Do your best. But never give up your beads.

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One of my heavenly friends — in some way, I might even consider him a spiritual father of mine - is the Benedictine Dom Eugène Vandeur (1875-1967). One of my dreams is one day to facilitate the re-edition of some of Father Vandeur's works. Father Vandeur wrote extensively, passionately, and beautifully on the Blessed Virgin Mary. His point of departure was always a text of Holy Scripture or of the Sacred Liturgy; then he would allow his pen (and his soul to take flight) in what he called his elevations. His message remained simple and accessible, even as he probed the hidden and deep things of God and of the Kingdom. Here is a page of Dom Vandeur that I think suitable for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:

If it is possible for you, never neglect to say your beads every day,
and if you find time, even the whole fifteen decades.

Be not afraid of distractions, provided you are willing to struggle against them.
Our heavenly Mother understands so well our weakness, our tired feelings, our weariness at times.
Hail Mary's multiplied never displease her.
She appreciates your murmurings of faith, hope, and love.
Do your best. But, never give up your beads.
To carry them on your person . . . is that not as if you were saying them all day, all night secretly?
Keep them, at times, especially in time of trial, in the hollow of your hand. That is to clasp Mary's hand.

To conclude, keep this in mind, at least:
do not neglect to say three Hail Mary's morning and night to Mary, Mother of God and your Mother, to thank the Most Blessed Trinity for having given us her.

We can report marvelous results from faithfulness to that practice, among those who suffer, who labor, who undergo pain of any kind,
in body, in soul, in the midst of cares, to safeguard their interests for time and eternity.

When we love someone, we cease not to remind him of our love, and always we love him more.
In saying Hail Mary, you will never disappoint your heart, and above all the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
She is your Mother . . . Does not that say it all?
Amen! So be it! Yes, altogether, right, sweet, and good that it be so.

(Hail Mary, by Dom Eugène Vandeur, translated by John H. Collins, S.J., The Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1954)

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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