There isn't a canonized saint in heaven who did not embrace devotion to Our Lady. One of the reasons they became saints is they faithfully walked in the footsteps of Our Queen. She escorted them straight to the King and taught these humble, little followers to bow before His Majesty! Even the great ones among them, had a humble servant's heart. On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception I offer a few golden nuggets from The Imitation of Mary. She is there to help us in all circumstances:
- In affliction -- "Providence does not always liberate the upright from all fear and danger, nor does it always give them in their need the kind of help they want and ask for. But its plans are no less wonderful, whether it releases men from need or leaves them in it, whether it avenges them against injustice or leaves them to be its victims. In affliction God gives them the the grace to be patient, and thereby bestows a greater blessing on them than if He were to overwhelm them with prosperity.
- In solitude -- The soul that is detached from the world and all that occupies the world lives truly happy days in solitude. Its only concern is with God, as though it were alone on earth with Him. In solitude the spirit is always recollected so that it may hear the Lord's voice, and nothing can interrupt the heart's own voice as it constantly speaks to God. It delights in repeating the simple words, You are the God of my heart (Ps 73, 26), and finds in them its whole fulfillment, wealth, and joy.
- In obedience -- Frequently, even in obedience rendered to God, men act so defectively and imperfectly that the obedience loses much of its value and merit....You would not find obedience difficult if you fastened your attention not on the man you are obeying but on God for Whose sake you ought to obey.
- In God's Providence -- Nothing happens in our world without His permission. And everything, evil as well as good, serves His providential purposes. It is not granted to you now to understand His plans but the day will come when you will recognize their full justice and wisdom. You should not, of course, be insensible of the evils in the Church; it is only right that they should be a source of affliction for you; you may even weep bitterly over them, as God Himself does. But if you were to be scandalized at them so that your faith suffered or you lost your peace, that would not any longer be zeal but an abuse and excess. One true virtue does not destroy another. Submission of mind to what God allows is compatible with genuine zeal for the glory of God.
Like what you read here? Order the book. It's a great companion to The Imitation of Christ. If you read a chapter a day from each of these little treasure troves, you cannot help but grow in love of Christ and His Mother.