Saturday, September 6, 2008

Our Lady of Consolation

As our community of AIHM celebrates its fifteen years of growing and serving, we have decided as an Order, to give thanks to God by making a special effort to teach and perpetuate Augustinian devotions this year. We have a special love for Our Lady of Consolation, whose feast was Friday, September 4.

Legend (not history) holds that Mary gave a shining leather cincture from her own tunic to Monica as a sign of her consolation with Monica's struggle to teach Augustine the Catholic faith and love of God. Upon his conversion, Monica gave it to Augustine who then gave it to his community. The above painting shows Mary giving the cincture to Monica and Augustine. Beyond the pseudo history of this, the image is important. As Augustinians we are called to share the consolation God has given us in Mary's arms with those we meet. It is a part of our call and spirit.

The Gospel for this feast reminds us of Mary at the Cross. She suffered with her son and knows the pain of loss. She also knows more than any the love and joy of God's promise. She shares this with us all, especially as Augustinians. When Augustinians gird themselves with her cincture they should remember this.