32. PRIESTLY APOSTOLATE IN THE SPIRIT OF MARY MOST HOLY (III)
As to the relationships that must exist between the Priesthood and the Institute of the Pious Disciples, it is useful to bear in mind something that will clarify the true position of one as compared to the other.
As a rule, the Jesuits do not occupy themselves of the feminine Institutes, except of dispensation. It is a fact, on the other hand, that there are canon laws, dispositions of which one thing is essential: the government of the feminine Institutes must be free and independent, with regards to administration and direction.
The Pious Disciple Institute must have its own government, with its own administration and direction. The Priest may come in as counsellor, confessor, however, every thing that deals with the development of the Institute is not his concern. It is you who are to take care of your acceptance, admissions, dismissals, dispositions of the persons, duties and houses. The more you govern in charity and above all, the more you are under obedience, the more you will become strong, numerous and will walk on your way quickly. There is the great danger when someone makes a Priest as leader, another one, some other Priest. You must make Madre Maestra and her Council, your leader. This is for many reasons, and among others: whoever is in charge to guide you represents God, the others, no. Whoever has the authority to give orders has the graces of the office, the others, no. It is wisdom to live closely united, contemplating in the one who guides you God himself and believing that it is through this means and way, that the Lord gives his graces.
If ever, the Priest can give advice, can help to carry out that which has been said. If he would argue on what the Mothers have disposed, he fails in his duty. The advice is not substitution.
If the Council made a decision in God's light, it is carried out with His grace. Others must not get on to the dispositions to check if the order was well given, if it is right. If the Pious Disciples are to make the habit of recoursing and communicating to the Priest many useless things, they would lose graces, time and strength. Walk according to the spirit of the most holy Mother Church. She has the authority and faculty to guide and command us.
When a son reaches 21 years of age, he gets out of the house and forms his own family, governing it by himself. He is the head of the newly formed family, which he has to manage alone. The son is independent, although he always ask the opinion and advice of the parents when it is necessary.
After considering the truth, the way to follow in your ministry and service to the Priest, let us now see the third part.
God disposed that his Divine Son would have special relations with Mary, his Mother. Mary got into her role when she said: Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum1. Ancilla Domini, this word comprises everything. You do not serve one or the other, this or that person, you serve God. In any case, whoever Priest you may serve, you serve God, and you are the ancillae Domini.
The Priest has a very sublime mission.
The (P)Disciple has a very sublime mission.
Mary served the Great Priest. She arranged the manger, prepared the diapers and the straw; she prostrated and adored the Son of God; she was the first sacristan who prepared the first Tabernacle for Jesus.
Mary nourished the Infant Jesus with her milk, she clothed him, took care of him and fulfilled the duties which a mother does to her child. Jesus could have done away with those, but he wanted to be similar to us in everything.
You can imagine Mary in the kitchen, in the little room where she used to prepare the clothes; you can imagine her as she taught Jesus, as she guided him in prayer, as she played with him, as they walked together along the streets of Palestine.
Mary continued her maternal duty as Jesus grew up. Think of him at 12, 15, 20, 30 years old, when he entered the public life, when he began and completed the Passion; at the Resurrection, at the Ascension.
After obtaining Priests with your prayer and sacrifices, you will accompany them in your pious duty until death, up to the sepulcher, until their souls enter the blessed eternity.
It is never a hired service, paid in human manner. Even if there is a mutual exchange of money, and there must be, this is needed because each one has to live from his/her own work. Many things are in terms of human nature, Providence accompanies what was willed and established.
When Judgment Day comes, Jesus will tell you: For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me; sick and you cured me; afflicted and you consoled me... You will answer: Jesus, when did I do this? He shall tell you: All the times you did it to the Priest, you did it to me.1 My Mother was placed at my right, and because you imitated her and continued her duty, you will have a share of the same glory and reward.
There is only one Priest: Jesus Christ. The others are in Him and through Him. You will have a special, ineffable and greatest reward.
Whoever grasps the things wrongly, has unlofty thoughts, vulgar feelings and can misunderstand, despise and even defame; she/he can say how strange are these things, but who has the spirit of God does not reason out so.
Do it with supernatural spirit, hence, with devotion. Who serves the poor, serves the suffering Christ; who serves the Priest, serves the Priest Christ. Your apostolate here can be extended in works which for now is unnecessary to tell you. The Family is small, but think if you may become many and your apostolate may be extended to the whole Church, to all the necessities! Think when you can open hospitals and shelters for the sick, elderly and poor Priests! How many of them die in misery, abandoned by all. May there be the (P)Disciple near them, like Jesus on the cross, abandoned by all, there was the first Disciple, Mary Most Holy.
If there must be at least 2 million Priests in the world, there must be at least 6 million Sisters near them.
The boys who are going through the initial steps in the vocation, the clerics who are preparing to become Priests, the Priests who are doing their ministry, they need the Pious Disciple.
During Jesus' preaching, Mary was following him, but she was always at the background. You must also do so.
