Saturday, 9 December 2017


December 9-10 :  2nd Sunday of Advent


The treasury of her family:

In the town of Watchem [in Victoria’s Western District – Mary was born in Birregurra]  at the age of six, she became entirely capable of a wide range of self-sufficient tasks – “making jam, soap, candles and simple meals.” Making something out of nothing became a miracle she worked in her later medical work.
At the same very early age, she also had a powerful insight that formed the rest of her life: “that if I should always do what was well pleasing in God’s sight” then all things would be clear and even sin would be impossible.
Mary was the third of seven children, and was deeply formed by the everyday prayer life of her family and  particularly of her beloved mother and father, Margaret and Edward Glowrey. Regular ‘trimmings’ on the Rosary  included a plea for more priests and doctors. In addition, it was understood through the example of her parents that all the baptised were ‘apostles’, years before this was articulated and confirmed by several 20th-century Popes and Vatican II.
Her mother Margaret was a gifted untrained catechist who ‘met’ children and others at their own pace. Mary called this ‘mother’s apostolate’ and it deeply impressed her. Mary’s mother taught her to wait patiently on God’s will – not as if God was some remote and dictatorial  tyrant but as a loving Father who called us to live in  relationship with Jesus Christ through the very real power of the Holy Spirit. Thus in her remote Australian town, Mary had a true taste of Trinitarian mission. Later her dedication to the Holy Spirit was to play a vital role in her work as a missionary doctor.
The call of the culture of life
In a very moving letter to her family from India, on her father’s death, Mary wrote that the guileless disciple of Jesus, Nathaniel, reminded her of her father Edward Glowrey: “Dada’s goodness was that of that unobtrusive, self-forgetting kind, which is so precious and so rare.”
It was Edward who gave Mary the strongest encouragement in the apostolate of medical studies, particularly supporting her against the common view that medicine was an unfeminine vocation. With Mary’s mother, he opened her mind to offering hospitality and social justice to a group of travelling Indians who would regularly stay on their property and were nursed back to health by the family. “My father’s kindness to this group of Indians was not an isolated instance. He was kind to everybody …  His solicitude extended to the spiritual as well as the temporal welfare of those he met,” writes Mary.
(concluded next week)

"Hear and let it penetrate into  your heart, my dear little son: let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let     nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection ? Am I not your fountain of life ? Are you not in the crossing of my arms ?"
   The Blessed Virgin  speaking to St Juan Diego,  on  Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City (December 1531)
[Dec 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe]