Friday, April 13, 2012
The Union of the two Mary's
Picture this. Fr. Lataste explains his idea to Mother Henri-Dominique. She gasps. Her eyes widen. With a long intake of breath, she asks, "Moi?"
She is being asked to begin a congregation, not just be a humble member of an existing one. She had thought she was entering an established community. But... but...but it didn't even exist! It was just an idea of Father Lataste's.
"C'est impossible. "
Nothing is impossible with God. She was open to prayer. Father Lataste suggested that she pray for three days in front of the crucifix.
Three days of meditating on the suffering of Christ. She had some experience of suffering. The women she wished to work among, certainly experienced suffering. She did wish to unite herself to this suffering.
Then a vision appeared before her. Why had she not seen this before? There, at the foot of the cross, were the two Mary's. Our Blessed Mother was there in all her pure virginity. Beside her was the other Mary, in all her fallen nature.
...at the same time light shone in my--up to that point--troubled and hesitant soul; in an instant all my objections faded away. But at the same time, I experienced in my very depths the feeling of an abandonment which was to weigh on me, as upon the dying Savior, in order to succeed in bringing about the union of fallen souls and faithful souls. I experienced the anguish of heart of a mother who senses the unhappiness of an abandonment to which she and her children would be vowed.
Mother Henri-Dominique did not refuse. She accepted the Will of God. And the story of the Dominican Sisters of Bethany begins...
Source: Life of the Reverend Mother Henri Dominique, Foundress and Prioress General of the Dominican Congregation of Saint Magdalene of Bethany, by Monsignor Altmayer, O.P.