Brother John’s photo essay of a February snow at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament gives the Pietà in the garden a remarkable quality and light. The humble acceptance of Our Lady now draped in fresh snow is accentuated. She seems ever more earnestly to be saying, Thy will be done. In our difficult times we must never loose this perspective.
The Dickens’ era poet and Catholic convert, Adelaide Anne Procter, captures this in “The Church in 1848”, a poem written to strip back the revolutionary tumult of her day into its true essence — a battle in the heavens, a battle within each soul.
Is not this the battle that faces us still today?
OH, mighty Mother, hearken! for thy foes
Gather around thee, and exulting cry
That thine old strength is gone and thou must die,
Pointing with fierce rejoicing to thy woes.
And is it so? The raging whirlwind blows
No stronger now than it has done of yore:
Rebellion, strife, and sin have been before;
The same companions whom thy Master chose.
We too rejoice: we know thy might is more
When to the world thy glory seemeth dim;
Nor can Hell’s gates prevail to conquer Thee,
Who hearest over all the voice of Him
Who chose thy first and greatest Prince should be
A fisher on the Lake of Galilee.