"...First, true devotion to our Lady is interior..."

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 :

  1. Does my mind and heart follow from the esteem I hold for Mary , my Mother?
  2. Do I hold her in “high regard”?
  3. How much do I know of, or appreciate, her “greatness”?
  4. 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!

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We really tend to vastly underestimate the greatness and tenderness of the Mother of God, our Mother.

Here is Pope Pius XII:

  1. For as Aquinas correctly states: “The Blessed Virgin, because she is the Mother of God, has a certain infinite dignity from the infinite good, which is God” (Cf. Summa Theologiae , I, Q, 25, Art 6 as 4um). And a distinguished writer develops and explains this in these words: “The Blessed Virgin . . . is the Mother of God: therefore, she is the purest and the most holy, so that under God a greater purity cannot be understood” (Cornelius a Lapide, In Matth. 1.16).
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_08091953_fulgens-corona.html
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Dear patricius,

Thanks for your “heart” and this reply. I totally agree with you that we “understate” Mary’s greatness — mostly because we simply cannot, with only our finite intellects, understand the Mystery of God’s Love for her. God is infinite Mystery, and His Love is Infinite.

However, St. Thomas Aquinas was given an amazing intellect and he probed all he could from Scripture and Tradition and The Magisterium, as well as scholars who lived before him. He is one of the world’s greatest “thinkers” and so Pope Pius XII did well to quote him! So many Saints and holy men and women have praised Mary out of love for her, because they have been given the grace to “see” by faith what a perfect Mother Jesus gave us from His Cross.

It is so good fo all of us give thanks to God for Mary, just knowing Jesus gave her to be our Mother from His Cross! Let us also pray for those who have yet to know and love her as Jesus intended by giving her to us, that through her they may draw closer to God.

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Thanks, MariaChristi.

Here is another quotation, this time from a great Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori:

The saints, then, because they loved God much, did much for their neighbor; but who ever loved God as much as Mary? She loved Him more in the first moment of her existence than all the saints and angels ever loved Him, or will love Him; but this we shall explain at length, when treating of her virtues. Our Blessed Lady herself revealed to Sister Mary the Crucified, that the fire of love with which she was inflamed towards God was such, that if the heavens and earth were placed in it, they would be instantly consumed; so that the ardors of the seraphim, in comparison with it, were but as fresh breezes. And as amongst all the blessed spirits, there is not one that loves God more than Mary, so we neither have nor can have any one who, after God, loves us as much as this most loving Mother; and if we concentrate all the love that mothers bear their children, husbands and wives one another, all the love of angels and saints for their clients, it does not equal the love of Mary towards a single soul. Father Nieremberg ( De Aff. Ergo B. V . c. 14) says that the love that all mothers have ever had for their children is but a shadow in comparison with the love that Mary bears to each one of us; and he adds, that she alone loves us more than all the angels and saints put together.
http://www.marys-touch.com/Glories/ChI.htm

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Dear Peaceable and adgloriam,

Thank you both for your “hearts” to let us know you read and appreciated St. Louis de Montfort’s words from “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin”. Each time I read this little treatise I learn more by God’s Grace. This particular time – by posting just one or a few paragraphs, – has been especially helpful to me, since it slows me down and I’m able to ponder what his words more prayerfully.

May the Lord continue to give us grace to grow in the Interior Life, begun in Baptism. Mary, Mother and Model for the Church pray for us. Jesus, thank you for the Gift of Mary from your Cross. We trust in You to help us to know, love and serve her more, that we may learn to know, love and serve You, as she did on this earth.

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Thanks patricius,

Yes, St. Alphonsus Ligouri is certainly another of the Saints who held Mary our Mother in very high esteem!

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