The Necessity of Devotion to Our Lady
The more one reads about what the Church has to say about Our Lady, the harder it is to disagree with the consensus of the Saints, namely, that a tender love of Mary is a true indication that one loves and is loved by God.
“Many have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers – among others: St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas, and St. Bonaventure – that devotion to Our Most Blessed Virgin is necessary for salvation [true devotion consists in charity], and that it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem or love for the Holy Virgin while, on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her. The figures and words of the Old and New Testaments prove this. The sentiments and examples of the Saints confirm it. Reason and experience teach and demonstrate it. Even the Devil and his crew, constrained by the force of truth, have often been obliged to avow it in spite of themselves.”
St. Louis de Montfort
Mary Protects the Mystical Body of her Son
Many perish because they are led into heresy. Devotion to Mary is a safeguard against heresy. Our Lady protected Our Lord, so you can be certain that she will not abandon His Mystical Body, the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).
“Follow her and you cannot go wrong, says St. Bernard. There is no danger of a true child of Mary being led astray by the devil and falling into heresy.”
– St. Louis de Montfort
Like us, Mary is an instrument of God’s Blessings
Jesus uses the members of His Mystical Body, the Church, as channels for His grace. This should be obvious enough; look at the Saints. Mary is simply the channel of grace par excellence. To draw near to Mary, therefore, is to draw near to her Son, her All. He lives in and through her without restraint; she offers her Son no resistance; she is perfectly docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. “Fiat voluntas tua!” (“Thy Will be done” – Mt. 6:10).
Mary leads us to her Son
All those who love Mary come to love her Son. This is because Mary’s will is God’s will; her entire life and being is fixed on God, her All. “Where Mary is, there is the Son!” (St. Paul of the Cross). She cannot fail to lead us to Him. If you think the Saints led many souls to God, look at Mary and what the Saints say about her!
“She is the mediator between us and Christ, just as Christ is the mediator between us and God.”
– St. Bonaventure
Our Lady appears to her children at the hour of death
When death comes, God will judge us as He finds us. If we stay close to Mary, she will take special care of us; she will do everything in her power to ensure that we are led safely to Jesus.
Our Lady has appeared to many Saints and holy souls throughout the centuries – and even to great sinners. And her message is always the same. She reminds us that there is an abyss of love and mercy for us if we will take her hand and approach God with confidence. In her great love for us, her children, she has promised to protect us, or even appear to us at the moment of death if only we serve her faithfully (cf. the Three Hail Marys devotion). And how do we serve her? “Stay close to my Son,” she said to one Saint. In a word, we must love Jesus and let Him act in and through us. “Fiat voluntas tua!”
“I will, as a most loving mother, without fail be present at the death of all those who piously and holily serve me, and will console and protect them.”
– Our Lady to St. Mechtilde
You can be sure that Jesus will be there with her!