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To the Aid of Mother Church: Weekly Message for 04-30-2019
Dear Friends in Christ,
It was a painful coincidence, tempered perhaps by divine providence.
In the same week when fire ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Good Friday celebration of Our Lord’s Passion brought to the fore the words of Jesus, “Behold, your mother.”
Various titles of Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, adorn some of the most beautiful and most cherished churches in the world. That fire should strike one of the most famous – and one that has had the uncanny ability to draw to her bosom even her most unruly children – was heart-wrenching.
And yet, the spontaneous show of sympathy and support that followed – including from unexpected places – was heart-lifting.
It was as though people were responding to an echo of that plea from the cross – “Behold, your mother” – and moved swiftly, like the beloved disciple, to come to the aid of one of the iconic mother churches of Christendom.
There is something about coming to the aid of maternal figures in the frailty of their old age that unites people and brings out the best in them. It stirs something childlike in our hearts and reminds of us of the debt of gratitude we owe to those who watched over us when we were frail and helpless.
Who knows? Maybe from the ashes of Notre Dame will arise a new appreciation for and commitment to the spiritual (as well as architectural) heritage of a great nation and continent.
It’s a goal we can all contribute to, no matter where we live, especially with our prayers and devotion to Our Lady, who stands ever ready to provide us with “A Cure for Discouragement.”
Jesus promised to be with us “until the end of the age.” We can be sure that Notre Dame – Our Lady – will be there too.
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor