Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, near the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, shares in the Circular some reflections that she feels are like a new call to be light, sprouts of new life and hope in this troubled time, an appeal to give new impetus to the journey of holiness with Mary, “very present, always close”.
The presence of Mary in our life is an inspiration and a call to make our communities more and more “Marian”, to live the joyful humility of the Magnificat, and to be “helpers” among young people (cf. C 4).
She proposes three attitudes to contemplate Mary and look to her as the beacon that illumines everyday life and helps to face the fog that sometimes arises on the horizon.
A gaze of contemplation
Contemplate her as a Mother, she who lived the experience of contemplating Jesus in her arms, and feeling tenderly gazed at by Him with sweetness and cheered by His smile. Mary is the first to see God face to face and to contemplate His face: “She teaches us that to contemplate is to look at God with simplicity and fidelity, and it is also to let ourselves be looked at by Him.” Mother by vocation, she takes care of all her daughters and sons, teaching fidelity even in situations of life that do not respond to expectations, to welcome God’s plan of love. To put Jesus at the center of life and mission in this particular historical moment, it is necessary to “take Mary into our home.” Mary must live in the FMA communities, as at Mornese and Nizza Monferrato.
A heart inhabited by Magnificat
The special time we are living does not impede the desire to sow hope and to walk with commitment and gratitude towards the 150th of Foundation of the FMA Institute “United with Mary, ‘to generate new life’ and revive the richness of the charism by spreading it in the world.”
Mother invites us to rediscover the beauty of being a living memory of Mary today, and to take up again the Plan of Formation: Rooted in the Covenant, where it delineates the Marian identity of the FMA committed to express today “the unprecedented of her life” and to transmit her presence to the new generations (cf. pp. 35-37). With Mary, it is possible to write new pages of history with the young people and with the Educating Communities, singing together the hymn of the Magnificat which shines in the light of the Salesian charism.
Which page shall we write together in a historical moment that Pope Francis calls “the hour of truth“? It is a dream of communion, which can come true with the help of the Spirit. “Where Mary is, there is the Holy Spirit and with their presence our communities can recognize themselves as true ‘spiritual cenacles’, places of exquisite humanity.” We can do this by accepting the challenges of contemporaneity as an opportunity to be builders of community-communion and to “let the Magnificat explode, a song that recognizes the great wonders created by God in every one of His creatures and in our Institute which belongs entirely to Mary.”
A life entirely given to the mission
Mother Yvonne expresses the certainty that General Chapter XXIV will be an event of the Holy Spirit in which Mary will enjoy a privileged place. “I consider the General Chapter as a new ‘Pentecost’, a lymph of life which will fecundate the educating communities.” The authentic happiness of young people is a priority to be taken care of, so that they may have serenity, peace, and a dignified life in order to be active and responsible citizens in society. “The future of humanity is present in them. They are a precious treasure to be valued. They accompany us on our path of holiness that we build together.”
Mother dwells on two essential aspects of the journey of holiness, “to be ever more passionate about the educational mission in the spirit of the ‘da mihi animas cetera tolle’, sharing it with the young and to proclaim with patience, respect, and trust that life is vocation, it is mission.” God never ceases to call and patiently awaits from us, even today, the answer of availability like that of Mary, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38).
The celebration of the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians on 24 May in Turin Valdocco (Italy) in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, is an opportunity to ask Mary to “renew us in the commitment to holiness and missionary zeal.” To her we entrust “GC XXIV, the life of the young people, the educating communities, the groups of the Salesian Family, and in particular the Past Pupils, to announce together that ‘there is only one great call in the Gospel, and it is that of following Jesus on the path of love’.” (Pope Francis – Audience, 5 May 2021).