Thursday, November 14, 2019

Day 10: God Alone - With, In and through Mary - 33 Days to Total Consecration

 "I am all yours, and all that I have is yours, O most loving Jesus, through Mary, your most holy Mother" 
(True Devotion, 233).
DAY 9 of 33: 
WEEK 2: Contemplate the Our Father as we take St. Maximilian Kolbe as our guide.
Action: 
Resolve to pray a complete set of mysteries of the Rosary every day - as an act of love to God and in fulfillment of Mary's requests to us.
Start by contemplating the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary - see day 8 for instructions/ guidance on how to fit this into your day.
Also, pray and contemplate the 2nd Luminous Mystery - the Wedding Feast of Cana

See Video teaching to hear a glimpse of this:
Today we contemplate the Wedding Feast of Cana and the tremendous beauty of marriage and family life.
A Wedding is at the beginning of Scripture at Creation, at the end of Scripture at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, and it is in the middle - where, in the heart of Scripture - we find this Mystery of the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Married Love reflects the continuous outpouring  of Love and Life that flows out of the Blessed Trinity - this Communion and Union of Love and Fruitfulness of the Three Divine Persons. 
We are called to share in this free, full, faithful and fruitful love and reflect it in the world no matter what our vocation or calling in life - for all of us are called to wedded to God in a Love and Fruitfulness that surpasses understanding!
Mary, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit to the fullest extent - (we all our spouses of God, too, to lesser extents) - knows and anticipates our imperfections and our needs and intercedes for us - obtaining Superabundant New Wine of God's Grace poured out upon us to enliven our souls, our marriages and our families.

Particularly in these times, when our very identity as men and women as well as marriage and family life is under such attack - we are called to Truly Live out this Reality of God's love in our lives, and marriages and families - even though imperfectly!

See these articles referenced in the video:   https://enteringintothemystery.blogspot.com/2019/11/how-radical-communist-feminism-has.html
https://enteringintothemystery.blogspot.com/2019/11/five-ways-lenins-propaganda-have.html


As we contemplate marriage and family life in this mystery, we recognize none of us is perfect so none of us will be able to live out this call perfectly.
Yet, we must never let this stop us, as St. Peter showed us yesterday (in our video reflection): God doesn't require perfection of us - only a humble and obedient heart attentive to His Word!
So, we ask for a heart willing to listen and obey God's voice like St. Peter's - for even though he failed - he was quick to begin again and to keep his eyes on Christ and not on himself.
For, it is only in acknowledging our weakness that God can be strong in us - because it is then that we cling to God and steadfastly go to Him for our strength instead of seeking it mistakenly in ourselves.
As we further contemplate marriage and family, we recognize Mary is the best of all mothers, for she loves us completely in and though and with the fullness of grace she possesses from God... 
yet - even though we will never be perfect at loving as Mary is - still A MOTHER'S LOVE (even today in the midst of so many attacks on motherhood) - IS STILL THE GREATEST EXAMPLE ON EARTH OF A HUMAN FRAIL LOVE COVERING A MULTITUDE OF SINS...

...that is why Satan has attacked motherhood so fiercely... for not only is a mother a living sign of God's unconditional love, she is also a sign of His fruitfulness - as she alone is capable of bringing forth new life. 
It is in these very gifts of fruitfulness and love - a mothers' greatest gifts - that she is most fiercely attacked and disparaged. 
This is why husbands, fathers, children and the very sacrament of marriage which God established are all so terribly maligned and attacked - for these are the very persons and the institution in which she is supposed to be most cherished and supported. 
While these assaults reflect the post Christian era in which we live, the Wedding Feast of Cana shows forth a Glorious Reality that we are made for! 
WE ARE CALLED TO SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT THE WORLD TELLS US WILL SATISFY US AND ASKS US TO SETTLE FOR:
The Father intended for us to have Love and Life and to have it abundantly! 
For all of His children, whether married or celibate, whether single or religious, whether a nun or a priest, we are called to express and LIVE this LIFE of self-giving love that reflects the very Trinitarian Life of God - THIS is the source of true happiness. 
It is by living and loving, within the perimeters of our unique vocations - fully, freely, fruitfully and faithfully - that we are most able to glorify and hallow His Name.

