I'm trying to get back into the habit of editing e-books, so this month, I'm going to edit a book about the Virgin Mary. It's adapted from the writings of Saint Francis de Sales, and there is an entry for every day of the month. Editing a few pages every day shouldn't be too hard, right?
There are two preliminary sections. The first is about proper devotion to the Virgin Mary, which lies between two extremes. One extreme is ignoring her completely, while the other extreme is excessively praising her to the point that she is equal with God. True devotion to the Blessed Virgin is not excessive, and it is geared towards God, because He is the source of her perfections. To use a natural analogy, if she is the moon, it is only because she receives and reflects the light of the sun.
The second preliminary section is about the Immaculate Conception, which means that Mary was born without sin. This also means she was born with the full use of reason, rather than being born with the impaired judgment that is a result of original sin.
Day One is about Mary as a child. Like Jesus, she was humble and purposely denied herself. Instead of demanding special treatment or showing off her divine prerogative, she acted like a normal child. She was obedient to her parents, and her obedience to others continued throughout her entire life. You could say that she never acted out of her own will, but she was always obedient to the will of God.
Day Two is about the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, which is the event in her life when she made a vow of virginity. It was a joyous occasion. Saint Francis makes note of how we should serve God, even from our youth, and we should make the most of our present time, through youthful passion and diligence. Do not walk in the way of perfection; rather, run in the way of perfection, and "run so as to win".
Day Three is a continuation of Day Two. Mary was led to the Temple by her parents; in the same way, God leads us by the hand onto the path of the exercise of virtues, and sometimes He carries us in the arms of divine providence. Also like Mary, we should dedicate ourselves to God unreservedly, holding nothing back, just as He holds nothing back in the giving of himself. You should give your whole heart to God, even if part of your heart is unclean; that is more acceptable to God than if you hold back part of your heart out of fear of unworthiness.
Day Four is about Mary's faithfulness in answering her vocation. She answered the call of God without protracted deliberation or reserve. Be prompt in doing what God calls you to do, and attempt to follow the inspirations of God without holding anything back.