Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Having explained 7 marks of “false” devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort, in True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin next explains 5 marks of “true” devotion – beginning by writing that true devotion is interior:
106. First, true devotion to our Lady is interior, that is, it comes from within the mind and the heart and follows from the esteem in which we hold her, the high regard we have for her greatness, and the love we bear her.
It may surprise us that St. Louis wrote such a brief paragraph on the First and most important mark of “True” devotion. Pondering this short paragraph, however, let us prayerfully look into our own minds and hearts asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what is truly going on there :
- Does my mind and heart follow from the esteem I hold for Mary , my Mother?
- Do I hold her in “high regard”?
- How much do I know of, or appreciate, her “greatness”?
- How great is the love I bear her?
St. Louis explained 7 marks of “false devotion to Mary” and, by God’s Grace, we can begin to learn today how “interior devotion” can safeguard us against the “false” exterior devotion he described. God’s will for us is our sanctification and so by His Grace we can learn how these 5 marks of “True” devotion help us.
All the saints. and especially St. Teresa of Avila in her book, “The Interior Castle” wrote about the importance of self-knowledge. We need Interior devotion, to seek God within. Learning from Him, His esteem for Mary, by His Grace, we can grow in all other marks of True Devotion: trustful, holy, constant and disinterested.
Let us praise God from Whom all blessings flow…especially this Saturday, “Mary’s Day” and the Feast of St. Matthew Apostle who followed Jesus as soon as he was called!