“Behind every great man, there is a great woman”

If one were to pick up any historical volume, and examine closely the men who have risen to prominence, you might notice a similar trait among them: a strong devotion to their wives. President Abraham Lincoln relied upon the support of his wife, Mary, as he struggled to preserve the Union. George Washington, in the darkest days of his campaigns, drew strength from the visits of his wife, Martha. It is through the love of virtuous women that heroes such as these receive their strength.

When men are at their weakest, women are at their best. This is likewise true in the spiritual realm. We are constantly surrounded by evil in the modern world. Temptation is around every corner. Without aid, we would surely fall. Thankfully though, our Lord forsaw this, and gave us an advocate: His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Two examples of this spiritual adoption can be found in scripture. The first is at the wedding feast of Cana, where the holy Virgin interceded on our behalf in telling Jesus that “they have no more wine”. The second instance is at the foot of the cross, where Christ told the apostle John, “Behold your mother”. By these words the Blessed Virgin became our advocate and ambassador before the throne of God. As men, we ought to pattern our lives in filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and emulate her virtues, particularly her purity, in an age where our senses are constantly bombarded with sensuality. Without the aid of our mother, we would surely perish.

Having a strong devotion to Our Lady is, in my opinion, a necessity to salvation. I strongly recommend two very important ways to nourish this devotion. First, pray the rosary daily and wear the brown scapular. The reason this was my first suggestion is due to its importance. Every Catholic who is able should pray five decades of the rosary every day. Our Lady told St. Dominic that, “one day through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world.” The recitation of the rosary helps to nourish the virtues essential to the survival of the soul. Great saints in the past have championed this devotion, convinced of its merits. Surely you have fifteen minutes you can devote to this very important sacramental. It could mean the difference between salvation and damnation. Second, pray three Hail Mary’s, every morning and evening, preferably on rising from bed and before retiring. These prayers should be offered for purity of thought, words and actions. The pull to give into the passions at times is very strong, especially in this day and age. In times of temptation, it’s important that we call on our mother for aid, lest we fall. If ever you feel tempted to any sin pertaining to the sixth and ninth commandments, pray three Hail Mary’s. You will be amazed at how the passions are calmed, and the temptations dissipate.

Christ promised not to leave us orphans, and gave us His very own mother, to guide and protect us. Why not develop a devotion to her? Why not take the surest route to heaven? As her sons, we have a special calling in the world, to be pure, to be courageous in face of evil, and to reject the enticements of the world for the greater glory of heaven. We should never fear to throw ourselves at Mary’s feet with a heart full of confidence. She will never fail us.

St. John Bosco, pray for us!