Over the Memorial Day weekend, I happened to be in a store with my brother-in-law, a retired Army officer. He was wearing his baseball hat that had embroidered on it “Retired Army.” One of the sales clerks came up to my brother-in-law and thanked him for his service. Dick, my brother-in-law, was genuinely moved. I could tell that he was touched by the young man’s kindness but also very proud of his time in the military.
We owe so much to those who have served our country. They have given of themselves, and some have given their lives, so that we can live in a country that is free. Let us thank them often and not just on a holiday weekend!
When we say the word “service,” it can conjure up many things and not just military service. It brings to mind reaching out to others, helping those in need and making a connection with those isolated in our society. We all can serve in many ways—big and small. Mother Teresa has left us that legacy. She once said, “May we never forget that in the service to the poor we are offered a magnificent opportunity to do something beautiful for God.” (From Mother Teresa: No Greater Love) (more…)
Everyone has their favorite month. Perhaps it’s the month of their birthday or a month associated with their favorite season. I wouldn’t say that May is my favorite month, but, like a childhood song I know, it is the “most beautiful month.” As an elementary student at St. Anthony’s School, we always sang “It is the month of Mary” during May. It began with the words: “It is the month of Mary; it is the most beautiful month.” We sang it in French, though: “C’est le mois de Marie; c’est le mois le plus beaux.” That song still resonates with me.
There are numerous Marian hymns that we can identify with. Many are hymns that we sang as children that conjure up images of May processions and rosary devotions. I was curious to delve into more songs of Mary. In a popular GIA publication, I counted sixty-one hymns to Mary. They read like a timeline of Mary’s life—a life integrally woven into the life of Christ. It is awe-inspiring to think of Mary and the path that led her to be the Mother of Jesus. Thinking about the scope and depth of Mary’s commitment is most humbling. We can learn so much from Mary. At the heart of who Mary is beats her beautiful YES to the Angel Gabriel. It is the yes that brought our salvation story to fruition.
Joseph Gelineau’s beautiful song, “Canticle of Mary” adapts the Magnificat in a very special way. Antiphon II of the hymn is as follows: “Blest are you, O Virgin Mary, blest are you for your great faith. All that the Lord promised you will come to pass through you, alleluia, alleluia.” (more…)