This is the first day of May, the month of Mary. How appropriate it is that all the spring flowers are blossoming, the trees are full of fresh green leaves, and the days are getting longer. Joy, light, warmth and spiritual renewal are all attributes of Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven. How can we deepen our devotion to the Mother of God?
The first thing I did when I came back to the Church was to pray the Rosary. I began by praying one set of mysteries (5 decades) everyday, and a few months ago, I started praying all three sets of mysteries (15 decades) daily. I have never missed a day since March 2017. Pope Leo XIII says:
“The rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”
I recommend The Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis de Montfort for those who want to get serious about praying the Rosary or those who have been praying it lukewarmly.
Don’t listen to the idiots who disparage praying the Rosary as meaningless mumbling. It is the single most effective way to meditate at home, on a long flight, waiting outside a doctor’s office, in an airline lounge, on trains and buses.
I often pray the Rosary when I go running or hiking. This is my form of walking or running meditation. But I only do this when running along a path that has absolutely no car traffic (e.g. along a river bank) or hiking in the mountains (again no cars) because I get completely focused and immersed in a meditative state. I picture in my mind each mystery, reflect upon what it is saying to me (each time the mystery tells me something else), ask Our Lady to obtain for me the fruits of each mystery. I also pray for other people and for the souls of my relatives and friends in purgatory. On a 45-minute run, I pray two sets of mysteries. I don’t carry my Rosary on my hikes or runs. I use my fingers.
Devotion to Mary
To get started with Marian devotion, read True Devotion to Mary: With Preparation For Total Consecration by Saint Louis de Montfort.
Meditate during each day in May with Month of Mary according to the spirit of Saint Francis de Sales by Don Gaspar Gilli.
St. Alphonsus Liguori’s The Glories of Mary is also a great book for those who want to bring themselves closer to Our Lady and to know her better.