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What St. Faustina Offered Our Lady

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"The flower which I lay at the feet of the Mother of God for May is my practice of silence" (1105). Saint Faustina wrote this in her Diary while on retreat and preparing for the month of May in 1937. The Church celebrates May as the month of Mary. Many parishes have special prayer services and devotions to Our Lady during this month, including what is known as a "May crowning." This is when a crown of flowers is placed on the head of a statue of our Blessed Mother, and perhaps more flowers at her feet, to honor her as our Mother and Queen.

Saint Faustina took this sign of devotion deeper as she reflected on what kind of spiritual flower she could offer Our Lady as a sign of her love and gratitude for Our Lady's daily intercession and care. As a religious sister, she decided to work on her practice of silence for Our Lady. Perhaps this involved trying to cut back unnecessary chatter or striving for greater recollection in prayer. It is precisely in silence, when we cut back on the noises of our lives, that we can better hear God speak to us. He speaks to us His truth, which dispels the lies we may be believing from the enemy; He speaks to us about His will for our lives; and He speaks quite simply of His love and delight for us as His sons and daughters. We may or may not hear Him with our ears, but we certainly can in our hearts, if we open ourselves to Him.

What is the flower that you would like to lay at the feet of the Mother of God this month? Perhaps like St. Faustina you may want to try to live a life with more periods of silence and prayer. Or, is there a certain sin that you seem to be habitually falling into? This month would be a great time to ask for Our Lady's help and intercession for you to overcome it by God's grace. Another idea is to pick a virtue you want to ask Our Lady of Virtues to help you grow in — for example, purity, prudence, humility, faithfulness, devotedness, obedience, poverty, patience, mercy, or repentance (true sorrow for sin).

The more we purify ourselves of vice, by God's grace, and build our lives to be virtuous, the more we imitate Our Lady, who as the Immaculata was perfectly pure and virtuous. We are all called, as the Bride of Christ (the Church), to be holy and immaculate, as St. Paul exhorts us in his Letter to the Ephesians (1:4). We honor the Immaculata in the month of May as we, her children, ask her to pray for us and help us become holy and virtuous as she is. As a good Mother — the most perfect of mothers — she will indeed help us and pray for us and shower down an abundance of God's grace to help accomplish the good task we set about. She loves us and wants us to be with her and the Lord for all eternity in Heaven. So let's give her our love, devotion, and attention this month. Choose one "flower" you can lay at her feet this month. She will lift it to her Heart and hold us close.

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