In the Voice of Moreau: Perhaps you have seen the famous icon of our Lady holding the boy Jesus in her arms. She cradles him lovingly as he is confronted by two angels: one has a stick of hyssop with a vinegar-soaked sponge on it, while the other bears a cross. If you look closely at the icon, you will see one of the Lord’s sandals falling off of his foot, as if he has just run into his mother’s arms for comfort and consolation. Our heavenly Father is patient with us, his daughters and sons, as we too make the journey to Jerusalem. Yes, he requires us to pass through the trial of the Cross, but he is a loving Father whose mercy is enduring. Thus he has given us a mother, the Church, to be our protector and nurturer until we are ready to face that reality. She is the local Church, the universal Church, the domestic Church and the institutional Church. She surrounds us with tender, loving care, teaching us the ways that lead to life and the patterns of salvation. When the time is right, we will step forth from her arms and, with our Lord, embrace our glorious destiny. Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Holy Cross Educator’s Response: Parents and CSC teachers are co-educators in the “ways that lead to life”. Parents who are persons of faith are the first educators of their children as they establish the identity of their child as a member of the nuclear family, the local and universal Church and the secular world. As Mary did for Jesus, parents construct a strong foundation upon the initial teachings of faith and facts. When the child is still quite young, parents must make a serious, conscious and well thought out plan as they select the professional co-educators who will direct many years of the child’s institutional education. Blessed Moreau says about Mary, the Mother of Sorrows: “While Jesus Christ offered himself to his father for our salvation, Mary offered him also for the same end, and we were then so much the sole object of the thoughts of the son and the mother that the Savior, turning upon her his dying eyes still filled with love, addressed her a last word which was not of himself or of her, but us. Enfolding us all in the person of St. John, he presented us to Mary, saying, ‘Woman, behold your son.’ It was as if he said to her: ‘ New Eve, here is your family. You are henceforth, alone the true mother of all the living. You have born all these children in your sorrow, and I wish you to love them even as you loved me’” (Sermon, The Love of Mary’s Heart. Date?) Blessed Moreau teaches that parents and teachers emulate the love of Mary for children when they take upon “the attitude of priest and minister before the altar on which was consummated the sacrifice of our redemption. Truly did she fulfill to the final measure her part in the work of Christ, to ‘fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in her flesh, for his body, which is the Church’” (Col. 1:24). Children entrusted into the mutual care of parents and teachers can only assist them to face the reality of the Cross if they, too, journey toward Jerusalem. Ave Crux Spes Unica!