Action:
1. Skim through the accompanying pictures and words below that highlight the extraordinary wisdom of St. Maximilian and St. Louis. Read them more thoroughly as the Holy Spirit inspires you and as time allows and when it is possible.
2. Continue to choose to enter more deeply into the daily prayer program (below) at least in this way: 
Ponder and pray the Our Father today and the entire Joyful Mysteries as well as the 2nd Luminous Mystery  - while praying for the grace to listen, to hear and respond to God as Mary does.
Praying also for the grace to surrender whatever is keeping me from responding fully  - in and through and with Mary’s love and help.

Daily Prayer Program for these 33 Days:

It is important to make a commitment to strive to pray more deeply, more intensely and with more of your heart during these days of preparation. Here are some guidelines and suggestions for how to live these days. Pray about how you can grow in each of these areas listed below and while living out this prayer program it is especially important to 
Trust in the Truth and Supernatural Reality of God’s Presence within each of them
1. Sacraments
    •            LIVE Grace and Renew our Baptism - renounce sin and Satan
    •            Mass and the Eucharist the Center of our lives
    •            Confession frequently
2. Scripture - Pray and Internalize it daily
    •           To Jelena: “I’m going to reveal a spiritual secret to you: if you want to be stronger than evil, make yourself a plan of personal prayer. Take a certain time in the morning, read a text from Holy Scripture, anchor the Divine word in your heart, and strive to live it during the day, particularly during the moment of trials. In this way, you will be stronger than evil.” (Our Lady of Medjugorje, April 19, 1984)
    •           Rosary – With and in Mary, contemplating Scripture and the mysteries of God
3. Fill mind with wisdom of Mary and the Saints
    •            God is sending Mary to earth for she is the Crusher of Satan. Listen to her words.
    •            St. John Paul II – example of life given over – Totus Tuus
    •            St. Maximilian Kolbe – Militia Immaculata every soul consecrated to Mary will save the world
    •            St. Louis de Montfort – Mary will form the greatest saints who ever lived – easiest shortest most sure way to sanctity
    •            St. Mother Teresa and many more

PART 2: To Win All Souls for Christ through Mary and the Miraculous Medal: Day 3 in the Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Maximilian Kolbe


On this day 3 of our preparation for total consecration we will ponder Maximilian's Goal to Win all Souls for Christ through Mary. Contemplating Mary as not only our Mother, but the Mother of all souls - surely spurred St. Maximilian to understand that a Mother cannot be happy if any one of her children is lost. How important it was, then, for him to bring all souls to her!! Nothing short of the whole world would do.

"We could say that what is truly original in St. Maximilian, compared to other forms of consecration to Mary in the Church, is precisely its missionary and universal dimension.
He founded the MI Movement ... with a great ideal in his heart...: 
"To win the whole world for Christ through the Immaculata" (Cf. KW382); 
To embrace the entire globe “... so that she may extend her dominion in the hearts of all those who live in any corner of the earth" (KW1210).
In the original charter of the MI... he indicated the goal of his Movement with these words:
"To bring about the conversion of sinners, heretics, schismatics, etc., especially Freemasons, and the sanctification of all, under the patronage and through the mediation of the B.V.M. Immaculate"(KW1368).
To obtain this purpose St. Maximilian considered one’s total consecration to the Immaculata the essential condition (ibid.).
St. Maximilian founded the MI with a clear objective: that everyone be converted and become a saint. Whoever is consecrated to the Immaculata in the MI Movement embraces the mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to every person, to the ends of the earth, collaborating in Mary’s maternal care for the brethren of her Son, which continues until they are led into the happiness of their true home (LG62). ...The charismatic gift he received is the spiritual insight about Mary’s maternal role in the Church and in the life of every person, and the intuition regarding the fact that this Mother urges us to collaborate in her maternal mission. (Cf.KW1220) 
Jesus’ gift from the Cross is the source of the charism of the MI movement: the gift of His Mother to John which took place at the climax of the mystery of redemption. This motherhood that we received calls us to ensure that Christ is born, through the Mother, in the hearts of all men.
Let us will refer again to a text that defines beautifully the MI identity and mission:
"That is the MI: to let her into all hearts, to bring her into being within all hearts, that by entering those hearts and taking most perfect possession of them, she may there give birth to the sweet Jesus, God, and there raise Him to perfect age. What a beautiful mission! ... Is that not true?... The elevation of man to God-Man, through the God-Man’s mother"(KW508).http://missionimmaculata.com/images/Documents/preparation_for_consecration/Preparation_for_MI_Consecration_Part_3.pdf
One of the most important means of bringing Mary into all hearts was to utilize the gift that she herself gave:

