Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Imitation of Mary

Recently, I bought and began reading this well known book that was inspired by another well known book. It is The Imitation of Mary, and I would leave to your guess, which book inspired me to buy this book (clue - Change of names). So far, the book does not live up to my expectations, maybe because of the style, or because I don't have confidence in the author, or maybe because I am just to critical and scrutinizing of the teaching. This mostly I feel is the cause of me not enjoying the book. All this I know very well makes what is valuable seem repulsive.

What I do like is the simplicity of the book, and I think this is what makes it stand out. It focuses on the pennies of the gospel and of the graces in the life of our Blessed Mother; and so far, it has helped my walk in imitation of her who loved god most while on earth, and who loves him most intimately in heaven. I decided to share the first chapter of the first book with you, for your edification.

Imitation Of The Virtues Of The Blessed Virgin

Blessed those who do not abandon the way I have bidden them go! Blessed those who listen to what I tell them (Prov 8:32-33) and who follow the models of virtue I offer them.

In putting these words on the lips of Mary, the Church urges us to study the life of the Queen of Saints and to imitate her splendid example. Happy the man who imitates our Lady, for in imitating her he imitates Jesus, king and incomparable model of all virtues.

The Blessed Virgin's life contains lessons for everyone. If we study it, we learn how to live in prosperity and adversity, prayer and work, honours and humiliations. We shall never attain the perfection she brought to every action; but our perfection can be measured by our closeness to her.

You claim to be the servants of Mary: do you really what to become like her in her sublime holiness? Then imitate, as far as you can, her lively faith, her prompt obedience, her deep humility, her selfless intentions, her generous love. Is there anyone of you that cannot make it your aim, with the help of God;s grace, to follow Mary's example in the practice of these virtues: Without such imitation your love for her will be a weak thing indeed, and you cannot expect to receive evident proof of her special protection.

True enough, you recite daily prayers in her honour; you give external signs of your devotion to her; your belong to a society that is especially consecrated to her. And all this binds her to ask God for the saving graces you need. But if your devotion does not take you a step further and lead you to imitatte her virtues, then your devotion will not save you. The philistines took possession of the ark of the Lord and adorned it with their gifts. But the ark did not become a source of blessing for them, because they continued to adore their idols as before.

O Queen of all the virtues, is it not fitting that one who loves you should do for you what he does for his friends in this world? We try to adapt ourselves to our friends' character and to make their likes and dislikes our own. Such adaptation leads to a union of hearts. In fact, we may say that where there is no likeness there can be on friendship. Your heart, Blessed Virgin, is utterly humble, pure, submissive to God's will, and zealous for His interests. How can itbe united in the bonds of affectin to a heart that is pleasure-seeking, proud, unresigned to God's will, and without zeal for His glory?

The Apostle rightly says: "If you love me, then imitate me as I imitate Jesus" (1 Cor 4:16). If you are really my children (Mary says), then make your mother's spirit your own: the spirit of charity, peace, self-denial, and reverent love for God. Holy Virgin, from now on I will show you my loving devotion by imitationg your virtues. THere is no greate homage, no greater proof of love, that I can give.

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Athanasius contra mundum said...

I have heard of The Imitation of Mary by Thomas a Kempis. I am going to read it someday.

matthew pierre said...

Its the imitation of christ which Thomas A Kempis wrote. This author is different.