Checking in with our heavenly Mother isn't just for May!
How’s your devotion to Mary going this summer? We had the month of May, which is dedicated to the Blessed Mother and to adding or deepening expressions of Marian piety and devotion in daily life. Parishes this year were of course limited in what they offered during the month of May because of shelter at home orders and quarantine life.
In the life of any Catholic, I highly recommend a healthy Marian devotion, responding to Jesus’ invitation to take Mary into our homes and behold her as our mother. Loving Mary can’t be confined to just one or two months, but must be a daily relationship with our heavenly mother who prays for us now and at the hour of our death.
Let these weeks of summer be a time where you deepen your devotion to Mary, and as you do so, hopefully it will become a part of who you are.
Pray a novena
The month of August has a few different opportunities for praying a novena. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is observed on August 15 and eight days later the memorial of the Queenship of Mary. August 21 is the anniversary of Mary’s apparition in Knock. You can find many different novenas online simply by searching for them. And you could pray a novena anytime; it doesn’t have to be for a liturgical feast.
The other night I went for my nightly Rosary walk. It had just rained a little bit and the sun was coming out. As I walked my mile route, I was caught up in the beauty of God’s creation and the double rainbow in the sky. If you find praying the Rosary difficult or can’t seem to find the time, combine it with a walk. Mary walks with us as we pray the Rosary through the scenes of Jesus’ life, and she can hold our hand as we thumb our beads and walk the road, too.
How to learn to love the Rosary (even if you hate it)
Look for Mary statues
I’ve been doing a lot of biking this summer, going for 10- to 20-mile bike rides. As I bike my country roads, I look at people’s yards, and am surprised to find so many yard statues of Mary. Go for a fun run, bike ride, or Sunday drive, and count how many Mary gardens you find along the way.
Visit a Marian shrine
Even with the pandemic, many shrines are open for people to visit. You have to observe social distancing and wear a mask, but that doesn’t take away the something special about praying at these holy places. In addition to shrines, many churches have a special area to pray and honor the Blessed Mother. Stop by one of these places and entrust your needs to Mary’s intercession.
Read a book
Saints and contemporary authors alike have meditated on the mystery of Mary and published many books. If you want to know more about Mary, check out any of Dr. Edward Sri’s books or Dr. Brant Pitre’s book, Jesus, and the Jewish Roots of Mary.
If you want to love Mary more, find her in the Old Testament (this book will guide you)
If you want a devotional text, check out my book A Heart Like Mary’s or any other meditation book you can find. Consult websites of Catholic publishers such as Ave Maria Press, TAN Books, OSV, Sophia Institute Press, or Ignatius Press, and discover what Marian title intrigues you.
Learn about Mary, so you can love your mom all the more! And if you want to learn How to Love Mary, you can always check out the podcast How They Love Mary.