TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN TO LOVE THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY


Child's Prayer to the Virgin Mary

Holy Mary, mother fair,
Filled with love for God,
Pray for us in all our needs.
Pray for us today.

“My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior” (Lk. 1:46).

These opening words of Mary’s Magnificat set the tone for family catechetics. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church. Therefore, she is the spiritual Mother of the little children whom you catechize, the children who soon will be the adult Catholics of tomorrow.

For many reasons, Mary must be the animating and motivating force in family catechetics. When you teach your children the truths of the Catholic faith about Jesus her Son, you are giving them the reasons for devotion to Mary. For the truths about Jesus are the reasons for the privileges of Mary.

Since she is the Mother of all interior and spiritual life, Mary makes family catechetics come to life. She makes it happy and joyful. She makes it formation, instead of merely cold, intellectual instruction. Mothers are life-giving. They nourish life. Mary does this for your children in the spiritual order.

You could not do better for your children than to bring them to true devotion to Our Lady.

“Holy Is His Name”

This reminds us of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, the great saint of the True Devotion to Mary. Do you know about him? He was canonized in our times for our times. His message is the fact that we come to Jesus only through Mary. Family catechetics is the process by which your children come to Jesus, becoming His followers, imitating Him in their lives, standing up for Him like soldiers. The Montfort message is clear: To be successful in your program of spiritual care for your children, you simply must help them to learn a real, living practice of devotion to the holy Mother of God.

Montfort is a great saint raised up by God for our times. Why, exactly?

Mary tells us in her Magnificat: “God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is his name.” The omnipotence of God is the idea of God which fills the mind of Our Lady, utterly and completely. For Mary, God is “The Almighty,” that favorite name for God among the Hebrews.

True devotion to Mary gives your children this same idea of God as “The Almighty.” From this comes trust in His providence. He watches over each of us. No matter what evils there are in the social environment outside your home, no matter what civil discord or threat of war there may be, God is abidingly “The Almighty.” The evil which men do cannot thwart His providence. He is in command. The resurrection of the body and life everlasting are articles of faith because they are coming realities.

When your children are conscious, like Mary, of the greatness and power of God, they can grow up with inner peace in their hearts. And you will not need to be so worried about the kind of world that awaits them, or how they will fare in it.

Magnify the Lord

Mary teaches your children true humility. God exalts the lowly and the humble, watching over them with infinite care and almighty power. The more humble we become, the greater will be our peace and joy and sense of confident strength in facing the future. For with Mary, the Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, we know in whom we have placed our trust.

Cultivate a great love for Mary’s Magnificat. Make it familiar to your children. Let it be your special character and program in taking that spiritual care of your children which we know as family catechetics.

**Adapted from the May 1984 issue of Lay Witness.

Msgr. Eugene Kevane (1913–96) was the founding director of the Notre Dame (Pontifical) Institute for Advanced Studies in Religious Education in Middleburg, Virginia, and was dean of the School of Education of the Catholic University of America. He is known by many to be the foremost catechist of our time.

This entry was posted in Lay Witness Archive, May/June 2009, Web Exclusive by Msgr. Eugene Kevane.h/t Willy Reyes

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