Thank you for your most generous response to the appeal for the relief efforts for the recent hurricanes. Our parish has forwarded $3,600 to Catholic Relief Services–we’re a small parish but great in the Faith! I write this to you on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary. The Breviary has a beautiful reflection on Our Lady as the Star of the Sea, who protects us from storms, as the bark [the boat] of our soul is tossed by storm. I offer an excerpt from it in thanks and in hope that it may be a comfort to you.
O sinner, whosoever you may be, if
you know yourself to be here not so much
walking upon firm ground, as battered to and
fro by the gales and storms of this life’s ocean
–so as not be overwhelmed by the tempest,
keep your eyes fixed upon this star’s clear
If the hurricanes of temptation rise
against you, or you are running upon the
rocks of trouble, look to the star, call on Mary.
If the waves of pride, or ambition, or slander,
or envy toss you about, look to the star, call on
Mary. If the billows of anger or avarice, or the
enticements of the flesh beat against your
soul’s bark, look to Mary. If the enormity of
your sins trouble you, if the foulness of your
conscience confounds you, if the dread of
judgment appalls you, if you begin to slip into
the deep of despondency, into the pit of despair,
think of Mary.
In danger, in difficulty, or in doubt,
think on Mary, call on Mary.
Let her not be away from your mouth
or from your heart, and that you may not lack
the aid of her prayers, turn not aside from the
example of her conversation. If you follow her,
you will never go astray. If you pray to her,
you will never have need to despair. If you
keep her in mind, you will never fall. If she
leads you, you will never be weary. If she
helps you, you will reach home safe at the last
–and so you will prove in yourself how rightly
it is said: And the Virgin’s name was Mary.
This reflection makes a nice introduction to your daily rosary, especially in times of distress or upset.