The following is the prepared text of the homily Bishop Malooly gave at the Oct. 22 Mass at Holy Spirit Church in New Castle during the biennial Marian pilgrimage. As reported in this week’s issue of The Dialog, the bishop spoke to diocesan pilgrims of three things for which we should pray to Mary.
Our pilgrimage director, Msgr. Joseph F. Rebman, shared some of the following reflections with me.
Because of her close personal connection with her Son, the “Prince of Peace” our Lady has been increasingly venerated as “Queen of Peace.” In the calendars of particular churches and some religious institutes there is a memorial of her as “Queen of Peace.” It is worth recalling that Benedict XV in 1917, while a terrible World War I was raging, ordered that the invocation “Queen of Peace” should be added to the Litany of Loreto.
This Mass commemorates the cooperation of our Lady in the reconciliation of “peace” between God and the human family brought about by Christ. In the Gospel from Luke we hear of the Mystery of the Incarnation: the lowly handmaid of the Lord receives God’s word from the angel Gabriel and conceives in her womb the Prince of Peace. Her fiat, or her yes, makes all the difference for all of us because her son Jesus reconciled in himself earth with heaven.”
As we hear in Isaiah the people have seen a great light, there is abundant joy and great rejoicing, a child is born to us, a son is given to us, He would be Wonder Counselor, God-Hero, Father forever, Prince of Peace.
Mary’s yes would allow the fulfillment of that promise.
She was present also in the Mystery of the Passion: as the faithful mother standing beside the Cross of her Son as he shed his blood for our salvation. And in preparation for Pentecost, Our Lady, the daughter of peace, joins in prayer with the apostles as she awaits the Spirit of unity and peace, of love and joy.
As we celebrate the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, there are three things for which we should pray.
First we ask for a Spirit of Love that we may live in peace as one family united in love for one another. This is so important in this month of October when we pray for love and respect for all life from conception to natural death.
Love and prayer are our best attack on abortion and euthanasia and a lack of respect for life. In 1998 our Holy Father, Blessed Pope John Paul II, in speaking with the Bishops of California on their ad limina visit, suggested that “a society with a diminished sense of the value of human life has already opened the door to a culture of death.”
He spoke of unwanted children, euthanasia and that all and every person from conception to natural death had to be valued. He continued, “America must become again an hospitable society in which every unborn child and every handicapped or terminally ill person is cherished and enjoys the protection of the law. Let us today pray for a spirit of love.
Our second prayer is for Unity and Peace. We ask that we may live in peace as one family and that we may build up in our world the peace that Christ left with us.
And finally let us pray for Tranquility in our Time. Msgr. Rebman in his comments to me said, “In these days of political, economic and social unrest in many parts of the world and the resulting unsettled hearts and minds of people everywhere, together with the many natural disasters the world has been experiencing in recent months, prayers to Almighty God through the intentions of our Lady Queen of Peace are certainly appropriate and will be beneficial to us.