All Means, especially the Miraculous Medal...
Maximilian ... described the means that the newly established association would have to use in the work of evangelization: 
“1. To entreat the Immaculata possibly every day with this ejaculatory prayer: ‘O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the Freemasons.’
2. To use all legitimate means, according to one’s possibilities in the various states and conditions of life, as occasions arise: which is entrusted to the zeal and prudence of each; let the special means be the Miraculous Medal” (KW21)
In the course of the years, Father Maximilian would not hesitate to state that, in addition to the supernatural means –prayer and sacrifice– all legitimate means inspired by love and all inventions are to be at the service of the Gospel through the Immaculata: “Art, literature, theater, cinema, books, journalism, radio, etc., etc.” (SK991 Q). His mind and heart were always drawn toward new horizons in order to reach every person as soon as possible and to share the gift of Mary, the new life of grace. He would never forget to remind himself and others, however, that in this enterprise we are called to be personally engaged: “But before everything else we ourselves must be hers, even to the utter annihilation of our ego, to a total holocaust, without reserve and without limits (“penance, penance, penance”). Everything for her sake, then: our soul, our body, all the faculties of the soul and of the body, talents, energy, science, art, etc., etc... everything! Everything: the past, the present, and future, life, death, eternity. In a word, everything, everything without even the slightest, tiniest reservation” (ibid.).
While he valued all means, Maximilian reminds us that among them the Miraculous Medal, which Our Lady herself gave us through her appearances to St. Catherine Labourè, has to be cherished in a special way. The Medal is a small yet powerful tool for touching hearts, a mini-catechism on Our Lady’s role in the history of salvation. How many stories of spiritual and physical healing, of conversion and openness to the workings of grace are connected to the Miraculous Medal...! The Medal is not only the exterior sign of our total consecration to Mary (cf. KW991 Q), but also a tool we can all use to introduce her to others:Behold your Mother!
St. Maximilian trusted that the Miraculous Medal and the words that Our Mother dictated for it were truly a gift from heaven! Therefore, sharing the medal and the story of it's origin was, of course, an important part of Militia. To remember the miraculous events of the medal that was given to us, let us listen to St. Maximilian himself recount the story:

