Contact Laura

Thank you for stopping by!



123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

wait for the lord.png


"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20


Filtering by Tag: Legion of Mary

Allocutio 3-23-16: Radical Jesus

Laura DeMaria

I have been thinking so much of the Jesus of contradictions. Not that what he says contradicts himself, but how his teachings contradict the material of our world. Poverty is wealth, humility is strength, serving is leading. I wrote an allocutio on the topic; I have many more thoughts on this and may expand on them in the future, but for the little time I will have tomorrow to speak on them, this is where my thoughts begin:

Ch. 32: Objections Which May be Made Here; Part 10: “I fear possible indiscretions on the part of the members.”

“The harvest at stake is souls.” These are serious words from our founder, Frank Duff. This particular passage from the handbook is heavy with imagery that drives home how strongly he felt that potential “indiscretions” are indeed a flimsy cause for staying away from the Legion or not opening a praesidium. He asks: why throw out an entire harvest at the prospect of a few bad ears of corn?

To me, the most striking image is that of Jesus desiring his house to be filled with the blind and lame. “The harvest at stake is souls: souls, poor and feeble and blind and lame: in such need, in such numbers that there is a danger that one may accept the situation as irremediable. Yet it is for such that the Lord bids search to be made in the streets and lanes and highways and hedges, so that his house may be filled with them.” This references Luke 14:21-23, the parable wherein the wealthy man, finding no one “respectable” wants to come to his banquet, orders his servant to bring in undesirable people from near and far to partake, instead:

“Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.’” The owner of the house is of course representative of Jesus, who welcomes all, especially the poor, lame, or otherwise unwanted, to his house, with a special place of honor. It is not even enough that the poor come from nearby, but he asks the servant to leave, get out of his comfort zone, and really seek out those who are lost and by themselves at the outer edges of their world.

Can you imagine anyone you know – particularly yourself – doing this? Can you imagine anyone in real life (except for maybe Pope Francis) inviting the sick and feeble into their home for dinner, to take the place of honor?

During this Lent, we have been reading Matthew Kelly’s book, “Rediscover Jesus” and have been trying to understand how radical Jesus was. There is no one and no thing quite like him. He takes everything we know to be normal or acceptable and turns it on its head. A great place to see this is in the beatitudes, particularly in those lines that draw a contrast between what we expect and what Jesus tells us, like that the meek shall inherit the earth. Not the wealthy, not the brave, not the loud or successful, but the meek. Just this past Sunday in the gospel we hear Jesus tells us, “Let the greatest among you be the youngest, and the leader as the servant.” It’s popular now in corporate leadership trainings to hear of the concept of the “servant-leader,” but before Jesus, no such thing existed. He is the ultimate servant-leader.

I bring all this up because I think if we really want to understand Jesus’s teachings and be close to him, this concept of opposites and the unexpected must be internalized. We have to ask ourselves – what is true wealth? What is true wisdom, true leadership, true success, to us? What, really, in life, is guaranteed, if what we think is necessary and valuable really is, in fact, meaningless? How often are we taking our comfort and safety for granted, and when they are gone, what do we do – how do we really respond? So underneath all of these questions is one big one, which is: how much do you really trust Jesus with your life? Can you truly say, “Jesus, I trust in you,” and place your life in his hands, no matter what you experience?

There are awful things happening in the world. This week we saw yet another terrorist attack in Europe. Even without that type of global uncertainty, no element of our day-to-day lives is guaranteed. We have just the amount of time God has given us, and no one knows how much that time is. Everything eventually passes away. As Lent draws to a close, now is the perfect time to take an internal check of where you are in your relationship with Jesus. Have you given everything to him? Have you accepted that walking with Jesus means embracing the unknown and relying fully on him when the unexpected occurs? Following Jesus means living in a manner radically different from that which the modern world tells us is right. This is fine! This is all good, because true wealth is not measured by the number of rich and famous people you invite to your table, but by the number of poor and outcast you call your friends. How blessed we are in the Legion to, week after week, meet these true friends of Jesus and take them into our hearts. It is as Frank Duff said – there are souls at stake. But it is not just the souls of those we meet, but our own souls, too.


Allocutio 3-9-16

Laura DeMaria

Today is the solemnity of St. Joseph! Model father, husband and worker, and integral part of the holy family. I have been praying a novena to him for particular intentions and always feel peace talking to him. I pray I will have the courage to do the right thing in tough situations, as he did.

