14 September 2017
As we all know, Australia’s first canonised saint is Mary MacKillop. She was born in 1842 and died in 1909. A remarkable woman.
She was a fantastic daughter, sister and teacher. She was outstanding in her life as a religious sister. Her care for the poor and her ability to forgive inspires us.
She took the religious name Sister Mary of the Cross. Now she is known as St. Mary of the Cross.
Why the name? Did she want to celebrate and bring to our attention the horrific suffering of a man on a cross?
No. Rather, Mary saw through the Cross and discovered the love of Christ transforming the suffering.
She saw the Cross of Jesus as an offering to the eternal Father and an offering for us.
She saw it as an act of forgiveness for sin; an act of reconciliation; an act of healing; a most gracious and powerful act of intercession for us sinners.
The Cross meant so much to her that she took it as her religious name.
Perhaps this ancient prayer might lead you into the same “space” as St. Mary of the Cross?
I celebrated Mass a few days ago with just two women in one of our hospitals and prayed this prayer at Communion. They found it moving.
Prayer to Our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified
My good and dear Jesus,
I kneel before you, asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart,
a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity,
with true repentance for my sins,
and a firm resolve to make amends.
As I reflect upon your five wounds,
and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall, good Jesus,
the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself:
“They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have counted all my bones!”