I WOULD INDEED be remiss were I not, in my own small way, to exhort you to cultivate a heartfelt devotion,
a true, childlike, trusting love for Mary, the worthiest of all mothers. She is our most powerful and efficacious means of living a Christlike life; particularly as we delight in invoking her as Mother of Divine
Grace and Mother of Mercy. Knowing, as we do, how necessary grace and mercy are for a Christlike life, what greater means have we of securing these essentials than by calling upon the Mother of Grace, the Mother of
Mercy? With Paul I too can say: Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.
For us to approach this throne and the Mother of Grace with full confidence, we must show ourselves worthy
of her love. All claiming to be her clients or sons or brothers must make sure their lives accord with their obligations, by using every means in their power to become an image of so holy a patron, so lovable a
mother, so gracious a sister. This they do by imitating her perfections and exercising her virtues. Whoever loves her as Mother must strive to acquire her humility, her purity, her poverty, her obedience, to follow
her in her love of God and her fellow manin a word, in every virtue.
To show her due honor and love, you should, after making the daily offering of yourself and all you have
to the Blessed Trinity, according to the mind of Christ and in union with his merits, acquire also the habit of making a like offering to her, your dearest Mother, in union with her Immaculate Conception, her
spotless Maternity, her untarnished virginity, and her great holiness. Just as you do all for Christ's sake, do it all for her sake too, in her name.
Put yourself completely in her care; acknowledge her your best teacher; call upon her, the truly wise
virgin; make every effort to prepare for and celebrate her different feasts worthily, in a word, act always as becomes a worthy son. In return you will learn how truly she is the mother of fair love and godly hope,
overflowing with every grace of life and truth for you, radiating every hope of life andholiness. She never ceases to entreat for you those graces necessary for your perseverance in true holiness. At all times she
acts as your well of living waters.
At the hour of your death she will not hesitate to proclaim herself your sisterindeed, your motherso that
she will be your greatest help at that hour. Then indeed will her assistance secure your salvation. Your life of devotion and attachment to her will gain for you a holy, peaceful death in her love. She will carry
you in her gentle motherly arms to the gate of Heaven. Truly those who love Mary will be blessed at their last hour.
From the Mystical Institutions of Michael of St. Augustine (Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. Rome, Institutuum Carmelitanum, 1993.)