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ADMA | ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
       

ADMAonLine     |     Monthly Message:   october 24th, 2010       |     T  Version

MARY HELPS US
ALONG OUR PATH TOWARDS PERSONAL CONVERSION

We continue our journey towards Czestochowa accompanied by Mary's presence and by her blessing.This year's journey is a great gift for our personal conversion: Mary encourages us to become aware of our spiritual weakness, of our lack of humility and above all invites us to speak less and to work harder in relation to our testimony of the Gospel, by bringing the fruit of conversion, by being prayerful men and women.

Under her guidance we will be undemanding servants: this means we will acknowledge that we are not in the position to expect anything and we will trust in God completely, without behaving with arrogance.

Conversion does not mean reforming a structure, modernising the church and going with the times, nor does it mean conforming to the world. The real change is Christ: this is the point the Holy Father makes and draws the attention above all of priests, encouraging them to become men who truly live because of their faith! The real reform is the conversion of one's heart and life. Conversion of the heart means finding the truth not about others but about ourselves, our own feelings, values, goals which dominate our thoughts. "Adam, where are you?" Each of us must ask himself: "Where am I?" This is the first step towards conversion: retreating into ourselves and asking: "Where am I?" The second point is surrendering to God's love, and to the love of one's spouse, children, parents; within certain limits to our friends' love and without limits to God's love.

Our surrender to God should be total. On the other hand, we always add a lot of " yes but" before diving into the ocean in which we will be forever saved by love.
Concretely, surrendering means:
1) Praying, praying more. If we don't pray every day we are not surrendering. Praying with the gospel in one hand, through the psalms, the rosary, the prayers that every good Christian knows…Alone with the Only One who is Christ.
2) There can be no conversion without the sacraments: Communion and Confession are our defence. The rest is just decoration: if our life is not nourished by frequent confession and by extremely frequent communion we are not surrendering to God: these are the sources of all graces!
3) being together: being Christians has always meant swimming against the tide.

There is such strong individualism! In the name of one's independence, which becomes absolute, man finds himself isolated. It is true that bonds do not restrict us, but if man is isolated from society he does not exist and neither does the Christian community. We must stick together as Christians, as ADMA groups, to swim against the tide, faithful to the gospel and then we will really be able to help the world.

The more we are in the world but not of the world, the more we can help it with God's heart, with joy and enthusiasm! May Mary rekindle the fire of the Spirit in our hearts and in the hearts of all groups, may it blow upon us, stir the ashes of habit and lack of confidence, and may we burn like real disciples of her Son. She, the Immaculate and Help of Christians, who from the top of the Basilica of Turin, crowned by twelve stars , may she bless us with her maternal blessing, and help us to experience the beauty and grace of trust!

                                                                        Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Spiritual Animator

 THE JOURNEY TOWARDS CZESTOCHOWA 2011


2. Jesus and Mary are one for the other (Fr Roberto Carelli sdb)


After meditating on Jesus and Mary's unity we bring our attention to their reciprocity. Here lies the fundamental reason of our act of trust towards Mary: we Christians love Mary and we entrust ourselves to her, first of all because this is what Jesus himself did: he entrusted himself to her and loved her, and secondly because Mary too loved Him and entrusted herself to Him. The act of entrusting has extremely deep roots, which are actually Trinitarian. Jesus and Mary live in a perfect way the dynamism of love, which means living with each other, for each other, in each other, which means mutual acknowledgement and trust, mutual service and devotion, mutual protection and home.

This means that the act of entrusting is not added onto love but rather belongs to love: when we love we entrust ourselves to another person. In this light, the act of entrusting joins the Christian ideal designed by Jesus himself: living and operating in God, and letting God live and operate in us. This allows us to partake God's love, his joy and his fruitfulness: "I ask you not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through this word, that they may all be one. As you Father are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me". (John 17,21-23)

Now, Jesus and Mary are the perfect fulfilment of the ideal which Jesus left in his will: Mary has an eternal dwelling in the heart of the Son, and the Son finds his earthly dwelling in Mary's heart. For this reason, no creature can be happier than Mary, none is more fruitful, and none was given a greater power of intercession.
The aim of this meditation as well as the grace to be asked is to live in the presence and under the protection of Jesus and Mary, in order to learn to look at Jesus like Mary does, and to look at Mary as Jesus does.