The Miraculous Medal, Silver Bullet of the MI
The "The so-called Miraculous Medal is universally known. Its origin dates back to 1830, and the fortunate soul to whom the Most Blessed Immaculate Virgin Mary showed it was Catherine Labouré, at that time a novice of the Sisters of Mercy, in Rue du Bac, Paris. Let us listen to her story:
“On November 27, the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, while I was doing my evening meditation in deep silence, I thought I could almost hear the rustling of a silk dress, which reached me from the right side of the sanctuary, and I saw the Most Blessed Virgin near the painting of St. Joseph. She was of medium height, but of such extraordinary beauty that it is utterly impossible for me to describe her. She stood upright and was dressed in a white dress with reddish highlights, similar to those usually worn by virgins, that is, buttoned to the neck and tight-sleeved. A white veil covered her head and fell down on both sides to her feet. Her forehead was adorned with a small strip of thin lace that clung tightly to her hair. Her face was partly uncovered and under her feet lay the terrestrial globe, or rather a hemisphere, because I could see only one half of the globe. Her hands, raised to the waist, gently held up another globe (symbol of the whole universe). She kept her eyes turned toward heaven, as if to offer the whole universe to God, and her face shone with ever brighter radiance.
Suddenly there appeared on her fingers rings adorned with precious gems of great value, sending off rays of light that spread out in all directions; these rays surrounded her in such splendor that her face and her clothes became invisible. The precious gems were of varying size, while the rays coming out of them gave off more or less intense beams of light.
I cannot possibly express all that I heard and felt in that short period of time.
While, fascinated by the sight of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, I was carefully observing her majesty, the Most Blessed Virgin turned her benevolent gaze on me, and an inner voice told me: ‘The globe that you see stands for the entire world and every single person.’
At this point I am no longer able to describe the impression that I felt at the sight of the rays that shone so dazzlingly. Then the Most Blessed Virgin told me: ‘The rays that you see emanating from the palms of my hands are the symbol of the graces that I bestow on all those who ask for them,’ and with that she gave me to understand how great her generosity is to those who turn to her… How many graces she grants to all those who call upon her… At that point I lost consciousness, fully absorbed in bliss… Then the Most Blessed Virgin, whose hands were pointing to the ground, was surrounded by some kind of oval frame, on which appeared the following inscription in letters of gold: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Then I heard a voice saying to me: ‘Have a medal struck according to this model; all those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their necks. I shall bestow many graces on those who put their trust in me.’
At that point,” Labouré continued, “it seemed to me that the picture was turning over. And on the other side I saw the letter M, in the center of which stood a cross. Below the monogram of the Most Blessed Virgin there were the Heart of Jesus surrounded by a crown of thorns and the heart of Mary pierced by a sword.”
The vision was repeated three times, and each time Sister Catherine confided in her spiritual director, Father Aladel. But fearing that the whole thing was a delusion, Fr. Aladel kept delaying the striking of the medal. In fact he forbade the nun to even think about it. Eventually he decided to report the matter to the Archbishop, Msgr. De Quélen. When the Archbishop showed that he was in favor of it, the medal was finally struck. It was the year 1832.
Amazing miracles of conversion started to occur immediately, and demand for the medal became so high that as many as 80 million of them were struck in the first ten years.
Is it not fitting, therefore, that as we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculata without reserve, we should grace our chest with the Miraculous Medal? This medal, then, is the external sign of consecration to the Immaculata: it is the second condition.
(Kolbe Writings, 1011)
To end this day of preparation, there is one last writing of St. Maximilian. In it, he is encouraging all Knights of the Immaculata (20,000 of them in Poland!!!) to renew their complete surrender to Mary - and to not forget to pray the prayer that Mary herself taught through the Miraculous Medal - the one to which he felt called to add the additional words: 
and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the Freemasons.’
From the Writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe (KW 1079):

"Let us pray to the Immaculata with fervor, that she may accept us as her own property. We can do that by using the act of consecration to the Immaculata printed on our enrollment cards. Thus, on this day, all of us knights of the Immaculata renew our act of unconditional surrender to her. Let us do it together, if we can; all of us. In Poland, there are now about 20,000 of us. Let us rekindle in ourselves love and trust toward our most beloved Lady, Queen, Mother, Leader, Hope... Some of us may already have forgotten to recite that short little prayer every day: the ejaculatory prayer that the Immaculata herself taught us, the one listed in our enrollment cards as one of the means [available to us]. May such people be rekindled and resolve no longer to neglect it. Also... each of us ought to ask himself or herself: Have I done all I could in the course of this year for the Immaculata, for the salvation and sanctification of my soul and my neighbor’s? Or am I being reproached by my conscience for my laziness, listlessness, my poor zeal... or my want of self-sacrifice?... Let us examine ourselves... Let this day be a day of rebirth for our souls, a day of renewal in our zeal for expanding the kingdom of the Most Loving Queen of heaven and earth. We ought not to rely at all on ourselves. Neither should we, however, place limits on our trust in her. In every difficulty or temptation, let us have recourse to her and we shall not fail. Let us entrust all our endeavors to her and we shall surely achieve what she wants.
May we take his words to heart and wear the miraculous medal with great fervor and pray this prayer daily (this is the updated form that the Militia prays today):

