Monday, November 18, 2019

Day 13: 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 13 of 33: 
SECTION 2: Contemplate the Our Father as we take St. Maximilian Kolbe as our guide.
Action: 
1. 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.

2. Skim through the accompanying pictures and the extraordinary wisdom of St. Louis and St. Maximilian Kolbe, and read through as much below as possible. There are two parts of St. Louis' teaching just for today alone.
3.
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 accompanying Scripture texts as you meditate and pray one decade of the Rosary - the 4th Luminous Mystery of the Rosary- the Transfiguration
- 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. 



In the light of our meditations on the Transfiguration, let us begin, then, by praying the Our Father, with these mysteries in mind: 
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Because of the length and depth of the video teaching entering into the Mystery of Transfiguration, I will not add more teaching here, except to share a few words in summary. 

Jesus reveals Himself Transfigured to help us stand fast in the midst of the seeming triumph of evil and sin that would come upon them; and to prepare his disciples for his death which would come shortly after this manifestation - this Theophany of His Heavenly Glory... demonstrating to them that His upcoming death is even a part of God's plan...

Likewise, our deaths are also part of His Heavenly plan... for He tells us unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die, it remains just a grain of wheat. But, if it suffers to fall to the ground and die it will yield thirty, or sixty or one hundred fold.

God's ways are not our ways... so much so that He shares that His real glory is in dying on the Cross to save us: 

For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

In the video we also look deeper into the lives of the other people present at the Transfiguration... Moses and Elijah and Peter and James and John... briefly contemplating each of their lives, their place in this mystery and in God's plan of salvation. 

Here is more about the apparition of Mary that James had that I referenced in the video: https://enteringintothemystery.blogspot.com/2018/07/st-james-and-mary-does-mary-come-in.html


Lastly, we hear of the amazing transfiguration of a man condemned to die on death row. 

Please don't miss hearing it! It's one of my absolute favorite stories of all time!

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: “Only love creates”: Day 5 in the Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Maximilian Kolbe

We love because God first loved us! John 4:19
In turn, we love in and through the Immaculata - 
(St. Maximilian's favorite name for Mary - 
the one she herself used at Lourdes, saying: "I am the Immaculate Conception")
 - because she, also, first loved us!
Only at the time of God’s judgment in Heaven shall we become aware of the solicitude that our tender Heavenly Mother has had for each of us, ever since the beginning, of the solicitude that she has toward every soul, her child, to shape it according to the pattern of Jesus, her firstborn Son, the prototype of holiness, God and man (KW1313).
Pope Benedict XVI said at the inaugural Mass of his pontificate, Christ does not take anything and gives everything. As already proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council: Only Christ fully reveals man to himself. Only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light (GS22). And this is the motherhood of the Militia of the Immaculata, according to the desire of St. Maximilian, proclaiming Jesus Christ! 
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 Man God’s Mother (KW508). http://missionimmaculata.com/images/Documents/preparation_for_consecration/Preparation_for_MI_Consecration_Part_5.pdf

This beautiful mission that St. Maximilian longed to live out and share with all souls developed a step further in 1930... when the City of the Immaculate in Poland had been established for three years ... St. Maximilian and four other friars journeyed to Japan in order to found another "City for Mary."