1. In entrusting ourselves to God

We entrust ourselves to Mary first of all because God too entrusted himself to her: it must be acknowledged that before anyone else, God himself, the eternal Father, entrusted himself to the Virgin from Nazareth, by giving her his own Son through the mystery of the incarnation….God, in the sublime event of the Son's incarnation, entrusted himself to the free and active ministry of a woman (RM 39.46).
Mary is the chosen instrument which God used to communicate to mankind: he made her trustworthy by clothing her with grace, he found her trustworthy because of her grace, he entrusted himself to her to give birth to his Word in the flesh. Mary is the centre of any act of entrusting, because she is the virginal vessel, nuptial and maternal, filled with all graces. In her everything is welcomed, cherished and offered in the best possible way.

Man entrusts itself to Her for his sanctification, because God entrusted himself to her for his incarnation. If then God found Mary to be trustworthy for Himself, won't it be the same for us? Montfort states: Because the Holy Virgin is necessary to God, it must be said that she is even more necessary to mankind in order to reach its final goal. This is not a temporary necessity but a permanent necessity, which is everlasting: As God desired to begin his greatest work through the Virgin Mary since the moment he moulded her, it must be concluded that he will never change his ways.

In this sense, Saint Cyprian's famous expression according to which "we can't have God for a father if we don't have the Church as our Mother" is even more true in relation to Mary. Grignion de Montfort makes it clear by drawing on the analogy of the natural generation: as in the natural order every child must have a father and a mother, so in the order of grace, every true child of the Church must have God as his Father and Mary as his Mother…God the Father wants to have children through Mary until the end of the world: as in natural and physical generation there is a father and a mother, so in the supernatural and spiritual generation there is a Father (who is God) and a Mother who is Mary. All true children of God and those who are predestined have God as their Father and Mary as their Mother; and those who don't have Mary as their mother do not have God as their father .

2. In Jesus' gaze
Jesus and Mary are the greatest contemplatives in history. More than this, they are the foundation of any Christian contemplation! Mary took part in Jesus' life from the moment he was born until he died, she did so on earth and she still does in heaven. She did it through that special bond which is the one between a mother and a child, and she did it in a very profound way, as she was able to first welcome him and then losH him, give birth to him and then sacrifice him, unconditionally and with no protection whatsoever. In Jesus, Mary saw the most handsome among all the sons of men- and he was her son! And Jesus saw in Mary the one who is blessed among women- and she was his mum! The Christian outlook has its origin from them: from the very beginning, the Church "looked" at Mary through Jesus, and in the same way "looked" at Jesus through Mary. (RM 26).

Therefore, those who entrust themselves to Mary receive her as a gift from Jesus and receives the ability to look at her like Jesus did: "To those who do their best to get to know her and love her, It can be said that Christ himself points to his mother as he did on Calvary to his disciple John." (John Paul II).
The fact that mutual entrusting between Mary and Jesus supports our act of entrusting has several very profound reasons. The first reason, as pointed out by Balthasar, refers to the general economy of the whole of God's work, and is the necessity of a womb that is totally welcoming to allow the Word to become flesh, a womb which is at the same time physical and spiritual, which God would not have been able to find in any other creature except Mary: Someone had to receive the Word so unconditionally that the latter became incarnate in her like the child in a mother's womb. This Mother, who opened up and offered herself up to the Word of God unconditionally, is not us; none of us says an unconditional yes to God. Perfect consensus for us is out of reach a priori.

And yet it is part of the conditions required in order for the Word of God may effectively reach us and may become the path we must travel on. The Word could not have become incarnate in a heart which was not completely opened to God, as the son is essentially dependent on the mother, he feeds on her psychosomatic substance, he is brought up by her in a real and man-being. The being-before the Mother, which opened up the path between us and God, does not mean isolation from her, but the opening up of the possibility that we too may be able to say yes to God .

Here we understand how entrusting ourselves to Mary means to enter the mystery of her yes, and understanding with our heart how crucial it is to have a heart which is poor, chaste and obedient, meaning 100% available to G T, and how harmful it is to have even a single gram of pride, of attachment to material possessions, to one's ideas, to the people we love. As God gives his whole self to us, we can't just give him something! And if we argue that, as purely human creatures we are not able to give everything, there is at least one thing of which we can give 100%: our availability to let God's will happen, just like Mary did! The greatness of Mary lies precisely in this, and in this lies the decisive step for our spiritual life.

The second reason which makes Mary's and Jesus gaze fixed on each other the foundation of our faith in him and of our entrusting to her is the depth of such gaze, which grew out of her following the Lord from Bethlehem to Calvary, from her joyous yes in Nazareth, from which God's plan towards mankind unfolded, to the painful yes of the Golgotha, were mankind once again had access to God's heart. During his visit to Turin, Benedict XVI used deep and beautiful words to explain how in Mary's gaze, we can learn to recognise Jesus' face.

The Virgin Mary is the one who, more than anyone else, contemplated God in the human face of Jesus. She saw him as a newborn, while still in his swaddling clothes he was laid in a manger; she saw him immediately after his death, when, taken down from the cross, he was wrapped in a sheet and was taken to his sepulchre. Inside her was engraved the image of her mangled Son; but this image was later to be transfigured by the light of the Resurrection. So, Mary guarded in her heart the mystery of Christ's face, which is a mystery of death and glory. From her we can always learn to look at Jesus with the same gaze of love and faith, and to recognise in that human face the Face of God.

We must also think - and this is the third reason which makes us entrust ourselves to Mary and Jesus' gaze- that the depth of Mary's gaze is not limited to her earthly life, but has divine origins and conclusions. Many ancient and modern fathers of the church have pointed out how the act of entrusting one self to Mary is rooted in God's eternity: Mary was dwelling, protection and rest for her Son, above all because God hid her, protected her and made her dwell in him. If we look at Mary and Jesus' gaze as they bless each other we can say that nothing is missing: neither the earth's concreteness, nor heaven's even greater concreteness, neither the visibility of earthly things, nor the transparency of things belonging to heaven.

Cardinal Bérulle's words in this respect, in which Mary is defined as possessing wisdom because she has always dwelled in divine Wisdom are splendid: Talking about Mary means talking about Jesus, such is the degree of their unity, and Mary is the greatest object of his grace, and the greatest effect of his power… God who brings up, guides, loves Mary and hides her in himself. And it is He, oh Holy Virgin, your temple and your shrine, as he is for the celestial Jerusalem, about which it is said that the lamb is its temple. You too was ne day to be his temple, the living temple of a living God. God therefore hides in himself this person cherished like a treasure which he keeps for himself through the secret and the uniqueness of his choice, as he destines her to be his mother… God hides her from herself and hides her in himself, in the secret of her womb, which is the secret of her knowledge and of her behaviour, which is like a veil under which is hidden the new status he wants to elevate her to .

3. In the mystery of obedience
Our consecration to Jesus and our entrusting ourselves to Mary is fulfilled especially in the mystery of their reciprocal obedience and acknowledgement, which corresponds to the love found within the Trinity. Balthasar explains: Obedience is to be considered as the starting point of any activity. The willingness of the Son to be sent by the Father according to His will, refusing to dominate others, feeling forsaken and facing indifference. The journey from the Father's womb to that of his earthly Mother is a journey characterised by obedience, the most difficult and the richest one in consequences, which is undertaken in the knowledge of the mission received by the Father: " I have come to do your will" (Hebrews 10,7)…

But now the Word is to become a man the whole history of salvation is no longer an issue concerning the divinity. Becoming incarnate means becoming a mother's Son, a mother who must give her full human consent to the conception of the divine seed. In no way is man overwhelmed or forced by God, nor can anything be imposed on him, without him first agreeing, even though he might not be fully aware of the possible consequences .

Therefore, Jesus and Mary, He as Son as she as Mother, desire our entrusting ourselves to them because they obey and grant each others wishes. What is extraordinary is not just the due submission of the creature to the Creator - which is present in all religions- but especially the amazing submission of the Creator to his creature! Here is another reason for us to submit with filial obedience to Mary: God's own obedience!

Fr Livio Fanzaga says: The Full of Grace was not just Jesus' giver of life and teacher. Jesus listened to her, followed her and submitted himself to her. Only conceited Christians can consider Mary's presence along their journey of faith as unnecessary …If the Omnipotent entrusted himself to his Son in order to fulfil his plans, shouldn't we entrust ourselves too, in order to fulfil our life's mission? Of course, this is admirable and tells us about God's love, whose omnipotence is exercised in the form of humility, whose authority is implemented through obedience. All the great fathers of the Church, whether ancient, medieval or modern have always felt deep amazement at this. Saint Bernard is an example : " And he submitted to them." Who submitted to whom? God to man: God, I repeat, to whom the angels submit and obey, he subjected to Mary; and not only to Mary, but also to Joseph because of Mary.

Admire these two things and choose the one that strikes you the most: the benevolent compliance of the Son or the great dignity of the Mother, both of which are miraculous. Both when God obeys a woman (a form of humility which can find no analogy), and when a woman gives orders to God, (a form of greatness which is unequalled)…Oh man, learn to be obedient, oh earth and dust, learn to submit. When the evangelist says, talking about the one who created you "and he submitted to them" he says it referring without a doubt to Mary and Joseph. Blush oh conceited ash! God humiliates himself and you exalt yourself? God submits to man, and you, longing to dominate other men, put yourself before your creator? …Oh man, if you do not condescend to imitate a man's example, surely it will not be unworthy of you to follow your own creator . In practice, by entrusting ourselves to Mary, we obey the One to whom God refuses nothing!

