Vol.6 No.3 DoM E Message
Spiritual Gift of the Week
We pray for the joyful grace of faithful service of the poor and sick,
through the intercession of Pier Giorgio Frassati.
We ask to follow Mary’s example of gentleness and generosity in spreading the Gospel.
Spiritual Instruction of the Week
Pray. Reflect. Renew.
Our way of searching and finding the ‘one pearl of great value.’ (Matthew 13:46)
Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
In one famous parable from Matthew, Jesus gives us a most attractive version of conversion:
“…the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for a fine pearl,
when he found one of great value,
he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (13:45-46)
I read this passage recently and recalled a fond memory from childhood. My mother’s pretty ‘box’ of costume jewelry often brought me great delight. I was fascinated by the number of stones, all having the appearance of rubies or rhinestones, diamonds or pearls. I would rummage until I found the shiniest stone or the largest pearl among the many strings. It was a delightful experience, even though I knew the jewels were fake.
Jesus understood that to be authentic, human attraction and engagement are necessary. He compared the search for the finest pearl to our conversion. And just as he caught the attention of the listeners of his time, Jesus’ words appeal to us today. As Daughters of Mary we are much like the merchant of Matthew’s story. We are on a path in search of the finest pearl – the pearl of great price. We want an authentic spirituality.
Christian history is a record of the many paths—the many distinctive ways of searching for an encounter with Jesus. The monastics and mendicants, various religious orders, and now, even lay communities such as our own, all find their own charism for conversion. Yes, even Daughters of Mary has its own distinct spirituality. We have our way of searching for “the one pearl of great price.” Prayer—Reflection—Renewal—this is our path of conversion. We pray with a desire for spiritual freedom. We reflect seeking theological integrity. And in all this, we are renewed and refreshed in our commitment as a community of faithful women. All this is our way of selling everything and buying the one pearl of great value.
As we engage in prayer, reflection and renewal, we realize we are not rummaging through phony rhinestones and rubies. As we each find our own path of conversion—we begin to recognize that what makes our prayer authentic is that our hearts feel free to converse with God. We find ourselves reassured in both heart and mind as we study historical context and traditional teaching on scripture. We find our renewal real because our hearts. minds and spirits are changed. This has value to those in our community of faith who need us.
Conversion is a path to find the pearl of great value—an encounter with Jesus himself. This is the reason Daughters of Mary exists. All that we do is meant to allow Jesus to catch our attention, in a real way. As Pope Francis tells us: “The kingdom of heaven makes itself present in the very person of Jesus…each of us has a particular path…the encounter with Jesus is awaited— it is sought after, as is shown in the parable of the merchant. But it is Jesus who seeks us—Jesus makes himself discoverable.”
Dear beautiful Daughters of Mary, may we truly become like merchants in search of the finest pearl, for this is most surely the one attractive, and the only worthy search.
Let us pray to be authentic…
As we seek an authentic life of faith, we must remember the love and mercy of God and we must pray with the honesty and humility of Mary. In the Magnificat, she tells us that God looks with favor on humble hearts. Let us ask her to help us pray humbly.
Veni, Spirito Santo, la misericordia di Dio ci salva—
Come Holy Spirit, it is by God’s mercy that we are saved,