Bible verse 1: Luke 1:42
Bible verse 2: Luke 1:28
I’m not the type of person that can just whip out a free-form prayer at the drop of a hat. Usually my prayers are either very structured (rosary-style) or a rambling, shambled mess in which I pray for something or somethings and I think of 80 different things in the time I’m trying to pray, and before I know it, I’m talking to Mary or God about recipes I pinned and realize that I’ve totally forgotten that I’m praying because I’ve gotten distracted sixteen different times. Here are a few Marian Devotions you can focus on when you’re in my “oh, there’s a squirrel! Wow,, I’m distracted” boat.
The scapular devotion, in its postage stamp-sized variety, is a sort of symbolic sharing in the mission and prayers of a religious order. The most famous version is probably the Brown Scapular, which was given to the Carmelite friar St. Simon Stock. It comes with a pretty intense promise: preservation from Hell. You still have to receive the sacraments, penance included, so it’s not a catch all “do whatever you want because you’re wearing a scapular” pass, but combined with a holy life and partaking in the sacraments, it’s a fabulous and tangible reminder that Mary is interceding with us.
—Consecration to Jesus through Mary
This is one I’ve touched on already, so I’ll be brief here. St Louis de Montfort says, “we consecrate ourselves at one and the same time to Mary and to Jesus. We give ourselves to Mary because Jesus chose her as the perfect means to unite Himself to us and unite us to Him.”
It is a simple and brief set of prayers, easy to memorize, typically prayed at the beginning, middle, and end of the day. In grade school and middle school, we prayed it at noon with our grace before meals, just before we’d go to the cafeteria for lunch. It’s a peaceful and short prayer, but when you’re a hangry middle-schooler, even a Glory Be can seem exhaustive. Link to the full prayer here: https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/Angelus.htm
—The Litany of Loreto
This is one I hadn’t heard of until I started researching this study. The Litany of Loreto seems like a huge list of names of Mary. We can think about the work of God in Mary under each of these names which express different facets of her fullness of grace, and we can also beg for graces which correspond to these names. As long as it’s mindfully prayed, rather than just recited without deep thought (like with all prayers), it can be a great and powerful way to get closer to Mary.
—The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is another one I hadn’t heard of before researching this study. The “Little Office” is an imitation of the Church’s official prayer, called the Liturgy of the Hours, and is composed primarily from the Psalms. Like the divine office, it is divided into different ‘hours’ meant to sanctify different times of day. It’s considered little because it is shortened and simplified, and adapted in a devotional mode by using prayers and antiphons about the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s good for those of us who prefer a formatted, clear-cut way to pray with instruction and guidance.
Devotion ideas from: http://www.dominicanajournal.org/5-marian-devotions/
Reflection question 1: Which of these devotions are you most eager to try?
Reflection question 2: Are any of these devotions new to you, as they were to me?
Act: Pick one of these new devotions to try today.