The weary fingers of St Mary MacKillop typed these four powerful words in 1906; "God loves us all" (full letter below). It seems to me that after her stroke in 1902, much of her writing was directed towards creating unity and connection as her sense of gratitude also increased with her age.
With much political, financial and religious separation in the world today, Mary's life reminds me that peace is possible, we can create unity with our faith and our actions. Throughout her life she was friends with people from various faith traditions, differing financial positions, she loved dogs and i'm sure she would have loved other creatures too. Like Jesus, our Mary reminds me to be merciful, inclusive, to live hesed and to be grateful for all that God gifts me (full disclosure - this is always a work in progress!).
Rev. Stephen Bevans, SVD reminded me with a recent reflection that scripture sings loudly of Gods inclusive and unconditional love; "Not death, not life, no angel, no power, nothing that exists, no creature can separate us from the love of God — the God who is abundantly generous, even extravagant, toward every living thing, even toward everything else that exists".
As a second image I have partnered with Mary MacKillop today to produce a cartoon based on Mary's four words. This is being used as a fundraising activity for a children’s colouring in competition. All funds will go to the Mobile Kindy in Fiji. Watch a video about this program here, plus more information on the Mary MacKillop Today website.
Feel free to use the images for your school or parish, just get it touch if you want to reproduce any images in bulk.
I would also greatly appreciate seeing any photos of how you might use the artwork, this is an evolving ministry and it would be really helpful with discernment to know where the needs are and how the spirit is moving. It’s always incredible seeing where the artwork goes, I would love to hear from you.
What would the world be like if we truly lived with the knowledge that God loves us all?
How would it change us? Or would we be the same? How can I love all?
I hope that these new images may connect us with our God of today, an infinitely loving God that holds us all. A timeless God that never stops and never excludes; as our Sister Pat Malone reminded me recently, “my God has no clock”.
Much love and happy feast day.
PS. You are also invited to connect virtually to celebrate the feast day Mass on Saturday the 8th August.
Live Stream / Video options
1. Mary MacKillop Chapel North Sydney @ 10am AEST (followed by a quiet time at the tomb)
2. Saint Joseph’s Chapel, Kensington, SA @ 11.00 am AEST
3. Brisbane Archdiocese, QLD @ 11.30am AEST
4. Diocese of Wollongong (Liturgy of the Word) @ 9.30am AEST
Other Resources for the Feast Day
5. Nine Days with Mary MacKillop Novena (sosj.org.au)
6. St Mary MacKillop Novena, Prayers and Resources for Children (Mary MacKillop Place )
7. Prayer Rite (Pray.com.au)
8. Colouring in + School resources via this website and Mary MacKillop Today (as above).
Download the Medium Resolution images below.
Just get in touch if you are looking to use higher / larger resolution images.
Mother Mary to the Sisters
St Joseph's Convent, Mount Street, North Sydney
2 September 1906
My dear Sisters,
I was too ill to write to you for the 15th, and much disappointed at the same. Now I shall only attempt a short letter for the 8th.
First of all, I must wish you all the graces of the coming Retreat, which our dear Lord will surely give if you have the proper dispositions. We have all much to thank God for, and I hope He will not have to reproach us with in gratitude. That it may not be so in your case, I ask you often to contrast the past with its many disadvantages and discomforts with the present improved state of convents and schools and see if your hearts are as grateful as they should be. I fear that too often they are not. Let it not be so in future.
Be kind towards each other, bear with each other, bear with the faulty as you hope God will bear with you. God loves us all, but He loves those best who help the weak to become more perfect. Won't you each, as opportunity offers, try to do this for God's sake and for mine? I am very weary, having done this much myself on the typewriter, so please bear with me.
In conclusion, as the work grows, so do our responsibilities increase. Be obedient to your Superiors, help them in their difficulties many of which are great, and God will reward you as only He can.
Pray for me and believe me as ever
Your fond Mother in J.M.J.
Mary of the Cross