by unknown MMM author Undated Ireland 04.06.2022
‘There’s no place like home’, or ‘home is where the heart is’ are expressions we regularly hear and use. Yet when Mary set out to visit Elizabeth she left her own home. The bewildering news she had herself received and the news about her cousin prompted her to go to Elizabeth. All that defined home for Mary could be left. Mary set out, the kernel of home within her; securely rooted, rooted securely. Within herself Mary had Jesus and so she had a place where she was at ease with herself, at home with herself. As she journeyed peace walked with her.
Before going out to another we have to be ‘at home’, ‘at peace’, ‘at ease’ with ourselves. In the life of Mother Mary Martin this inner security is evident. The indomitable spirit that allowed her persist and allowed her feel at home with the rightness of her idea enabled her to overcome many obstacles. The source of her security was twofold. The first was her great trust in God to whom she had dedicated her life. The second is best described by Mary Purcell in the recently published biography of Mother Mary Martin – “To Africa with Love”. She says that she inherited wonderful natural gifts from her family that were to stand her in good stead, when she embarked on the unique venture. The strong and enduring family love, the security and assurance she had from her own mother enabled Mother Mary to overcome many obstacles.
One problem was where to accommodate the group who shared her vision and were fired with her enthusiasm, before official recognition came. The Martin home in Monkstown, Dublin was offered as shelter. Mrs. Martin prepared the basement of her home as temporary living quarters; the kitchen of other days was transformed into a dining room, community room and work room, while the laundry over the formed stables was fitted up as a dormitory.
St. Paul as we know was a tent maker and like Mother Mary would have known physical homelessness at times. But like Mother Mary he knew another source of security. In one of his epistles he develops the idea and prays. “This then is what I pray, that being rooted and founded in love you will have the strength to grasp the length and the breath, the height and the depth of the love of Christ.” For the motto and inspiration of her missionary congregation Mother Mary Martin used the great disciple’s prayer. The motto of the Medical Missionaries of Mary is “rooted and Founded in Love”. Before going out to others we have to be at home with ourselves, at ease, at peace. The foundations of home are first in ourselves, in Christ then in family, neighbourhood, and country, bonded and secure, so that we can truly say ‘home is where the heart is.’