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What devotion to Mary will do for you

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Fr. Peter John Cameron, OP - published on 05/28/23

When your spirit within you is depressed, when it loses its balance, when it is restless and wayward, when it is sick of what it has, and hankers after what it has not ...

We want to develop our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary — a devotion that is personal and even intimate … but how do we go about it? 

First, it’s good to be clear about what devotion to the Mother of God is meant to do. St. John Henry Newman spells it out: 

Mary will comfort you in your discouragements, solace you in your fatigues, raise you after your falls, reward you for your successes. She will show you her Son, your God and your all. When your spirit within you is depressed, when it loses its balance, when it is restless and wayward, when it is sick of what it has, and hankers after what it has not, when your eye is solicited with evil and your mortal frame trembles under the shadow of the Tempter, what will bring you to yourselves, to peace and to health, but the cool breath of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Then, why not begin by relying on the compelling prayers of devotees of Our Lady, like these?

The 14th-century Dominican mystic Blessed Henry Suso prays: 

You, my Mother, you are the only hope and solace of my life. When I completely despair of God and of myself, thinking of you, recalling you, my spirit comes alive again, as if out of the deepest darkness. You are my glorying, my well-being, my honor, and my life. Remember, loving Mother, that mothers are accustomed to cherish their ailing children with greater care, to sympathize more with them, and to give them a more constant attention. My wounds are known to you, loving Mother. Please, now, visit your sick, raise up the dead.

Or someone more modern — the author Myles Connolly in his novel Mr. Blue:

My good dear Mother, you are so real that if you withdrew your support I think I would actually fall down on the floor here like a man in a faint. Dear Mother, how have you endured me all these years! Only for you, I would have long been lost. For you it is who took me and led me out of strange ways and darknesses years ago. You it is who takes me by the hand now day by day. Only you would not grow tired of the likes of me — of anyone so sinful, ungrateful, selfish. I would not dare to lift my head were it not for you. If there were not you I think I would fall into despair. Mother, without you what am I going to do? This is mad, isn’t it? This is unreasonable. But I am helpless in my weakness. I, cowardly, feebly, selfishly, give the weight of my sins to you. Mother, it’s true. You are the only explanation of God’s kindness to me. 


Follow Fr. Cameron’s series on prayer here.

See three previous reflections on praying to Mary:

Prayer Is:Spiritual LifeVirgin Mary
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