This content was originally published at To the Heights and has been reformatted for the Ignitum Today readers!
If you’re a faithful Catholic woman, chances are you’ve heard advice along the lines of, “Just be like Our Lady” more times than you can count. And if you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve silently responded, “What the heck does that even meannnn?”.
Just being like Our Lady sounds simple, right? You certainly can’t go wrong. But if we just leave our idea of holy womanhood at “being like Our Lady”, we may be left feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Mary is such a unique, complex, and spotless creature. She is the epitome of womanhood, grace, fidelity, and honor. As Catholic women, religious, wives, moms, sisters, daughters, and friends, we want to just be like Our Lady. We want to emulate her. But sometimes we’re so in awe of her grace that we’re stuck wondering how on earth we go about doing that.
Which is why I love the Ten Virtues of Mary.
St. Louis de Montfort, a 17th century French priest, had a passion for Mary, the Mother of God, and how she unceasingly leads us to Jesus. He was certain that loving Mary would lead us to a greater love for Jesus, and that our desire to be close to Him would be ignited by her. So de Montfort wrote a preparation for and prayer of consecration to Jesus through Mary in order to solidify our commitment to Our Lord. In this document, de Montfort highlights what he calls “the ten principal virtues of Mary”. He strongly suggests that we commit these virtues to memory and strive to imitate them in our daily lives.
So what are the virtues of Mary? Her Angelic Sweetness, Ardent Charity, Blind Obedience, Constant Mental Prayer, Divine Purity, Divine Wisdom, Heroic Patience, Lively Faith, Profound Humility, and Universal Mortification.
It’s sometimes hard to be a virtuous Christian, especially in today’s world when we are constantly being bombarded with messages that are contrary to the gospel. Life gets messy and work needs to get done and kids need to be fed and marriages need to be nurtured and health needs to be fostered and laundry needs to be folded and and and … the list goes on. There is so much stuff that makes up the structure of our life that sometimes we can grow weary and confused at the foundation.
Mary had this whole Christ-following, marriage, and motherhood thing down pat, despite the difficulties she encountered. Mary knew how trying womanhood can be, yet she shone with the love of God and her virtue was undeniable.
For me, in the face of life’s ordinary circumstances, I find it inexplicable helpful to have the ten virtues of Mary at hand. They are concrete. They are simple. They are effective. They are easy to pray for. For example, when I’m in the heat of being really annoyed or aggravated, it is simple for me to pray quickly for heroic patience. Then, I call to mind what that virtue entails and it helps me to handle frustrating issues with more grace. I like to think of these virtues as tools in my Christian-life toolbox that I am able to utilize in a pinch. These tools allow me to more closely imitate Mary while catering to my simple mind. Recalling these virtues helps me to be a better Christian, wife, mom, and friend. These virtues remind me of the purpose of community, of being a woman, and of striving to be like Our Lady in the first place.
I can honestly tell you that studying and applying the ten virtues of Mary to my daily life has been one of the most spiritually fruitful things I’ve ever done.
So what’s the deal with this series?
Each Tuesday from now until mid-December, one blogger will host this series at her place and focus on one particular virtue. She will share the definitions of both the virtue and its modifying adjective and why that matters, she’ll reflect on how Mary lived it in her own life, she will offer insight into how we can live that virtue as women, and she’ll divulge how that virtue kicks us in the butt.
I’m so looking forward to reading each reflection because all of these women have amazing hearts and varied personalities, and I’m confident that we will all grow from their particular viewpoints.
At the end of series, we will be celebrating with a big Marian-themed giveaway! We would love for you to join us every Tuesday to learn about Mary and how we can imitate her goodness simply each day, in every situation, and in the tiniest, most mundane moments.
Check out the schedule below to see who’s covering what can’t wait to see you there!
October 7 – An Introduction to the Ten Virtues of Mary – Olivia of To the Heights
October 14 – Lively Faith – Molly of Molly Makes Do
October 21 – Blind Obedience – Kendra of Catholic All Year
October 28 – Constant Mental Prayer – Jenna of Call Her Happy
November 4 – Heroic Patience – Kelly of This Ain’t the Lyceum
November 11 – Profound Humility – Carolyn of Svellerella
November 18 – Angelic Sweetness – Regina of Good One God
November 25 – Divine Wisdom – Britt of The Fisk Files
December 2 – Universal Mortification – Abbey of Surviving Our Blessings
December 9 – Divine Purity – Gina of Someday Saints
December 16 – Ardent Charity – Christy of Fountains of Home
December 17 – Massive GIVEAWAY at To the Heights – Just in time for Christmas