"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."

Thomas á Kempis

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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."

Thomas á Kempis

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St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort  - 1673 to 1716 - canonized by Pius XII in 1947.





Ch 2: In what Devotion to Mary Consists (cont)

 3. Principal practices of devotion to Mary

115. There are several interior practices of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Here briefly are the main ones:
  1. Honouring her, as the worthy Mother of God, by the cult of hyperdulia, that is, esteeming and honouring her more than all the other saints as the masterpiece of grace and the foremost in holiness after Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
  2. Meditating on her virtues, her privileges and her actions.
  3. Contemplating her sublime dignity.
  4. Offering to her acts of love, praise and gratitude.
  5. Invoking her with a joyful heart.
  6. Offering ourselves to her and uniting ourselves to her.
  7. Doing everything to please her.
  8. Beginning, carrying out and completing our actions through her, in her, with her, and for her in order to do them through Jesus, in Jesus, with Jesus, and for Jesus, our last end. We shall explain this last practice later.

116. True devotion to our Lady has also several exterior
practices. Here are the principal ones:

  1. Enrolling in her confraternities and joining her sodalities.
  2. Joining religious orders dedicated to her.
  3. Making her privileges known and appreciated.
  4. Giving alms, fasting, performing interior and exterior acts of self-denial in her honour.
  5. Carrying such signs of devotion to her as the rosary, the scapular, or a little chain.
  6. Reciting with attention, devotion and reverence the fifteen decades of the Rosary in honour of the fifteen principal mysteries of our Lord, or at least five decades in honour of:
    • the Joyful mysteries - the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of our Lord, the Purification, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the temple;
    • or the Sorrowful mysteries: the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging, the Crowning with thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion;
    • or the Glorious mysteries: The Resurrection of our Lord, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of our Lady, body and soul, into heaven, the Crowning of Mary by the Blessed Trinity.

    One may also choose any of the following prayers: the Rosary of six or seven decades in honour of the years our Lady is believed to have spent on earth; the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin in honour of her crown of twelve stars or privileges; the Little Office of our Lady so widely accepted
    and recited in the Church; the Little Psalter of the Blessed
    Virgin, composed in her honour by St. Bonaventure, which is so
    heart-warming, and so devotional that you cannot recite it without being moved by it; the fourteen Our Fathers and Hail
    Marys in honour of her fourteen joys. There are various other
    prayers and hymns of the Church, such as, the hymns of the
    liturgical seasons, the Ave Maris Stella, the O Gloriosa Domina ; the Magnificat and other prayers which are found in
    all prayer-books.

  7. Singing hymns to her or teaching others to sing them.
  8. Genuflecting or bowing to her each morning while saying for example sixty or a hundred times, "Hail Mary, Virgin most faithful", so that through her intercession with God we may faithfully correspond with his graces throughout the day; and in the evening saying "Hail Mary, Mother of Mercy", asking her to obtain God's pardon for the sins we have committed during the day.
  9. Taking charge of her confraternities, decorating her altars, crowning and adorning her statues.
  10. Carrying her statues or having others carry them in procession, or keeping a small one on one's person as an effective protection against the evil one.
  11. Having statues made of her, or her name engraved and placed on the walls of churches or houses and on the gates and entrances of towns, churches and houses.
  12. Solemnly giving oneself to her by a special consecration.

117. The Holy Spirit has inspired saintly souls with other practices of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, all of which are conducive to holiness. You can read of them in detail in "Paradise opened to Philagia", a collection of many devotions practised by holy people to honour the Blessed Virgin, compiled by Fr. Paul Barry of the Society of Jesus. These devotions are a wonderful help for souls seeking holiness
provided they are performed in a worthy manner, that is:

  1. With the right intention of pleasing God alone, seeking union with Jesus, our last end, and giving edification to our neighbour.
  2. With attention, avoiding wilful distractions.
  3. With devotion, avoiding haste and negligence.
  4. With decorum and respectful bodily posture.