Obstacles arise, enemies appear without delay on the road. Monsters: the world we live in, its pleasures, honors, senses, passions, the flesh, opportunities of all kinds. All this forms a great river in which we would fain plunge sometimes and drink. Beware! The monster is near. Sin; but Mary too is near. Cry to her; she comes. She inspires you, advises you, speaks to you. She tells you to make use of this very monster to cure yourselves and others. Under her eye, at her orders, beneath her invisible but real influence, you have soon trampled the monster under foot. Kill him and learn from him a lesson in watchfulness, courage and knowledge.
‘Protected by her, you do not fear; guided by her, you do not grow weary; favored by her, you reach the goal,’ says S. Bernard.
But sometimes on our journey, we need to stop at an inn, at a friend’s house, to rest, sleep, lay in provisions.
Mary leads the soul to that house of prayer, of purification and of enrichment – the Church with her ministers, her mysteries and her sacraments, of grace, of strength, of light and of riches.
The soul longs for a more and more intimate union with God in closer bonds of piety, prayer, sacrifice, interior life. But alas! the devil often interferes. Do not fear. Mary is near. In your troubles and difficulties, have recourse to Mary. Remind her of your claims and your condition as slaves of love. She will remove the devil and the obstacles which he sets up; and in a greater union with God, she will cause your soul to enjoy deep peace and an unchanging security.
But there is more. A time comes when the soul, weary of the world, anxious to secure its salvation more definitely, eager for more perfection, dreams of an even more loving union with God. This is the vocation of the religious or the priest, dawning on the horizon. Do not quench that flame, leave it to Mary. And if this thought takes further shape and grows ever more insistent, go resolutely through Mary to Jesus, after the necessary direction.
(To be continued.)