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True Devotion

January 18, 2019

In his book, “True Devotion to Mary,” – which every serious catholic should read – St. Louis de Montfort explains that True Devotion to our Lady is interior, tender, holy, constant, and disinterested.

Perhaps, we who labor for our salvation can use these characteristics for our benefit. It seems that these characteristics can be used as a checklist for devotion in general.

True devotion is holy. First, this would mean that true devotion (to the Blessed Sacrament, to the saints, etc.) would lead us to God. True devotion to Mary, for example, would lead us to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Second, this would mean that true devotion would lead us to abhor sin thereby loving God more. A person habitually in the state of mortal sin, for example, who prays the rosary devoutly every day, would one day either give up mortal sin or the rosary.

True devotion is interior. This means that true devotion comes from the heart and does not consist merely of reciting prayers and waving hands.

True devotion is constant. This means that true devotion is not impulsive but is stable. A person who has a devotion to our Lady, for example, ought to have a fixed program for his devotional acts and should be faithful to that. This could mean praying the rosary every day.

True devotion is disinterested. This means that a true devotee does not have -or at least is trying to do away- with self-serving motives but is selfless in doing his devotions and is motivated by love.

True devotion is tender. This means that true devotion entails childlike confidence. True devotion to our Lady, for example, means childlike trust in our Lady.

Moreover, St. Louis de Montfort continues to explain that True Devotion to Our Lady, consists in the imitation of our Lady’s virtues. I suppose this applies to all other devotions. Devotion to the Sto. Niño for example, would consist in imitating the virtues of our Lord in his childhood –meekness, humility, obedience to the Father, and all those virtues a good meditation on the Childhood of Our Lord will tell us. The Sto. Niño is also viewed as a symbol of the Christian Faith in our country. Devotion to the Sto. Niño then would compel the devotee to study the faith, to be firmer in their conviction to live and die in the catholic faith.

Let the words of St. Louis de Montfort be an examination of conscience for us. Are these characteristics present in my devotion? Am I trying to imitate the virtues of the Child Jesus? Do I study the my Faith? Do I read the catechism? If by the end of your examination you find out that your devotion fails to meet this, resolve to try hard –an harder if needed- to meet this aided by the grace of God. By the end of your life, having done these things, you would have been a better person –that is, more identical to Jesus Christ-, a better catholic, a virtuous person, and, by the graces God bestows upon you because of your devotion, a person meriting a canonization.

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