This is the question with which Janis Clarke, consecrated virgin, evangelist and our good friend began our most recent YOUTH&AGED for life meeting at our home in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 14. In attendance were a good group of our Residents, members of our Hospitality Club (young Catholic women in high school and junior high), a beautiful family with six young children, a group of Leotine Fellows from the Catholic Information Center and Catherine Szeltner from EWTN, who is launching a weekly pro-life show on EWTN later this month.
The following is the text of Janis’ catechesis to our group:
St. Seraphim of Sarov tells us that the aim of the Christian life is to acquire the Holy Spirit. The role of the Blessed Mother is to help us do that. The greatest joy in life is to abide in the Holy Spirit. Mary does that perfectly. What does it look like to abide in the Holy Spirit? It looks like Mary. And what is it to abide in the Holy Spirit? It is to abide in love — that everything we think and do and say is inspired by supernatural love. This kind of love produces miracles; it makes a way where there is no way, and it raises us ultimately to heaven.
Saint Jeanne Jugan also abided in the Holy Spirit, was imbued with the Holy Spirit. And what did that look like? This was a woman who found the elderly homeless poor in the street and gave them her bed; she slept on the floor. This is what abiding in the Holy Spirit looks like. This is the kind of supernatural love we are all called to.
There is no reason why anyone in this room cannot become a great saint. Each one of us is called to this and we have everything we need to become great saints: We have the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the sacraments, and we have each other.
Brothers and sisters, I had an insight this week — I was thinking about Quebec, the Canadian province where I was born which was once the most Catholic place in North America. I was thinking about how so many of the convents, monasteries and churches are closing, with many being converted into condominiums. The divorce rate is rising, the abortion rate is rising, the suicide rate is rising and the sadness and fear is rising. I had a vision that all the homes for the elderly in Quebec, in all of Canada and the United States became houses of prayer. Can you imagine if every home for the elderly became a house of prayer, beginning with this house, here in Washington DC.?
It would change the world, beginning with families, women in crisis pregnancies, children who are suffering, the poor, the lost. It would impact everybody. And I began to realize that the elderly are the most untapped resource of the Catholic Church and the whole world. How important you are to the world, the Church, to families! The Lord is calling you to become great saints and the prayers of the saints produce miracles, stop wars and transform families.
Let’s begin by praying to the Holy Spirit… The founder of the Legion of Mary refers to the rosary as the prime devotion to the Holy Spirit. Our Lady and the Holy Spirit are one. And they want us to be like that with them. So let’s start this year, marked by the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Charismatic Renewal, with a total surrender to the Holy Spirit, through Mary. The convergence of these two events is no coincidence. Something powerful is going to happen this year, and in this house, that will radiate forth in this city of Washington and across the country.
Saints praying the rosary, the prime devotion to the Holy Spirit, can change the world. “Lord Jesus, invade me with your Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, I give you permission. Heavenly Father, thy Kindgom Come!” Begin the Rosary.