|Word to Our Mother|
The following is a reflection written by one of my best friends currently in the seminary studying at the North American College in Rome. It's about how he ran into a beautiful woman on a train in Rome, and how it reminded him of our beautiful Mother and both our common causes that we fight for.
A funny thing happened to me in the Rome metro today. I was travelling back from a "cultural trip" to Ikea outside of Rome with six other seminarians. We were seated in eight seats, four on each side facing each other, when a large group of people boarded the train. They milled about the middle of the train between us and to the sides of us. There were all sorts of people but one young lady in particular stood out from the crowd. It was clear in the faces of my brother seminarians that they had noticed this beautiful young woman too. (Don't worry this is not a story about me leaving seminary.) She had the most stunningly beautiful face, the kind that is kind and innocent and aglow with that mysterious something that the Lord has deemed to grant the fairer sex. She was holding a bag uncomfortably as she stood and I could tell she wanted to sit down, but not in the midst of seven men. The only available seat was next to me, so I made a conscious effort to meet her eye for only a moment and stand in the car facing away from her. She took the hint and quickly sat down with a look that could have only meant "thank you". The seminarians who stood across looked at me and said: "I see you noticed lady wisdom." Lady wisdom is kind of an inside joke in the NAC seminary that refers to the woman you meet out in Rome who takes your breath away. One brother said he was proud that I had kept my wits about me and as I tried to act natural while being courteous to "lady wisdom".
May has been a great time to reflect on Mary, the world's first love, and consider the great mystery of motherhood and God's genius in creating a partner so fair. He has made women who are bone of our bones and flesh of our flesh and we as men must protect them. The moment in the train has been on my mind all evening because I hope and pray that lady wisdom and all women, who have divine gift of beauty inside and out can be in relationships with men who love them well. Women deserve our best. Women deserve better than men who pour over hours of pornographic images and are programmed to see them as objects of conquest and pleasure. Women deserve better than men who are little more than little boys who don't know how to lay down their lives for others. They deserve so much, and it is our mission, yours and mine, to help build up the next generation of men who know how to love with brave and manly hearts, with hearts that beat like our Lord's on the cross: until death. I pray that we have the fortitude to stay the course and the docility to the Holy Spirit to respond to the showers of grace that he wishes to give us.
I guess in the end, this is just a long call to a greater life of prayer. Matt, we need to pray. In the final words of a good holy priest friend we must "Pray, pray, pray, and love Our Lady".
I'm preaching to the choir, but I have been filled with a great fire for this mission. Hopefully my prayer and this little rambling will set your heart on fire in your great work for the salvation of souls: your writing, your work, the way you love your wife, friends and family in the million little deeds of every day.