Wisdom from a little book about Marian feasts

+JMJ+ May is the month devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 2019 I wrote a series, a post for (almost) every day in May. This time around I’ve been doing some spiritual reading, going through my shelf of Marian books and I thought I’d share a longish quote from a book about Marian feasts. I’ll include links to the book at the end of the post.

The month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, or the month of May, has been given over to public honor to this sweet Mother of Jesus in many countries. Processions and banners, with hymns and Rosaries, have been the usual scenes during the month of May in Catholic countries. These external manifestations, besides their intrinsic value as marks of love and affection for Mary, are also useful for many other reasons. They entice people towards prayer, and once a soul knows how to pray and once she has a love of prayer, then her salvation is secure. Prayer means almost everything in the work of salvation because if we pray, we will obtain grace, and our minds will be enlightened to do all God wishes us to do. These manifestations of our love for Mary, with their processions and hymns, are also useful to entice all, but especially young people, from frequenting places which might lead them into sin. The great cause of the loss of souls is not that people are not warned about the dangers of sin and the consequences of sin. There is generally quite enough preaching and teaching about sin and not sufficient knowledge of the importance of securing grace. Sin is not avoided by being warned of its consequence. The best way to avoid sin is to entice people towards goodness and to give them plenty of scope in a good direction for all their energies. Young people especially need to be doing something, and it is all a matter of keeping them doing something good. They will want some company, and it is all important to give them good company. A great source of loss to souls is reading bad books and papers. Yet the reading of books and papers could be made use of to stir up lofty sentiments and to convey Christian knowledge to those who are just at the critical stage of life. It is such a pity that parents and teachers do not give young people an outlet for their energies and entice them to noble actions and stir up all their enthusiasm for everything that is great and noble. Good literature is at the present age the chief infallible remedy against the corruption of worldly society and the only sure way to counteract the evil influences of a secular press.

St. Philip Neri introduced many processions into Italy in order to entice the young from the pagan festivities which were carried on during his time. He was so enlightened by God that he was able to realize that the whole secret of the salvation of the young was to entice them towards something good and to keep them occupied with good things. He introduced public processions throughout Italy in honor of the Mother of God, and it is remarkable that in spite of all the wiles of the devil, this country could never be captured by the heretics who tried so hard to overthrow the Church. Do we not see here that the devotion to Mary is one of the best safeguards against heresy, schism, and infidelity. The Rosary has been one of the chief safeguards of families in the midst of the corruption of worldliness. In all those countries where the family Rosary is practiced, we see that the Faith is not easily destroyed and that the fervor of the people is handed down from generation to generation.

O’Laverty, Fr. H., The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts (pp. 152-153, Kindle edition, pp. 119-120 in the print edition). TAN Books. Emphasis mine.

I think these ideas, the ones I put in bold above, are really very important. I’ll copy them below–and also into the spiffy new notebook I got today, so maybe I’ll remember them. Some of it ties in with what we’re learning in the Introduction to the Spiritual Life, by Brant Pitre. That’s been a fascinating experience. (See Catholic Book of the Month annotated TOC, scroll down for the Intro book posts.)

  • Prayer means almost everything in the work of salvation because if we pray, we will obtain grace, and our minds will be enlightened to do all God wishes us to do. 
  • The great cause of the loss of souls is not that people are not warned about the dangers of sin and the consequences of sin. There is generally quite enough preaching and teaching about sin and not sufficient knowledge of the importance of securing grace. Sin is not avoided by being warned of its consequence. The best way to avoid sin is to entice people towards goodness and to give them plenty of scope in a good direction for all their energies.
  • Good literature is at the present age the chief infallible remedy against the corruption of worldly society and the only sure way to counteract the evil influences of a secular press.
  • The Rosary has been one of the chief safeguards of families in the midst of the corruption of worldliness.

These are ideas I’ll come back to later. Did any of that seem useful to you? Let me know in the comments. And thanks for visiting the blog and reading. I pray that you and I will stay holy and virtuous this Easter season, and may we become who the Lord intends us to be: SAINTS. Please pray for me, and know that I pray for you. God bless you and may His Peace be with you during this Holy Week and always. +JMJ+ 

Join me on Fridays for the Rosary Project Live on Twitter at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, to cultivate a culture of Life and Love, and to end the culture of death. There’s also a Rosary on the blog you can use anytime.

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” — Padre Pio


Notes and Links

  • The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts, by Fr. H. O’Laverty. TAN Books. Paperback, Kindle. (Amazon affiliate links, see Full Disclosure below.)
  • Introduction to the Spiritual Life, by Brant Pitre, see Catholic Book of the Month annotated TOC for posts in the series and for links to get copies of the book.

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Image: The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts, by Fr. H. O’Laverty, cover. Photo of my copy of the paperback.

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Copyright: All original material on Catholic Heart and Mind is Copyright © 2009-2022 Lee Lancaster. All rights reserved. Read more.

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