Ave + Maria
Prayerful greetings from the Dominican Nuns during this month of Our Lady. It was truly a delight to meet you this past spring, and to receive your most recent letter. All the Sisters have been asking, “Have you heard from Melanie?” so it was most welcome.
How good to hear that you and your sister will be preparing to make St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary on the feast of Our Lady’s Assumption. Have you finished reading his True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin? Each Sister here has made the full preparation and official Consecration. During the year we make a formal renewal using a shorter form of the Total Consecration on each Marian feast day–and there are quite a few of them! Our devotion to Our Lady is like the air we breathe–all around us, all the time, present in each activity of our lives as Mary’s Guard of Honor. Our devotion especially focuses on the “Ave Maria” (as you see at the head of our letters) because we devote ourselves to the “Perpetual Rosary” which overflows from the Hour of Guard to all the actions of the day.
Our practice of renewing our Consecration each morning upon rising (and each evening before retiring) is just one example of how interwoven our Blessed Mother is with our life, which is really to say with our giving ourselves to Jesus for the salvation of souls. Our monastery’s Custom Book holds her out to us as an example in everything: “It is indeed our desire that we should so well reproduce in ourselves the virtues and dispositions of this ever Blessed Virgin that, our lives being wholly in accord with her example, we might become, to Jesus, so many ‘other Marys.” Of course, the exterior practices are meant to intensify our interior practice of living through, with, by, and for Mary that we may live more perfectly through, with, by, and for Jesus.
We will be praying for you as you prepare for your Consecration and as you enjoy your time at home this summer. Thank you for your prayers for us, and especially for the other young women who are writing and visiting.
In Our Lady,
“Sister Mary Magistra”