April 28, 2017
Dear Family of Mary!
“Dear children! Love, pray and witness my presence to all those who are far away. By your witness and example, you can draw closer the hearts that are far from God and His grace. I am with you and intercede for each of you so that, with love and resoluteness, you may witness and encourage all those who are far from my Immaculate Heart. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (April 25, 2017)
“By your witness and example, you can draw closer the hearts that are far from God and His grace.”
Our Lady is calling us in this message and in all of her messages to truly strive to be her apostles, her devoted ones who are in a very special way set aside as her own. She is asking us to draw her other children into her heart, where she can mother them!
St. Louis de Montfort composed a list of characteristics that he felt describe those who live a true devotion to Mary. I think these characteristics are familiar to us all, because in Medjugorje Our Lady has been leading us into this kind of relationship with her.
See for yourself if these are not the example we are to give. Here are his five marks of a soul truly devoted to Mary:
Marks of authentic devotion to our Lady
After having explained and condemned false devotions to the Blessed Virgin we shall now briefly describe what true devotion is. It is interior, trustful, holy, constant and disinterested.
First, true devotion to our Lady is interior, that is, it comes from within the mind and the heart and follows from the esteem in which we hold her, the high regard we have for her greatness, and the love we bear her.
Second, it is trustful, that is to say, it fills us with confidence in the Blessed Virgin, the confidence that a child has for its loving Mother. It prompts us to go to her in every need of body and soul with great simplicity, trust and affection. We implore our Mother’s help always, everywhere, and for everything. We pray to her to be enlightened in our doubts, to be put back on the right path when we go astray, to be protected when we are tempted, to be strengthened when we are weakening, to be lifted up when we fall into sin, to be encouraged when we are losing heart, to be rid of our scruples, to be consoled in the trials, crosses and disappointments of life. Finally, in all our afflictions of body and soul, we naturally turn to Mary for help, with never a fear of importuning her or displeasing our Lord.
Third, true devotion to our Lady is holy, that is, it leads us to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of Mary. Her ten principal virtues are: deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom.
Fourth, true devotion to our Lady is constant. It strengthens us in our desire to do good and prevents us from giving up our devotional practices too easily. It gives us the courage to oppose the fashions and maxims of the world, the vexations and unruly inclinations of the flesh and the temptations of the devil. Thus a person truly devoted to our Blessed Lady is not changeable, fretful, scrupulous or timid. We do not say however that such a person never sins or that his sensible feelings of devotion never change. When he has fallen, he stretches out his hand to his Blessed Mother and rises again. If he loses all taste and feeling for devotion, he is not at all upset because a good and faithful servant of Mary is guided in his life by faith in Jesus and Mary, and not by feelings.