To imitate what we revere, this is true devotion. - Saint Augustine
"Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as most dear children." The imitation of your Mother's virtues is the mark by which you will be recognized as her beloved children: such is the obligation incumbent on you, by your very title of child of Mary; endeavour to fulfill it.
But what are the virtues Mary practised? To what perfection did she attain in each? This is not given to human intellect to fathom. Let it suffice for us to know that she alone among pure creatures has entirely fulfilled these words of her Divine Son. "Be you therefore perfect, as also your Heavenly Father is perfect."
Among the many virtues that shone conspicuously in Mary, three there are which it gives her special satisfaction to reign in the hearts of her children - purity, humility, and obedience.
Purity of body, of mind, and heart, it is you that have attracted the Divine Word into the womb of Mary. Whoever understands you, understands the highest perfection, nay, has attained it. Purity of heart and intention, that continual turning of the soul to God, with a habitual forgetfulness of self, is that so much sought for philosopher's stone, which converts the least of our actions into gold for eternity. It is this look of the Spouse which wounds, transpierces the Heart of God, and effects the conquest of It; it is the first, the last, the most powerful spring in spiritual life, one which may not be left an instant idle, under penalty of retrograding in the ways of God.
The guardian, the safeguard of all virtues. What a flood of light did it not pour on Mary! For weak, helpless creatures like us to confess we are nothing - what more natural? But it is from the most prodigious elevation God Himself could devise for honouring human nature, that Mary, Mother of God, praises the Lord, because "He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid." Whence proceeds such a fund of abasement in this divine Mother? It is that she sees by the light of Heaven, that a mere creature before God is nothing, absolutely nothing, even though Mother of God. What, then, are we? O humility! what a sway you exercise over the Heart of the Most High. Speak, souls that seek after God, when did you find Him? when had you a sensible perception of the presence of His grace? when did He incline towards you with greater condescension? It was when He took care to humble you, made you feel your own weakness, your offences, your misery, your incapacity for good; it was when you humbled yourself, acknowledged your own vileness in His sight - Et ani/na tnea facta est vilis; when you gladly embraced, or, at least, supported with patience, humiliation; for God places His privileged gifts only in humble souls, because only such honour Him; all others reserving to themselves the glory , that substance, that marrow of His gifts which God has jealously reserved for Himself.
Here we are not to understand it as vowed by certain privileged souls, but that obedience to God, that submission of mind and heart to His will y which ought to be the virtue of all Christians. This virtue will elevate your soul proportionally to its docility, its subjection to God. You will no longer be controlled by men, or events; in every circumstance you will see God, His providence, with a feeling of submission and joy. "It is the Lord" - Dominus est. It is He Who visits me in these contradictions, He who ordains these trials. It is His hand presents me this cross - the same cross He has borne for my love. "Shall not my soul be subject to God?"
What a fund of rest and peace of mind is submission to the divine will, amidst the afflictions that beset this life! Children of Mary, to reanimate your courage in your efforts for the acquisition of this virtue, recall at the price of what sacrifices your divine Mother exercised it.
"My little children," Mary seems to say by the mouth of the Beloved Disciple, "love me not in word only, but in deed and in truth? That is to say, be not content to offer me the homage of your prayers, but endeavour, above all, to copy my virtues; for the Kingdom of Heaven is the reward of those that do violence; none but the generous-hearted and resolute bear it away. Be therefore careful to join to prayer, struggle and action. "He that doth these things, shall not be moved for ever".
Grant, O Mary, that I may imitate you, in order to prove my love!
Saint Louis, the pride and model of French monarchs, owed his birth to the protection of Mary and the Devotion of the holy Rosary. The pious Queen Blanche of Castile ardently desired to give an heir to the throne according to God's own Heart. Saint Dominic, who was then living, counselled her to have recourse to the Blessed Virgin and the holy Rosary, to recite it frequently, and to engage such of her subjects as were known to her for their piety to pay in her name the same homage to our Blessed Lady, giving her to hope that through the patronage of the Mother of Mercy she should obtain the desired blessing. Blanche followed this counsel witli as much fidelity as success. The virtue of the holy Rosary, and the piety of the Princess, produced the desired effect. She became mother of a son, in whose person sanctity itself was enthroned, who hallowed his crown by every Christian virtue, illustrated his life by the most heroic actions; in a word, who carried his baptismal robe unsullied to the tomb, enriched with all the merits that constitute Saints, and very eminent Saints. So tender and lively was his devotion to the Mother of God, and such the love he entertained for her humility, that, to honour and imitate it, he had assembled every Saturday within his palace, even in his own apartment, a crowd of poor persons. There, after the example of his Saviour, he washed their feet in a basin, and wiping them with his royal hands, kissed them with a respect which clearly showed he recognized in them the members of Jesus Christ. After that, to join charity to humility, he made them dine, himself waiting upon them at table, esteeming himself happier a thousand times in thus rendering glory to Jesus and Mary, than in receiving the homage of his whole Court.
Finally, he terminated so edifying a ceremony, by distributing to each a rich alms, likewise in honour of the Queen of Heaven and earth. It had been his desire to die on a Saturday, as though to crown, by the homage of his last sigh, all the honours he had each week of his life paid to Mary on that day. His wish was granted, Mary desiring that this day, devoted to her, should likewise be for her faithful servant that of his entrance into eternal glory.
Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
Thou wounded My heart, My sister, My spouse; thou hast wounded My heart with one of thy eyes, with one hair of thy neck. - Canticle 4:9
O my God, is it possible a slight victory obtained over my passions, less even than that, a look, a tear is enough, not only to appease Your indignation, but to touch You, to wound Your Heart, to delight It. And as for me, Lord - Your thorns, Your nails, Your lance, Your bloody sweat, Your continued captivity in this Sacrament, so many prodigies of love, cannot wound my heart. Of what nature can it be? Yours so tender, mine so hard. You do so much - You, the God, the Lord of my soul- yet exact so little. My Jesus, what must be your thoughts when with burning Heart You enter my frozen one; when Your members, covered with wounds, are united to my unmortified ones? Oh, say not in Your indignation - "Let us go hence, let us go hence" but teach me how to prove my love for You, as You have proved Your own for me.
O Jesus, O Mary, may every act, word, and suffering of Yours be as so many inflamed darts incessantly transpiercing my heart. You can do this, and why should You not will it?
- taken from The Month of May Consecrated to the Glory of the Mother of God, The Queen of Heaven