The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead
Spiritual Fruit: Faith
It is difficult to conceive of an event that could more effectively shatter one’s faith than the unjust and brutal murder of the Messiah, the very Son of God. What better demonstration could there be that death is inescapable and the cruelty of man reigns supreme?
But the Resurrection changed everything. By rising from the dead, Jesus conquered death through death itself, transforming it from the universal enemy of humanity into a passage through which we may follow Him to obtain eternal life. Through even our smallest thoughts and actions, we can die with Jesus so that we might likewise rise with Him.
And if, through Jesus, we can conquer even that most ancient foe of humanity, we certainly ought to have faith that God will support us when we are faced with far smaller obstacles. As Jesus himself said, “With God, all things are possible.”
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to imitate the faith of Mary which, as our Legion handbook explains, “has in her alone been found in its utmost extent and never equalled.” In this spirit, the Legion, in accordance with the Imitation of Christ, “complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all things.’’
The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
Spiritual Fruit: Christian Hope
Even in our ordinary human experience, there is a deep connection between hope and those moments when we are called to bid a loved one farewell. We hope that they will have a safe trip, we hope that they will be successful in their endeavors, and we hope that we will see them again.
The Christian hope evoked by Jesus’ ascension from Mt. Olivet, while in many ways similar, is a rather different thing. We do not need to hope on Jesus’ behalf, because His disappearance into a cloud – the standard symbol of God’s glory – makes it clear that He is already sitting at the right hand of the Father. Rather, we hope for ourselves, knowing that we have such a well-disposed King who has not left us orphans.
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek always to act according to this uniquely Christian hope. We recognize that the benevolent will of God will be done even when things seem most hopeless, as “The world belongs to him who loves it most.”
The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on Mary and the Apostles
Spiritual Fruit: Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The presence of the Blessed Mother at the moment when the Holy Spirit first descends upon the Church points towards a connection between the Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit which is not always appreciated.
In the Legion handbook, it is explained that, “Mary has been so taken up into the Holy Spirit, made one with him, animated by him, that he is as her very soul. She is no mere instrument or channel of his activity; she is an intelligent, conscious co-operator with him to such degree that when she acts, it is also he who acts; and that if her intervention be not accepted, neither is his.”
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to recognize the ways in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – bore fruit in the life of the Blessed Mother and imitate her openness to the Spirit Who bestowed on her those gifts. Like Mary, we seek to devote ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work through us, even when we may not understand what He is doing.
The Assumption of Mary
Spiritual Fruit: Desire for Heaven
The Assumption of Mary is one of the most misunderstood dogmas of the Catholic faith. And yet, when properly understood, its implications are vital for the promotion of a well-informed desire for Heaven.
Mary’s Assumption is, above all, a foretaste of the general resurrection – a foretaste of what we are ultimately intended to be. By existing, body and soul, in Heaven, the Blessed Mother bears witness to the value of the body. The reward for Mary’s sinless life was not freedom from the body but freedom from bodily corruption.
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to evoke a desire for Heaven in all those we meet. We provide evangelization for those who have not yet received the Faith and offer spiritual support to those who wish to deepen their relationship with God. In doing so, we strive never to forget that the desire for Heaven is a desire that concerns the whole human person, body and soul, not a desire to be as angels.
Mary is Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth
Spiritual Fruit: Grace of Final Perseverance
Which Mystery could be more fitting for the Legion of Mary than the Crowning of Mary? After all, “In the Legion, Mary is Queen. She it is who summons her legionary hosts to their glorious warfare and commands them in the field, inspires them, and personally leads them on to victory.”
The victory which the Legion seeks, of course, is the victory of Final Perseverance – that, as we pray in our Tessera, “the battle of life over – our Legion may reassemble, without the loss of any one, in the kingdom of [God’s] love and glory.”
As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to call down the grace of Final Perseverance on all those we meet. Each of our actions – from the consolation of those who suffer to the conservation of the Faith in the faithful to the conversion of those whose faith is insufficient – are ultimately done in the hope that, at the moment of death, those whose lives we touch will persevere in their faith and receive eternal life.