Lean Into the Wind

Dear Sisters in Christ,

So, this is actually the second letter I penned for the March issue of The Well. I wrote the first draft of my letter to you all about an hour ago and then went on to other MCCW tasks while listening to music by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. If you were blessed enough to hear the sisters sing at Forum last year, you will recall how uplifting and beautiful their music is.

My first letter talked about discernment, how busy we have been these recent days preparing for discernment at the worldwide and regional levels, and prepping materials for chapels who will use discernment this spring to select new leaders. But then I was listening to the words of one of the sisters’ songs, “Lean Into the Wind,” and I felt called to share these words with you:

Why are you here? (You know my Lord I love you)

What do you fear? (In peace accept the fight)

Will you just stay there, or lean into the wind? (I will lean into the wind)

The song is a conversation with God. He is asking if we will trust His plan and answer His call. He is asking if we will lean into the wind, no matter how daunting it may seem, and reassures us that He will be there for us when we do. There are always a lot of reasons to hold back from diving into a new leadership role in ministry, but God assures us that if we answer when He calls, He will see us through the experience.

MCCW has developed several great tools to help you prayerfully discern what God is calling you towards. I hope that you will read on and visit our website to learn more about those resources. If you feel God’s tug on your heart this spring — to lead in your chapels, the MCCW regions, or the Worldwide board — I ask you all to prayerfully consider leaning into the wind. He’s got this.

Yours in Christ,


CWOC Resource: Our Lady of Good Counsel

History & Background

In the Alban Hills, not far from the city of Rome, lies the little town of Genazzano, where the miraculous image of Our Lady of Good Counsel is venerated. The story of the picture dates back to 1467. Pilgrims assembled on the feast of St. Mark were startled by a mysterious rustling sound and strains of sweet music. Looking toward the sky, they beheld what seemed a soft cloud. Slowly it descended and rested in front of the unfinished wall of the church dedicated to the Mother of God under the title of Good Counsel. The picture rests suspended in the air without any visible means of support to maintain its stable condition, and this for five centuries! Although painted on a piece of plaster no thicker than an ordinary greeting card, the image has withstood the ravages of time. The artist of the painting is unknown.

It is said that the figures themselves represent Mother and Child after they had returned from the temple where Mary heard the sad prophesies of Simeon. Mary’s eyes are half-veiled as though she were lost in contemplation, taking counsel with her God. The little Child does not return the gaze of the beholder, as happens in so many pictures, rather He draws our eyes upward to Mary as if to tell us to look for Counsel there, in the very Seat of Wisdom. If Our Blessed Mother is willing to ask her Son to work miracles to let us know of her motherly concern, Our Lady of Good Counsel is certainly willing to speak words of advice and instruction to help us over the hurdles of our daily lives.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us!

Time Required: Mass (if available) plus an additional 20 minutes.

Supplies Needed: Icon of Our Lady of Good Counsel

Set Up: display icon


  • Have a Mass (if available) with the intention of formally adopting Our Lady of Good Counsel as patroness for the CWOC group. If the liturgical calendar permits, the Mass and readings from the Collection of Masses for the Blessed Virgin Mother for Our Lady of Good Counsel can be used.
  • Read the history of the Our Lady of Good Counsel fresco and display her icon.
  • Pray the MCCW Our Lady of Good Counsel prayer together as a group:

Let us pray. Lord of heavenly wisdom, Who has given us your own Mother Mary to be our guide and Counselor in this our lives, Grant that in all things we may have the grace to seek maternal instruction and to profit by it in humility and love. O Mother of Good Counsel, Patroness of the Military Council of Catholic Women, help us to understand and fulfill the mind and will of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ.

Under the blessing of the Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, may we be responsible and intelligent daughters of the Church. May we labor in the spirit of renewal to realize more perfectly the Kingdom of God here below, as the only true preparation for our share in the Kingdom of Heaven.