St Mary of the Cross
By now we have had nearly two weeks of Olympic drama and we have seen varying responses to success and misfortune. We know both happen in our lives and we are all on learning curves in relation to both. This week we celebrate the Feastday of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and certainly this woman can be a model to us regarding success and failure. One of the things I love best about this saint is the way she related to her family. It was dysfunctional yet she lived, loved and flourished within that family. She knew love from both her parents but she also knew the pain and confusion of parents who separated. She loved her father dearly and recognised the good he had given her even though, in his impracticality, he failed to provide for the family and she, at the age of 14, had to go to work to support them. She learnt early to be realistic and loving – she had a hard head and a soft heart.
If we look at situations too narrowly – “I must win the gold medal to be a success”; “my family should always get along,” we will be overwhelmed by failure. We need to widen our understanding so that we can learn from all that happens. An Olympian learns so much from his or her training. We learn how to truly love in the midst of family tensions. Indeed, we learn how to be a success as a person by how we handle failure.
Loving Jesus, your life here on earth looked like a failure – tortured to death, deserted by friends and followers – but God made it the way of salvation. Inspire our hearts when we feel overwhelmed by our weakness and failure and let us trust that you will work all for good. We ask this in your name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb