Monthly Archives: July 2011

True Devotion to Mary – IX

The True Devotion is no ‘easy way out’.  We do not lose sense of responsibility and attribute everything to Our Lady.  It is not a question of ‘I don’t think for myself; I do what Our Lady would do’.  It is not that at all.  We certainly think for ourselves.  We do this by considering the example of Our Lady.  We force ourselves to consider her greater perfection in any given action.  We know that she would not choose anything that gave lesser glory to God.

Consequently, the more we seek to make Mary the model of all our actions, the more we are praying that her spirit of love will increase in our hearts.

By the gradual practice of it we are removing ourselves more and more from the extreme of servility and increasing in the service of love.  It is love alone that understands the meaning of sacrifice.

Servility has never been the hallmark of sanctity.  This devotion we must remember is a Slavery of Love.  It leads to the understanding of God’s love for us and the desire to love Him as much as possible in return.

The Immaculate Way

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Love of God

A person begins to love Our Blessed Lady, but the progress does not stop there.  By loving & serving her we are giving ourselves up more and more to her influence, and she, then, will lead us to understand and love more her Divine Son.  Through her we shall be led to understand the Person of God as revealed to us in the Incarnate Word, the Jesus Christ of the Gospels.  By understanding more Who He is, the God-Man, we then begin to understand His own words: ‘No man can come to the Father except through Me.’

With what tender care she must love every soul, for which mother would allow any harmful thing to approach near her child?  Nobody holds a higher place in Mary’s heart than God.  All her desire now is to enhance the glory of God in those whom He came on earth to redeem.

Interior liberty means that there is no servile fear in our approach to God.  Neither is there worry.  Seeking after the perfection of Mary is an assurance itself that we are doing the right thing.  We are assured we are doing God’s Will by following the path of Mary.  Thus our minds are at peace.  In every action we try to act as if Our Lady were in our place.  We know quite well that she would not act out of pride or self-love.  Consequently the motive that we must constantly place before ourselves is that of the pure love of God.

The Immaculate Way

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True Devotion to Mary – VIII

God lost nothing by giving all to Mary…Yet He gave Himself to her completely in His Godhead and took from her His Manhood.

In following the example of Our Blessed Lord what have we to lose by giving all to Mary?  Would not we gain by leaving ourselves in her hands so that she may form us into perfect Christians, i.e., into other Christs?

The Immaculate Way

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The Perfection of Mary

By calling Our Lady a short way to Jesus, Montfort means that in following her we do not wander.  In other words time is not lost on our way to Christ.  We are on a road that will lead infallibly to Our Blessed Lord.

If we want to be absolutely sure of reaching a destination at an appointed time we always take the road that we know and are sure of, rather than one about which we are hazy.  We do not want to run the risk of going astray and losing valuable time.  In seeking the perfection of Mary we know exactly where we are going.

In the way of perfection, that is of conforming ourselves to Our Blessed Lord, the most perfect pattern has been set by Our Lady.  In following her we are following a pattern woven specially for the human race by the Immaculate Mother of God.  Do we think that by striking out on our own we could better it?

The Immaculate Way

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Mother of Sorrows

The way of Christ will always be the way of the Cross.  There is no other way of finding Him.  The way of Mary is also the way of the Cross.  But she who was with Jesus on Calvary will remove all doubts and temptations when the Cross comes to us.  That is what Montfort means in this passage.  With Mary we shall always have a guide on that hard road of sanctification.  We shall not be relying on our own sense of direction, but following the shining light of Mary.  The great grace of this devotion is that it enlightens the mind and brings peace of soul.

Montfort emphasizes the important point that devotion to Mary is not a way of by-passing the Royal Road of the Cross.  This way is only ‘easy’ in the sense that we are helped to bear the Cross and that with Our Lady we are sure we are on the right road.  Montfort does not mean that we attain to Jesus without any exertions on our part… Nobody can attain deep union with God without great suffering.  It is Mary who reveals to us what suffering really is.  We give ourselves to Mary that she will help us to understand the mind of Christ.  ‘Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.’  If we have completely the mind of Christ then we are not afraid of the truth which is the Cross.  We want Mary to form Christ perfectly in us.  She cannot do that unless we are prepared to accept the Cross and unite ourselves with it as Our Blessed Lord did.

