Thursday, July 16, 2009
"It is my duty, I feel, to recommend to everyone this outstandingly effective means of leading a devout life in Christ: heartfelt devotion, filial love and the tenderest affection toward Mary, the most lovable of mothers. We hail her—do we not?—as Mother of Grace and Mother of Mercy. But both grace and mercy are indispensable if we wish to live devoutly; and who has a better claim to receive our appeals for grace and mercy than the Mother of Grace and Mother of Mercy? For this reason I say with Hebrews: Let us go with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and receive the timely help of grace.
But if we are to go with confidence to this throne, this Mother of Grace, we must first be worthy of her love. We proudly proclaim ourselves her slaves, her sons and daughters and her brothers and sisters: let us make sure that our lives substantiate this claim by being in conformity with what we profess. We must try to resemble as closely as possible our most holy Lady, our lovable mother, and our gracious sister, by imitating her perfections and making her excellence our own. If indeed you love her as a mother, imitate her humility, her chastity, her poverty and her obedience; imitate her love of God, her love of neighbor, and all her other virtues.
How can you show her adequate love and honor? Each day, after offering yourself and all you have to the most holy Trinity according to Christ’s intentions and in union with his merits, make a practice of offering yourself especially, and all you have, to this your most lovable mother; and as you do all you have to do in the word of the Lord, do it also in the word—in the name—of Mary.
Commit yourself to her completely. Have recourse to her as the best of teachers; consult her as the most prudent of virgins; in a word, conduct yourself as befits a good child, and you will learn by experience that she is the mother of fair love and holy hope, in whom you may expect to receive every grace of life and truth, and in whom every hope of life and virtue will shine before you; nor will she ever cease to obtain for you the graces you need to persevere in true devotion. Indeed you will find her a well of living water. At the hour of your death she will not refuse to say she is your sister, indeed your mother, so that then more than ever it may be well with you, and your soul may live by virtue of her grace. If you lead a devout life in her honor and service you will surely deserve to breathe your last confidently, peacefully and devoutly in her love, and be joyfully borne to the haven of salvation in her maternal arms; for to those who love Mary it will go well at the last."
-- Mystical Instructions by Fr Michael of Saint Augustine, ocd