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  A Christian Faith Magazine May 2003, Volume 8, Issue 10  
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The great philosopher George Santayana, is famous for that quotation, if we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, we are doomed to commit them in the future. I think all of us will agree that is generally true.

When you analyze the situation of the Church today, you have to wonder have we emphasized enough the power of Mary, the mother of God? We traditionally set aside the month of May to honour Mary, the mother of Christ. I wonder if we are making a big mistake in that more months should be set aside to honour the woman who has done so much for the Church. If you go back to the time of Christ, you might remember that after the death on Good Friday, the apostles were a disconnected group. They were disorganized and they were living in fear and trepidation. There was only one person who kept them together and that was Mary, the mother of Christ. Because of her influence, because of her direction, because of her closeness to Christ, the apostles left and went to the distant parts of the world preaching the Gospel of her son. Centuries have told us of the tremendous influence that Mary had in various individuals who had a devotion to her. The writings of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, two of the greatest theologians of the Catholic Church, were influenced by Mary, the mother of Christ. If you go into the field of art and architecture, you find men like DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Tintoretto, all had a deep personal devotion to Mary, the mother of Christ. Almost every country in Europe has a Cathedral devoted to her and reminds the tourists of this woman who had such a powerful influence on their lives.

I think all of us know today that there is a degree of spirituality that doesn't seem to be as prevalent as it once was in the Catholic Church. Cardinal Newman pointed this out many years ago when he said, whenever devotion to our Blessed Mother is de-emphasized, the Catholic Church will suffer. Thank God we have places like Lourdes, Fatima and Knock, that brings millions of people every year asking Mary, the mother of Christ for the personal help they need. Thank God we have people who still say their rosaries every day or their prayers to the Immaculate Conception, the novena to honour Mary, the mother of Christ.

Years ago all of us in grammar schools, especially Catholic grammar schools, had to say a prayer as we left school for the conversion of Russia. Russia is no longer the evil empire spoken about by the former President Reagan. I do believe that the disintegration of Russia was in part due to the prayers said many years ago for the conversion of that country. Prayer and our Blessed Mother go hand in hand. History has taught us of the power of Mary, the mother of Christ, the most influential person in the kingdom of God next to her son. History has told us of the work that she has done over the years in conjunction to the prayers of people who have a devotion to her and her son. That devotion has to be activated by each one of us. There is no question in my mind that if a conversion can effect Russia, then the minds of people in troubled lands can be equally impacted by personal prayer and her intercession. St. Bernard once reminded us, remember O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that any one who fled to your protection was left unaided. We can simply add, that Mary who anticipates our petition will never deny our requests.

Mary and Jesus

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