On This Feast of Pentecost, «Become True Replicas of Mary!»
The gift of piety1
«I wish this gift for all Franciscan missionaries of Mary, making them then true missionaries. What is the nature of this gift? It is not mere piety towards God. It is also not filial piety as with our parents.
According to our Seraphic Doctor2 , it is a quality of the heart, enlightened by the Spirit, led to love one’s neighbour and all souls because they are in the image of God. Be aware of this motive: To love souls for God, to love beings because they are in the image of God, to love God in all created beings. Goodness for others, without distinction, flows from this gift. This gift leads to the empathy for sinners’ souls, because they are miserable and far from their Creator. This gift comes especially from the divine and supernatural sentiment called compassion, which is a refection of divine charity…
O Holy Spirit grant to the Missionaries of Mary the gift of fear that preserves them from all offenses. Grant them specially the gift of piety that should be their true nature and will make of them what you desire them to be. The gift of piety heals one from envy and perfects the virtue of justice. P.R.»
The following passage is like the «resonance» that occurs in Mary of the Passion’s heart:
The Gift of Piety:
«To be united to Mary of Nazareth. She teaches me to love so beautifully as she and Jesus did, as well as Joseph.There is no words to express how they saw God in all souls. In Jesus, it is God himself.
In Mary immaculate, it is the divine image that is never soiled. In Joseph, it is the one with God’s paternal rights. All souls are covered by the blood of Jesus of Nazareth.
I believe that I have taken from Mary the compassion of all souls. I love them all so much. It seems, in a way, that I have a stronger desire for charity towards those who have persecuted us. I am however revolted by the acts they committed. This does not speak in anyway of charity.
Sight of Marie Immaculate, where God delves his image. Grace falls from her maternal hands, and I on my knees, I hide my face in hers [sic ].3 She offers me what I perceive to be the gift of Nazareth’s piety. How little it seems to be from earth. There, wrapped in Mary, I find the courage to be a Host of Love. » 4
In preparing this note, I cannot stop myself from thinking about what we wrote together on community during our General Chapter of 2008: «…by being Sisters who call forth and value the good in each one, who are open to receive as well as to give life…» and ‘in Mary, may we grasp the tenderness of all souls’!
Marie-Christine Bérenger, fmm
1 From a card of Fr Raphaël Delarbre, to Mary of the Passion,
on the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.
She did this retreat from June 2nd to 8th, 1884. In this passage,
it is the second day of the retreat, Pentecost Tuesday.
2 Our Seraphic Doctor = Saint Bonaventure
3 Theirs (masculine) = Theirs (feminine)? The underlined words
are those of Mary of the Passion.
4 OUV. 407 - Orig.autogr. Unedited Tuesday, June 3rd, 1884;
(OUV = Openness of soul of Mary of the Passion and Fr Raphaël)