Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mary, Mother and Teacher of Apostles

“Following the Apostles, all announcers of the Gospel, the preachers of the divine Word, set out from the feet of Mary.” Blessed Alberione

I recently saw the 2015 film release, “Full of Grace: The Story of Mary the Mother of Jesus” which beautifully captures this quote of our Founder. In this “breathtaking film and celebration of faith,” set in Jerusalem in 43 AD, Mary is seen living out her final days on earth in reflection. She looks back on all she has experienced in her life with Jesus, from His birth through His resurrection. Mary saw, she remembered and meditated. “She treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19, 51)

Full of Grace: The Story of Mary of NazarethAnd as the Mother of the Church, having been present with the Apostles at Pentecost, she now counsels and supports the Apostles, helping them to navigate the turbulent waters of the early Church. In the film she is shown in a particular way assisting St. Peter with her wisdom and strength. She encourages him to remember and be still; "when you are still Peter, where does he call you?" She helps Peter to see that it is the Spirit of Jesus who calls him forth. And it is this same Spirit who is leading the Church. "You are not leading, Peter, you are following. He has already gone before you." 

This was and still is her role as Mother of the Church and Queen of the Apostles. The Apostles had undergone a tremendous crisis following the death of Jesus. They had needed someone who they could trust, who they could turn to for guidance and support. They had found this person in Mary.

Mary is there for each one of us, too, She has much to teach us. "You cannot let the weight of this world outshine the light that you carry within." "The walk of faith comes with a promise: the promise that we will never be alone." "Listen to the stillness, the silence..." "The question is not whether we will struggle. We will struggle greatly. The question is, to whom do we look in the struggle?" "We remember, we listen, we follow and we trust...It is time to tell the world the Good News!"

And we Paulines are all about telling the world the Good News! In these final days of May we continue our walk with Mary. We gather around her as did the first Apostles so many years ago. We ask her to teach us, to guide and support us, as she did them. We ask her to obtain all the grace we need in our apostolate today. We want to respond every more faithfully to the needs of our times, and she is there to assist us with her guidance and support.

Blessed Alberione wisely tells us, “Mary is the Queen of Apostles. If we are to perform the apostolate, let us stay with Mary. ... [T]o exclude Mary from the apostolate would be to ignore one of the most essential parts of God’s redemptive plan. We would deprive ourselves of the powerful intercession of Mary.” Let us renew our love and devotion to her, our Queen of Apostles. Let us set out from her feet as did the first Apostles. In this way we can be confident that our efforts will bear good fruit.


Sr. Laura R. Brown has been a Daughter of St. Paul since 1985 and has been assigned to many communities. Her current assignments in St. Louis, MO, include outreach, as well as assistance with Pauline Book & Media Center events. She has an MA in  parish evangelization and theology and participated in the Pauline Charism Course in Rome from 2008 to 2009.


Maryann Toth said...

Excellent post about our Blessed Mother for the month of May, especially since I am preparing for
Total Consecration to Mary on May 31. All of the the quotes are beautiful. Loved the quote, "You cannot let the weight of this world outshine the light that you carry within." Thank you, Sr. Laura.

Maryann Toth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M-L Handal, NYC said...

Thank you, Sr. Laura, for the lovely meditation on Mary, Queen of Apostles and mother to all of us. Our apostolate is so challenged by the difficult trends of our contemporary world. We, so often, think about what we can do to overcome the challenge. Your reminder to supplement our activities with prayer for graces and for a nurturing of our own personal, and unique, relationships with our Mother is well taken. You wrote, "We want to respond ever more faithfully to the needs of our times, and she is there to assist us with her guidance and support." Yes, indeed, let us renew our love and devotion to our Queen of Apostles. God bless you for the gift of this blog post.