place, that faith of yours must contain the notion of
the Mystical Body. The doctrine of the Mystical Body is rudimentary
in every sense of the word. It was taught to the primitive Christians
as basic. Read the Epistles of St. Paul, and you see the extent
to which that doctrine was fundamental. The analogous image used
by Our Lord Himself was that of the Mystical Vine, which was the
same idea again; the branches and the trunk, the members and the
head – all one, living it is true out of the virtue of the trunk
in one case, the head in the other case, but truly united to the
source of life, and meant to be the carriers of that life. Therefore
that doctrine cannot be, as many of our people think it to be, inaccessible.
If it is central in Christianity, it must be understandable to the
people. “In Christ,” the phrase which occurs so often in St. Paul,
is not a figure of speech. “Mystical” does not mean unreal, as most
people seem to think it does. The Mystical Body is just as real
as Our Lord Himself. The connection of the Head with the members
is real and perfect, more intense than any of the connections in
the purely natural order, more intense than the union, for instance
of my hand with
my arm. That is real enough, but the union of the Mystical Body
is still more intense.
the idea of the Mystical Body is not grasped to some extent I fear
it means that the Church is not understood; that it is only being
regarded as a worldly society. True, it is a visible society, one
with its rulers and members and laws, a very exalted society which
is divinely guaranteed to teach the truth. Nevertheless, to regard
it only as a society would be but a shadow of the reality. The Church
is far more than that. In plain language the Church may be said
to be Christ and to carry on the life of Christ. He is in the Church
as life inhabits the body, not as people live in a house. The members
of the Church are His members; really part of Him; His means of
expression; His instruments. The Church is beyond comparison and
proportion with all other societies and institutions. It is in a
different order altogether. St. Thomas Aquinas declared that the
Mystical Body was the central dogma of Christianity, but definitely
it is a sealed book to the majority of Catholics. Imagine the central
doctrine missing! It would be somewhat in the same category as a
person without a skeleton.
Mystical Body began when the Second Divine Person came among us
to live our life. He took flesh in the Virgin’s womb and was born
as a baby; and the body that He took on was God’s instrument. The
Second Divine Person carried out His mission through it, and although
that Person, Jesus Christ, was God, He conformed to the limitations
of that body. He ate and He slept. He conveyed His thoughts by speaking,
and if He was addressing a crowd
of people He would have to raise His voice. As a Babe He was carried
and He was put to bed. His life was saved by His Beloved Mother
and St. Joseph. In His babyhood, He did not talk because it would
not be natural for a baby to talk. If He wanted to go some place,
He walked, that is, if He did not ride on a donkey’s back; and if
He wanted to cross the Lake of Genesareth, a ferryboat was summoned.
He was hungry and He was tired. He was grieved and He wept. He went
to people; He consoled them; He taught them; He touched them and
He healed them. And such was His humanity that in the end people
were able to kill and bury Him.
know that that did not end things but indeed only began them. Even
our own death only begins a new phase, a new existence. When seed
is planted and dies, it brings forth fruit one-hundredfold. And
similarly with the case of Our Lord Himself. His Life on earth was
not something existing for that time alone. It was intended to be
followed by a new and bigger life, a more influential life, a new
body. He saved men and added them on to His own body like additional
cells on a growing body. A newborn child weighs about seven or eight
pounds, I understand, but it grows up into an adult of about twenty
times or more that weight. In some similar way Our Lord added to
His original body all these new cells, the baptized, ourselves.
And that new body, which is the Mystical Body, lives like the original
one, almost as if Our Lord has continued growing after His death.
As a very distinguished Nuncio recently declared to us, we are His
mouth, His eyes, His ears, His hands, His feet; and He has no other.
We are His means of action. If we give ourselves to Him, He can
carry on His mission in our days. That new career of His is more
important than His original life on earth (that is, if one could
say that anything in the Life of Our Lord is more important than
anything else in it!), inasmuch as it was the last for which the
first was made. That first living of His on earth was intended for
the second living. That first existence of His was confined to His
own country. The frontiers of Judea bounded it and we do not hear
of Him speaking any other language but His native Aramaic. Then
came the Resurrection and Pentecost, and the frontiers of Judea
were obliterated. Christ in His Mystical Body put His feet upon
the pathways of the earth and went out to carry on what He had been
doing before, this time speaking in all tongues, going to all peoples,
on His mission much as He did in His earthly career.
