Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today ends Chapter 6 and begins the final chapter of “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin”:
- (4) Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise or honor Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honouring God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to Him.
She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say “Mary” she says “God”. When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, “My soul glorifies the Lord.” What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honor her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honored and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary.
CHAPTER SEVEN - PARTICULAR PRACTICES OF THIS DEVOTION
1. Exterior Practices
- Although this devotion is essentially an interior one, this does not prevent it from having exterior practices which should not be neglected. “These must be done but those not omitted.” If properly performed, exterior acts help to foster interior ones. Man is always guided by his senses and such practices remind him of what he has done or should do. Let no worldling or critic intervene to assert that true devotion is essentially in the heart and therefore externals should be avoided as inspiring vanity, or that real devotion should be hidden and private. I answer in the words of our Lord, “Let men see your good works that they may glorify your Father who is in heaven.” As St. Gregory says, this does not mean that they should perform external actions to please men or seek praise; that certainly would be vanity. It simply means that we do these things before men only to please and glorify God without worrying about either the contempt or the approval of men.
I shall briefly mention some practices which I call exterior, not because they are performed without inner attention but because they have an exterior element as distinct from those which are purely interior.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your Faithful. Kindle in us the Fire of Your Love and Your Truth.