The Garden of the Immaculate

A saint’s heart can never be constrained to geographical boundaries. He is, by grace, always a missionary. This was especially true of St. Maximilian Kolbe. He loved the Immaculate with the Heart of Jesus, and he loved Jesus with the heart of Mary. It is manifested in a similar, universal desire to win all souls to Jesus and the Immaculate.
St. Maximilian in JapanWith the permission of his superiors, St. Maximilian, considering the need for further expansion, started a mission in Japan with four other friars in 1930. At Nagasaki, they established a new “City of the Immaculate” (Mugenzai no Sono – literally “Garden of the Immaculate”), thereby introducing his ideal, the Immaculate, to the Orient. In spite of problems with local authorities, language, culture, and climate – one month after their arrival, Father Maximilian was, nevertheless, able to publish the first issue of “Seibo no Kishi,” the Japanese version of the magazine “Knight of the Immaculate.”
He wrought numerous conversions among the Japanese; most of them thanked him for his heroic and unconditional sacrifice to draw them to the true Faith. But St. Maximilian recognized that this apostolic success could only be attributed to a pure and undivided love for the Immaculate. Where there is love and charity, there is God. (https://saintmaximiliankolbe.com/biography/)
To announce Jesus Christ is a beautiful mission, because every person finds in Him the happiness and fullness of meaning for his or her life. We may share the spiritual motherhood of Mary, not only listening to the Word of God, but also by becoming co-workers in her maternal mission. In fact Maximilian writes that Mary does not want to carry out her mission alone, but that she wants to engage us too. Motherhood means care, love, attention to others. Maximilian is an effective witness to it. The proclamation of the Gospel is the greatest act of love; it is the first charity. The Gospel message transforms the proud-hearted and gives the humble the awareness of their dignity, as already announced by the Virgin of Nazareth in her Magnificat. The proclamation of the Gospel is also the first form of charity for every member of the Militia of the Immaculata. 
Maximilian Kolbe, facing the reality of his time (atheism in particular) said that: 
These poor people, therefore, need light, a great deal of supernatural light, of supernatural energy. They are unhappy, discontented, because they take as their ultimate goal what is only a means and therefore, after reaching the happiness to which they aspire, cannot find what they were looking for. And they continue to search with a dejected heart, with bitterness in their souls. How can we fail to reach out to them? How can we not to help them placate their hearts, lift their mind above all that passes toward the one ultimate purpose, God? Love for one’s neighbor pushes those souls who have already found the true ideal of life not to forget their brothers and sisters around them. One of the many associations that practice this love of one’s neighbor is the Militia of the Immaculata (KW1237). 
Maximilian is also a witness of that love which is ready for martyrdom. Maximilian is the man for man, who lived with the conviction that Only love creates (cf. KW1205). This is the lesson he learned in his deep and intimate daily experience of communion with Christ through his consecration to the Immaculata. 
Being at the school of Mary led Maximilian, and can lead each of us, to be for others in everyday life, in the family, at work, in our social relationships. The Marian manner of life has love as its center, its heart, its fundamental dimension. http://missionimmaculata.com/images/Documents/preparation_for_consecration/Preparation_for_MI_Consecration_Part_5.pdf
From the Writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe (KW 925)
"Mutual love does not consist in the fact that no one ever causes any sorrow in us, but that we strive not to cause grief to others and we become accustomed to forgiving whatever hurts us immediately and completely. In such mutual forbearance lies the essence of mutual love. 
St. Thérèse writes: “I saw only too well how very imperfect was my love for my Sisters; I did not really love them as Jesus loves them. I see now that true charity consists in bearing with the faults of those about us, never being surprised at their weaknesses, but edified at the least sign of virtue. I see above all that charity must not remain hidden in the bottom of our hearts, for ‘no man lighteth a candle and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel; but upon a candle-stick, that they who come in may see the light’ [Lk 11:33]. It seems to me that this candle is the symbol of charity; it must shine out not only to cheer those we love best, but ALL those who are of the household.” 
 And later she writes: “I know, my Jesus, that You never command the impossible; You know better than I do how frail and imperfect I am. You know perfectly well that I can never hope to love my Sisters as You love them, unless You Yourself love them in me. It is only because You are willing to do this that You have given us a New Commandment, and I love it because it is my assurance that You desire to love in me all those whom You command me to love.” The deeper such love, the more effective will missionary activity be."

The deeper our love, the more effective all our activity will be...
What a profound truth!
May we never forget this 
nor neglect to ask for and be open to more and more love.
For this deeper love that is so effective is nothing less than Divine Love and forgiveness.
Remembering "To Forgive is Divine."
Thus, may this preparation fill us with ever deeper love that forgives all those who have harmed us in order to help create a "Garden of the Immaculata" in our hearts and in our lives.
So that, in and through our Total Consecration to her, 
Mary is able
to love others with her own Motherly heart through us!
- especially those who are the hardest ones for us to love.
 
