The founder of the Legion of Mary, Frank Duff, studied and lived out the principles of the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary as outlined by St. Louis de Montfort in his book, True Devotion to Mary. Duff states in his writings that the reading of this book had a profound effect on his understanding of Mary’s role in salvation history; and he incorporated the practices of it into the Legion of Mary handbook.
The following is Duff’s advice on how to approach reading St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion:
Now may I put the question: what is the best way to read his book and to practice his Devotion, for these operations must go together as a twin. I would be inclined to say that the very best method would lie in the reading of a page of the True Devotion every day, but in the manner of a prayer or meditation, seeking to drain the idea and spirit even of each word into our minds, accepting what it declares as a message to us from him; rejecting the notion that the very strong expressions which all the time proceed from his lips about the Blessed Virgin represent in the slightest degree unjustified embellishment of her. For there I think is the very charm and virtue of the book: that it can appear so often to be parting company from reality and plunging into a fantastic, extravagant world of its own. But beware when you find yourself imagining that such is the case. Because there is no exaggeration and no fantasy. No book ever passed through such an ordeal by fire and emerged so triumphantly as this one has.
Moreover Mary’s vastness exceeds our capacity to exaggerate her. Our intelligence really cannot compass her. Necessarily God’s masterpiece evades our full understanding so that when luminous glimpses are afforded to us we find the light too much.
So again I urge it. Read the book regularly in the spirit of complete acceptance. Dwell on its different parts. Capture its soaring ideas and receive them into yourself as by very faith. In this way will the real Mary show herself to you and be able to exert her full maternal sway over you. Thus will you make your passage through this life worthwhile, what it is supposed to be.
Frank Duff (b.1889- d. 1980), founder of the Legion of Mary (source)
Picture: Frank Duff (source)
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