Growing up Catholic, I’ve always been familiar and comfortable with the Blessed Virgin Mary. I understood and affirmed her role within the life of Christ and the life of the Church. I prayed my Hail Marys willingly. But just like faithful Christians can live decades without really knowing Jesus on a personal level, I spent most of my youth not really knowing Our Lady.
Mary was a nice afterthought. In my mind, she was a great intercessor, but she sat on the sidelines of my spiritual life. But as I grew closer to Christ, a desire to know His mom more grew (super)naturally in my heart.
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I Couldn’t Relate to Our Lady
The problem was that I didn’t really “get” Mary. I had a hard time believing that she wanted to know me. In examining my soul and why I had this road block to relationship with the Blessed Mother, I realized what was holding me back.
- Because of Mary’s sinlessness and prevalence of grace, I didn’t think she could understand me in my sin and imperfection. And, because of that;
- Shamefully, I didn’t take her seriously. I assumed that, because she was conceived without Original Sin, that living a life of virtue was easy and natural for her. How could she understand the struggles I face?
Trust me, I knew how wrong that way of thinking is, and it’s hard to even admit that’s where my prideful heart was stationed.
How Can I Live Like Mary?
Understanding that Mary is my supreme earthly model for virtue, especially as a woman, I was eager to find ways to imitate her. But these stumbling blocks in my mind kept me, well, stumbling.
I felt that Mary’s holiness was unattainable; and my all-or-nothing personality wanted to just abandon trying to imitate her virtue because I would, inevitably, fail.
Of course, this is a ridiculous reason not to know or imitate Mary, but I had to learn that lesson first.
I longed for an action plan, a step-by-step instruction on how to love and serve God like Mary did. Since I felt overwhelmed by her awesomeness, I needed someone to hold my hand and show me the way to the mother of the Way.
St. Louis de Montfort and the Ten Virtues of Mary
When I was a freshman in college, I met St. Louis de Montfort for the first time, who was eager to re-introduce me to Mary.
St. Louis de Montfort spent the majority of his priestly ministry writing and speaking about how Mary is the safest, surest, and sweetest way to Christ. He wrote beautifully on the Rosary and the imitation of Our Lady.
In his prayerful study of the life and person of Mary, St. Louis de Montfort outlined ten principle virtues Our Lady possessed and exercised.
When I read them for the first time, I knew I had my roadmap.
Finally, there were concrete ways I could strive to be more like Mary. These ways helped me know her more intimately. These virtues help me see precisely what I can do to exemplify our mom, and how to know the Holy Spirit more through her.Finally, I found concrete ways I could strive to be more like Mary. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Discovering the ten virtues of Mary was a true game-changer for me. Mary no longer feels unreachable, but available. I’ve come to understand that her perfection wasn’t an easy gift, but that, with every breath, she chose to love in spite of her immense sufferings in life. She made the difficult choice to be virtuous in a world that was so broken.
How to Be Women of Virtue
Through this example of Our Lady, extracted tangibly by St. Louis de Montfort, we now have a clear vision for our path to holiness. Striving for these virtues finds its root and bloom in Christ Jesus. As women, we have a perfect example in Mary. Let’s not be intimidated by her. Rather, let’s more readily try to be more like her.
Learning about the ten virtues of Mary has altered by life and relationship with Christ. I’d love for you to have them in your saintly toolkit as well! I’ll be sharing more about these virtues, how Mary lived them, what they mean for us, and how we can practice them in tomorrow night’s online workshop.
I’ll be live at 9 PM eastern talking all about Mary and simple, no-nonsense ways to live more like her. I’d love for you to be there to share thoughts an questions. You can save your virtual seat here. I hope to see you there—I’m excited to encourage you!
Do you desire to live more like Our Lady, too? Will you be joining us for the workshop?!I Couldn't Relate to Our Lady Until I Discovered This #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Olivia Spears lives in Kentucky, where sweet tea and bourbon flow like milk and honey. She works from home as an editor and social media manager while raising her children and laughing with her husband. Although she now spends most of her free time away from the internet, past adventures are still on her blog. You can find out more about her here.