Let us pray: 
Come Holy Spirit, living in Mary, help us to prepare well for our Total Consecration.
St. Maximilian,
Be with us and help us become the love of Mary and Jesus as we give ourselves entirely and without reserve to both of them in complete surrender. 

So, that Mary, in turn, can draw us ever closer to Jesus and make of us great saints! 
Pray for us and help us live out the love you poured out to win all souls for Christ through Mary and the Miraculous Medal! We ask this in Jesus's Name, Amen.
Lastly, may we never forget to recognize that the prayer Mary taught us and that wearing the miraculous medal are true gifts of heaven. May they help us to be a garden of Mary's and Jesus's love where there is hatred, unforgiveness and hurt,
disbelief and discontent:

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.


PART 3: Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

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

FIRST WEEK
THEME FOR THE WEEK: KNOWLEDGE OF SELF
Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing.
We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety. During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'?  
Day 12 of 33:  
Meditate on Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 25., cont.
But if thou observest any thing worthy of reproof, beware thou do not the same. And if at any time thou hast done it, labor quickly to amend thyself. As thine eye observeth others, so art thou by others noted again.
How sweet and pleasant a thing it is, to see brethren fervent and devout, obedient and well-disciplined! How sad and grievous a thing it is, to see them walk disorderly, not applying themselves to that for which they are called! How hurtful a thing it is, when they neglect the purpose of their calling and busy themselves in things not committed to their care!
Be mindful of the purpose thou hast embraced, and set always before thee the image of the Crucified. Good cause thou hast to be ashamed in looking upon the life of Jesus Christ, seeing thou hast not as yet endeavored to conform thyself more unto Him, though thou hast been a long time in the way of God. A religious person that exercizeth himself seriously and devoutly in the most holy life and passion of our Lord, shall there abundantly find whatsoever is profitable and necessary for him, neither shall he need to seek any better thing, besides Jesus. O if Jesus crucified would come into our hearts, how quickly and fully should we be. A man fervent and diligent is prepared for all things.
It is harder toil to resist vices and passions, than to sweat in bodily labors. He that avoideth not small faults, by little and little falleth into greater. Thou wilt always rejoice in the evening, if thou spend the day profitably. Be watchful over thyself, stir up thyself, warn thyself, and whatsoever becometh of others, neglect not thyself. The more violent thou uses against thyself, the more shalt thou progress. Amen.

Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary


FIRST WEEK
THEME FOR THE WEEK: KNOWLEDGE OF SELF
Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing.
We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety. During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'? 


Day 13 of 33:  
Meditate on Scripture: Luke 11:1-10

And it came to pass, that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said to them: When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation. And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.
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And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Day 13 of 33:  
Meditate on Scripture: Luke 11:1-10
And it came to pass, that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said to them: When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.
And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.
And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Litany of the Holy Ghost
Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.  Lord, have mercy on us.    Father all powerful, have mercy on us  Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.  Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.  Holy Trinity, hear us    Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.  Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.    Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.  Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us  Author of all good, have mercy on us  Source of heavenly water, have mercy on us  Consuming fire, have mercy on us  Ardent charity, have mercy on us  Spiritual unction, have mercy on us  Spirit of love and truth, have mercy on us  Spirit of wisdom and understanding, have mercy on us  Spirit of counsel and fortitude, have mercy on us  Spirit of knowledge and piety, have mercy on us  Spirit of the fear of the Lord, have mercy on us  Spirit of grace and prayer, have mercy on us  Spirit of peace and meekness, have mercy on us  Spirit of modesty and innocence, have mercy on us  Holy Ghost, the Comforter, have mercy on us  Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, have mercy on us  Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church, have mercy on us  Gift of God, the Most High, have mercy on us  Spirit Who fillest the universe, have mercy on us  Spirit of the adoption of the children of God, have mercy on us    Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin.  Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth.  Holy Ghost, shed Thy light in our souls.  Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts  Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.  Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces  Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well.  Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.  Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation  Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge.  Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good.  Holy Ghost, grant us the merits of all virtues.  Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice.  Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward.    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Send us Thy Holy Ghost.    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our  souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost.    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of  wisdom and piety.    V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,  R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.    Let Us Pray  Grant, 0 merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and  purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us  fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with  Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth forever and  ever. R. 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.

