The months of May and October are special times to honor Our Blessed Mother. Here are three lessons from and about her which are worth pondering. They can help us all draw near, grow in our Faith, and model our lives after hers.
- First, Our Lady of La Salette gives a gentle nudge on prayer.
- Second, St Peter Julian Eymard teaches about Mary’s simplicity.
- Third , the mystics tell a story about an offer from the three Wisemen.
Our Lady of La Salette on Prayer
First, Our Lady of La Salette gave a gentle nudge to the children Melanie and Maximin when she appeared to them in La Salette, France.
She asked, “Do you say your prayers well, my children?”
” No,” they murmured, shamefaced. “We say them hardly at all.”
”Ah, my children, it is very important to say them, at night and in the morning. When you don’t have time, at least say an Our Father and a Hail Mary. And when you have time, say more.”
(A Woman Clothed with the Sun, edited by John J. Delaney, Image Books, 1960, p.94)
Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us!
Reflections of St Peter Julian Eymard on Our Blessed Mother
Next, St Peter Julian writes about Our Lady’s virtues in his book Eymard Library Vol. 9: In the Light of the Monstrance.
He teaches us:
“Mary is simple in her piety. Mary…serves her Lord with the ordinary and common forms of piety. She follows the prescriptions of the Law…attends the legal feasts. She prays in the midst of the common faithful. Nothing distinguishes her from others…not even an extraordinary fervor reveals exteriorly the perfection of her piety. Such must be our piety: common in its practice, simple in its means, modest in its exterior; avoiding with care all singularity, which is the subtle product of self-love; shunning the unusual as being too open to vainglory and illusion.”
(St Peter Julian Eymard)
(St Peter Julian Eymard, Eymard Library Vol. 9: In the Light of the Monstrance (Cleveland, OH: Emmanuel Publications, 1947), 130-131.)
When I first encountered them, the ideas in this quote stopped me in my tracks . Let them percolate awhile. They may challenge you. Ultimately, they bring peace to one’s soul.
An Offer to Our Blessed Mother from the Magi
And our last lesson to ponder is referenced by Abby Sasscer in Simplifying Your Domestic Church. She writes of a story from the mystics. Apparently, the three Magi offered to build Mary a palace.
(Well…of course they did! They followed the star to find the newborn King, and found Him in humble estate. It makes sense that they would have offered.)
“In the book, The Life of Mary As Seen By The Mystics, the Holy Family led such a simple life that the Blessed Mother turned down the Magi’s offer to build her a palace. They [the Holy Family] lived in a three-room house in Nazareth: one room for the Blessed Mother, one room for St Joseph and Jesus and the last one as an all-purpose room…an example of simplicity.”
(Abby Sasscer, Simplifying Your Domestic Church, (Catholic Heritage Curricula, 2007), p. 5.)
Oh, what a new view of simple rooms and humble homes!
In these three lessons we learn of Our Blessed Mother’s gentle encouragement to us, her humility and simplicity in prayer, and the sweet gesture the three wisemen made to The Christ Child’s gracious mother…Our Blessed Mother.
Mary encouraged the children of La Salette to do their best saying their prayers, especially at night and in the morning–the Our Father and the Hail Mary, and “when you can say more.” Mary’s gentle nudge is for all of us too.
St Peter Julian Eymard told of Mary’s simplicity in her piety–“common in its practice, simple in its means, modest in its exterior”–she prayed amidst the faithful, never attracting attention to herself.
And the mystics told that the Magi who followed the star seeking the newborn King, offered to build His Lady Mother a palace in which to raise Him…and she declined…in favor of the simplicity of their home in Nazareth.
And this is Mary…our delightful, gracious, humble Blessed Mother–given to all of us by Our Lord Jesus, her Son just before He died on the cross.
Two favorite prayer apps which might aid us in honoring Our Blessed Mother, who always leads us to Jesus, are:
The Angelus App which chimes when it’s time to pray the Angelus throughout the day, and…
The Holy Rosary app which offers both the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.
Also, all the books mentioned in this article can be found below.
The Angelus App from Magnificat
The Holy Rosary by Marcello Pietrelli
A Woman Clothed with the Sun by John J. Delaney
Eymard Library Vol. 9: In the Light of the Monstrance by St Peter Julian Eymard
Simplifying Your Domestic Church by Abby Sasscer
The Life of Mary As Seen By The Mystics by Raphael Brown
I do wish to state here that I have not read the book on the mystics’ view of Mary. It has an imprimatur and weaves together thoughts from Venerable Mary of Agreda, Anna Catherine Emmerich, St Bridget of Sweden, and St. Elizabeth of Schönau. I found it edifying to ponder the idea of the magi, the palace and the Blessed Mother, nonetheless.
Our Lady of La Salette has Church approval, although we are not required to believe personal revelations.