Until today, Mary has not been known sufficiently, and that is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as he should be.—Saint Louis de Montfort
Devotion to Mary Leads to Union with Our Lord
Saint Louis teaches us about the many fundamental aspects of a true devotion to Mary, which ultimately unites us to Jesus. This devotion is a smooth, short, perfect, and sure way of attaining union with our Lord, in which Christian perfection consists.
This devotion is a smooth way.
It is the path which Jesus Christ opened up in coming to us and in which there is no obstruction to prevent us reaching Him. It is quite true that we can attain to divine union by other roads, but these involve many more crosses and exceptional setbacks and many difficulties that we cannot easily overcome. We would have to pass through spiritual darkness, engage in struggles for which we are not prepared, endure bitter agonies, scale precipitous mountains, tread upon painful thorns, and cross frightful deserts. But when we take the path of Mary, we walk smoothly and calmly. . . .
This devotion is a short way to discover Jesus, either because it is a road we do not wander from, or because, as we have just said, we walk along this road with greater ease and joy, and consequently with greater speed. We advance more in a brief period of submission to Mary and dependence on her than in whole years of self-will and self-reliance. . . .
This devotion is a perfect way to reach our Lord and be united to Him, for Mary is the most perfect and the most holy of all creatures, and Jesus, who came to us in a perfect manner, chose no other road for His great and wonderful journey. The Most High, the Incomprehensible One, the Inaccessible One, He who is, deigned to come down to us poor earthly creatures who are nothing at all. How was this done?
The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear. . . .
This devotion to our Lady is a sure way to go to Jesus and to acquire holiness through union with Him. The devotion which I teach is not new. Its history goes back so far that the time of its origin cannot be ascertained with any precision, as Fr. Boudon, who died a holy death a short time ago, states in a book which he wrote on this devotion. It is however certain that for more than seven hundred years we find traces of it in the Church. . . .
This devotion is a safe means of going to Jesus Christ, because it is Mary’s role to lead us safely to her Son; just as it is the role of our Lord to lead us to the eternal Father.Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, True Devotion, nos. 213–225
Teaching for Children
Saint Louis taught succinctly that true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary “is a smooth, short, perfect, and sure way of attaining union with Our Lord, in which Christian perfection consists.” He then elaborates upon these points.
Talk to your children about what it means to attain union with Our Lord. What exactly does this mean? The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called ‘mystical’ because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments — ‘the holy mysteries’ — and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all” (no. 2014).
Why should we desire to be united to God? First of all, because God calls us to it. Secondly, it only makes sense that being united to God helps us to become holy and to be able to enter Heaven at the proper time.
As Catholics, we should always strive for holiness and union with God. We need to turn away from the tempting false promises of our culture that attempt to seduce us into following false gods. These include success according to the world’s standards, seeking pleasures of all kinds, disregard for God’s most vulnerable, and so on.
The evil one masks his road to Hell with illusions of happiness in this world. We know as Christians that Jesus instructed us to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Him. He leads us to Heaven! Not the evil one! Talk to your children about these truths in a way that they will understand.
Finish your teaching by emphasizing that a true devotion to Mother Mary will help keep our eyes on Heaven and its rewards. Mary will prevent us from sinking! We need to turn to her often — many times a day.
When gathered at the table, remind your family what Saint Louis said in the verse above: “Mary has not been known sufficiently, and that is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as he should be.” Ask everyone if they would like to help make Jesus and Mary more known. Hopefully, everyone will answer with an exuberant yes!
Put your heads together and jot down some ideas about how you can all accomplish this. In addition to your ideas, which will hopefully be put into practice, remember that your preparation for your family consecration will accomplish this as well. So dig into it heartily!
Find time today to pray the holy Rosary.
Evening is here, and it’s that time to ponder your day. This practice will help you to continue your preparation and make improvements along the way. Help and encourage your family members to pause to consider their words and actions today and to ask forgiveness for any shortcomings. Help your children with this. Always praise them for their great efforts!
Bless your family with holy water before going to bed. Send everyone to bed with hugs and kisses, emphasizing that they are loved! Remind them to pray to their guardian angels.
Mary, My Mother
Dearest Mary, my Mother, please keep me close to your Immaculate Heart so that I will be safe from the devil’s tactics. Please grant me all the graces I need to come closer to you and your Son, Jesus. Please help me to be courageous in making you and Jesus more known. Hail Mary . . .
Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a chapter in Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s latest book, Family Consecration to Jesus through Mary: 33 Days of Preparation with Saint Louis Marie de Montfort. It is available from your favorite bookstore or online through Sophia Institute Press.
We also recommend our podcast interview with Mrs. O’Boyle, “One Hundred Years of Fatima” which is available here or wherever you prefer listening to podcasts. Also check out the article “Mother Teresa Encourages Us to Be Loving Like Mary.”