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Time of Joy and Peace

My dear Friends,

It is the season of Easter. We wish that the peace and hope of the Easter season be with all of you, also wishing you for the anniversary of the foundation of the ADMA - 18 April 2023 - and for the beginning of the month of May, consecrated to Our Lady, which we will soon celebrate under the title that is dear to us, Help of Christians.

There is a very strong link between these three moments. The liturgical calendar underlines even more when - like this year 2023 - the date of the foundation of the ADMA is placed between the Easter of Our Lord and the Feast of Mary Help of Christians, as if to remind us that our identity embraces precisely the two pillars, the two risen ones - Jesus and Mary.

Our joy as Christians, as children of Don Bosco and as ADMA members can only be rooted in the Easter we have just experienced and from which we draw our nourishment. It is really true that “joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian” (Chesterton). It is a deep and profound joy that nothing can undermine because it is founded in Jesus who conquered death. Says the prophet Ezekiel,

“Behold, I will open your graves; I will bring you out of your graves, O my people, and bring you back to the land of Israel. You shall know that I am the Lord when I open your graves and bring you out of your graves, O my people. I will bring my spirit into you and you shall live again; I will make you rest in your own land. You shall know that I am the Lord. I have said it and I will do it” (Ez. 37:12-14).

At the same time, precisely because we do not experience joy in ourselves but it is a gift we receive, it is up to us to desire it, cherish it and nourish it. St Paul says:

“Rejoice in the Lord, always; I say again, rejoice. Let your cheerfulness be known to all men. The Lord is near! Be anxious for nothing but in every need, present your requests to God with prayers, supplications and thanksgiving; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

So, while we are nourished in Easter, we also look to Mary to learn from her the ‘attitude of joy’ and magnify the Lord because “Great things, the Almighty has done for me” (Lk 1:49). In Mary, we rediscover that the Lord has done great things in our lives; from Mary, we learn to cherish true joy; with Mary, we shun sadness and discouragement, keeping the events of life in our hearts, even the hardships, trusting and hoping. Through Mary and through her intercession, we finally bring our requests and supplications to Jesus, knowing that we will be comforted by Him and not be disappointed.

The invitation is then to pray unceasingly, that peace may return to the world and that the Lord may give consolation to those who suffer the pains of war.

“And therefore, O Mother of peoples, you who ‘know all their sufferings and their hopes’, you who maternally feel all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, you who care for the contemporary world, accept our cry that, as moved by the Holy Spirit, we place before your Heart and embrace, with the love of the Mother and Handmaid, this human world of ours which we entrust and consecrate to you, full of concern for the earthly and eternal situation of people. In a special way, we entrust and consecrate to you particularly those people and nations who are in need of your protection. Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God, do not despise the cry of us who are in trial!”

(Act of Entrustment John Paul II - Fatima 13 May 1982).

Renato Valera, President, ADMA Valdocco.

Alejandro Guevara, Spiritual Animator ADMA, Valdocco

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