February message from National President, Margaret Ann Jacobs
Looking forward to the month ahead, many thoughts envelop my mind. I think of meetings, conventions, planning strategically, membership and council issues. I think of commitments made and of the members working so tirelessly who deserve to be affirmed and rewarded for their steadfast loyalty. The resolutions of the New Year fade and what strongly resounds in my mind is the adjective “resolute – determined, firm of purpose, steadfast”. I hope that as you anticipate your activities this month that you will (continue to) be “resolute” in your convictions.
Think about the women in your parish who haven’t experienced your love of the League. Reach out to fellow parishioners and be “resolute” as you share an upcoming League event and an invitation if they are hesitant.
As you encounter challenges that your council may be facing, be “resolute” in your desire to share your concern, your assistance, your affirmation. Be determined to show the face of Jesus to everyone you encounter.
Today more than ever we need to recognize the continued service that the Church and its members offer to the sick and to those who care for them. I affirm the efforts made by members across the country as we continue this sacred ministry, witnessing love for the human person – in a most “resolute” manner. Remember the World Day of the Sick on February 11th, the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Holy Father’s Message entitled Mater Ecclesiae: “Behold, your son… Behold, your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27) can be viewed on the website.
Particularly of note this month is the focus on family with Family Day being celebrated. Do take the time to share your council’s family time adventures with On the Spot. Children and grandchildren would love to see the council’s special event posted.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) post monthly suggestions for homilies and prayers of the faithful focusing on life and family. They indicate that these suggestions can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or use with other groups. Please do check out the Life and Family webpage under the section, “Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB”.
“I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfill their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way.” (57, Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love.)
Be “resolute” in your desire to put family first.
Lent begins early this year as we celebrate Shrove Tuesday on February 13th and begin the Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday February 14th! I encourage you to check out the resources available for your Lenten journey. Google Lenten resources, Novalis Lent resources or Lent tools for parish leaders. There are excellent resources to enrich your faith. Perhaps your council can offer these resources to other parishioners, while families may welcome the resources especially the activity calendars for adults, teens and children.
Practicing LOVE – Family Devotions for Lent (Leah and Robyn Perrault) is a particularly compelling resource. The authors invite us to “practice love for Lent”. Each day begins with a short scripture passage followed by a reflection (based on the readings of the day) and an activity to practice love. Each day we pray, “Jesus, I give you my heart with my acts of love today.”
So as February dawns, take the time to refocus, plan your month in light of a renewed desire to be “resolute” in our dealings with family, friends, fellow parishioners and most of all in our relationship with Jesus.
I close with this powerful message from Pope Francis. “It is a profound spiritual experience to contemplate our loved ones with the eyes of God and to see Christ in them. This demands a freedom and openness which enable us to appreciate their dignity. We can be fully present to others only by giving fully of ourselves and forgetting all else…” (323, Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love)