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Three Marian Prayers for Humility

Humility and Elevation of the Mind to God is a classic work by Thomas à Kempis, published by TAN Books for the first time in English. In this timeless book, the great spiritual master teaches the cultivation of humility, the signs and dangers of pride, and elevating one’s prayer life through simple devotion. The following are excerpts from three gorgeous prayers composed by Thomas à Kempis for the Blessed Mother, who is our greatest example of human humility. 

Prayer of Love for Mary

O Blessed Mary, most kindly Virgin and glorious Mother of God, of all mortals, you alone possess the plenitude of grace and the perfection of piety and love. I implore you to open this treasury of mercy and love to me, your poor and unworthy servant. 

Pour forth into the depths of my parched soul the gentle dew of the refreshing sweetness which you keep hidden in your most holy bosom. Help me to love ardently and praise devoutly your unique Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and yourself, most blessed of mothers, with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and all my strength. 

May I pass all the days of my life upon this earth in serving you and your divine Son with true love and fervor of spirit. O Virgin Mary, golden rose, indescribably sweet and beautiful! Let my prayers poured out to you with devotion enter into the sight of your most holy presence. 

With these prayers, I knock upon the door of your mystical dwelling place, the most exalted abode within the celestial palace of God. I confide entirely in your mercy in all my tribulations and anguish. For you are the Mother of mercy, and through you each sinner finds their greatest hope of obtaining God’s mercy…

Prayer for Mary’s Intercession at the Hour of Our Death

O most loving Mother of God, Mary ever-virgin, you overflow with a miraculous sweetness, which the human mind is not able to comprehend or describe! I stand before you now as your lowly servant, humbly bowing before your most glorious throne, which is exalted far above all the choirs of angels in the heavenly kingdom. 

You have deserved this preeminent rank, O beloved Lady, for you were found to be the most pure and humble amongst all the daughters of Jerusalem. Therefore, your beauty became pleasing in the eyes of God, the divine King; for truly he found no other maiden upon earth who was similar to you.

Again, I prostrate myself before your footstool, eager to praise and extol you with devout lips and a pure heart. Yet I know, chosen Mother of God, that I am not worthy to raise my impure eyes to you. For often have I sinned, weakly succumbing to the lusts of the flesh, the cravings of the eyes, and the pride of life. 

Indeed, I am unfit to gaze upon your most serene face, radiant with the divine luminance, which fills the whole angelic court of heaven with the most profound admiration and wonder. This face is adorned with lips whose crimson surpasses that of the rose and whose eyes’ gentle gleam outshines the stars themselves. 

When I consider my own abject unworthiness, I am deeply saddened and filled with frustration at my own impurity. But again, when I recall the multitude of your mercies, I am infused with renewed hope. With you interceding for me and acting as my blessed advocate, surely I shall quickly obtain the grace of forgiveness for my failures and reconciliation to the Lord. 

What else can I do but see in you, my Lady, my sweetest solace and my most merciful refuge? And not for me only but for all sinners. Therefore, inspired by the hope of your healing mercy and maidenly gentleness, I fly unto your holy protection, O most gracious of Queens. For, by means of your protection, the weak are given strength and captives receive liberty. Be merciful to me, just as a good Mother. Thus shall I know that you are indeed the consoler of all who serve you and the most faithful helper of all who trust in you…

Prayer for Mary’s Consolation

Receive, O most merciful Mother of God, your servant who flies to you in the midst of tribulation! Receive me, most pure of virgins, like a forsaken orphan, who has no one else to offer consolation. My Lady, see my affliction and open to me your heart of deepest mercy. 

Lo, I stand at your door knocking, crying out and begging for you to open to me! And I shall not withdraw, I shall not depart, until you grant me kindly admittance. I know of your incomparable sweetness. I know of the maternal tenderness of your heart, which is replete with a love divine in nature and origin. 

And therefore I flee to you often, both when things are going well for me and when I face tribulations and difficulties. For you never fail to provide me with motherly consolation and encouragement, and to refresh and renew my spirit. With you speaking words of solace to me, what need have I ever to feel sad? And with you as my protectress and guardian, how shall any enemy harm me or ever dare to approach me? 

Most kindly Mother, turn your ears to my humble supplications. Noble maiden, grant to me to drink of your font of refreshment, and pour out to me the pure waters of your super-abundant grace. How very much I need your grace during this present time of struggle, and indeed at all times in my life! And never shall I become weary of your guidance, protection, and assistance. So delightful and potent is your grace that a single drop of it, descending upon my lips like dewfall, is more precious to me than all the world…

These prayers continue in Humility and Elevation of the Mind to God by Thomas à Kempis, along with other meditations and wisdom on the virtue of humility. 

This article is taken from a chapter in Humility and Elevation of the Mind to God by Thomas à Kempis which is available from TAN Books

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