St Alphonse says: The Son denies the Mother nothing of what she asks, as was revealed to Saint Bridget. One day the Saint heard Jesus talking to his Mother saying: "Oh Mother, you know how much I love you, therefore ask me anything you want, as I cannot but grant any of your requests." And Jesus explained the reason for it very well: "because you did not deny me anything on earth, I will not deny you anything in heaven" .

4. For prayer and life
I look at Mary through Jesus' gaze, and I look at Jesus accompanied by Mary's gaze. I think about how I have been created, loved, saved, sanctified in the fire of the way in which they address each other, welcome each other, give each other, obey each other, grant each other's wishes and belong to each other. Like Mary, do I live under Jesus' gaze and blessing, by doing everything for Him, with Him and in Him? Do I look at Jesus like Mary does, aware of both his humanity and his divinity, of the fact that he is my Redeemer and my Lord, the One who makes of me a real man and a real child of God? Do I pray the Rosary? Does it help me to contemplate the Lord's face in Mary's gaze and to ask for the graces I need through Mary's intercession? The Rosary is the simplest and most well known way to entrust ourselves to Mary. Let's pray and commit ourselves so that young people may rediscover it and pray it with faith and love, so that their desire for God and for prayer may grow, so that they may grow in a faith which will guide their decisions, relationships and actions.

FAMILY CHRONICLE


TORINO-VALDOCCO, XX MARIAN DAY -


On Sunday 3d October 2010, the Association of Mary Help of Christians celebrated the XX Marian Day in an atmosphere of joy and communion, with the presence of almost 400 people. Following a warm welcome and the morning prayers, Fr Livio Demarie, editor of the magazine Mary Help of Christians spoke about "Mary, a role model for evangelisation".

The president of the Primary ADMA, Mr Tullio Lucca, presented the 2010 path for ADMA, stressing the preparation for the VI International Congress of Mary help of Christians, which will take place in Czestockowa (Poland) from the 3d to the 6th August 2011. Fr Roberto Carelli, professor of theology in Turin- Crocetta, illustrated the stages for the path of formation in the year devoted to the theme of entrustment to Mary, collected in a text from the series of Mary Help of Christians' notebooks with the title "All yours!" The morning ended with the sharing of experiences and testimonies of families and young people.

During the afternoon, in the shrine of Mary Help of Christian, to which the ADMA is bound by an historical and spiritual bond, after the praying of the Holy Rosary, the solemn con-celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr Franco Lotto, Rector of the shrine of the Basilica took place. On this occasion 89 people belonging to the Primary ADMA and to the different Groups from piedmont and Lombardy joined the Association. The presence of new members coming from recently set up groups, was considerable: San Benigno Canavese, Ivrea, Palazzolo S/O with the young people from the Shalom rehabilitation centre, who entertained us with their joyous music and signing, and with the strength of their testimonies. All this was experienced as a gift to Mary, who always accompanies us and renews us in our journey of faith.

IVREA (Torino) - New ADMA group -


"This ADMA group is the THANK YOU we want to offer Mary, it is our willingness to let ourselves be transformed from water into wine, like at the wedding of Cana." With these words, Fr Eligio Caprioglio, director of the home in Ivrea, celebrated the fact that the new group from Ivrea joined the Primary ADMA, on the 4th September 2010. ADMA's President, Mr Tullio Lucca was present, together with a delegation from the Council. The diploma was handed to Mr Massimo Stratta, the group's new president. It was pointed out how joining the Primary ADMA unties us spiritually to the Shrine in Valdocco and to the ADMA groups spread across the world. In a dream Mary told Don Bosco " Here is my house, here is my glory," and every ADMA member is, through his life, "Mary's glory". The new group grew out of the families of the children and young people who attend the school Giovanni Cagliero. This school, close to the heart of the Salesians because of the great numbers of missionaries who came from here, travelled throughout the world , a few years ago almost risked being closed down. A Novena prayed with great faith to Mary Help of Christians and a vow to Saint Callisto Caravario, missionary and martyr in China, allowed the school's work to continue, and there are currently 340 students who attend the school, and the classrooms and the park are filled with an atmosphere of Salesian joy.

