Do Not Be Afraid
When walking on the stormy waves towards the disciples, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” The priest at the bedside of a dying man says, “Do not be afraid.” A mother holds her sick child and rocks her to sleep, saying, “Do not be afraid.” Can this opening phrase of Pope St. John Paul II’s pontificate ever be antiquated or overused? This is a summons to a present reality that we are not alone, that there is a Presence with us.
This “do not be afraid” resonates deeply with the spirit behind the founding of our community. As the call to “go out into the deep” was pulsing in the hearts of our foundresses, Pope St. John Paul II’s call for the New Evangelization inspired them to harken forth in a spirit of hope and expectation.
Drawing Near to the Mother of God
And what is the reason for this confidence and this hope? The Incarnation! John Paul the Great was incredibly attuned to the humanity of Christ and to the desires and longings of the human experience for that fullness and wholeness. He helped the world see that “one cannot fully find himself without a sincere gift of self,” and in relationship with others, especially the Mother of God. In his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, he states that at the Annunciation, the intimacy of God with man is the beginning of the “joyful Good News” of the Gospel.
However, he goes on to say that there is “a kind of veil through which one has to draw near to the Invisible One and to live in intimacy with the mystery.” Walking with Mary, with your hand in hers, and meditating on Christ’s life in the mysteries of the Rosary brings our attention and consciousness to the Presence of Jesus Christ, with us now.
Pope St. John Paul II described the Rosary as “a daily meeting” with Mary “which neither I nor she neglects.”
Angelus Address in Fatima (1991)
Walking with Mary, and striving to “live in intimacy with the mystery”, our Sisters pray the Rosary as a community daily, and twice a day in the month of October. The beads which are always on our side are fingered throughout the day while teaching, while walking, while carrying out our daily duties.