It may get you called a freak, but Marian devotion is indispensable
If you ever want proof that I’m in the Densa category, reference this fact: it has taken me the past 10 days to figure out ways to develop my love for Our Lady during this month of May which is dedicated to her.
My normal routine is to offer the Rosary every day of every month as Our Lady asked us to do at Fatima, and to write pieces that spread devotion to the Holy Rosary.
Yet when I started preparing to write this exact piece, I felt self-doubt, asking myself if I’m like a broken record, constantly repeating that Our Lady asked us to offer the Rosary each day, without putting the spotlight on spiritual classics concerning Our Lady that open our minds to appreciate why devotion to Our Lady is so incredibly important. Even the mere words “incredibly important” seem inadequate, but they are the best words at my disposal.
As we are in the midst of May, I have been studying St Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. I recommend this book with every fibre of my being, if like me you are seeking ways to grow in understanding for Our Lady’s role, but most especially for people who believe in God but feel indifferent towards praying to Our Lady, or who sadly feel it is futile. St Louis de Montfort extols us to “pour into the bosom and heart of Mary all your precious possessions, all your graces and virtues. She is a spiritual vessel, a vessel of honour, a singular vessel of devotion. Ever since God personally hid Himself with all His perfections in this vessel, it has become completely spiritual and the spiritual abode of all spiritual souls.”
If we undermine Our Lady and think we are too good to pray to her, we are cultivating a very deadly, sinful pride that separates us from God by way of looking down on the very “vessel” in which God Himself was carried into this world. St Louis’s True Devotion is a challenging work, it makes us question ourselves as to times when we have not given Our Lady her due respect, but it is the perfect read for May.
Even in the glorious month of May it can feel lonely when one is trying so hard to honour Our Lady. I’ve been called a freak, and experiencing the very real disdain that some have for Our Lady can be almost nausea-inducing. I have, however, discovered an amazing writer, one Melissa Presser, a Jewish lawyer in the US who has become Catholic and blogs at God is in your typewriter. Reading her supremely sincere posts is like a tonic for the soul – I have found it healing to read her accounts of doing her utmost to love Our Lord and Our Lady more – even when she is in times of great personal stress. Melissa has a very genuine love for Jesus and Mary and writes in a self-giving way that is designed to invite the reader to love them, too. In reading about Melissa’s journey into the Catholic Church, you can’t help but know interiorly that Melissa wants you to have the same the gift and privilege of faith that she has.
These May days I am offering The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Personally, I have found that I barely have the patience to pray it (I keep thinking of how much I’d like to watch Netflix instead which is a poor indictment of my loyalty) but I keep in mind various friends and loved ones and offer it for their intentions and then find it can be good for my motivation to tell them, because they might ask me to offer the Little Office for them again.