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Father Antonio O. Moreno: Spiritual Director of The Little Handmaids of Our Sorrowful Mother
Homily at Legion of Mary
Mary's "Benevolent Gaze"
Pope Francis urges us “to find new ways to bring evangelization to the end of the Earth.” He admonishes us to: “… not give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day.”
At the Mass celebrated with the Cardinals Pope Francis called each one of them to pass on the “Wisdom of Life” to the world: “We are in old age; old age is the seat of wisdom," he said, "like good wine that becomes better with age; let us pass on to the young people the Wisdom of Life.”
By embracing the objective of our call, we can share with Pope Francis the gift of the “Wisdom of Life”. Our objective is: “…the apostolic end of the Church, in other words: the evangelization and sanctification of men and women and the Christian formation of their conscience, so as to enable them to imbue with the Gospel spirit the various social groups and environments.” (Vatican II –Degree on the apostolate of lay persons #20; Legio Mariae p. 12)
Pope Francis entrusted his ministry to Mary, the Mother of Christ, saying he would work under her “benevolent gaze.” Pope Francis is speaking of Mary’s “benevolent gaze” as the virtue of humility.
In the Legion system, humility plays a unique part. “Mary is the model of humility, considering that her treasury of perfection was altogether immeasurable – touching in fact the very borders of infinity, and she knew it. She was humble because she was, likewise, aware that she was more perfectly redeemed than any other of the children of men. She owed every gleam of her inconceivable sanctity to the merits of her Son, and that thought was ever vivid in her mind.
Studying her, therefore, the legionary will learn that the essence of true humility is the recognition and unaffected acknowledgment of what one really is before “God.”(Legio Mariae p.28)
With Pope Francis, Mary and St. Francis we are to pray: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.” (Lk. 1:38)
Let us with Pope Francis “entrust our ministry to Mary the Mother of Christ; and work under her “benevolent gaze”.
On a final note, on this Passion Sunday, a quote from Pope Francis on the day he spoke to the cardinals: “When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross, and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly.”