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of Heaven, 
Have mercy on us. 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
Have mercy on us. 
God the Holy Ghost, 
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, one God, 
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Mary, 
pray for us. 
Holy Mother of God, 
pray for us. 
Holy Virgin of virgins, 
pray for us. 
Mother of Christ, 
pray for us. 
Mother of divine grace, 
pray for us. 
Mother most pure, 
pray for us. 
Mother most chaste, 
pray for us. 
Mother inviolate, 
pray for us. 
Mother undefiled, 
pray for us. 
Mother most amiable, 
pray for us. 
Mother most admirable, 
pray for us. 
Mother of good counsel, 
pray for us. 
Mother of our Creator, 
pray for us. 
Mother of our Savior, 
pray for us. 
Virgin most prudent, 
pray for us. 
Virgin most venerable, 
pray for us. 
Virgin most renowned, 
pray for us. 
Virgin most powerful, 
pray for us. 
Virgin most merciful, 
pray for us. 
Virgin most faithful, 
pray for us. 
Mirror of justice, 
pray for us. 
Seat of wisdom, 
pray for us. 
Cause of our joy, 
pray for us. 
Spiritual vessel, 
pray for us. 
Vessel of honor, 
pray for us. 
Singular vessel of devotion, 
pray for us. 
Mystical rose, 
pray for us. 
Tower of David, 
pray for us. 
Tower of ivory, 
pray for us. 
House of gold, 
pray for us. 
Ark of the Covenant, 
pray for us. 
Gate of Heaven, 
pray for us. 
Morning star, 
pray for us. 
Health of the sick, 
pray for us. 
Refuge of sinners, 
pray for us. 
Comforter of the afflicted, 
pray for us. 
Help of Christians, 
pray for us. 
Queen of angels, 
pray for us. 
Queen of patriarchs, 
pray for us. 
Queen of prophets, 
pray for us. 
Queen of apostles, 
pray for us. 
Queen of martyrs, 
pray for us. 
Queen of confessors, 
pray for us. 
Queen of virgins, 
pray for us. 
Queen of all saints, 
pray for us. 
Queen conceived without Original Sin, 
pray for us. 
Queen assumed into Heaven, 
pray for us. 
Queen of the most holy Rosary, 
pray for us. 
Queen of peace, 
pray for us. 

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, 
Spare us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, 
Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, 
Have mercy on us. 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, 
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy Servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal happiness. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. 


