January 15, 2013 // Uncategorized

Praying for Bishop D’Arcy and Our Blessed Mother’s intercession

Thank you to all of the faithful who have been praying and continue to pray for Bishop D’Arcy as he continues to undergo treatment for the rare form of cancer that was found in his lung and brain. Your prayers mean so much to Bishop D’Arcy and, in our frequent telephone conversations, he has expressed to me his profound gratitude for our prayers.

We are hopeful that Bishop D’Arcy will be able to return to Fort Wayne after he completes the radiation treatments this coming week. He may receive chemotherapy treatments upon his return.

Bishop D’Arcy has said to me in each phone conversation that this is a time for him to trust in the Lord’s goodness and love. He asks for prayers to help him to continue to trust in the Lord during this time and to receive the Lord’s peace. As Bishop D’Arcy wrote in his January 9th statement: “Pray that I will accept this and whatever is to come with a full heart and a full ‘Yes’ to God.” I have been so edified by Bishop D’Arcy’s witness of faith during these weeks, a faith which he has taught and lived so beautifully as our shepherd through the years.

The radiation treatments have helped Bishop D’Arcy with his vision so that he is able to celebrate Mass each day and to pray the Divine Office. At his family home in Boston, he has been able to spend much time in prayer, in-between visits to the doctors and the hospital. It is through prayer that he, and all of us, experience the closeness of the Lord, especially in the hardships and sufferings of this life.

I ask for your continued prayers for Bishop D’Arcy, both at Mass and in your personal prayers.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we will hear the account of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. In this scene, we see the courage of Mary’s faith as she trusted in her Son’s yet unrevealed power to perform a miracle, in this case, the transformation of water into wine. Mary trusted totally in Jesus as she told the servants to “do whatever He tells you.” Mary’s words are an exhortation to all of us to trust in Jesus. Mary teaches us to hope beyond all hope, trusting always in the Lord’s goodness.

In this first miracle of Jesus, we see not only the great faith of our Blessed Mother, but also the power of her intercessory prayer. Mary is with us in our journey of faith and we can have recourse to her for every kind of grace. We can count on her motherly intercession to receive from the Lord what we need to grow in the life of grace. It is good to call upon her often, with confidence in her maternal love and affection.

Pope Benedict wrote the following:

Mary, the Mother of the Lord, has received from the faithful the title of ‘Advocate’: she is our advocate before God. And this is how we see her, from the wedding feast of Cana onwards: as a woman who is kindly, filled with maternal concern and love, a woman who is attentive to the needs of others and, out of desire to help them, brings those needs before the Lord.

With these thoughts in mind, I ask that we turn to our Blessed Mother in our prayers for Bishop D’Arcy. Confident that Mary intercedes with Jesus on our behalf, I am entrusting my prayers for Bishop D’Arcy to her maternal intercession and also to Blessed John Paul II, to whom Bishop D’Arcy has been so devoted.

During these days, besides reflecting on Mary’s presence at the wedding feast of Cana, I also think of Mary’s presence at the foot of the cross. There her sorrow was united with that of her Son, a sorrow full of faith and love. There she persevered in faith and in her union with her Son unto the cross. There Jesus gave Mary as a Mother to the beloved disciple, Saint John, and, in him, to all of us. Jesus entrusted us all to her maternal care.

From the cross, Our Lord said to Saint John: “Behold your mother!” Blessed John Paul II wrote that these words express Jesus’ intention to inspire in his disciples an attitude of love for and trust in Mary, leading them to recognize her as their mother, the mother of every believer. At the school of the Virgin, the disciples learn to know the Lord deeply, as John did, and to have an intimate and lasting relationship of love with Him. They also discover the joy of entrusting themselves to the Mother’s maternal love, living like affectionate and docile children.

I pray that all of us, with Bishop D’Arcy, may continue to learn at the school of Mary the love and the joy of faith in her Son. Let us continue to pray for Bishop D’Arcy and for all our brothers and sisters who are sick or suffering.

I invite you to pray the following prayer. It is the most ancient prayer to Mary (from the 3rd century in Egypt). It is called the Sub tuum praesidium (Under your protection).

We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

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