Pastoral Letter By: H.L. Bishop Edward Rapallo ...cont'd.

As we all know, following Christ must be more than a passing emotional acceptance of him as Our Lord and Saviour, more than an occasional and superficial response to our baptismal commitments. Rather it should be a deeply loyal adherence to our Lord, one that will enable us to survive inner weakness and waverings and perplexities as well as exterior setbacks in health or relationships. In our struggle to overcome these and other obstacles to our resolve we should look to our Patroness who from her initial acceptance of her mission as Mother of our Saviour - “Be it done to me according to your will” – she remained faithful to the end, at the foot of the cross.

 

As our forefathers did, I would like you to look upon the Shrine as the spiritual refuge where we will find the protection and the comfort we may need in our moments of sorrow and anxieties, and where we may thank Our Lady for her support and intercession.

 

As I said before, our Shrine is modest and small, and not everyone who would wish to will be able to assist at its consecration. Nevertheless, I invite you all to be with us at the Shrine next Sunday at 5p.m. At the end of the Rite of Consecration, on behalf of those who are able to assist and of those who will be with us in spirit, I will recite a prayer formally and solemnly consecrating Gibraltar to our Lady of Europe. For, ultimately, this will be the meaning and significance of the Shrine’s consecration.

 

Copies of this prayer will be made available, and it is my earnest hope that you will frequently use it to renew your consecration to the Mother of God, our Lady of Europe, our Patroness.

 

May our consecrated Shrine become the power-house where with Mary’s leadership and support and with the grace of the sacraments we shall draw the strength we need to retain or regain that marvellous blend of faith and action, prayerful meditation and charitable deeds, those qualities of trust, of personal attachment to Christ, persevering obedience to His Word and witnessing to his teaching that so characterised her life.

 

I pray that these may be the fruits in our lives of next Sunday’s consecration.

 

With my Blessing,

 

Yours devoutedly in Christ and His Blessed Mother

 

† Edward

Bishop of Gibraltar