THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE MOVEMENT
The M.M.P. is a little seed planted by Our Lady in the garden of the Church. Very quickly it has become a great tree which has spread its branches into every part of the world.
It is a work of love which the Immaculate Heart of Mary is stirring up in the Church today, to help all her children to live, with trust and filial hope, the painful moments of the purification. In these times of grave danger, the Mother of God and of the Church is taking action, without hesitation or uncertainty, to assist first and foremost the priests, who are the sons of her maternal predilection.
Quite naturally, this work makes use of certain instruments; and in a particular way Don Stefano Gobbi was chosen.
Why? In one passage of the book, the following explanation is given: “I have chosen you because you are the least apt instrument; thus no one will say that this is your work. The Marian Movement of Priests must be my work alone. Through your weakness I will manifest my strength; through your nothingness I will manifest my power.” (July 16, 1973)
The M.M.P. is not therefore just a laudable association with a lot of statutes and directors, set in motion by some fervent priest or soul, but a “spirit,” as our Holy Father John Paul II happily and intuitively perceived. It is something impalpable, but very strong and very much alive, as are the
gifts of God, and it has as its main purpose the living out of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
For priests, to entrust themselves to Mary is to become more aware of their own consecration made to God on the day of their baptism and their priestly ordination. The M.M.P. becomes a reality not by numbers, or important names, or the efficiency of organization, but in the measure that one listens to Our Lady and cooperates with the work of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
One belongs to the spirit of the Movement who, whether inscribed or not, consecrates himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, seeking to live according to this consecration and carrying out his work in obedience to and for the good of the Church, and who helps the faithful in living their entrustment to Our Lady.
It is a Movement open to all priests, diocesan or religious, without distinction of age or office. There are priests inscribed in it who are happy in their work and filled with zeal, and there are some who are embittered because of negative experiences either in their personal lives or in the apostolate.
The heart of Our Lady is open to all her sons; her arms gather and bring together her priests without distinction or partiality.
The choice of predilection is not one made on the part of Our Lady – she addresses herself to everyone: “Whatever I communicate to you, my son, does not belong to you alone, but it is for all my priest-sons, whom I love with predilection.” (August 29, 1973) – but is a choice decidedly made by those who willingly accept her maternal invitation.
Whoever wishes to join the Movement and be kept informed of its activities may contact one of the regional centers or, if these do not yet exist, may send his request through this website.
This formal enrollment, however, would serve no purpose if an interior adherence is lacking, and even more the willingness to live, and to bring others to live, the consecration to Our Lady.
It is well to remember that, when Our Lady speaks to her beloved sons, she is speaking not only to those who are enrolled in the Marian Movement of Priests but to all those bishops and priests who have entrusted themselves to her and who strive to live as her consecrated ones.
This pledge of total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary gives priests a profound sense of trust and serenity.
To believe, in each and every concrete situation, that Our Lady is always near, anxious to help us as much and even more than any mother, gives a feeling of security even amid the personal sufferings and uncertainties of the days in which we live.
And so, we arrive at the very core of the evangelical message, that is, trust in the providence of God, which brings us to accept every circumstance of life with the filial confidence of little children who abandon themselves completely to his fatherly love. Thus, the past is left to the infinite mercy of the Heart of Jesus; the future is awaited as a gift from Providence, coming to us through the hands of the Mediatrix of all Graces; and the present is lived with joyous zeal, like children playing or working under the eyes of their mother.
The Characteristic COMMITMENTS
of its Spirituality
There are three commitments which characterize the spirituality of the Marian Movement of Priests:
1. consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
2. unity with the Pope and with the Church united to him
3. leading the faithful to a life of entrustment to Our Lady
The pages which illustrate the spirituality of the Movement are taken from Circulars 21, 23, and 24 of Fr. Stefano Gobbi.