the Mystical Body lends itself to Him to a reasonable extent (and
it can withhold that cooperation just as it can give it), Our Lord
is enabled to do the same things that He did of old. He can go about
seeking people, helping them in every way and above all teaching
them the rules of eternal life. Through us He can act in the fullness
of His power. There is no limit in regard
to what may happen.
does not mean that through each one He puts forth His full power,
that He speaks infallibly, or that He works miracles. Though He
could do it, and sometimes He does, His action is governed by His
own will. It takes forms that we ourselves may not understand, but
it is not limited. Through the Pope, for instance, He speaks infallibly,
and through saints He works miracles, and He could do these things
through any person if the situation demanded it. But what is certain
is that in His way He does reach out even through the weakest of
us and is enabled to accomplish His plan.
will remember an extraordinary phrase He once used to His disciples
when He was among them. Referring to His miracles, He said: “Greater
things than these will ye do”; in other words greater even than
the wonders that the Lord had been accomplishing before their eyes;
greater things even than those would be accomplished through them
in the future. That is an overwhelming statement which should bring
before us in a compelling way the fact that He truly lives in the
Mystical Body and by it exerts Himself and carries on His mission
and operates the fullness of His power.
must that Mystical Body, which is the carrier of Christ and His
means of expressing Himself, go to those who are outside the Church
with the aim of adding them on to it. That approach is, as I said
in my little litany, unfortunately not being made. It is an awful
idea that we can prevent the Lord from doing all those things that
He wants to do to mankind. It is just as if His actual body was
sick or injured; He would have been held back. By reason of the
general inactivity of Catholics, the position has come that the
vast majority of the world’s population is not even being approached.
Absolutely no approach is being made to Mohammedanism, although
in Africa it is growing twice as fast as the Church. The Jews are
not being approached. You may say that Protestantism, which nominally
possesses three hundred millions, is not being approached. The Buddhists,
the Hindus, are hardly being approached and the ordinary pagans
are only being approached in a very partial fashion. Whole great
populations, the former Catholic nations that have fallen away into
unbelief, are not being approached. Legionaries setting about their
visitation in those great irreligious areas, report that they have
not discovered a home which within the memory of man had been visited
on a religious errand. That means that Our Lord is practically debarred
from those places by that law of His which we have been considering.
I suppose that if we were driven to arithmetic, we would have to
say that fifteen hundred million people in the world to-day are
not being approached by Catholics.
the extent of our own poor power, we must try to reverse this position.
We must realise our responsibility in the light of the doctrine
of the Mystical body which means that the Lord depends on us. We
must be active. We must lend ourselves to the Lord and His Mother
in faith and in conscious practice of that doctrine. We must act
with the deliberate intention of giving Him to people. We must open
our mouths and talk in the belief that He will in His own fashion
utilise those poor words of ours as the bearers of His message of
salvation. We must play
a part of the Lord’s command of reaching out to every person.
Legion service must be no business of four hours a week; for the
Legion, as has so often been said, is only a school-time. We go
to that school for a few hours every week, not for the sake of the
school but for the sake of the other hours. If people went to school
and never used outside what they learned in school, the school would
have been a waste of time. Similarly we go to school in the Legion
for the purpose of learning our Catholic duty and of learning the
basic Catholic doctrines upon which that duty rests. After that
we must try to see that every minute of our lives is full of the
spirit of readiness to be used by Our Lord, full of what we would
call an act of offering of ourselves to Him and a willingness to
avail of the opportunities which beset our path in number. There
they are like the sands upon the seashore and we do not even see
them. We must stir up our vision in faith and we must look on every
person who crosses our path as Our Lord Himself would look upon
the people who met Him. If we do not put ourselves into that positive
frame of mind, we will be found limiting His action.
have said that Our Lord, while He was on earth, conformed to the
limitations of His body. Now we must not impose those limitations.
We must submit ourselves to Him in the responsive way that His physical
body did. It is true, as we have seen, that now and then His body
so to speak, surrendered to nature. He was tired and He could go
no further, and His feelings overcame Him. But that was momentary.
Immediately the faithful instrument, His humanity, revived and went
on with its work. If you read the pages of the New Testament, you
see the unalterable devotion of His life. It would be impossible
to imagine a greater degree of devotion. We know that never for
one second did His devotion flag; that every moment was full of
that urgent eagerness, that ardour to do His Father’s will, that
hunger for souls. We must, I was going to say, reflect that utter
devotedness, but the expression is inadequate. Because it is not
a case of reflection, His love is in us, for we are part of Him.
