During a time of crisis, especially one involving our health, it can sometimes be easier to maintain our devotion to God and the saints. In particular, we may pray for the Virgin Mary’s intercession, asking for a miraculous cure or even a simple restoration of our health.
How to offer your sickness to God
Often our health will be restored, either miraculously or in a more gradual way. While initially we may give thanks to God or the Virgin Mary for such a grace, afterwards our devotion may lessen in fervor or we may even abandon it.
St. Louis de Montfort, an 18th-century priest who dedicated his whole life to leading souls to Jesus through Mary, urges Christians not to fall into this temptation in his book entitled True Devotion to Mary.
There are also the interested devotees, who have recourse to our Lady only to gain some lawsuit, or to avoid some danger, or to be cured of some illness, or for some other similar necessity, without which they would forget her altogether. Both, however, of these two last classes are false devotees, and neither of them pass current before God and His holy Mother.
An “interested devotee” is one who is only “interested” in God or the Virgin Mary for a specific goal in mind. When that goal is accomplished, then devotion is dropped entirely.
This type of devotion is not “love” at all, but only a momentary feeling that passes when something in our lives changes.
A much better and more authentic devotion to Mary is described by de Montfort.
[True devotion] is tender; that is to say, full of confidence in her, like a child’s confidence in his loving mother. This confidence makes the soul have recourse to her in all its bodily or mental necessities, with much simplicity, trust, and tenderness. It implores the aid of its good Mother, at all times, in all places, and about all things; in its doubts, that it may be enlightened; in its wanderings, that it may be brought into the right path; in its temptations, that it may be supported; in its weaknesses, that it may be strengthened; in its falls, that it may be lifted up; in its discouragements, that it may be cheered; in its scruples, that they may be taken away; in its crosses, toils, and disappointments of life, that it may be consoled under them. In a word, in all its evils of body and mind, the soul’s ordinary refuge is in Mary, without fearing to be importunate to her or to displease Jesus Christ.True devotion to our Lady is constant. It confirms the soul in good, and it does not let it easily abandon its spiritual exercises … It is not that such a person does not fall, or change sometimes in the sensible feeling of devotion, or in the amount of devotion itself. But when he falls, he rises again by stretching out his hand to his good Mother.
Above all we must look upon Mary as our spiritual mother, who cares deeply for us in good times and in bad. Whether we are sick or healthy, we must call upon our mother for help. She is there for us, always leading us back to her son, Jesus Christ.
How the Virgin Mary protects her faithful children from all evil