Solidarity on the Road to Holiness

With the condition of affairs in the cultural, political and physical world in a state of disarray we enter Lent – Ash Wednesday – February 25th – 2004 – more compelled then ever to pursue, diligently and faithfully, our personal road to holiness. It is a long, difficult path each of us treads, however, we do know the journey can be sweeter and more blessed if we travel it with others. Jesus has told us: “Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I am with you.” And there are many other biblical passages, as well, that urge us to love and help one another.

A ‘Thirty Day Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary ‘ was said by many Catholics during troubled times in their lives up until Vatican II. While looking through old stored away boxes, I came across a small white prayer book of the kind given to children making their First Communions. Inside the cover, in childlike writing, was the name Ellen Reddy. Ellen was my aunt who died when she was eight years old in 1915. The ivory corners of the little book were worn and I noticed in the center there were pages with frayed edges. I opened to those pages and it was the Thirty Day Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After her little daughter’s death, my grandmother must have repeated the prayer over and over feeling a strong bond of connection to Mary, at the foot of the cross, helplessly watching her child die.

For hundreds of years Catholics revered this prayer especially during Lent. I know there is still interest in it as we have had requests for it from the Internet. We have copied it exactly as it appeared in the old prayer book.

Please join with us this Holy Season of Lent, in solidarity with our sisters from the past and those still treading the earthly road, in our mutual pursuit of holiness. If the Internet is the only connection you may have to walk side by side with someone else on your journey then you are especially encouraged and welcomed.

(Introduction to the Prayer: By the devout recital of this prayer, for the above space of time, we may mercifully hope to obtain our lawful request. It is particularly recommended as a proper devotion for every day in Lent, and all the Fridays throughout the year.)