May’s saintly monthly mentor is Our Blessed Mother, the Queen of All the Saints. The Catholic Church dedicates this month every year to Our Lady. Our Blessed Mother’s unique and holy experience and profound wisdom are a perfect compass for our journey on this earth. Let us allow her to lead us to Jesus and to our longed-for destination: heaven.
Tips for life from our Blessed Mother:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.” (Lk 1:38).”
Contemplate how you can be the handmaid, or servant, of the Lord. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy will be a great guide for you here. To serve Our Lord well, begin in your own home by resolving not to resent the labors (both physical and emotional) that can sometimes make you feel like a servant in your own house. One more meal to cook, item to repair, complaint to solve … one more moment of patience, one more kind word returned when your instinct might be to grumble … offer each of these moments as an act of love to the Lord.
“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Lk 1:46-47).
Contemplate the word “magnifies,” and ask yourself how your soul, like Mary’s, can be as a magnifying glass held up to Our Lord’s grandeur. What gift have you been given that you can offer for the greater glory of God rather than for your own credit? Do you model Christ’s teachings? Do your actions speak of God?
What joy do you need to inject into your spiritual life to avoid being what St. Teresa of Avila would call a “gloomy saint”? How can you, on your journey to heaven (which is by its nature a journey to sainthood!) be a joyful one?
We are called to “rejoice” in God. But how do we do that? One way to live joy in the Lord this month is to keep a gratitude journal. Start small and without pressure by deciding to make a gratitude journal just for the month of May. Keep this little journal in front of a statue of Mary as a sign that you are committed to this task in her honor. Each day, commit to as few as one to three sentences, and when you read it at the end of the month, it will be a treasure. You’ll notice that the more gratitude you cultivate, the more you’ll rejoice!
“Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn 2:5)
Be ready to put yourself aside in order to do God’s will. Listen in prayerful stillness and silence for what God wants of you. Like Our Lady, ponder everything in your heart. Ask yourself how you can be more obedient to Our Lord’s words in Scripture. For example, He tells us to “love one another as He has loved us” (Jn 13:34). He reminds: “Whatever you did for one of these least ones, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40) In His honor, why not give to a worthy charity that helps the “little ones” of the world, the vulnerable, such as Good Counsel Homes or i-Thirst?
If you have trouble knowing or hearing what Jesus is telling you, do you take the time to ask Him in prayer? Do you find answers to what He is asking you by reading the Bible, following the Commandments, Beatitudes, Works of Mercy, and consulting the Catechism?
“Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.” – Our Lady of Fatima
Remember that the peace for the world Our Lady describes begins in your own heart and home. The Rosary is designed to be repetitive and meditative for a reason. It de-stresses us as we pray. As we pray the Rosary daily, we find it is far more peaceful and calming than any new exercise fad or calming mantra.
Ask yourself: Do I pray the Rosary every day? Knowing that the Church fully approves of Fatima and declares that Our Lady herself asked us to “pray the Rosary every day,” how can I justify not obeying my Heavenly Mother? Knowing she wouldn’t ask us to do something without great graces, how can I purposefully rearrange my life to include a daily Rosary? What are some creative ways I can make this happen?
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make a sacrifice, ‘O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’” -Our Lady of Fatima
Try printing this quote from Our Lady on a small piece of paper and taping it inside one of your most-used kitchen cabinets. It’s a reminder to make little sacrifice. Sometimes, forgo a snack or a favorite treat, and offer it up as a sacrifice.
As St. Therese of Lisieux would remind: “It’s true I suffer. But do I suffer well?” Ask yourself: Do I sacrifice myself for sinners, as Our Lady of Fatima asks? Or do I waste the pain and suffering I go through by not remembering to make it into willing sacrifices to save souls?
Cherishing her words of wisdom, let’s celebrate Our Blessed Mother in a holy way this month:
Begin or continue your First Saturday Devotions.
Try to get to Mass and receive a worthy Communion on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima: Saturday, May 13. At home, have a special dinner in honor of the day. Here’s a wonderful option for a delicious Portuguese dessert in honor of the location of the apparition: Fatima, Portugal.
As a gift to Our Lady, try praying a guided Holy Hour of prayers themed around consoling and lavishing Our Blessed Mother with love. Sign up here to get a link to this prayer guide sent right to your inbox.
Our Lady, Queen of the May, pray for us!