Friday, November 8, 2019

Day 5: 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 5 of 33: Contemplating the Hail Mary. 
Action: Pray one decade of the Rosary contemplating the 4th Joyful Mystery - the Presentation. 
Also read about and begin to pray the surrender novena, which takes just seconds a day.  

"The Immaculate alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan. She seeks souls that will consecrate themselves entirely to her, that will become in her hands forceful instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spread of God's kingdom." St. Maximilian Kolbe

As we contemplate Jesus being presented and offered back to God in the temple by Jesus and Mary in today's mystery of the Rosary, it is the perfect backdrop for understanding more about consecration.  Mary and Joseph, in fulfillment of the law, went both for Mary's purification and to consecrate Jesus to the Lord, as God commanded: 
Exodus 13: 1-2 The LORD spoke to Moses and said: 'Consecrate to me every firstborn; whatever opens the womb among the Israelites, whether of human being or beast, belongs to me.'
Furthering this thought, as I spoke about in yesterday's video study, all of us belong to God, whether we realize it or not. Nothing we have is of our own. Everything, except our sins, comes from God, for:  "Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's... and each of us shall give an account of himself to God." (Romans 14). 

This is the Reality that most of the world ignores or rejects. Satan has convinced millions that God doesn't exist and there is no eternal life.
Yet, when we consecrate ourselves, we begin our eternal glory here on earth... as we open ourselves up to and begin participating in the very Life of God, from and for whom we were created!!! 
It is a glorious Reality! 

One that satan wants to steal from us...
Satan lies to us.
He wants to cause us to fear the very God who formed us and gives us every good thing.
He wants us to hold back and cling to the lesser things - exchanging our glory for nothing of value... (cf. Ps. 106: 20), all the while, we are called and meant to live filled with  
the riches and glory of God dwelling within us, Who is able to accomplish more than we can ever ask for or imagine:  
...in accord with the riches of his glory be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or image, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Eph. 3: 14-21
By surrendering ourselves, we are recognize who we are and who God is and freely giving ourselves - setting ourselves aside for His holy purposes. 
We give our free will back to God, who first gave it to us!
And we can do this with great confidence because we have come to know and love Him, who is all in all, the first and the last, the good and all-loving God who is trustworthy...
we love Him for He first loved us and emptied himself out for us so we could live in eternal union with Him - that starts here on earth!!!
 
Lives given over completely to God so He can live in us!
Where God can see and hear and think and act in us
It is Surrender to that the love of God
Who brings us to a Radical transformation
As we receive Him in us, we become living tabernacles
Living Christs
We become who we were created to be!
We become who we are! 
              each an irreplaceable, unique reflection of God         each show forth his Glory and goodness
each of us have a job to do, 
that we can only do fully through this surrender!
"We were made for you O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."
Father Gaitley spoke yesterday about the St. Louis de Montfort's Consecration prayer, which we will be invited to offer at the end of our preparation is a prayer of:   
            give ourselves entirely:
            1. body
            2. soul
            3. exteriorly
            4  interiorly – including merits, virtues, good works, past present and future
This offering of our interior life is greater than what is given in religious vows! It is holding nothing back from the God who held nothing back from us.
Our doing this in and through and with Mary is in imitation of Him, who willed to come to us in the same way.

It is Our Response to God for All He Has Done for Us!
St. Louis de Montfort speaks of it as a great secret (in his book the Secret of Mary) that we have to humbly kneel before in order to enter into it and accept and live it's mysteries... 

1."…thank God all the days of your life for the grace He has given you to know a secret you do not deserve to know. As you go on making use of this secret in the ordinary actions of your life,
you will comprehend its value and its excellence, which at first you will not fully understand because of your many and grievous sins and because of your secret attachment to self.
2. Before you read any further, kneel down and say devoutly a Hail Mary, slowly and devoutly, on one's knees, and a personal prayer to the Holy Spirit in order to understand and
appreciate this Divine mystery.

1. The holy slavery of Jesus in Mary … this devotion is a secret:
first, because there lies in it, as in all things supernatural, a hidden treasure which grace alone can help us to find and utilize;
secondly, because there are but few souls that enter into the spirit of this devotion and go beyond its exterior practices. Again, as no one had as yet thoroughly explained this devotion nor shaped it into a definite method of
spiritual life, St. Louis De Montfort could say of a truth, "I have not been able to find this secret in any book, old or new."
2. These words show how highly St. Louis De Montfort esteemed this devotion. As there are
professional secrets committed only to men who know how to appreciate and exploit them, so this secret of sanctity…
3…union by other roads, but this method is an EASY, SHORT, PERFECT and SECURE WAY that
leads us to union with Our Lord."
4. These words contain three important counsels:
1) This devotion must be practiced in the ordinary course of life as well as in the most important actions.
2) Only when we steadily persevere in it, and not merely try it for a few weeks,
shall we be able to judge of its excellence and know its fruit.
3) It is necessary to remove all hindrances to this devotion, namely, sin and secret affection for that which is sinful.

