Day #1: My Heart, a Flower which Mary must Cultivate
MARY: O my daughter, your mother is always ready to cultivate you provided that you treat me as a mother and not as a stranger. How many times you?ve been afraid of me, even while knowing that I am all loving! How many times have you virtually fled from me, so slack has your devotion been. Come to my heart and let it be a school of virtue for you since God himself has made me great for your good. Follow me faithfully, even if your soul feels arid and without any fervor. Confide your pains to me. Turn toward me because in this month I have so many treasures of grace to dispense and I give them to those who turn to my motherly heart with trust.
THE SOUL: O my good Mama, don?t you see what an ugly flower I am? I?m a withered flower, almost without
leaves and without life. … Help me! I entrust my soul to you that you might cultivate it and heal it. …
The bells of your temple are ringing for the feast, Mary, yet I groan with sluggishness. Your throne is rich with flowers, and my heart, which ought to be your throne, is so poor and devoid of everything!
O my Mother, while the plaintive harmony of these bells dissipates in the air, the groan of my poor heart reaches your Heart and moves it to have pity on me! I need grace because I am so miserable: ?Maria mater grati?, mater misericordi? tu nos ab hoste protege et mortis hora suscipe? (Mary mother of grace, mother of mercy, protect us from the evil one and receive us at the hour of death).
ASPIRATION: O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
LITTLE WORK: Accept with patience and calm the rudeness which comes your way.
About the Meditations
The daily School of Mary meditations come from the book, A Month with Mary, written by a holy Italian priest Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Originally written as spiritual thoughts to his spiritual daughter, the work is comprised of thirty-one meditations for the month of May.
Father Dolindo wrote A Month with Mary on pocket-sized pages joined into small fascicles of 8 to 12 pages. He sent them to Laura de Rosis every two to three days and later transcribed them with some modifications in volume III of his autobiography: The Story of My Life in the Plan of the Great Mercy of God, pp. 1140ff (cf. Epistolario 1:212n, 218n). This work is from 1912: one of those years which passed in the life of Father Dolindo with the cadence of a “Way of the Cross” … But he, serene as ever, loved Christ the more, loved Our Lady the more and reflected on this love in these few pages to which he wished to give the significant title: A Profound Reform of Heart in the School of Mary. These meditations are written in the style of the Imitation of Christ. (90pp. laminated gloss, saddle stitch)