Thursday, November 14, 2019

Day 11: 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 11 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 3rd Luminous Mystery - the Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion

Today we contemplate the 3rd Luminous Mystery - The Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion. We could meditate on a thousand scriptures to plunge to the depth of this Mystery - of God becoming man to restore the lost, to bring sight to the blind, to free those in bondage, to heal, to teach, to encourage, to walk among us and to show mercy and compassion upon us...
We ask for fresh eyes and ears to enter into these Scriptures as if we are hearing them for the first time! To truly be moved and in awe of the Jesus' power and might and compassion and mercy! To be moved to repent and believe and follow Him in whatever way He asks... 

to become poor in spirit ... humble enough to enter into this consecration to Jesus through Mary...  

Let us also be moved by the fire of love of St. Maximilian who lived out the call of Jesus: to help God's Kingdom to come and His Will be done on earth as it is in heaven, as he sought:
To conquer the whole world for Christ through the Immaculata. 
[He saw this as possible through] the total and limitless belonging to the Immaculata [that] widens toward the passionate search for the heart of man, of all men, of all the billions of hearts beating on earth beyond Poland and Japan (cf. KW 647).

He lived this out through starting an apostolate called: "The City of the Immaculata" that housed 800 friars who worked tirelessly to promote and share the love of Mary.

St. Louis de Montfort also seeks to bring about God's kingdom with and in Mary, who is our safeguard against evil. It is below, but I share it here, because I feel it is especially important for us in these times of such grave evil.  
He wrote:
88. 
2. The evil spirits, cunning thieves that they are, can take us by surprise and rob us of all we possess. They are watching day and night for the right moment. They roam incessantly seeking to devour us and to snatch from us in one brief moment of sin all the grace and merit we have taken years to acquire. Their malice and their experience, their cunning and their numbers ought to make us ever fearful of such a misfortune happening to us. People, richer in grace and virtue, more experienced and advanced in holiness than we are, have been caught off their guard and robbed and stripped of everything. How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament have we sadly watched fall and lose in a short time their loftiness and their brightness!
What has brought about this unexpected reverse? Not the lack of grace, for this is denied no one. It was a lack of humility; they considered themselves stronger and more self- sufficient than they really were. They thought themselves well able to hold on to their treasures. They believed their house secure enough and their coffers strong enough to safeguard their precious treasure of grace. It was because of their unconscious reliance on self - although it seemed to them that they were relying solely on the grace of God - that the most just Lord left them to themselves and allowed them to be despoiled. If they had only known of the wonderful devotion that I shall later explain, they would have entrusted their treasure to Mary, the powerful and faithful Virgin. She would have kept it for them as if it were her own possession and even have considered that trust an obligation of justice.
89. 
3. It is difficult to persevere in holiness because of the excessively corrupting influence of the world. The world is so corrupt that it seems almost inevitable that religious hearts be soiled, if not by its mud, at least by its dust. It is something of a miracle for anyone to stand firm in the midst of this raging torrent and not be swept away; to weather this stormy sea and not be drowned, or robbed by pirates; to breathe this pestilential air and not be contaminated by it. It is Mary, the singularly faithful Virgin over whom Satan had never any power, who works this miracle for those who truly love her.
Additional Options: 
See Frances Hogan's study (referenced in the video teaching) on the Beatitudes --
https://franceshogan.com/Voyage%20episodes/Episode%2014.html
the whole video leads up to her teaching, but she expressly starts speaking about the beatitudes at 6:15 in the video.


See also Dr. Pitre's study on Mary the Mother of the Messiah sometime during this 2nd week if you have time:
https://watch.formed.org/lectio-mary-with-dr-brant-pitre/season:1/videos/mother-of-the-messiah

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 3rd 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: City of the Immaculata: Day 4 in the Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Maximilian Kolbe

On this day 4 of our preparation for total consecration we will ponder Maximilian's next steps in his journey, and how God began to bless his efforts unimaginably!