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of Holy Church and all those recommended to you.

As a part of our preparation and our consecration, may we consider not only wearing a miraculous medal, but consider giving them away as St. Maximilian did as an act of love, remembering:
"The Medal is a small yet powerful tool for touching hearts, a mini-catechism on Our Lady’s role in the history of salvation. How many stories of spiritual and physical healing, of conversion and openness to the workings of grace are connected to the Miraculous Medal...! The Medal is not only the exterior sign of our total consecration to Mary (cf. KW991 Q), but also a tool we can all use to introduce her to others:Behold your Mother!
As we continue to pray:
Come Holy Spirit, living in Mary, help us to prepare well for our Total Consecration.
St. Maximilian, pray for us and help us live out the wisdom you express and help win all souls for Christ through Mary and the Miraculous Medal!
And be with us as we continue to ponder Mary's place in the Holy Trinity's plan of salvation - and strive to give ourselves more and more fully and without reserve to Our Blessed Mother, even to giving her: "everything, everything without even the slightest, tiniest reservation”
so that she, in turn, can draw us ever closer to Jesus and make of us great saints!
We ask this in Jesus's Name, Amen.

PART 3: Day 10 Readings and Prayers for St. Louis de Montfort's 33 Day of Consecration to Jesus through Mary - An Online Guide

12 Days of Preparation renouncing the spirit of the world
Praying over and reading the Teaching of Christ
Praying with the Heart
Examining our conscience 
Learning about Mary's place in God's plan 

Day 10 of 33:  
Meditate on 
Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 3, Chapter 10 
That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God
Now, will I speak again, O Lord, and will not be silent, I will say in the hearing of my God and my King Who is on high: Oh, how great is the abundance of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for those that fear Thee! But what art Thou, for those who love Thee? What, to those who serve Thee with their whole heart? Unspeakable indeed is the sweetness of Thy contemplation, which Thou bestowest on those who love Thee. In this most of all hast Thou showed me the sweetness of Thy love, that when I had no being, Thou didst make me; and when I was straying far from Thee, Thou brought me back again, that I might serve Thee: and Thou hast commanded me to serve Thee. O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of Thee? How can I forget Thee, Who hast vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost? Beyond all hope Thou showest mercy to Thy servant; and beyond all desert, hast Thou manifested Thy grace and friendship. What return shall I make to Thee for this favor? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world, and to assume the monastic life. Is it much that I should serve Thee, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve? It ought not to seem much to me to serve Thee; but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that Thou vouchsafest to receive one so wretched and unworthy as Thy servant. It is a great honor, a great glory, to serve Thee, and to despise all things for Thee, for they who willingly subject themselves to Thy holy service, shall have great grace. They shall experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of Thee, have cast aside all carnal delight. 

Veni Creator
Come, O Creator Spirit blest!
And in our souls take up thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete!  To Thee we cry,
O highest gift of God most high!
O font of life! O fire of love!
And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known,
The finger of God's hand we own;
The promise of the Father, Thou!
Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses 'from above,
And make our hearts o'erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee through endless times confessed
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death; the same to Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally.  Amen.

Ave Maris Stella
Hail, bright star of ocean,
God's own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.
Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva's name.
Break the captives' fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus
Joy forevermore.
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be.  Amen.


