January message from National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs

Happy New Year!

On this New Year’s Day, Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God and in a special way, the League’s Mother as Our Lady of Good Counsel, I lit a candle and said a special prayer for my sisters at the parish, diocesan, provincial, national and international levels while pondering the reflections in the Living with Christ missalette:

†        Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness in spite of not knowing God’s plan for them

†        Jesus’ humility and love exemplified in the Eucharist

†        the missionary dimension of Mary’s God bearing

†        the challenge for us to rediscover this missionary quality in our Christian life

†        the challenge of bearing Christ to others with Mary.

All my thoughts drew me to refocus on The Catholic Women’s League and the parallel challenges we face:

†        to be faithful to God’s call in the League, not knowing what God has planned for us (planning strategically!!!)

†        the constant need to be missionaries so that we may bring Christ in word and deed to all people (women respond to God’s call)

†        the need to be loving compassionate joy filled women, sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit and who in humility touch the lives of all we encounter (inspired by the Spirit)

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the many challenges that our daily lives present. There is a temptation to think we are alone as we handle the stress of illness, death, work demands, commitments to family, church and community. More than once you’ve probably wondered, “Why did I say ‘Yes’ to this?”

At times like this that it is good to remember we are not alone.

“… God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10.13)

So many readings and reflections are signposts which invite us to treasure and ponder our blessings as Mary, Our Mother did, so that we too may learn to accept and understand what God has in store for us.

As 2018 dawns … sunny, COLD, snowbound… but bright, clean and fresh … with endless new possibilities, I invite you to revisit with renewed enthusiasm our theme, “Inspired by the SpiritWomen Respond to God’s Call”. What new life or different dimension can you unfold in 2018? Perhaps the key to planning isn’t about creating “more” but rather revising our vision … to do differently, with fresh energy, new players…

It is challenging to remain hopeful in a world wrought with injustice and disasters both natural and man-made. I encourage you to have courage, remain hopeful, trust in the power of God and through prayer and tenderness reach out to each person you encounter with love and humility – one person at a time.

Our pastor invited us as women to ask ourselves, “What would Mary do?”; as men, “What would Joseph do?”; and as children, “What would Jesus do?” Indeed, wise words for reflection. May we all respond to God’s call as Mary did!

No better words can I share than those of the Solemn Blessing for New Year:

“May God, the source and origin of all blessing, grant you grace, pour out his blessing in abundance, and keep you safe from harm throughout the year. Amen.

May he give you integrity in the faith, endurance in hope, and perseverance in charity with holy patience to the end. Amen.

May he order your days and your deeds in his peace, grant your prayers in this and in every place, and lead you happily to eternal life. Amen…” (Living with Christ, January 2018, page 37)

Blessings on this New Year!

Margaret Ann