Read: 
St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary paragraphs 90-104.
2. Marks of false and authentic devotion to Mary 90. Now that we have established these five basic truths, it is all the more necessary to make the right choice of the true devotion to our Blessed Lady, for now more than ever there are false devotions to her which can easily be mistaken for true ones. The devil, like a counterfeiter and crafty, experienced deceiver, has already misled and ruined many Christians by means of fraudulent devotions to our Lady. Day by day he uses his diabolical experience to lead many more to their doom, fooling them, lulling them to sleep in sin and assuring them that a few prayers, even badly said, and a few exterior practices, inspired by himself, are authentic devotions. A counterfeiter usually makes coins only of gold and silver, rarely of other metals, because these latter would not be worth the trouble. Similarly, the devil leaves other devotions alone and counterfeits mostly those directed to Jesus and Mary, for example, devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin, because these are to other devotions what gold and silver are to other metals. 91. It is therefore very important, first, to recognise false devotions to our Blessed Lady so as to avoid them, and to recognise true devotion in order to practise it. Second, among so many different forms of true devotion to our Blessed Lady we should choose the one most perfect and the most pleasing to her, the one that gives greater glory to God and is most sanctifying for us. 1. False devotion to our Lady 92. There are, I find, seven kinds of false devotion to Mary, namely, the devotion of (1) the critical, (2) the scrupulous, (3) the superficial, (4) the presumptuous, (5) the inconstant, (6) the hypocritical, (7) the self- interested. Critical devotees 93. Critical devotees are for the most part proud scholars, people of independent and self-satisfied minds, who deep down in their hearts have a vague sort of devotion to Mary. However, they criticise nearly all those forms of devotion to her which simple and pious people use to honour their good Mother just because such practices do not appeal to them. They question all miracles and stories which testify to the mercy and power of the Blessed Virgin, even those recorded by trustworthy authors or taken from the chronicles of religious orders. They cannot bear to see simple and humble people on their knees before an altar or statue of our Lady, or at prayer before some outdoor shrine. They even accuse them of idolatry as if they were adoring the wood or the stone. They say that as far as they are concerned they do not care for such outward display of devotion and that they are not so gullible as to believe all the fairy tales and stories told of our Blessed Lady. When you tell them how admirably the Fathers of the Church praised our Lady, they reply that the Fathers were exaggerating as orators do, or that their words are misrepresented. These false devotees, these proud worldly people are greatly to be feared. They do untold harm to devotion to our Lady. While pretending to correct abuses, they succeed only too well in turning people away from this devotion. Scrupulous devotees 94. Scrupulous devotees are those who imagine they are slighting the Son by honouring the Mother. They fear that by exalting Mary they are belittling Jesus. They cannot bear to see people giving to our Lady the praises due to her and which the Fathers of the Church have lavished upon her. It annoys them to see more people kneeling before Mary's altar than before the Blessed Sacrament, as if these acts were at variance with each other, or as if those who were praying to our Lady were not praying through her to Jesus. They do not want us to speak too often of her or to pray so often to her. Here are some of the things they say: "What is the good of all these rosaries, confraternities and exterior devotions to our Lady? There is a great deal of ignorance in all this. It is making a mockery of religion. Tell us about those who are devoted to Jesus (and they often pronounce his name without uncovering their heads). We should go directly to Jesus, since he is our sole Mediator. We must preach Jesus; that is sound devotion." There is some truth in what they say, but the inference they draw to prevent devotion to our Lady is very insidious. It is a subtle snare of the evil one under the pretext of promoting a greater good. For we never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son.
95. The Church, with the Holy Spirit, blesses our Lady first, then Jesus, "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." Not that Mary is greater than Jesus, or even equal to him - that would be an intolerable heresy. But in order to bless Jesus more perfectly we should first bless Mary. Let us say with all those truly devoted to her, despite these false and scrupulous devotees: "O Mary, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." Superficial devotees 96. Superficial devotees are people whose entire devotion to our Lady consists in exterior practices. Only the externals of devotion appeal to them because they have no interior spirit. They say many rosaries with great haste and assist at many Masses distractedly. They take part in processions of our Lady without inner fervour. They join her confraternities without reforming their lives or restraining their passions or imitating Mary's virtues. All that appeals to them is the emotional aspect of this devotion, but the substance of it has no appeal at all. If they do not feel a warmth in their devotions, they think they are doing nothing; they become upset, and give up everything, or else do things only when they feel like it. The world is full of these shallow devotees, and there are none more critical of men of prayer who regard the interior devotion as the essential aspect and strive to acquire it without, however, neglecting a reasonable external expression which always accompanies true devotion. Presumptuous devotees 97. Presumptuous devotees are sinners who give full rein to their passions or their love of the world, and who, under the fair name of Christian and servant of our Lady, conceal pride, avarice, lust, drunkenness, anger, swearing, slandering, injustice and other vices. They sleep peacefully in their wicked habits, without making any great effort to correct them, believing that their devotion to our Lady gives them this sort of liberty. They convince themselves that God will forgive them, that they will not die without confession, that they will not be lost for all eternity. They take all this for granted because they say the Rosary, fast on Saturdays, are enrolled in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary or the Scapular, or a sodality of our Lady, wear the medal or the little chain of our Lady. When you tell them that such a devotion is only an illusion of the devil and a dangerous presumption which may well ruin them, they refuse to believe you. God is good and merciful, they reply, and he has not made us to damn us. No man is without sin. We will not die without confession, and a good act of contrition at death is all that is needed. Moreover, they say they have devotion to our Lady; that they wear the scapular; that they recite faithfully and humbly every day the seven Our Fathers and seven Hail Marys in her honour; that sometimes they even say the Rosary and the Office of our Lady, as well as fasting and performing other good works. Blinding themselves still more, they quote stories they have heard or read - whether true or false does not bother them - which relate how people who had died in mortal sin were brought back to life again to go to confession, or how their soul was miraculously retained in their bodies until confession, because in their lifetime they said a few prayers or performed a few pious acts, in honour of our Lady. Others are supposed to have obtained from God at the moment of death, through the merciful intercession of the Blessed Virgin, sorrow and pardon for their sins, and so were saved. Accordingly, these people expect the same thing to happen to them.

