And, if our faith had given us nothing more Than this Example, of all Womanhood, So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good, So patient, so peaceful, loyal, loving, pure – This were enough to prove it higher and truer Than all the creeds the world had known before. Virgin, who lovest the poor and lonely, If the loud cry of a mother’s heart Can ever ascend to where thou art, Into thy blessed hands and holy Receive my prayer of praise and thanksgiving Let the hands that bore our Savior bear it Into the awful presence of God; For thy feet with holiness are shod, And, if thou bearest it, he will hear it.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What qualities does Longfellow cite that underscore for him why Mary is the “Example of all Womanhood”? Which of these virtues do I most need to acquire? Why does Longfellow say Mary’s prayers are efficacious? Offer a prayer to her for the virtue you have said you need the most.
Chapter I page 1
The interior life is for all the one thing necessary. It ought to be constantly developing in our souls; more so than what we call our intellectual life, more so than our scientific, artistic or literary life. The interior life is lived in the depths of the soul; it is the life of the whole man, not merely of one or other of his faculties.