In order that they may correspond better to their vocation, may the (P)Disciples never be capricious, chatterboxes. If you are to stay in your place properly, if you are to follow God's will correctly, you will increase immensely, but if you are to be always in need of someone to console you, to sympathize with you, to follow you with a towel to wipe your tears, you will lose the spirit after having weakened it and you will not increase in number.
Mary was the most tender among mothers, but she treated Jesus with firmness. Finding Jesus at the temple, she almost treated him severely: Son, why have you done this to us?1 Did you not know I had to be in my Father's house?2 Everything ended so. First, he sought the Father's will, he gave proof of his vocation and mission, then returned to Nazareth and was obedient to Mary and Joseph.3
Be brief in conversations, in letters, in the confessional, always and wherever. This is your backbone and strength. I only open to you a bit of the horizon, but you will consider the things more profoundly during the Visit.
Mary was conceived without sin, she was Immaculate through the merits of Jesus Christ. Thus, through the Priest, you are purified from sin and sanctified in grace.
Mary took the examples from Jesus and being with Him, she immensely grew in the divine friendship; she participated in an ineffable way in the ministry of the Word of God; she shared in the sacrifice of the cross, in a way that nobody else could have taken part like her.
Hence, the (P)Disciple participates so closely in the sacri-fice of the Mass, in the Priest's ministry and merit, which no other Sister can have.
The Priest baptizes, administers the sacraments, preaches, teaches, celebrates, writes, works, directs and governs Christ's flock, he fulfills essentially the same duties of Jesus. The (P)Disciple has a share of them, if she contributed to the formation and support of the Priest, not merely with scholarships but with prayer, humble service and hidden sacrifice.
Mary had an ineffable part in the ministry and merit of Jesus, the (P)Disciple shall have a share in proportion to the degree of right intention, of her love and her dedication.
Unfortunately, there was a Judas among the Apostles. There is also the danger for the Priests to be unfaithful to the vocation and to their ministry, as there is, on the other hand, the same danger for the Sisters. It is necessary to be vigilant and to pray.1
The (P)Disciple after her death, has the right to receive the charity of the Priest whom she served and helped, and even if he might forget, God shall not forget and surely, shall think of rewarding her.
The Priests whom you assist help you in return to obtain grace and give you the means to become saints quickly. There is the exchange of great goods as between Jesus and Mary.
Mary assisted her crucified Jesus and at the same time, she received the fruits of his Most Precious Blood.
Walk according to the light of these principles, without deviations, without deformations.
May you be happy, grateful to God and may your relations with the Priest be always in a way worthy of your very delicate and sublime mission, accomplished in the spirit of Mary Most Holy.
It is part of the apostolate of a Pious Disicple, to offer suffrages for the deceased priest, to contribute to his entrance to Paradise.
1. Many Priests are soon or totally forgotten after death. Some persons do it for lack of reflection or lack of faith; others do forget, thinking that the Priest has no need of suffrages.
The Priest has a great sum of duties and graces. He has to account for them. All of us commit mistakes in many things. To remember the Priest who passed into eternity is gratitude. Often, it is also a duty for the spiritual goods received from him. It is a sentiment of piety towards God and towards the deceased Priest.
2. Mary Most Holy did not give herself up to an empty sentiment of sorrow, as regards to Jesus' death on Calvary. Her sorrow was deep, operative and constant.
a) After having received Jesus' final breath on the cross, in deep mourning, prayer and hope, she accompanied her Son to the tomb. She was also present in the extreme torment: the piercing of the lance that opened Jesus' Heart. She made the first homage and the first reparation to the Heart of Jesus.
b) With great sorrow and love, she received the body that was taken down from the cross. She cleaned it of the spittings, of the blood and sweat, she embalmed and laid it out in the shroud and bandages, with Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, John and the Pious Women. She accompanied him to the tomb and assisted in the burial, in closing the tomb by rolling the big stone at its entrance.
c) She retired in her house in Jerusalem, praying and waiting for the resurrection with faith.
d) During the 40 days after the Resurrection, Mary was full of joy; it is supposed that she had been visited visibly by the Son. Certainly, she accompanied him to the mountain of the Ascension, she saw him rise, she heartily gave and offered him back to the Father; she contemplated him in her spirit, seated at the Father's right, in the splendor of his kingdom, as she had seen him shamefully dressed in purple rag, crowned with thorns, laughing-stock of the people.
3. The Pious Disciple, after having prayed for the Priest and helped him in sickness, offers suffrages for his soul.
a) She participates in the Holy Mass celebrated for him, possibly receiving Communion.
b) She offers for him rosaries, little sufferings, good works.
c) She remembers and practices his teachings; imitates his examples; speaks of him with respect and love.
d) She invites others to make the same acts of charity and suffrages.
e) In certain cases, she takes care and also visits the tomb, takes care of the things he had left, the dispositions given.
These works of charity for the deceased Priests are among the most meritorious and rewarding even in the present life.
1 Lk. 1, 38.
1 Cf. Mt. 25, 35-40.
1 Lk. 2, 48.
2 Lk. 2, 49
3 Cf. Lk. 2, 51.
1 Cf. Mt. 26, 41.