Devotion to Mary

THE VIRGIN MARY: A SURE MEANS OF PERSEVERANCE IN THE LOVE OF JESUS


 “But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)

“The beauty of Jesus is inexhaustible. Like the Vision of God in Heaven, it is ever diversified, yet always the same, always cherished as an old and familiar joy, yet ever surprising and refreshing the spirit as being, in truth, perpetually new. He is beautiful always, beautiful everywhere, in the disfigurement of the Passion as well as in the splendor of the Resurrection, amid the horrors of the Scourging, as well amid the indescribable attractions of Bethlehem. But above all things our Blessed Lord is beautiful in His Mother.

If we love Him we must love her. We must know her in order to know Him. As there is no true devotion to His Sacred Humanity, which is not mindful of His Divinity, so there is no adequate love of the Son, which dis-joins Him from His Mother….

Now it is our daily task to love Jesus more and more…and unerring experience has told us that we never advance more rapidly in the love of the Son than when we travel by the Mother, and that what we have built most solidly in Jesus has been built with Mary. There is no time lost in seeking Him, if we go at once to Mary; for He is always there, always at home. The darkness in His mysteries become light when we hold it to her light, which is His light as well. She is the short road to Him. She has the “grand entry” to Him. She is His Esther, and speedy and full are the answers to the petitions which her hands present.” (From: Chapter One of “The Foot of the Cross” by F.W. Faber, slightly adapted, emphasis added)

Comment: The unerring wisdom of the saints and the church is that devotion to Mary is a sure and safe means of persevering in our love of Jesus. The first beats of our Lord’s Sacred Heart took place in her womb, and her own heart was pierced by a sword when she stood faithfully by Him at the foot of the Cross, when he bequeathed her to us, saying, “Behold, Your Mother.” If Jesus has given us such a tremendous gift – His very mother, the Mother of God – than we should have every confidence in approaching her tender, maternal heart with love and true devotion.

The spiritual journey wearies and tires us. Discouragements seem to lurk around every corner. Our great need is for perseverance. Devotion to Mary is a tried and tested means of perseverance, according to the experience of the saints.

Tom Mulcahy, M.A.

Image: Our Lady of Good Counsel by Pasqualle Sarullo (Public Domain, U.S.A.).

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THE POWER OF MARY’S SORROWS DRAW US CLOSER TO JESUS

 

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ ”   (Luke 2:34-35)

“We draw [Jesus] toward us the moment we begin to think of His Mother’s sorrows. He is beforehand, says Saint Anselm, with those who meditate His Mother’s woes. And do we not stand in need of power in heaven? What a great work we have to do in our souls, and how little of it is already done! How slight is the impression we have made yet on our ruling passion, on our besetting sin! How superficial is our spirit of prayer, how childishly timid our spirit of penance, how transitory our moments of union with God! We want vigor, determination, consistency, solidity, and a more venturous aspiration.

In short, our spiritual life wants power.  And here is a devotion so solid and efficacious, that it is eminently calculated to give us this power, as well by its masculine products in the soul as by its actual influence over the Heart of our Blessed Lord. Who, that looks well at the saints, and sees what it has done for them, but will do his best to cultivate this devotion in himself.

[Do] not some of us feel that the world grows more attractive to us as we grow older? It should not be so; but so it is. This comes of lukewarmness. Age unlearns many things; but woe betide it when it unlearns vigor, when it unlearns hope! Rest is a great thing. It is the grand want of age. But we must not lie down before our time! Ah! how often has fervent youth made the world its bed in middle life! and when at last the world slipped from under it, whither did it fall? If we live only in the enervating ring of domestic love, much more in the vortex of the world,we must live with Jesus in the spirit of Mary or we are lost.

Let us learn this in increased devotion to her [sorrows]… and it will become in us a continually flowing fountain of supreme unworldliness. Torpor will become impossible. Oblivion [forgetfulness] of supernatural things will become unknown. We shall feel that rest will be present for a while; but we will disdain the temptation [to flee from the cross]. Mary will teach us to stand beneath the cross….

He who is growing in devotion to the Mother of God is growing in all good things. His time cannot be better spent; his eternity cannot be more infallibly secured…. And there is nothing about Our Lady which stimulates our love more effectually than her dolors [sorrows]” (Emphasis added).

Edited and slightly adapted from The Foot of the Cross: The Sorrows of Mary, pages 68-73, by Father F.W. Faber (TAN Books). Father Faber, a convert, was one of the great spiritual writers of the 19th century.

Tom Mulcahy

Image: Michelangelo’s Pieta with black cut out by Stanislav Traykov, Niabot (cut out) Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. At Wikipedia and incorporated here by reference.

P.S. The Seven Sorrows of Mary are: 1) The Prophecy of Simeon; 2) The Flight into Egypt; 3) The Three Days’ Loss: 4)  Mary meets her son with the cross; 5) The Crucifixion (Mary at the foot of the cross); 6) Jesus is taken down from the cross; and 7) The burial of Jesus. The devotional booklet I use and recommend is: Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother (TAN Books).

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