Devotion is not like a lucky charm or protective amulet that the Catholic warrior uses as a magical weapon or defense against our satanic enemy. Instead, the assistance in our spiritual warfare comes from God and is called grace. The only Mediator with the Father is the Son - Jesus Christ. But we should also call upon mediators to Jesus Christ who is as holy as the Father and so we have primarily Our Lady, then St Joseph, and then the other saints and angels.
Devotion is a brief time set apart to help us changeover from the busyness of our day to the Spirit-led work as the session of Fairfax Presbyterian Church. It is space that we open up to experience God’s presence in our midst and to listen for the ways the Spirit might be leading the church. In devotions we are reminded of the One who created us, calls us together, and sends us into the world. In devotions we have an opportunity to praise God for the many gifts we’ve been given. In devotions we are invited to adopt “imaginative vision” that enables us to see the world, “not as it normally presents itself, but as God intend it to be. In devotions we are nourished spiritually for the work we have been set aside to do as the session of this congregation.
The first component of devotion is love. Love is primarily self-giving — giving yourself to your beloved through feelings, thoughts, and deeds. So, devotion involves giving of you, loyally and with deep affection.
The second principal component of devotion is humility — humbling yourself before your beloved. Devotion, in the sense of our special technique, is to love and consciously humble you before the beloved: Spirit.
A person practicing this form of devotion strives daily to let go of pride and arrogance — and give of the self. In pride and arrogance we are unable to give love. We are so engrossed in our own thoughts and attainments that we have no love to spare. Or, we can be so engrossed in our own frustrations and fears that we have no love to give. In either case, our attention is concentrated on our personal feelings.
May devotions flourished in the period described as the Marian century, namely between 1850 and 1950. Today, the May devotion hardly plays a special role. During the changes and renewal phases of the Second Vatican Council Marian devotions along with other forms of popular piety disappeared. Meanwhile renewed interest is surfacing for this type of devotion. Church leaders have recognized and fostered Devotions to Mary according to the originality and requests of the faithful according to the situation, the time, and the place. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council wished that customs and devotional practices continue and are protected. The many and various forms of Marian Devotions for Families contain–as does piety itself–that which fits to the times and that which is timeless.
In personal devotions, we speak to God and God speaks to us. We speak to God in prayer, and God speaks to us in two ways, through His Word (the Bible) and through the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Spirit's witness does not come to us in audible words, as though we were listening to another person outside ourselves. Nor do we hear another person's voice in our heads. Rather, the Spirit speaks by leading us to the thoughts and impressions He wants us to have.
The most common example of this way of speaking is when the Holy Spirit gives us a burden for somebody. We might be walking or sitting or even sleeping when suddenly we think of that person and sense that he has a need. When such happens, the Holy Spirit may be prompting us to pray for him. Later, we may find that we felt the burden and prayed exactly when he was undergoing a trial of some sort. Thus, although we should not live in a state of worry, we should remain sensitive to any concern that the Spirit places on our hearts.