As the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Fatima today, the McGrath Institute for Church Life is releasing a free resource: Celebrating Mary in the Month of May: A Resource for the Domestic Church.
This resource offers a simple order for crowning an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the home, since many parish families will be unable to gather for public May Crownings this year. The beauty of Marian devotion is that it can take place at both the communal and individual levels. As the first disciple of Jesus and as Mother of the Church, Mary herself gathers her children under her mantle as they offer their devotions, leading Christians to her Son both as individuals and as members of the Body of Christ.
The liturgical life and the devotional life are intimately connected: the devotional life flows from and leads back to the liturgical life. These days, when the liturgical life of the Church has been altered so significantly throughout the world, the devotional life assumes a great degree of importance, as it provides a point of connection back to the liturgical life we so long to resume, helping us to stay vigilant in the faith and preparing us for the time when we will be able to gather again around the altar.
It is perhaps in humble devotion to Mary where this intimate connection is seen most vividly and most beautifully within the Church: just as the devotional life is always ultimately directed toward the liturgical life, Marian devotion rightly offered is always ultimately directed toward God—toward the Father who chose this humble daughter of Israel to cooperate in the divine plan for humanity’s salvation, toward the Son who honored her by calling her Mother, toward the Spirit whose overshadowing power caused the Word to become flesh in her virgin womb.
The devotional life is not a replacement for the liturgical life, yet the liturgical life cannot truly flourish without the devotional life, for the liturgical life is the font of the devotional life, and the devotional life is the flowering forth of the liturgical life in everyday existence. In the beauty, simplicity, richness, and even messiness of practicing the devotional life in the home, Christians learn that all of life is meant to be caught up in the divine life of the Trinity. Indeed, as we honor Mary, she teaches us in turn to see our lives as she saw hers—as pure, unmerited gifts from God, meant to be offered back as canticles of praise, that the Lord might be forever magnified by all who proclaim his goodness.
Throughout the rest of this month of May, turn to Our Lady with love and devotion. Whether you honor her under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, or Our Lady Undoer of Knots, or Our Lady of Sorrows, or Mother of Perpetual Help, or any of her many other titles, ask her to keep you close to her Son, Jesus, and to help you see your life in all its complexities as a gift bestowed by the Providence of a loving God.
Visit our website to download our May Crowning resource: