Dicitur mater eius ministris: Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite. (From the Gospel for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, John ii, 5: "His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.")
...it seems to Us that the Blessed Virgin, who throughout the whole course of her life - both in joys, which affected her deeply, as in distress and atrocious suffering, through which she is Queen of Martyrs - never departed from the precepts and example of her own Divine Son, it seems to us, We say, that she repeats to each of us those words, with which she addressed the servers at the wedding feast of Cana, pointing, as it were, to Jesus Christ: "Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye" (John ii, 5).
This same exhortation, understood, of course, in a wider sense, she seems to repeat to us all today, when it is evident that the root of all evils by which men are harshly and violently afflicted and peoples and nations straitened, has its origin in this especially, that many people have forsaken Him "the fountain of living water and have dug for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremias ii, 13). They have forsaken Him Who is the "Way, the truth and the life" (John xiv, 6).
If, therefore, there has been a wandering, there must be a return to the straight path. If the darkness of error has clouded minds, it must be dispersed immediately by the light of truth. If death, death in the true sense, has seized upon souls, eagerly and energetically must life be taken hold of. We mean that heavenly life which knows no ending, since it comes forth from Jesus Christ; which, if we faithfully and confidently pursue in this mortal exile, we shall surely enjoy for ever with Him in the happiness of the eternal home. This is what she teaches us; to this the Blessed Virgin Mary exhorts us, our Most Sweet Mother who, with true charity, loves us more than any earthly mother.
Today, ... men are greatly in need of these exhortations and invitations by which they are admonished to return to Christ and diligently and effectively to conform their lives to the Commandments, since many are trying to root out the Christian Faith from their souls, either by cunning and secret snares, or else by open and arrogant preaching of those errors of which they wantonly boast, as if they were to be considered the glory of this progressive and enlightened age!
Yet, once Holy Religion is rejected, once the Divine Majesty, establishing what is good and evil, is ignored, it is plain that laws and public authority have little or no value. Then again, once hope and expectation of eternal reward are lost through these fallacious doctrines, men will greedily and without restraint seek the things of earth, vehemently covet their neighbor's goods, and even take them by force as often as occasion or opportunity is given. Hence hatred, envy, discord and rivalries arise among men; hence public and private life is perturbed; hence the very foundations of society which can scarcely be held together and maintained by the authority of government are gradually undermined; hence, deformation of morals by evil theatrical performances, books, periodicals and actual crime.