Marian Helper Spring 2023

Father Joseph Writes Saint Paul was one of the first Christians to use sports metaphors to speak of our lives as Christians here on earth: Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified (I Cor 9:24-27). We’re playing for the trophy, for the “wreath” or halo, that shows that we’ve won. In the great game of life, victory means salvation. And while every Christian is playing for keeps against the other side, by reason of our charisms, we Marian Fathers and all our Marian Family are playing against the championship teams of the other side — the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Marian Family is serving Mary Immaculate, after all; we’re devoted to Christ and His Church; we’re promoting the Divine Mercy message and devotion, given by our Lord to St. Faustina to prepare the world for His final coming (see Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 429). We’re praying for the dying and the dead, snatching souls out of the very grasp of hell. All of this? This is the big time. All of this has huge ramifications for millions of souls and the future of civilizations. And you, through your prayers, your good works, and your support play a critical role in our success. Many souls depend on you! As we enter the final year of the jubilee celebration of the Marian Fathers, we all turn our attention to the theme “On the Charismatic Mission,” the path set before us by the charisms on which we are founded. In order to do that, in this issue of Marian Helper we offer you a refresher of the main “players” in the Marian story, great models of faith, works of mercy, and devotion to the central charisms of the Marian Fathers. Of course, not all these models, these great players in the game of life, are Marians, but they all support the “team” and its mission. They’re all part of our extended Marian Family, for we are first and foremost members of the Church, which is the household of God (see 1 Tim 3:15). We are all sons in the Son of God, all brothers and sisters through Adam and our Baptism. Let “Team Marian” inspire you this Lent to examine your life. How are you doing at living the Marian charisms yourself — serving Christ and His Church where the need is greatest, especially by practicing and promoting the Divine Mercy message and devotion; loving and sharing Mary Immaculate with those around you; interceding for the Holy Souls in Purgatory? What can you do better? Lent is a great time to make some good changes. That way, you’ll be better prepared than ever to out-hustle the competition and win the great game of life! Do you play for “Team Marian”? Are you an active, interceding, mercyworking Marian Helper? We Marian Fathers and Marian Helpers are playing in the Big Leagues, after all. There’s no better way to put it — especially now, with Major League Baseball’s spring training just around the corner. JOIN OUR ‘TEAM’! “Father Joseph, MIC,” is the honorary title of the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. The current director is the Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC, interim Provincial Superior of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province in the United States and Argentina. Marian Helper • Spring 2023 • 3