True Devotion to Mary is Tender
“True devotion to the Blessed Virgin is tender. It is full of confidence in Mary, like a child’s confidence in its mother. This ensures that we will run to Mary in all our needs.” â€“St. Louis Grignion de Montfort
This is the third post in a 7-part series on St. Louis de Montfort’s formula for total consecration the the Blessed Virgin Mary. The previous post can be read here. In the above quote from St. Louis, he likens True Devotion to the tenderness and confidence of a child. There’s a lot to this, but let’s start with the obvious. Another word for tenderness is sensitivity. A child’s sensitivity to pain and excitement is comparatively much higher than that of an adult. Why is that? It’s because the longer a person is living, the less responsive they get to certain stimuli, and the less sensitive they are to the world around them. We become de-sensitized over time by the more pain and excitement we experience. This can be observed in our physical world, but it should be duly noted in the spiritual world.
When encountering an evil or threatening situation, a child will waste no time in running to his mother. This is mostly due to the fear of the unknown in a situation, but also because his fear immediately feeds his confidence that mom will waste no time in providing him refuge. The child is tenderly confident that mother knows best. On the other hand, a hardened sinner tends to not be so surprised or prompted to avoid those circumstances or personsâ€”at least not right away. This is because the life of sin he leads is so routine that it is only natural that more evil should enter the picture. The only thing that would hold off an increase in evil, would be a “softening” of sorts to that individual’s routine. And, in my opinion, there is nothing in this world that does this better than the intervention of a mother. What if your mother found out about the life of sin you were leading? She would no doubt be disappointed in you, but even more-so, she would be deeply saddened that you did not seek refuge in her when you were faced with situations that threatened you spiritually. This would [hopefully] interrupt your sinfulness for the sake of her. The healthy ebon-flow of this would ultimately undermine a life of sin because each time you were tempted, the image of your mother with open arms would invade your thoughts. How much more with our Blessed Mother! If we were totally consecrated to her, she would take the first place of our affections and thoughts and would cause a constant interruption to temptation and sin. After all, if there was one mother we did not want discovering our sin, and if there was one mother we could be confident in for providing us refuge from a life of sin, it would be the all pure and all holy Mother of God!
We could also liken the tenderness of a child to the purity of gold. In the scriptures, pure gold symbolizes ideal perfection and holiness. The ark of the covenant was laden with pure gold (Exodus 25:10-12). The holy objects of the tabernacle were made out of pure gold (Exodus 25:29, Exodus 25:31). The interior of the temple was overlaid with pure gold (1 Kings 6:20). What is a defining characteristic of how “pure” gold is? Tenderness. The purer the gold, the softer and more malleable it is. It can be shaped easily, but it is fragile all the more. It requires care because of its vulnerability. When we think of purity, we should obviously consider the Immaculate Mother of God. Mary is immaculate, meaning, she is all pure and the stain of sin is not in her. She is therefore tender and sensitive like the purest gold. This is why her Immaculate Conception is compared to the pure gold that adorned the ark of the covenant. Free from impurities yes, but delicate. This is also why the devotion to her seven sorrows is so important. You see, since Mary is pure and tender, she is much more deeply affected by sorrow and suffering than anyone. And since, next to Christ, Mary endured the greatest sufferings known to man while watching the torture & death of her Son and God, something like the seven sorrows chaplet helps us understand the gravity of what our Savior endured. And also what it meant for Mary to say, “let it be done unto me according to thy word.” Let us become as pure as the one who is purer than the purest gold, let us have confidence in our Mother of Sorrows, let us become totally consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Â St. Louis de Montfort, pray for us!
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
Categories: True Devotion to Mary