The City of the Immaculate

Group of Friars
"When he returned to Poland as a young priest in 1919, he was appointed professor to the Franciscan seminarians in Cracow. However, because of his failing health and having contracted tuberculosis, he was deemed unsuitable for the task. His superiors, therefore, decided to assign him to the office of confessor. Far from helping his already weakened condition, he became increasingly frail, and was subsequently consigned to the sanitarium of Zakopane.
But his zeal for souls, characteristic of a true saint, did not diminish because of his physical ailments. He provided various spiritual services among his sick companions and instilled in them the love of Our Lady. After having recovered from a long confinement – which served as a period of silence and purification for him – he was prepared to launch a new apostolic endeavor, the likes of which had never before been seen in Poland, or in the world: the City of the Immaculate (Niepokalanów).
It all started in the humble surroundings of the friary in Grodno where Father Maximilian established a printery for the purpose of promoting devotion to the Immaculate. However, the growing number of subscribers to his printing apostolate forced the friars to transfer their location to donated land in Warsaw in 1927, and is where Father Maximilian established the first City of the Immaculate. It was called “city” because the friars numbered almost eight hundred, all working for the Immaculate with the huge mass media apostolate. They lived heroic lives of poverty, continuous prayer, and voluntary penance. They were united in their mission of evangelizing not only Poland, but the whole world! Day and night, the friars spent themselves in promoting Catholic doctrines, particularly those concerning Our Blessed Lady. They did all this in view of cultivating the need for conversion and sanctification of souls, both on the individual and collective levels, via the mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For Father Maximilian Kolbe, sanctification always necessitated the mediation of Mary because, for him, only through her and by means of her, the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier of souls, acts in an inseparable way in each individual soul… whether or not that soul acknowledges Mary’s role in this process. But as he explained, the more a soul acknowledges and is conscious of Mary’s important role in the economy of salvation – the surer, easier and faster that soul can become a saint via consecration to her.
Since, unfortunately, there are so few of the faithful who are aware of this wonderful elevator” to sanctify souls, namely Our Lady ─ there are still fewer working to make her better known and loved. This was the ever-consuming theological and spiritual focus of Kolbe’s apostolic enterprise and, therefore,  his reason for launching this work for the cause of the Immaculate, using every possible licit means. Apart from his principal publication, the monthly magazine “Rycerz Niepokalanej” (“Knight of the Immaculate”) that reached its peak of 600,000 copies per issue, he also printed a daily newspaper, the “Maly Dziennik, which eventually reached a circulation of one million. Miscellaneous books, magazines, and pamphlets for people in all walks of life were freely circulated by the friars.
Friars at work
What could possibly be the secret of the incredible progress of Kolbe’s work? He himself pointed out to the friars that the true progress of Niepokalanów does not actually consist in constructing more buildings, of adding more printing presses, or of publications becoming more widespread. It consists, rather, in the daily deepening of one’s love for the Immaculate. The success of the work is brought about by Mary’s mediation and assistance. (https://saintmaximiliankolbe.com/biography/)
Isn't this all amazing? 
Imagining 800 brothers living together in a "city" dedicated completely to Mary and living for her - as they touched millions with their writings - its simply incredible! The more we love Our Lady and give ourselves completely to her, the more she is able to help us bear tremendous fruit as she forms us into other Christs - Christs enflamed with love - who become His Heart and Voice and Hands and Feet in the world!

So it was with Maximilian. He was on fire with love - a love that translated into striving:  
To conquer the whole world for Christ through the Immaculata. 
[He saw this as possible through] the total and limitless belonging to the Immaculata [that] widens toward the passionate search for the heart of man, of all men, of all the billions of hearts beating on earth beyond Poland and Japan (cf. KW 647). 
We see how this ideal made him a missionary, caused him to implement pioneering apostolic projects for those days through the mass media, made him the spiritual father of a movement of spirituality and mission in the Church, the Militia of the Immaculata, and led him to give his life for a brother. 
What does it mean to live in the footsteps of Mary?
It means to live a Gospel life, as Kolbe did, a life for God and for others, in obedience to God and in service to others.

