Life is not easy for a man who aspires to strong virtue.
Temptations are much too fascinating.
In youth passion plays like a livid flame.
In success false loves throw themselves before him.
In failure he is prompted to seek forgetfulness in sin.
And always, creature of body and of soul that he is, he knows the war in his members as the law of the flesh lusts against the spirit.
Not a man who is alive and happy in the preservation or the recapturing of virtue fails to thank a woman: his mother most likely, who gave him ideals of woman’s purity…the sweetheart who kept him safe…the wife who gave him pure love consecrated at the altar…the nun who was his teacher and friend.
Mary, who has been to millions of men, the Mother without stain.
Mary, who has been to the tempted the Virgin all powerful and all tender and of spotless love.
Mary, who could beg for tormented and tempted men the purity of her Son.
Mary, inspiration of the knight, shield of the Crusader, strength of the weak, refuge of sinners, glory of the saints.
To Mary, inspiration of men, we pray:
The Prayer of the Immaculate Conception
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for thy Son, we beseech thee that, as by the foreseen death of this, thy Son, thou didst preserve her from all stain, so too thou wouldst permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
(Copyright 1947 Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Nihil Obstat: John M. Fearns, S.T.D. Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop, New York)