10 Tips for the month of May

It's the month of May!

There's no better time to get to know our Blessed Mother than this special month which is consecrated to her. If you're stuck for ideas on how you could grow closer to our Lady, here are some that you can consider:

1. Pray the rosary every day, and get others involved. Pray with your family if you can, and if you can't, pray with friends! If you’re all alone and find it really difficult to get started, arrange to meet a friend to pray it over a video call. If you find it difficult to pray, you might want to begin small (just a decade a day) or to read a book with meditations on the rosary. You can find some meditations on the Blessed Virgin by Fr. Ildefonso Rodriguez Villar here, on the website of the Home of the Mother: www.homeofthemother.org/en/resources/virgin-mary/meditations-on-mary

2. Learn some songs to our Blessed Mother and sing Her one each day. You can also sing them after each decade of the rosary if it helps you to keep your focus! Here are some you can start with:

"Behold" by the Servant Brothers

"Oh Faithful Handmaid, Ever Virgin" by the Servant Brothers

"Let it be done into me" by Danielle Rose

3. Read a book about Our Lady for at least 15 minutes a day (but don't be a glutton and spend the whole day finishing it - spiritual reading requires some time to digest so go slow!) Some recommendations are: 

The world's first love by Ven. Fulton Sheen (available online here

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St Louis de Montfort (available online here

Hail, Holy Queen by Scott Hahn

4. Get to know saints who love our blessed Mother (which saint doesn’t have a devotion to our Blessed Mother?), and ask for their intercession. You can start with a few well known ones like St John Paul II, St Maximilian Kolbe, Fulton Sheen and so many more! 

5. Organize a movie screening for videos about our Lady (or the saints who have a special love for Her). This works even if you're unable to leave the house due to a lockdown - there have been screenings over Zoom where people later posted their reflections on Padlet after watching it together! 

Some recommendations:

Recent Marian apparitions of the 20th century (available here)

Garabandal the Movie: only God knows (available here)

Garabandal: Unstoppable Waterfall (available here)

The song of Bernadette (movie based on the apparitions of our Lady in Lourdes - available here)

St Maximilian Kolbe (available here)

6. Go to this link (tinyurl.com/flowersformary) everyday and spin the wheel for a suggestion on what you can do to put a smile on our Blessed Mother's face. Each time you do it, it's like offering Her a flower - and at the end of the month you'll have made a beautiful spiritual bouquet! You can customise this for your own family or friends - print out ideas that you can do everyday, cut and fold them into little pieces of paper and keep them in a jar. If you have younger relatives, you can even print out a colouring sheet of a bouquet of flowers and get them to colour in a flower each time they fulfill their resolution! 

7. Do you know the dogmas of our Lady? What about the history behind Her different titles, or the rosary? Form yourself to be able to defend our Lady, or at least spread the love of Her, with the writings of our Popes about our Blessed Mother. Here are some to begin with:

On the Assumption: Munificentissimus Deus, Pope St Pius XII: available here

On the rosary: Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope St John Paul II: available here

On the Immaculate Conception: Ineffabilis Deus, Pope St Pius IX: available here

On the role of Mary in salvation: Redemptoris Mater, Pope St John Paul II: available here

8. Read up on the virtues of our Blessed Mother and pick one to focus on this month. Make specific resolutions and renew your request for Her to be your teacher and model in this particular virtue. 

9. Learn to make rosaries. (Check out a tutorial here) You can give them as gifts that will help your loved ones store up treasure in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust can reach and corrode the merits of their prayers! (No car you can give will last that long...)

10. Compile a list of quotes about Our Lady and send a different one to people you know each day. Who knows what fruits will be borne from the seeds that you plant?

Happy May, and enjoy falling in love with the most beautiful Mother on Earth (and in Heaven!)