 Biographers recall an episode:
“Niepokalanow is at its best. Maximilian is asking the young friars what, according to them, is the next step to take. After several replies focused on the need to increase the productivity, finally a young friar whispers: We must first increase inwardly, and then the productivity will be a consequence.’
Maximilian was so happy with this answer and added, “The expansion of our work will not be a demonstration of progress. Nor vast new buildings... So what would it take to make progress? What is the real Niepokalanow’s progress? And above all, what is our Niepokalanow? Is it this visible activity? Is it the industrial productivity? Or the circulation of the magazine? No, there is something better! Our Niepokalanow is the inner world of our souls! As a result, even if it were necessary to suspend our work, even if we had to disperse like leaves swept by the autumn wind, if in our hearts the Niepokalanow’s ideal remains and continues to flourish, then and only then we can say that we are in full progress" (cf. L. Faccenda, OFM Conv., Ho visto Padre Kolbe, Edizioni Milizia Mariana,1970, pp. 27-28).
http://missionimmaculata.com/images/Documents/preparation_for_consecration/Preparation_for_MI_Consecration_Part_4.pdf
So, even more than this booming apostolate, Maximilian understood the true greatness of their lives was, first of all, in their souls. 
When our souls have become a place of prayer, of love, a place where we are drawn into ever deeper union with Christ...the outward circumstances of our lives matter little. Even if all we've worked for comes to naught and is destroyed (as would happen eventually to their beloved Niepokalanow), still there is joy in our love of Christ - still there is progress!

Thus, may this preparation help us to build a "City of Mary" in our souls. So that, in and through our Total Consecration to her, we are able to give ourselves completely to her and so allow her to raise us up to God in a quicker way than we ever could on our own. 

When we are united and given over to Mary in this way, the Holy Spirit flies to us and together they form us into other Christs! Christs set on fire with His love - and so we are able to bear great fruit as we are inspired to strive with all our being to pray, love and grow closer to God and one another. 

As an outward sign of this internal consecration and devotion, may we wear the miraculous medal with great fervor and pray the prayer Mary taught us daily (in it's 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.

And 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!
Be with us and help us understand Mary's place in the Holy Trinity's plan of salvation and give ourselves entirely and without reserve to Our Blessed Mother, 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: Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary


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

Day 11 of 33:  
Meditate on 
Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 25 
On the Fervent Amendment of our Whole Life
When a certain anxious person, who often times wavered between hope and fear, once overcome with sadness, threw himself upon the ground in prayer, before one of the altars in the Church and thinking these things in his mind, said "Oh, if I only knew how to persevere," that very instant he heard within him, this heavenly answer: "And if thou didst know this, what would thou do? Do now what you would do, and thou shall be perfectly secure." And immediately being consoled, and comforted, he committed himself to the Divine Will, and his anxious thoughts ceased. He no longer wished for curious things; searching to find out what would happen to him, but studied rather to learn what was the acceptable and perfect will of God for the beginning and the perfection of every good work.
"Hope in the Lord," said the Prophet, "And do all good, and inhabit the land, and thou shall be fed of the riches thereof." There is one thing that keeps many back from spiritual progress, and from fervor in amendment namely: the labor that is necessary for the struggle. And assuredly they especially advance beyond others in virtues, who strive the most manfully to overcome the very things which are the hardest and most contrary to them. For there a man does profit more and merit more abundant grace, when he does most to overcome himself and mortify his spirit. All have not, indeed, equal difficulties to overcome and mortify, but a diligent and zealous person will make a greater progress though he have more passions than another, who is well regulated but less fervent in the pursuit of virtues. 

