Friday, April 04, 2008

Joanna Bogle on Our Lady of Ransom

Joanna Bogle writes at InsideCatholic:
... We need to invoke her aid in giving back to Christians, especially in Europe, a sense of the truth that is at the core of Christianity -- God who became man, who took human flesh and became one of us, dying for us on the Cross -- and a recognition that we need to live this faith fully and be prepared to pass it on. And whether this is fashionable or not, we ought to understand that Christ died for everyone, including people born into Islam, and that Our Lady of Ransom might have something to say to us about that, too.

Millions of Muslims now live in Britain, and entire sections of our towns and cities are now culturally Islamic. Churches are closing and mosques are taking their places. Visit Bradford, or Preston, or Leeds, and see the minarets and walk among the veiled women in the shopping centers. Are we to assume that they are never to know the truth about Christ and what He won for them on the Cross? Evangelism is difficult, but prayer is not, and Our Lady of Ransom may achieve what seems impossible. We should invoke her aid, in our homes and in our parishes.

Perhaps we should not assume that all will be antagonistic. Mary is honored in Islam, and is a point of contact. Islamic women, raising families in modern Britain, have their own worries about the pressures on their young, and about their own hopes and fears for the future. A string of rosary beads, an image of Mary, a hymn invoking her aid in prayer, may not be as offensive as we think.

Perhaps it is time, gently but with courage, to pray with renewed fervor the prayer I remember in the rather different England of my youth: Our Lady of Ransom, pray for us.

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