VENEZUELA - ADMA' S XXII NATIONAL MEETING



From the 1st to the 6th September, following an invitation by ADMA's National Council in Venezuela, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Promoter of Spiritual Activities, accompanied by his sister Toti, visited this South American country. A special moment was the visit to the shrine of Mary Help of Christians of Guiripe, the birthplace of the Salesian Cardinal Rosalio José Castillo Lara (1922-2007). The building of this chapel, dedicated to Mary Help of Christians and which dates back to before the arrival of the Salesians in Venezuela, was built in 1896 by Fr Manuel Castillo Arteaga, the grandfather of the cardinal- to- be, Salesian co-operator and a great admirer of Don Bosco. In 1916 the brotherhood of Mary Help of Christians was set up, which is part of the Primary ADMA of Turin. Cardinal Castillo wanted the Association of Mary Help of Christians in Venezuela to be revived, and his wish was granted on 2d September 2010, with the setting up of the new ADMA group of Guiripa, with 12 new members. This celebration was attended by several members from other groups and by three nuns Daughters of the Divine Saviour, a group of the Salesian family founded in El Salvador by Monsignor Pedro Arnoldo The Salesian home of Aparicio.

The most important moment was the participation to ADMA's XXII National meeting from Venezuela, with ADMA's 23 groups being represented, and which are made up of over 800 members. The Salesian home of S. Antonio de Los Altos welcomed all participants who shared moments of prayer and training. In particular, the presentation of the third notebook of the Association and translated in Spanish by our brother Fr Josè Godoy, was welcomed with interest and enthusiasm.
There were also a few meetings with the Salesian Family. On the morning of the 2d September, together with the Asociación Damas Salesianas (www.adsint.org.ve) which is a lay organization made up of Catholic women who are committed to evangelisation and good works towards people who have non resources, and has 33 centres in Venezuela and 97 abroad. We had the pleasure of meeting its founder Fr Miguel González, who in 1968 started this work of God. We then visited the Complejo Social don Bosco, a centre which deals with health and education in Caracas-Altamira, and we shared a powerful moment of Salesian and charismatic communion.

Apart from the group of Salesian Co-operators of Saint Antonio of Los Altos, of special significance was the meeting with the inspector of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Sr. Ramos Maria Eugenia who asked to get to know more about ADMA and committed to promoting the Daughters of Mary help of Christians homes. We also visited places which are close to the Salesians' heart in Venezuela: the temple dedicated to Don Bosco in Caracas Altamira and the shrine of Mary help of Christians in Caracas Sarria. Especially moving was the meeting with some Italian and Spanish Salesian missionaries who have been working in Venezuela for 50 years with great dedication and who pay special attention to the poor and to young people who live in the street. The experience of some brothers working in the Venezuelan Amazon, in the basin of the Orinoco among groups of local tribes with a strong spirit of sacrifice was impressive.

This vitality is fertile ground for holiness: Fr Pierluigi witnessed for example how Fr Josè Bordogni (1928-2004), a Salesian committed to education and to being a father confessor to generations of Salesian brothers and in the promotion of the Salesian Family's groups, is renowned for his holiness. We give special thanks to the President of the National ADMA, Mrs. Ingrid González de Gómez, to Fr Luis Azzalini and to the inspectorial Vicar Fr Raùl Biord, for the constant attention and availability with which he accompanied us. We congratulate and encourage the ADMA of Venezuela, and we assure them of a special prayer to Mary Help of Christians for the extremely serious social and political situation which the country is going through, and we invoke the gift of peace and of social justice. Above all, we bless the Lord for Mary Help of Christians, who guides and renews her Association throughout the world!


We warmly invite all the groups of Spanish language, particularly those of America, to make known and spread the Review of Mary Help of Christians in the Spanish Edition.

Revista del Santuario Basílica María Ausiliatrice, Torino-Valdocco, Italia

Edición Hispana - P.O. Box Internacional No.025577, PBMo36482
Miami, FL. 33102-5577 - Tel.: (809) 530-5377 o (809) 229-2935

Web Site: www.maria-auxiliadora.org - Email: revista@maria-auxiliadora.org
Josephine Modesto Directora Edición Hispana - Email: josephine@maria-auxiliadora.org


                 
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     ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco:
     ADMA | Santuario Maria Ausiliatrice | Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 TORINO-VALDOCCO | ITALIA
    Tel.: 0039-011-5224216 / Fax.: 0039-011-52224213 |
E-mail: adma.torino@tiscali.it 
                                  THE President OF ADMA:
                                  Signor LUCCA TULLIO (until 2014) |E-mail:  Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com   
     Spiritual Animator of ADMA:
     Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI / Istituto Salesiano | Via S. G. Bosco 1 - 25075 NAVE - BS
    TEL. 030-2530262 - FAX 030-2533190 / CELL. 3401452349 |
E-mail: pcameroni@salesiani.it
                                Website: www.donbosco-torino.it/eng/adma



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