Devotions for May:
ADAPTED FROM THE BOOKLET BY LIBBY RUDOLF
Procedure In Building
May 1, 2, 3
(The Altar.) Humble resignation to God's will.
Recall and dwell upon Mary's words to the Archangel Gabriel when informed that she was chosen to be the Mother of God. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word." Herein at least a glimpse is caught of Mary's understanding of her position as God's creature and God's position as Creator. With all the will of her vibrant being she heartily accepted whatever God had in store for her. Throughout the whole of her life Mary never failed to humbly, willingly, lovingly respond to everything that happened, whether it was something God willed or permitted. God does not will everything. For instance, God does not will that man sin. He permits it by his gift of free will to man. However, God wants those who suffer because of sin to suffer as well as they can. And Mary suffered much, enough to win for her the title Queen of Martyrs because of the sins of man. Further, she suffered perfectly; she did not become bitter, discouraged, impatient, depressed, sorry for herself, but used these sufferings as stepping-stones to an ever-increasing love for God and man.
O Holy Spirit, come! Come to me with Thy sevenfold gifts! Come with Thy light, that I may more and more see my position as a creature of God and what is meant by humble resignation to God! Come with Thy strength that I may overcome my proud, stubborn willfulness!
Holy Mary, resplendent in thy humility, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me all I need to be humbly resigned to God.
Observe closely your words, thoughts and actions. Just how are you reacting to the joys and sorrows of life? Give yourself an honest answer to this question---are you more concerned about whether or not you have trials or whether or not you are trying to do as God would have you do in these trials? God does not want us to "lose our heads," selfishly trouble others, be downhearted, grouchy just because things are not going as we would have them.
In the trials that come your way make an effort to be calm, and think of the goodness of God for this chance of practicing virtue.
Count it a glorious privilege to be one of God's creatures.
May 4, 5, 6
(The Caretaker.) Fidelity to duty.
The Holy Family is the greatest example of faithfulness to duty, great and small, to home and society, to God and to man. In considering very briefly only Mary, we find her faithfully attending to household duties amid great hardships; she is a staunch citizen, as can be seen from her going with Saint Joseph to Bethlehem to fulfill the orders of the Emperor of enrollment, and this just before the birth of Christ: she observes all the laws of the Jewish religion, and after the Christian religion was born on Pentecost there was no human who had the interests of the Church more at heart and who was more true to it.
Every life has its various duties to God and man. Different hours, days, occasions call for specific duties. Much is lost when they are neglected or put off for reasons other than necessity or a greater good.
O Omnipotent Blessed Trinity, ever divinely preserving, redeeming and sanctifying mankind, grant me the spirit of mental, physical and spiritual industry.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, by Thy toils help me to overcome my laziness and carelessness.
If there be any duties of work, prayer or otherwise that you have been putting off take care of them as soon as possible. Attend to present duties.
Give serious thought to the duties of your particular place in life. Jot them down for future reference to check yourself at definitely appointed times. Time is a gift of God; use it as well as you can.
May 7, 8, 9
(White Covering.) Reverence for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Reverence is a quality of humility. The soul that truly reverences Mary makes great effort to treat her as the Queen of Heaven and earth, as Mother of God and man, as Co-redemptrix with Christ of the human race.
By singular graces with which Mary cooperated fully God honored her above all Angels and Saints.
Often in prayer the name of Mary is pronounced. Should it not b done reverently? Reverence for Mary is a stranger in the soul who neglects her, offers her no honor, does not consider her great station.
Hail, Queen of the Heavens!
Hail, Mistress of earth!
Hail, Virgin most pure
Of Immaculate birth!
(Taken from Little Office of the Immaculate Conception)
Jesus, Son of Mary, grant me Thy spirit of reverence toward Mary.
Mary, Mirror of Justice, obtain for me grace to imitate thy respect toward God, the Angels and Saints of all mankind.
Examine how you have been pronouncing the name of Mary in prayer. Better yourself in that matter.
Read something about Mary's greatness or go slowly over her titles as contained in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary to better realize the greatness and dignity of Mary.
May 10, 11, 12
(Candleholders.) Material and spiritual support of the Church, its works and the clergy.
Contemplate Mary as she took care of the needs of Jesus, the Priest of priests. And after Jesus had left Mary to begin His ministry her prayers must have followed Him for the success of His work. Later on, Mary being entrusted by Jesus to Saint John. Since the young Church must have been called on to minister to many a necessity of the flock, surely Mary must have been much engaged with being the Mother of the Church.
Church, clergy and the various works of the Church depend for existence on material aid and the grace of God. Supporting the Church and her priests and their work should be the concern of every Catholic.
Catholic churches and chapels are the earthly homes of Christ the King, King of kings.
Holy Mary, be thou a help to the helpless, strength to the fearful, comfort to the sorrowful, pray for the people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all holy women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy sacred commemoration feel the might of thine assistance.
Dear saint Joseph, who wast so zealous in providing for Christ's shelter, help us to imitate thy zeal in performing our duties to provide shelter for the Eucharistic Christ.
Do not stint in your material support of your local parish or chapel, never forgetting to pray for the success of the mission of the Church to save souls, even if you cannot give as much as you would like.
Make a determination to offer up an aspiration or two daily, weekly or monthly for all the above needs. Most of us can surely offer up many such aspirations each day once we have become accustomed to to the practice.
If you have the time and the ability consider making altar linens, vestments or caring for them. Be attentive to the holy house of God!