The Prayer of Mary - The Magnificat 
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever. 
(Lk 1:46-55)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 


Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. 

The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary. 


It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life, and by disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things. 


Read: 

St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary paragraphs 78-82


Third principle: We must rid ourselves of what is evil in us
78. Our best actions are usually tainted and spoiled by the evil that is rooted in us. When pure, clear water is poured into a foul-smelling jug, or wine into an unwashed cask that previously contained another wine, the clear water and the good wine are tainted and readily acquire an unpleasant odour. In the same way when God pours into our soul, infected by original and actual sin, the heavenly waters of his grace or the delicious wines of his love, his gifts are usually spoiled and tainted by the evil sediment left in us by sin. Our actions, even those of the highest virtue, show the effects of it. It is therefore of the utmost importance that, in seeking the perfection that can be attained only by union with Jesus, we rid ourselves of all that is evil in us. Otherwise our infinitely pure Lord, who has an infinite hatred for the slightest stain in our soul, will refuse to unite us to himself and will drive us from his presence.
79. To rid ourselves of selfishness, we must first become thoroughly aware, by the light of the Holy Spirit, of our tainted nature. Of ourselves we are unable to do anything conducive to our salvation. Our human weakness is evident in everything we do and we are habitually unreliable. We do not deserve any grace from God. Our tendency to sin is always present. The sin of Adam has almost entirely spoiled and soured us, filling us with pride and corrupting every one of us, just as leaven sours, swells and corrupts the dough in which it is placed. The actual sins we have committed, whether mortal or venial, even though forgiven, have intensified our base desires, our weakness, our inconstancy and our evil tendencies, and have left a sediment of evil in our soul.
Our bodies are so corrupt that they are referred to by the Holy Spirit as bodies of sin, as conceived and nourished in sin, and capable of any kind of sin. They are subject to a thousand ills, deteriorating from day to day and harbouring only disease, vermin and corruption.
Our soul, being united to our body, has become so carnal that it has been called flesh. "All flesh had corrupted its way". Pride and blindness of spirit, hardness of heart, weakness and inconstancy of soul, evil inclinations, rebellious passions, ailments of the body, - these are all we can call our own. By nature we are prouder than peacocks, we cling to the earth more than toads, we are more base than goats, more envious than serpents, greedier than pigs, fiercer than tigers, lazier than tortoises, weaker than reeds, and more changeable than weather-cocks. We have in us nothing but sin, and deserve only the wrath of God and the eternity of hell.
80. Is it any wonder then that our Lord laid down that anyone who aspires to be his follower must deny himself and hate his very life? He makes it clear that anyone who loves his life shall lose it and anyone who hates his life shall save it. Now, our Lord, who is infinite Wisdom, and does not give commandments without a reason, bids us hate ourselves only because we richly deserve to be hated. Nothing is more worthy of love than God and nothing is more deserving of hatred than self.
81. Secondly, in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what St. Paul calls "dying daily". Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit. If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares only with those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him.

82. Thirdly, we must choose among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin the one which will lead us more surely to this dying to self. This devotion will be the best and the most sanctifying for us. For we must not believe that all that glitters is gold, all that is sweet is honey, or all that is easy to do and is done by the majority of people is the most sanctifying. Just as in nature there are secrets enabling us to do certain natural things quickly, easily and at little cost, so in the spiritual life there are secrets which enable us to perform works rapidly, smoothly and with facility. Such works are, for example, emptying ourselves of self- love, filling ourselves with God, and attaining perfection.
The devotion that I propose to explain is one of these secrets of grace, for it is unknown to most Christians. Only a few devout people know of it and it is practised and appreciated by fewer still. To begin the explanation of this devotion here is a fourth truth which is a consequence of the third. 


PART 4: A taste of Fr. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory if you have time:
"Come, Holy, Spirit, living in Mary. Unveil for me the meaning of the Immaculate Conception.”

CLICK HERE for Podcast of Day 10

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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