True Devotion to MaryAuthor: St Louis Marie de Montfort
Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
We call Mary the Mediatrix of All Graces. Jesus is the great Mediator or Accomplisher of Salvation. But His design has included Mary as His helpmate, although she is as nothing compared to Him. He has incorporated her in His redemptive mission from beginning to end. She has not any jurisdiction independent of His; she is totally dependent on Him. But neither is she a mere mechanism; she is a responsible co-operator with His Will.
She fulfils faithfully the office which He has committed to her. Subject to Him she is also most perfectly united to Him. She is fully Mother; everything connected with the children of God is placed under her influence.
She administers the divine life to them, and b her incessant maternal care she causes them to grow up in Christ. Her hand is on every item of Christian life, each grace, prayer, duty.
That is her function. There she is as God intended her to be. Some, finding it hard to understand why “He who is mighty has done those great things to her” (Luke 1:49), are unwilling to acquiesce. They prefer to leave her out of their philosophy. They forget that they must be amenable to God’s philosophy. To them we could address a phrase of St. Augustine: “You run well, but you are off the road. Where will you get in the end?”
On the degree to which we adapt ourselves to that arrangement of God will largely depend our life’s work. Obviously then our first effort must be to seek to understand the greatness to which Mary has been appointed, and here the inspired treatise of de Montfort will be invaluable to us.
We must respond with some degree of adequacy to her motherlove. The True Devotion proposes a method. It is based on the principle that as we are placed by God in a relation to Mary which is equivalent to, but much more intense than, that of very young children towards their mother, we must behave to her accordingly. She gives to us everything she has. So we must give to her everything that we have. As we do not love or pray or work without her help, we must try to realise this fact intellectually, so that specifically at some times, and indefinitely at all times, we will acknowledge her influence.
Some persons are held back from the True Devotion by the supposition that it requires them to address the bulk of their prayers to Mary. But True Devotion is a state and not any particular prayers. Provided that Mary’s sway over us is appreciated and occasionally brought to mind with deliberate advertence, we are free to direct our prayers where we will. It is that appreciation which is the pivotal element in the True Devotion.
De Montfort attaches large promises to the worthy practice of the Devotion. It would be nothing less than a supreme tragedy if he were to be imagined as exaggerating, because he does not exaggerate in the slightest way.
The soul that Mary is enabled really to mother grows beneath her tough.