Moments of Love with Mary
– The Spiritual Letter Box –
Courage and Serenity
Three of our grown-up children had to leave home several years ago because of a lack of industry in our area. We thought we had given them the best upbringing possible and the best spiritual formation.
They are in a large city, and we have confidence in them. For a long time they hid the truth from us. We are both old, and the great distance keeps us from visiting them.
Then, during a recent visit, my son told us how he lived. He does not practise his religion and he is living with a girl. What is more, they have a child. We then learned that the two others were leading lives more or less like his.
It was a terrible shock. I would never have dreamed that such a terrible thing could happen to us. I cried so much that I made myself sick; and my husband, a widower whom I married and who has been very good to me and my children, has also been very distressed by all this. My three children will be the cause of my death! And what will become of my husband’s children whom I love as much as my own? Now we are unwilling to see them leave home, and yet conditions here are in a very sad state also.
We have always had great confidence in Mary and a deep devotion to her. We have never been wanting in our faith, but I have been so upset that I no longer know what to think. We have made every sacrifice for the happiness of our children, and their eternal salvation is the most important thing to us.
These problems have really got us down and we no longer know what to say in order to make them stop and think and see the light. They are good to us and have fine qualities, but life is very difficult for young people today. It is hard to understand how such a situation could come to pass. I have never been so hurt in all my life. All my past trials have been a bed of roses compared to these. Please help me!
The eternal salvation of your children has been and remains your greatest concern. You had reason to hope and desire that your children, fortified with the spiritual education given and a good upbringing, once grown, would follow the path traced out for them in the family home.
Your faith and your devotion to Mary had become practically an assurance, a guarantee that your children would lead an upright life.
You must not despair. The confusion which reigns today, the eroticism which flows like a black flood-tide, the shocking and distressing rejection of religion – all of this has affected the young and the not-so-young. And what is more, they have made them an easy prey in the conquest undertaken of a generation already saturated by the sexology and pornography put forth by commercial advertising. Yet, a large number desire authentic liberation, that is to say, a renewal of the interior life begetting genuine happiness.
Stand strong under this trial. You have the support of the good and understanding man who is your companion. Never forget that the good principles instilled at an early age, even if they seem to be submerged at certain periods of life, eventually come to the surface and sweep away the false orientations provoked by circumstances and events.
May these profound sufferings which you are presently undergoing and which have wrenched you to your innermost being, causing you to believe that all your work of education has been radically destroyed, become an accumulated potential of merits from which the necessary graces will pour forth to make possible a return to God in repentance, which will foster a deeper humility and a stronger love.
Accept this trial without understanding it. Make of it an offering to Christ the Savior who on the cross agonized mentally at the thought of the countless souls lost, without benefiting from this superabundant source of graces which His terrible death would bring forth for the welfare of mankind. Walk in His footsteps with courage and serenity. May your calvary become a new level of love for your dear ones, for you are the instrument of Providence, the road of grace towards those you love. You feel “broken”, but remember that “God writes straight, across broken lines”.
(Review, “L’Armée de Marie”, volume III, no. 4)