Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Assuming the Queen

This morning at Mass, Monsignor noted that in earlier days we were more aware that the Church celebrates the momentous occasion of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary bodily into heaven not only for one day, but for an entire eight-day octave (a week, including both the start and end day). The last day of that octave is today, the feast of the Queenship of Mary. Regular rosary-prayers (rosarizers, as I like to say!) will recognize these two events as the last two mysteries of the Rosary - the Assumption and Crowning of Mary. Just as Mary is the first payment on God's pledge to bring us to Himself, her coronation not only shows her utter preeminence among creation, but also His desire to glorify and ennoble us. Jesus Christ is King, and His deepest desire is to make us each princes and princesses in His Father's house.

Pause and think about that for a minute.

When I find myself anxious about the future, I try to remember the advice of my spiritual director. "You know rich people can buy pretty much anything, right? Well, remember your Father is loaded! Whatever the problem is, He's already got the solution worked out. Trust, Ryan, trust. Avoid sin and serve God, and let Him get His people to sort out the details."

The difficulty of faith, of trusting that the All-Powerful Lord of the Universe actually loves me and intends what is best for me, is that this world is so filled with crap sometimes. A line from the Hail Holy Queen says that we are "mourning and weeping in this valley of tears." It may be a bit dramatic, but not overly so. Life isn't easy. Sometimes the question, "God! Where were you!?" isn't entirely unreasonable. We need to ask God to increase our faith, as the man did whose daughter was gravely ill, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief," (Mk 9:24). That is because faith, hope, and charity are supernatural virtues - they have their origin in God, and directly lead us to Him. In fact, you might almost say that they are the stuff that the life of God is made of.

In the ancient near East, a king's wife wouldn't be queen - he had too many of them in his harem. Instead, his queen would be his mother, because she had been the wife of the previous king, and the one who secured her son's position as heir. Such women were naturally the objects of much more respect and affection than the king's wives would be - they were playthings or political maneuvers. The queen might approach her son, the king, on any number of topics with a much greater chance of a favorable hearing than almost anyone else in the realm. She was his mother, and raised him, and knew his heart. A little story at 1 Kings 2:13-19 shows an incident of this sort, in which Bathsheba approaches her son, King Solomon, on behalf of a man who has fallen from the King's favor.

The Lord Jesus is taking the whole Church to be His bride (Eph 5:32-33; Rev 19; inter al.) - that's a lot of woman! But He already has His queen, His mother, and she is always ready to approach Him on our behalf and to restore us to His favor. Of course, factually we know that Jesus loves us infinitely and is ever-ready to forgive us. Sometimes, though, we don't feel it, just as children sometimes fearing their father go to bury their heads in the skirts of their mother.

Next time you feel remote from Jesus, from God, and feel isolated and lost, ask Mama Mary, our Queen, to bring you to Him. She will.

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