Action:

1. Read through the accompanying pictures and the extraordinary wisdom of St. Louis below if possible. 

2. Continue to choose to enter more deeply into the daily prayer program (below) at least in this way: 
Ponder and pray the Hail Mary today and the accompanying Scripture texts as you meditate and pray one decade of the Rosary - the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary- the Presentation - 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: 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 5 of 33:  
Meditate on 
Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 3, Chapter 40
Wherefore, but I did know well, how to cast from me all human comfort, either for the sake of devotion, or through the necessity by which I am compelled to seek Thee, because there is no man that can comfort me. Then might I deservedly hope in Thy favor, and rejoice in the gift of a new consolation. Thanks be to Thee from Whom all things proceed, as often as it happens to me. I, indeed, am but vanity, and nothing in Thy sight , an inconstant and weak man. Where, therefore, can I glory, or for what do I desire to be thought of highly?
Forsooth of my very nothingness; and this is most vain. Truly vainglory is an evil plague, because it draws away from true glory, and robs us of heavenly grace. For, while a man takes complacency in himself, he displeases Thee; while he wants for human applause, he is deprived of true virtues. But true, glory and holy exultation is to glory in Thee, and not in one's self; to rejoice in Thy Name, but not in one's own strength. To find pleasure in no creature, save only for Thy sake. Let Thy Name be praised, not mine; let Thy work be magnified, not mine; let Thy Holy Name be blessed, but let nothing be attributed to me of the praise of men. Thou art my glory; Thou art the exultation of my heart; in Thee, will I glory and rejoice all the day; but for myself, I will glory in nothing but in my infirmities. 

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 34-41


2. Mary's part in the sanctification of souls
34. God the Holy Spirit wishes to fashion his chosen ones in and through Mary. He tells her, "My well- beloved, my spouse, let all your virtues take root in my chosen ones that they may grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace. When you were living on earth, practising the most sublime virtues, I was so pleased with you that I still desire to find you on earth without your ceasing to be in heaven. Reproduce yourself then in my chosen ones, so that I may have the joy of seeing in them the roots of your invincible faith, profound humility, total mortification, sublime prayer, ardent charity, your firm hope and all your virtues. You are always my spouse, as faithful, pure, and fruitful as ever. May your faith give me believers; your purity, virgins; your fruitfulness, elect and living temples."page7image44968
35. When Mary has taken root in a soul she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce; for she alone is the fruitful virgin who never had and never will have her equal in purity and fruitfulness. Together with the Holy Spirit Mary produced the greatest thing that ever was or ever will be: a God-man. She will consequently produce the marvels which will be seen in the latter times. The formation and the education of the great saints who will come at the end of the world are reserved to her, for only this singular and wondrous virgin can produce in union with the Holy Spirit singular and wondrous things.

36. When the Holy Spirit, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to his spouse. One of the main reasons why the Holy Spirit does not work striking wonders in souls is that he fails to find in them a sufficiently close union with his faithful and inseparable spouse. I say "inseparable spouse", for from the moment the substantial love of the Father and the Son espoused Mary to form Jesus, the head of the elect, and Jesus in the elect, he has never disowned her, for she has always been faithful and fruitful.

3. Consequences
37. We must obviously conclude from what I have just said:

First, that Mary received from God a far-reaching dominion over the souls of the elect. Otherwise she could not make her dwelling-place in them as God the Father has ordered her to do, and she could not conceive them, nourish them, and bring them forth to eternal life as their mother. She could not have them for her inheritance and her possession and form them in Jesus and Jesus in them. She could not implant in their heart the roots of her virtues, nor be the inseparable associate of the Holy Spirit in all these works of grace. None of these things, I repeat, could she do unless she had received from the Almighty rights and authority over their souls. For God, having given her power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave her power over his adopted children - not only in what concerns their body - which would be of little account - but also in what concerns their soul.
38. Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth by grace as Jesus is king by nature and by conquest. But as the kingdom of Jesus Christ exists primarily in the heart or interior of man, according to the words of the Gospel, "The kingdom of God is within you", so the kingdom of the Blessed Virgin is principally in the interior of man, that is, in his soul. It is principally in souls that she is glorified with her Son more than in any visible creature. So we may call her, as the saints do, Queen of our hearts.
39. Secondly, we must conclude that, being necessary to God by a necessity which is called "hypothetical", (that is, because God so willed it), the Blessed Virgin is all the more necessary for men to attain their final end. Consequently we must not place devotion to her on the same level as devotion to the other saints as if it were merely something optional.
40. The pious and learned Jesuit, Suarez, Justus Lipsius, a devout and erudite theologian of Louvain, and many others have proved incontestably that devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary to attain salvation. This they show from the teaching of the Fathers, notably St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, deacon of Edessa, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure. Even according to Oecolampadius and other heretics, lack of esteem and love for the Virgin Mary is an infallible sign of God's disapproval. On the other hand, to be entirely and genuinely devoted to her is a sure sign of God's approval.
41. The types and texts of the Old and New Testaments prove the truth of this, the opinions and examples of the saints confirm it, and reason and experience teach and demonstrate it. Even the devil and his followers, forced by the evidence of the truth, were frequently obliged against their will to admit it. For brevity's sake, I shall quote one only of the many passages which I have collected from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church to support this truth. "Devotion to you, O Blessed Virgin, is a means of salvation which God gives to those whom he wishes to save" (St. John Damascene). 

PART 3: A taste of Fr. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory:
Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary, help me be generous in giving all I am and have to Mary.”

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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