So rather we must radiate His solicitous love for mankind. If we
let ourselves be the medium for that radiation, He will put forth
His power and achieve His plan.
will remember the story in Scripture where the woman pressing to
get near Him managed to touch the hem of His garment. Forthwith
as He says Himself, power went out from Him. No less will happen
if we try to realise our destiny in Him. Then power will go out
from us no matter how weak we are. We are His up-to-date garment
of flesh. For all our poverty and misery and sinfulness, He is eager
to use us. Indeed He is constrained to use us, because the Head
has need of the members; and you are members who humbly place themselves
at His disposal.
that is your programme. How are you to reach out to the whole world?
First of all reach out to your own little world, the world which
revolves immediately around you. You have in this great metropolis
an image of the whole wide world. Here in your own city you have
all the races of the earth, all the problems without exception.
Yet it is not as big as the world, and in a real sense it would
be possible for you to get in to some sort of touch with every person
in the area. It might not be a very intense touch, but you can establish
a touch. You can go to people. You may not be able to convert anybody,
but that is not the problem. The Lord did not say; convert everybody,
because conversion is His gift. But He did say: go to everybody.
have fulfilled the command of going to every person, then what is
going to happen?
would petition you to take this idea seriously. You are a goodly
host as it is, and you have a gay and good spirit in you. It would
be a terrible thing if you were to limit that by not realising the
use that you are to put it to. You must lift up your eyes, look
out to the ultimate horizons of your own world here, and think in
terms of every soul. Think in terms of the multitude of Jews that
you have in the city, the multitude of non-Catholics, the multitude
of terrible, seething problems, the Catholic souls that are sick
and sorry and making no use of their lives. Do not let your heart
fail when you contemplate that spiritual chaos, but think in terms
of the doctrine that I have been trying to put before you. Remember
that though you are a little flock, He who is mighty is not merely
in the midst of you, but is living in you and wants to realise through
you His eternal mission. If you open your mouth, the words of eternal
wisdom will be uttered by Him through you in His fashion. If you
walk and go to people, it is He whom you are carrying to those people.
It will not be your feebleness which will be at work, but His might.
So that when you do these things for a little while, fruitlessly
it might seem, suddenly the desert flowers and conversions begin
to pour in.
yourselves with that crusading spirit. Nothing less is worthy of
our Faith. Big ambitions and courageous action will attract the
Holy Spirit. If you attract the Holy Spirit, you have set things
moving. You may be opening up a new era in the world.
I depart from among you and probably I am never destined to be here
among you again, but I assure you that we follow with an intense
maternal interest, not only the doings of your Council in a general
way, but the doings of each individual member which come to our
knowledge. Our outlook is the maternal outlook. It is part of the
operation of Our Lady herself, I would venture to think. Therefore,
having been among you and having looked at you all and talked to
you, I will think about you in the future in a very special way,
and I will seek very eagerly for news about you and I will watch
your growth closely. If I could think that what has been
said here tonight would help you in any way, in a small way even,
it would be a consolation of an extraordinary character to me. I
ask you to give me that consolation.
Maria Legionis, March 1957, pp. 3-8)
the ‘Tessera’, of the Legion of Mary.
0 Lord, on us, who serve beneath the standard
of Mary, that fulness of faith in Thee and trust in her, to
which it is given to conquer the world.
us a lively faith, animated by charity, which will enable
us to perform all our actions from the motive of pure love
of Thee, and ever to see Thee and serve Thee in our neighbour;
faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which we shall
rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses, toils, and disappointments
courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake and carry
out without hesitation great things for God and for the salvation
faith which will be our Legion’s Pillar of Fire
lead us forth united,
kindle everywhere the fires of Divine Love,
enlighten those who are in darkness and in the shadow of
inflame those who are lukewarm to bring back life to those
who are dead in sin;
which will guide our own feet in the Way of Peace, so that
— the battle of life over — our Legion may reassemble, without
the loss of any one, in the Kingdom of T hy Love and Glory.
the souls of our departed Legionaries and the souls of all
the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
could replace the word ‘Legion’ and ‘Legionaries’ by ‘Society’ and
‘Society members’, and use this prayer for the SSPX.)