At the risk of sounding like a cliché, as the poet T.S. Eliot opined, “April is the cruelest month,” and indeed, in the Year of Our Lord 2020, it has proven to be. There is no need for us to recount the misfortunes that each of us has encountered this past month. And, sadly, it seems that the month of May appears to only be slightly better.
However, as the songwriter Pete Townsend said, “a little is enough.” Things are getting better. The curve, as extreme as it is, seems to be flattening. Life is, despite sickness, despite unemployment, despite even us becoming numb and simply accepting that this is the “new norm,” getting a bit better.
May, the month of Our Blessed Mother, is a month of hope.
If we were to examine the titles attributed to Our Blessed Virgin Mary simply by examining the names of our parishes in the dioceses, we might be able to learn a great deal about her. Yes, she is Mary, Mother of Jesus, as she is proclaimed on 84th Street. But she is also Regina Pacis, as we praise her on 65th Street. She is Our Lady of Mercy as we call out to her both in Brownsville and in Forest Hills, but she is Queen of Martyrs as we laud her also in Forest Hills and Queen of All Saints as we acclaim her in Fort Greene.
Indeed, it is through her Immaculate Heart, as she is known in Windsor Terrace and Kensington, we learn to call upon her as Our Lady of Charity, as she is known on Dean Street.
There are so many parishes dedicaed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she who is the Immaculate Conception, the title by which we know her the best in our beloved Brooklyn Diocese, dedicated to her honor, whose seminaries (Cathedral Prep and Cathedral House of Formation) are under her patronage.
But, in this month of May, perhaps we might wish to turn to Our Blessed Virgin Mary, the Help of Christians (as she is called in Winfield/Woodside) and implore her aid under the title of Our Lady of Hope, as the good people of Middle Village know her.
Hope is what is needed now, more than anything. Hope is what is required at this time!
We need Our Lady of Hope to intercede for us so that she can give us the peace that can come from believing in her fiat, her “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
This is not the end of us. This is only the start of a new chapter, one that might be tougher to navigate than we would like, a chapter in which we do not know the twists and the turns of the story in all the details, but one nonetheless where we know the ending.
It is a glorious ending, one in which we know that Christ is the victor. We, his adopted daughters and sons through baptism, share in that victory.
This May, the month of our Mother, Mary, let’s not forget to turn to her under her many titles, none more so than Our Lady of Hope.