In her life on earth Our Lady was so intimately united with the sufferings of her Divine Son that she is bound to lead us that way herself.  It is the only way she knows.  We could apply to her those words written of the Woman of the Apocalypse: ‘Crying out as she travailed in great pain of her delivery.’  In the spiritual sense, Mary, who had become the spiritual Mother of the Mystical Body at the Incarnation, brought forth her spiritual child on Calvary.  As every mother loves her child partly because of the pain she undergoes for it at its birth, so likewise Mary loves tenderly her spiritual children because of the terrible agony and anguish of mind she underwent when they were born anew through the death of her Divine Son on the Cross.

We should often meditate on the sufferings which Our Lady offered in union with her Divine Son.  Our love for Mary must always go back to the Cross.  The remembrance of Mary’s suffering joined with the infinite value of the suffering of Our Blessed Lord will make us realize that to bring souls to the life of grace, then we too must share in that suffering.  We can understand why St. Louis-Marie insists that the Cross will be specially offered to those who are devoted to Mary.  His own life is a proof of that.  A thing is appreciated if it costs a price.  Mary teaches us that all our suffering can be united with that of Jesus in order to save souls.  She teaches us to want the Cross in order to obtain priceless graces for others.

Our love of the Cross will always be the proof of our love of Jesus.  The more the cross comes into our life the more consoled we should be.  It means in practical reality we are getting closer to Jesus, closer to His dereliction and to the ‘emptying of ourselves’.  This desire for the Cross will lead us on to the purest love for Christ in which there will be no desire for any favor or consolation beyond the privilege of sharing in His desolation on Calvary.

‘It is quite true that the most faithful servants of the Blessed Virgin, being her greatest favorites, receive from her the greatest graces and favors from heaven, which are crosses.’  Could we be really devoted to Mary without wanting a share in her suffering?  It is through living with Mary that we learn to carry the Cross in her spirit.  The Cross will come to all who wish to follow Christ.  The closer we get to Christ, the greater will be our share in His suffering.  It is our devotion to Mary that will be the source of our strength and make us capable of carrying such crosses.

The Immaculate Way

 

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True Devotion to Mary – VII

Furthermore as it is a grace to love Our Lady we should be eager to make that love more and more perfect.  It is not reasonable that a person should want to deliberately limit his devotion to Mary when the Church permits and encourages us to go further.  The grace not given to others has been given to us.

The Immaculate Way

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The Will of Mary

It is quite true what St. Louis-Marie says: Scarcely anyone works for that noble end (i.e. the glory of God)…either because we do not know where God’s greater glory is to be found, or because we do not desire it.’  What is generally desired is our own will and we hope that God will co-operate in effecting it.  By this consecration we make that sacrifice of our own will to Mary and strive after her devotion to the Will of God in everything.  What God wants we want.  Our own will does not become anything passive, but powerfully active, acting in union with the Will of God.  By detaching us from our own will this devotion thus seeks to promote God’s glory in us.  It is attachment to our own desires that form the obstacles to the perfection of God’s Will in us.  Henceforward the question that must be the yardstick of our actions is not, ‘What would I want?’ but ‘What would Our Lady want?’  If it is confidence and assurance that we need in the service of God then we have it here.  It is this that answers the troubles of so many people.  With good desires in their hearts some, perhaps, may wonder, if they should be doing something else for God.  It is at times a form of temptation.  They begin to think that their present occupations are worthless and they should be doing something else.  For example, it may be a housewife who thinks that it would be better if she were occupied with other things more closely and more directly connected with the active apostolate.  Thus it can be a temptation for her to leave aside what are essential duties of state in the mistaken idea that she is devoting herself to ‘good works’.   In reality it is merely an attachment to her own desires.  If she were to practice the perfection of Our Lady she would realize that the Will of God for her primarily is to live her married life.  God wills all those seemingly insignificant actions that are connected with the daily round and which are so necessary for the smooth running of a home.

Let her try to seek the perfection of Mary in those actions.  It brings them a sense of security in the service of God.  God does not need any of us.  Therefore let us seek His love in the small things He does ask us to do.  If done with Mary, in Mary and for Mary they are being offered in as perfect a manner as possible.

The Immaculate Way

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