Image of Our Lady of Kibeho, Mother of the Word
When Mary Asks
It sometimes happens that a soul will sense that Our Lady is asking for the offering of a particular prayer, such as five decades of the rosary. This inspiration will come unsolicited; the soul experiences it like a gentle, but insistent, request. If one responds to the request, there will be a certain joy and consolation. If one delays it, or ignores it, there will be a certain sadness or the feeling of having fallen short of a opportunity to do good.
Our Lady desires to associate souls to her work of bringing life, sweetness, and hope to those of her children who linger in the shadow of death, or suffer a great bitterness, or are tempted to despair. The Mother of God could, of course, act independently of any one of us, and her action would be supremely effective and powerful, but she, like her Divine Son, chooses and, I think, prefers to engage souls in the works that are closest to her Immaculate Heart.
I remember that once, some time ago, Our Blessed Lady asked me to say the beautiful old liturgical hymn of her Vespers — the Ave Maris Stella — each day. I did this, and had the distinct impression that by following this gentle inspiration, I was not only pleasing my heavenly Mother, but also cooperating with her in the mysterious domain of grace.
In her various apparitions, Our Lady has often asked for particular prayers; generally, the rosary, but sometimes other devotions as well. At Kibeho, for example, she specifically asked for the Rosary of the Seven Dolours. What Our Lady does on a large, often public scale in her approved apparitions, she also does in a much quieter and more intimate way when she solicits prayer of individual souls, and especially of souls consecrated to her.
She may ask one to pray for a particular intention, making that intention know by an inspiration or a flash of inner knowledge, or she may keep her intention secret and simply bid us pray for the intentions of her Maternal Heart. Still, at other times, she may want us to pray to obtain the resolution of problems that beset ourselves and those whom we love.
We Know Not How to Pray as We Ought
Just as the Holy Ghost comes to help us in our infirmity, for we know not how to pray as we ought, so too does His Immaculate Spouse, the All-Pure Mother of God, Mary Most Holy move us to pray, and tell us how to pray, by acting upon the soul with a gentle insistence, and by engaging the soul in an interior collaboration with the work of her Maternal Heart.