‘Just in proportion to the use you make of it in the ordinary actions of your life, you will come to understand the price and excellence of this secret which at first, owing to the gravity of your sins and your secret attachment to self, you will grasp but imperfectly.’
An object, a palace, a cathedral, seen from a distance, for all the beauties that you know it has, seems to you vague, imperfect. The distance, the trees, the houses, the clouds, the haze, are so many obstacles placed between you and it. But go nearer, stand in the right light, and then the object shows to advantage and shines in all the magnificent beauty of the whole and its harmonious details.
Even so is it with the devotion to Mary. You must approach it, know it, understand it, taste it, see it as it should be seen. Then it shines forth.
‘These few words,’ says Père Lhoumeau, ‘contain three important points of advice: (1) This devotion is to applied to everyday actions as much as to the more important ones of our lives. (2) It is be a persevering practice and not by the effort of a few weeks that its excellence and its fruits can be judged. (3) To be able to appreciate it, it is also necessary to avoid sin and renounce secret attachements which are obstacles.’
All this will be revised in detail later on. Blessed Louis would have us bear in mind that the preliminary condition for the obtaining of any grace, is prayer, prayer to Mary, prayer to the Holy Spirit.
(To be continued.)