Slideshow image

Sodality Reflection by Senior Robbie Frei

The following is a reflection given by senior Robbie Frei at a meeting of the The Sodality of Our Lady of Walsingham, one of our student organizations. The Sodality is "a religious body which aims at fostering in its members an ardent devotion, reverence, and filial love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary." Chaplaincy and religious student groups encourage our students to explore and deepen their faith, and to help others to do so as well.

In our reflection this week, our rule calls us to devotion. Devotion is a word that I’m sure we’ve heard many times in theology, our homes, or on retreats, and it almost always refers to a specific prayer or practice. You might call wearing a scapular a devotion, or lighting a candle at your parish, in other words a small token of prayer for God.

But devotion means something more than that. The word comes from the Latin “devovere”, a contraction of the words “to vow” and “from”. The Latin implies we are, literally, making a promise from something. So when wearing a scapular or saying frequent Hail Mary’s we must remember that just doing the action isn’t enough, they serve as a promise to God, and one that we should follow in our daily lives. We’ve seem to forgotten that aspect of it.

This devotion is probably the most important part of our prayer lives. So important, in fact, that it is the primary goal of our Sodality: to foster a filial devotion towards our blessed mother. We, as members of the sodality, ought to pray for Mary’s intercession, and follow daily devotions to her, as well as following up on their promises.

For example, a great devotion I believe everyone here should do is to wear a scapular daily. Once you receive a scapular blessing from a priest, you can wear the scapular as a symbol of a promise to our lord, in imitation of Mary, to follow his commandments. It also serves as a reminder of us to fulfill our daily duty. Many other things can serve in the same way, such as daily prayer or votive candles.

Why do we have devotions to Mary, though? We can have devotions to the other saints as well, but why her specifically? Mary is the ideal example for devotion, in her full and selfless sacrifice of her own will for God’s. She promised her entire life to serving God as a servant of the Lord, and we should strive for that. That’s why in our rule it says we should follow the virtue of devotion in imitation of the Virgin.

Daily devotions through Mary to God are everywhere in our faith and will help you enrich your lives. Because they are  so important, I have a challenge for all of you.

After Sodality and the prayer service in the Church, I challenge each and every one of you to write in the inside cover of your student planner one devotion to Mary or God that you intend to do this year. Along with the devotion, I want you to write two other things. Write down the devotion, and then write down a goal for how long to continue it, and what it is promising to God. I know a lot of you are already praying the rosary all October, and that is a wonderful devotion in and of itself, but push yourselves to go that extra mile and think of something else. Write down those three things, the devotion, the duration of time, and the promise it entails, and follow it. If you end the time period, cross it out and maybe go for something longer. Follow that, and I can 100% guarantee you will see the benefits, and more importantly, God will.

So let’s say a prayer for that,

In the name of the father....

God, help me to follow in my daily devotion to you. I, with your help, truly wish to follow through on my promises and live a more virtuous life. May I, like Mary, give myself over to you, and through this daily devotion grow closer to you, Lord Jesus. I ask this through your mother, Mary, our lady of Walsingham, and all the saints. And through her let us pray, Hail Mary...

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


Saint Louis Abbey

Saint Louis Priory School

500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141
P. 314.434.3690    F.314.576.7088
Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Make a Gift