Sunday, May 1, 2011
Devotion Dedicated To May: The Blessed Virgin Mary
I am going to do things a little differently for this month's devotion. As most Catholics are aware, the month of May is the month dedicated, and most associated with our Blessed Mother. While there are two Marian feast days in the month, Our Lady of Fatima on May 13 and the Feast of the Visitation on May 31, the month is dedicated in a general way to Our Lady.
I see this as a way to foster and deepen our relationship and devotion to our Blessed Mother. I offer you several ways of doing this~ saying the Rosary on a daily basis if you don't already, attend a May Crowning in your parish, or hold one of your own in your family, or perhaps make a formal Consecration to Our Lady such as the de Monfort (which does require some preparation time) or the one through Maximilian Kolbe's Militia Immaculata. If you would like to read something to help deepen your relationship and devotion to Mary, I would suggest reading Father Joseph Homick's latest book, A Place Prepared by God: Through the Virgin Mary, the New Eve, Paradise Will Not Fail Twice (Fr. Joseph is Abbot Emeritus of Mt. Tabor Monastery) Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that I sometimes struggle with my devotion to Mary. It is not that I don't have one, but I sometimes think of myself as one of her very rebellious children.
Several things happened as 2011 began in my devotion to Mary. It began with a statue of Our Lady that has been in my family for 51 years coming to into my possession (see my post Taking Mary Into My Home for more on that event) The other thing was reading Fr. Joseph's book. Like much of Fr. Joseph's writing, in A Place Prepared by God, he incorporates Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Liturgical Prayer and personal experience into a book that becomes a prayerful and meditative reading experience~prayers from the Byzantine Rite and beautiful Marian poetry add to the beauty of this book At the same time, it is also easy to understand, well as much as we can understand the Mystery that is Our Lady.
The writing of this book was born of a profound personal experience Fr. Joseph had involving Our Lady, but his purpose in writing it is to help make our Blessed Mother better known and loved. Reading this book has helped me to realize that Our Lady loves each of us deeply, seeks a relationship with each of us, and wants nothing more than to bring us closer to her Son Jesus. It is a book I know I will return to every now and again (as many of the pages are highlighted and dog~ eared).
The month of May is a good time to renew our love and devotion to Mary; A Place Prepared by God is a helpful means of doing that.
You can order the book through Amazon, but it will benefit the monastery more if you order directly from them. Information on this book, as well as Fr. Joseph's other books can be obtained here. If you have never read anything by Fr. Joseph, you can get a sampling of his writing by visiting his blogs Making All Things New (formerly Word Incarnate) and Two Pillars: Holy Eucharist and Our Lady.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.