The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 179.

To write in any detail on the various external devotions to our Lady approved by the Church Various would hardly belong to the scope of this book. All Catholics are familiar with their form. To keep our Lady's Feasts, to visit her Images, to wear her Scapular, to say her Rosary, to make Novenas to her in times of special need, to recite the Angelus—these are well-tried methods of devotion, advised by the Saints and proved by experience to be blessed by God. Of vocal prayers we are exhorted to be faithful at least to the recitation of the Hail Mary every morning and evening of our lives ; those of us who are priests and religious bound to choir, recite her antiphons twice each day—for the rest each one is left to his own devotion. In the garden of the Church there are many beautiful flowers. Some should be gathered by all, all can be gathered by none, every individual should cull those which appeal to his own spiritual sense. I should advise all my readers, but especially, if I may say so, converts to the Faith, to be careful not to force themselves to adopt any form of expression which appears unreal to them, and which therefore they are unable to assimilate. We all should accustom ourselves to that which the Church recommends to us all—the Hail Mary and the Litany of our Lady so usual at Benediction—beyond that it is a mistake to travel, unless we can do so without irksomeness or difficulty. Why use some form of verbal expression which may appeal to our neighbours, but which will not help us, so long as we are worried by its phrasing ? In this matter however, we should remember that tastes often change with the advance of years. It may well be that after a man has been a Catholic ten years a mode of expression may seem natural, and therefore will be useful to him, which when he first became a Catholic would have jarred on his sense of fitness and plagued him to no good purpose. Throughout life we should be sensible enough to exercise the liberty which in matters of devotion is freely conceded to all her children by the Church.