98. Nothing in our Christian religion is so deserving of condemnation as this diabolical presumption. How can we truthfully claim to love and honour the Blessed Virgin when by our sins we pitilessly wound, pierce, crucify and outrage her Son? If Mary made it a rule to save by her mercy this sort of person, she would be condoning wickedness and helping to outrage and crucify her Son. Who would even dare to think of such a thing?
99. I declare that such an abuse of devotion to her is a horrible sacrilege and, next to an unworthy Communion, is the greatest and the least pardonable sin, because devotion to our Lady is the holiest and best after devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. I admit that to be truly devoted to our Lady, it is not absolutely necessary to be so holy as to avoid all sin, although this is desirable. But at least it is necessary (note what I am going to say), (1) to be genuinely determined to avoid at least all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother as well as the Son; (2) to practise self-restraint in order to avoid sin; (3) to join her confraternities, say the Rosary and other prayers, fast on Saturdays, and so on. 100. Such means are surprisingly effective in converting even the hardened sinner. Should you be such a sinner, with one foot in the abyss, I advise you to do as I have said. But there is an essential condition. You must perform these good works solely to obtain from God, through the intercession of our Lady, the grace to regret your sins, obtain pardon for them and overcome your evil habits, and not to live complacently in the state of sin, disregarding the warning voice of conscience, the example of our Lord and the saints, and the teaching of the holy gospel. Inconstant devotees 101. Inconstant devotees are those whose devotion to our Lady is practised in fits and starts. Sometimes they are fervent and sometimes they are lukewarm. Sometimes they appear ready to do anything to please our Lady, and then shortly afterwards they have completely changed. They start by embracing every devotion to our Lady. They join her confraternities, but they do not faithfully observe the rules. They are as changeable as the moon, and like the moon Mary puts them under her feet. Because of their fickleness they are unworthy to be included among the servants of the Virgin most faithful, because faithfulness and constancy are the hallmarks of Mary's servants. It is better not to burden ourselves with a multitude of prayers and pious practices but rather adopt only a few and perform them with love and perseverance in spite of opposition from the devil the world and the flesh. Hypocritical devotees 102. There is another category of false devotees of our Lady, - hypocritical ones. These hide their sins and evil habits under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin so as to appear to their fellow-men different from what they are. Self-interested devotees 103. Then there are the self-interested devotees who turn to her only to win a court-case, to escape some danger, to be cured of some ailment, or have some similar need satisfied. Except when in need they never think of her. Such people are acceptable neither to God nor to his Mother. 104. We must, then, carefully avoid joining the critical devotees, who believe nothing and find fault with everything; the scrupulous ones who, out of respect for our Lord, are afraid of having too much devotion to his Mother; the exterior devotees whose devotion consists entirely in outward practices; the presumptuous devotees who under cover of a fictitious devotion to our Lady wallow in their sins; the inconstant devotees who, being unstable, change their devotional practices or abandon them altogether at the slightest temptation; the hypocritical ones who join confraternities and wear emblems of our Lady only to be thought of as good people; finally, the self-interested devotees who pray to our Lady only to be rid of bodily ills or to obtain material benefits. 


Read: 
St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary paragraphs 105-114.