I wanted to post an allocutio I gave last week, because I got a chance to talk about St. Therese, who I have been thinking a lot about after reading her autobiography, Story of a Soul. Her ability to find holiness in ordinary, and even unpleasant, things, amazes me. As another of my favorite saints said, "The cross is the gift God gives to his friends" (St. Philip Neri). It's a radical way to look at all of life's unpleasantness, from stubbing your toe to losing a loved one, and something I have been thinking about.

Below is the allocutio:

·         Ch. 32: Objections Which May be Made Here

Part 8: “This is a small place. There is no room for the Legion here.”

Although the chapter of tonight’s reading deals with whether there is room for the Legion in a particular geographical area, Frank Duff actually uses it to focus on the flight of young people to more urban areas, where their spiritual needs will not be met. I like his image of a spiritual desert, made to blossom by the presence of a small band of apostles doing their work. It is hard to take the argument that “there is no room” seriously, as all our works are conducted in pairs, and hardly anywhere is too small in a physical or metaphysical sense to accept the company of two individuals. In fact, the essence of the Legion is in its littleness; its little acts of Christian goodwill shown in the distribution of a miraculous medal, quietly praying outside a nursing home resident’s room, bringing a Bible to a prisoner and so on. There is nothing large and flashy about the Legion, and we know it is in the seeds we plant that fruit is borne. Seeds are small.

Speaking of small, I just read for the first time St. Therese’s autobiography, Story of a Soul. If anyone is an advocate for how “smallness” is a blessing, it is St. Therese. Called “the greatest Saint of modern times,” she is known for her simplicity and love for Jesus. Her “little way,” as she called it, was a method of living by which every little task or meeting of her life became an opportunity to see and love God. The undertone to all her actions was love. She understood her own smallness as compared to God and the universe, but rather than feeling hopeless in this, embraced it as a blessing by which she could come closer to God. As she put it, “It is your arms, Jesus, which are the elevator to carry me to Heaven.” She teaches us that our supposed smallness – lack of talent, lack of expertise, tendency toward sin – is the vehicle which can actually bring us closer to God, and this is a wonderful thing.

Let us embrace our own smallness as humans and as Legionaries, which will aid us in our work and bring us closer to Jesus, who does not hate our weakness, but loves us all the more for it. And remember that in the Legion, it is not the size of the work you do that matters, but the spirit with which you perform it.

Allocutio 11-2-15: On the Acies Ceremony

Laura DeMaria

Tomorrow night's spiritual reading will cover the Acies ceremony, an annual event all Legionaries attend to consecrate (or re-consecrate) themselves to Mary. This year was my first Acies and the allocutio is on how moving the ceremony was for me personally.


Ch. 30, Part 1: Acies

Earlier this year, in March, we all gathered at St. Agnes for the Acies, and a few memories stand out to me from that ceremony.

In particular was a conversation I had afterward with an active Legionary from another parish. He was an older man, past his 50s and most likely retired. He was wearing a sort of sporty wind breaker, some gold chains and looked a lot like my uncles and male cousins from the northeast. As we stood in line after the ceremony to enter the parish hall for refreshments, we got to talking about the ceremony and he confessed, “I couldn’t help it, I cried like a baby during the ceremony. I guess I’m just a sentimental old Italian.”

It was funny, not just because he wasn’t someone I expected would cry, but because I had the same experience, and I don’t think it had to do with being Italian and sentimental (though I, too, am both those things). It had more to do with a very real feeling during the Acies of being watched over by Mary. Of being led by the hand to the Legion, a realization of how my life had changed since joining and how my soul has softened and therefore my perspective has softened. It felt like that although sometimes God feels distant, He was suddenly very present – He and Mary were there, watching over me, very aware of my life and what they wanted for me. That is what made me cry.

And then to come to the part of the ceremony where we say, “I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours” - I meant it. What I have is not my own. Whatever I own or have, as good as my life is, I owe all to the Blessed Mother and her Son. That knowledge made me cry, too.

Frank Duff stresses the Acies ceremony as a time for unification and reunion, wherein all of Mary’s “soldiers” are brought together, not operating out in the world via individual praesidia. It is a time for consecration, renewal and remembering the promise we take as Legionaries to serve our Lord and His Mother. This is particularly poignant when we are reunited with Legionaries from all over who share in this special devotion and calling, whose faith can help renew our own. That feeling of community is one of the most special parts of being in the Legion of Mary and the feeling is strengthened by the spirit of Mary, very present in a real way at the Acies.

The next Acies is now only about three months away. In the next three months we can continue to focus on this idea of a consecration to Mary, and look forward to the opportunity to loudly declare ourselves all Hers alongside our fellow Legionaries.