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 83-89

Fourth principle: It is more humble to have an intermediary with Christ

83. It is more perfect because it supposes greater humility to approach God through a mediator rather than directly by ourselves. Our human nature, as I have just shown, is so spoilt that if we rely on our own work, effort and preparedness to reach God and please him, it is certain that our good works will be tainted and carry little weight with him. They will not induce him to unite himself to us or answer our prayers. God had his reasons for giving us mediators with him. He saw our unworthiness and helplessness and had pity on us. To give us access to his mercies he provided us with powerful advocates, so that to neglect these mediators and to approach his infinite holiness directly and without help from any one of them, is to be lacking in humility and respect towards God who is so great and holy. It would mean that we have less esteem for the King of kings than for an earthly king or ruler, for we would not dare approach an earthly king without a friend to speak for us.
84. Our Lord is our Advocate and our Mediator of redemption with God the Father. It is through him that we must pray with the whole Church, triumphant and militant. It is through him that we have access to God the Father. We should never appear before God, our Father, unless we are supported by the merits of his Son, and, so to speak, clothed in them, as young Jacob was clothed in the skin of the young goats when he appeared before his father Isaac to receive his blessing.
85. But have we no need at all of a mediator with the Mediator himself? Are we pure enough to be united directly to Christ without any help? Is Jesus not God, equal in every way to the Father? Therefore is he not the Holy of Holies, having a right to the same respect as his Father? If in his infinite love he became our security and our Mediator with his Father, whom he wished to appease in order to redeem us from our debts, should we on that account show him less respect and have less regard for the majesty and holiness of his person?

page17image43232
Let us not be afraid to say with St. Bernard that we need a mediator with the Mediator himself and the divinely-honoured Mary is the one most able to fulfil this office of love. Through her, Jesus came to us; through her we should go to him. If we are afraid of going directly to Jesus, who is God, because of his infinite greatness, or our lowliness, or our sins, let us implore without fear the help and intercession of Mary, our Mother. She is kind, she is tender, and there is nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception.



She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.
86. All this is taken from St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure. According to them, we have three steps to take in order to reach God. The first, nearest to us and most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we should go to Mary, our mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go to Jesus, our Mediator of redemption. This order is perfectly observed in the devotion I shall speak about further on.
Fifth principle: It is difficult to keep the graces received from God
87. It is very difficult, considering our weakness and frailty, to keep the graces and treasures we have received from God.
1. We carry this treasure, which is worth more than heaven and earth, in fragile vessels, that is, in a corruptible body and in a weak and wavering soul which requires very little to depress and disturb it.
88. 
2. The evil spirits, cunning thieves that they are, can take us by surprise and rob us of all we possess. They are watching day and night for the right moment. They roam incessantly seeking to devour us and to snatch from us in one brief moment of sin all the grace and merit we have taken years to acquire. Their malice and their experience, their cunning and their numbers ought to make us ever fearful of such a misfortune happening to us. People, richer in grace and virtue, more experienced and advanced in holiness than we are, have been caught off their guard and robbed and stripped of everything. How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament have we sadly watched fall and lose in a short time their loftiness and their brightness!
What has brought about this unexpected reverse? Not the lack of grace, for this is denied no one. It was a lack of humility; they considered themselves stronger and more self- sufficient than they really were. They thought themselves well able to hold on to their treasures. They believed their house secure enough and their coffers strong enough to safeguard their precious treasure of grace. It was because of their unconscious reliance on self - although it seemed to them that they were relying solely on the grace of God - that the most just Lord left them to themselves and allowed them to be despoiled. If they had only known of the wonderful devotion that I shall later explain, they would have entrusted their treasure to Mary, the powerful and faithful Virgin. She would have kept it for them as if it were her own possession and even have considered that trust an obligation of justice.
89. 
3. It is difficult to persevere in holiness because of the excessively corrupting influence of the world. The world is so corrupt that it seems almost inevitable that religious hearts be soiled, if not by its mud, at least by its dust. It is something of a miracle for anyone to stand firm in the midst of this raging torrent and not be swept away; to weather this stormy sea and not be drowned, or robbed by pirates; to breathe this pestilential air and not be contaminated by it. It is Mary, the singularly faithful Virgin over whom Satan had never any power, who works this miracle for those who truly love her.page18image39920

PART 4: A taste of Fr. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory if you have time:
Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary. Renew the face of the earth, so that all creation may return to God.”


© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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