2. Marks of authentic devotion to our Lady

105. After having explained and condemned false devotions to the Blessed Virgin we shall now briefly describe what true devotion is. It is interior, trustful, holy, constant and disinterested.
106. First, true devotion to our Lady is interior, that is, it comes from within the mind and the heart and follows from the esteem in which we hold her, the high regard we have for her greatness, and the love we bear her.
107. Second, it is trustful, that is to say, it fills us with confidence in the Blessed Virgin, the confidence that a child has for its loving Mother. It prompts us to go to her in every need of body and soul with great simplicity, trust and affection. We implore our Mother's help always, everywhere, and for everything. We pray to her to be enlightened in our doubts, to be put back on the right path when we go astray, to be protected when we are tempted, to be strengthened when we are weakening, to be lifted up when we fall into sin, to be encouraged when we are losing heart, to be rid of our scruples, to be consoled in the trials, crosses and disappointments of life. Finally, in all our afflictions of body and soul, we naturally turn to Mary for help, with never a fear of importuning her or displeasing our Lord.
108. Third, true devotion to our Lady is holy, that is, it leads us to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of Mary. Her ten principal virtues are: deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom.
109. Fourth, true devotion to our Lady is constant. It strengthens us in our desire to do good and prevents us from giving up our devotional practices too easily. It gives us the courage to oppose the fashions and maxims of the world, the vexations and unruly inclinations of the flesh and the temptations of the devil. Thus a person truly devoted to our Blessed Lady is not changeable, fretful, scrupulous or timid. We do not say however that such a person never sins or that his sensible feelings of devotion never change. When he has fallen, he stretches out his hand to his Blessed Mother and rises again. If he loses all taste and feeling for devotion, he is not at all upset because a good and faithful servant of Mary is guided in his life by faith in Jesus and Mary, and not by feelings.
110. Fifth, true devotion to Mary is disinterested. It inspires us to seek God alone in his Blessed Mother and not ourselves. The true subject of Mary does not serve his illustrious Queen for selfish gain. He does not serve her for temporal or eternal well-being but simply and solely because she has the right to be served and God alone in her. He loves her not so much because she is good to him or because he expects something from her, but simply because she is lovable. That is why he loves and serves her just as faithfully in weariness and dryness of soul as in sweet and sensible fervour. He loves her as much on Calvary as at Cana. How pleasing and precious in the sight of God and his holy Mother must these servants of Mary be, who serve her without any self-seeking. How rare they are nowadays! It is to increase their number that I have taken up my pen to write down what I have been teaching with success both publicly and in private in my missions for many years.
111. I have already said many things about the Blessed Virgin and, as I am trying to fashion a true servant of Mary and a true disciple of Jesus, I have still a great deal to say, although through ignorance, inability, and lack of time, I shall leave infinitely more unsaid.
112. But my labour will be well rewarded if this little book falls into the hands of a noble soul, a child of God and of Mary, born not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man. My time will be well spent if, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, after having read this book he is convinced of the supreme value of the solid devotion to Mary I am about to describe. If I thought that my guilty blood could help the reader to accept in his heart the truths that I set down in honour of my dear Mother and Queen, I, her most unworthy child and slave, would use it instead of ink to write these words. I would hope to find faithful souls who, by their perseverance in the devotion I teach, will repay her for the loss she has suffered through my ingratitude and infidelity.
113. I feel more than ever inspired to believe and expect the complete fulfilment of the desire that is deeply engraved on my heart and what I have prayed to God for over many years, namely, that in the near or distant future the Blessed Virgin will have more children, servants and slaves of love than ever before, and that through them Jesus, my dear Lord, will reign more than ever in the hearts of men.
114. I clearly foresee that raging beasts will come in fury to tear to pieces with their diabolical teeth this little book and the one the Holy Spirit made use of to write it, or they will cause it at least to lie hidden in the darkness and silence of a chest and so prevent it from seeing the light of day. They will even attack and persecute those who read it and put into practice what it contains. But no matter! So much the better! It even gives me encouragement to hope for great success at the prospect of a mighty legion of brave and valiant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, both men and women, who will fight the devil, the world, and corrupt nature in the perilous times that are sure to come.
"Let the reader understand. Let him accept this teaching who can." 
PART 4: A taste of Fr. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory if you have time:

“Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary. Unite my will to the will of the Immaculata, which is one with your will.”

CLICK HERE for Podcast of day 12
“Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary. Prepare me to be a fit instrument in the hands of the Immaculata”.

CLICK HERE for podcast of Day 13 

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.
 

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