No doubt we can all strike our breasts at the mention of inconstant devotees! There have been those times when we were unfaithful to our Blessed Lady. But therein we should be on our guard against a temptation of the devil. He will remind us of our past failings in order to lead us on to discouragement and to try to make us give up what we are doing now for Our Blessed Lady. By all means we should be sorry for our past negligences, but we must have confidence in our present devotion to Mary.
God raised great sinners to great sanctity. We have only to think of St. Augustine, and there are many other examples in the history of sanctity of people who were living fickle lives until they made a resolute effort with the grace of God to help them. They accepted the grace offered at that moment and went forward constantly.
Instead of troubling ourselves with the past and doubting the love of God or of Our Lady, we should remember that the best way of making up for the past is by striving to please Our Lady in everything now. That will be the effective expression of our sorrow and our love. The devil reminds us of our past in order to make us lose heart and to make us think that we could never really be content in our devotion to Our Lady.
A good resolution would be to admit quite sincerely at the feet of Our Lady that up to the present, or for a certain time in the past, we have been negligent. But now Mary is obtaining for us the grace of God and is encouraging us herself to do better in the future.
Therefore, we can make our consecration, or a deliberate renewal of it, a special and memorable occasion in our life. It can be the point to which we return when tempted to worry over failure. In the past there were failures, but now, with the help of Our Blessed Lady, our consecration is the turning point, and henceforward we will try to co-operate with her in everything. Thus we should never worry about how inconstant we were – but how faithful we are going to be!
As a practical point we should never take too much on at the beginning. We should take on what we know we can do. Let us do that as well as possible in the spirit of Our Lady. Then we can ask her to help us to do other things for her. We must learn to perform a few things in the spirit of Mary before we can ever hope to do everything in her spirit. That will give us the encouragement and determination to persevere.
The Immaculate Way