Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mary, our Helper

Neither let us think that Our Lady will automatically ward off all temptation… Mary will indeed help us, but we must show her that we want that help.  The Apostles themselves were rowing very hard when the storm was against them.  Would Our Lord have helped them if they had not bothered to row or exert themselves?  Likewise in our spiritual life when the storm of temptation arises God expects us to do all in our power, and His grace will always be there to help us to resist.  Thus when Mary sees us making an effort for the love of her Divine Son, she will readily help us.  But if we make no effort at all, how then can we call upon her?

The Immaculate Way

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The Perfection of Mary

The consideration of Our Lady in everything necessarily leads to the sacrifice of self.  That is why devotion to Mary, as shown by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, becomes a positive means of loving God and of progressing in that love.  It is different from the negative approach which puts off so many.  In seeking the perfection of Mary our attitude of mind becomes not a constant denial of self, but a progressive seeking after the practice of her virtues.  We are considering Mary and her perfection – not ourself and our imperfection.  Our way of approach is not to destroy but to build, to transform and perfect.  This positive way of Mary becomes our way to God.

The Immaculate Way

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Devotion to Mary – XI

As every garden needs constant care, so must our devotion to Mary be assiduously tended.  Haphazard gardening is never successful.  The weeds will always grow again.  It is the same with the spiritual life.  It needs watching and tending.  The more care we give to it, the greater becomes our love and understanding of it.  Our willingness is shown by the care we take in fostering the love of God in our soul.  One grace leads to another and finally one’s whole perfection is attained through Our Blessed Lady.

Whatever is likely to prevent the growth of a tree must be uprooted.  Likewise mortification and penance must have their place in our life also.  By that attachments are rooted out.  Thus no obstacle to devotion to Mary is allowed to grow in our hearts.  Mortification, we must remember, is an essential requirement of the ascetical life.  It is something we must practice.  By it we oppose the growth of self-love.

The Immaculate Way

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Living with Mary – II

As one progresses the True Devotion simplifies itself.  The soul in the state of grace is guarded by Our Blessed Lady.

‘If you say “Mary”, she says “God”…When she is praised, when she is loved or honored, when she is presented with anything, God is praised, God is honored and loved, and through Mary and in Mary God receives the gift.’

After reading Montfort’s works on Our Lady, at least one thing should be clearer in our mind and that is that we cannot be indifferent regarding to Mary.  Prayer to Our Lady will help us to understand this more.

Our spiritual life must be developed by Mary.

The Immaculate Way

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Living In Mary

I think we should bear in mind here that St. Louis-Marie in this part of the True Devotion is writing of one proficient in its practice.  To live in Mary denotes a stage of the spiritual life that is the result of co-operating with many graces.  In itself it is a special grace from the Holy Ghost.  Montfort already had indicated this in the True Devotion.  ‘As the essential part of this devotion consists in the interior state of the soul which it must form, it will not be equally understood by everyone.  Some – and by far the greater number – will stop at the exterior and go no further.  Some – but few will penetrate to the interior, but they will reach only the first degree.  Who will reach the second?  Who will reach the third?  Finally, who will remain in it as in a permanent state?  He alone to whom the Spirit of Jesus Christ will reveal this secret.’

Now Montfort reminds us of this truth.  ‘But how difficult it is for sinners such as we are to have the permission, the ability, & the light to enter a spot so high and so holy; a spot guarded not by a cherub, as was the first earthly paradise, but by the Holy Ghost Himself, Who has made Himself absolute Master of it & says of Mary: Hortus conclusus, soror mea sponsa, hortus conclusus, fons signatus.  Mary is closed, Mary is sealed.  The wretched children of Adam and Eve, driven from the earthly paradise, can enter this new Paradise only by a special grace of the Holy Ghost, which they must merit.’

We prepare ourselves that God may be placed to grant us this grace by our persevering in the way of Mary.  ‘After we have obtained this singular grace by our fidelity.’

…we now ask Our Blessed Lady to guard the grace of God in our soul.  Being consecrated to her, we must seriously recommend this to her.  We want the grace of God in our soul to be guarded by her charity, her purity, her humility and other virtues.

Instead of trusting in ourselves when temptations arise we turn immediately to the Blessed Virgin.

As the practice of the True Devotion develops, the soul is taken up with the idea of being ‘in’ Mary.  She is our ‘Tower of David’, our ‘Tower of Ivory’, our ‘House of Gold’ in which we place ourselves.  The interior life is fostered in that atmosphere of Mary.

The Immaculate Way

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With Mary

In dealing with others we seek after the charity of Our Lady.  People may be bothersome, they may get on our nerves, but how would Mary act if she were in our place?…Having the courage to act with her is the test of our devotion.

 The Immaculate Way

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Imitate Mary

In the spiritual life we turn to Mary.  She is the Mirror of Holiness and the most perfect of those who can lead us to Christ.  We ask her to teach us to live our life as she would have lived it.  Mary becomes the model of our actions.  We try to do all our actions with her, even what may seem insignificant ones.

Therefore let us ask her to place in us her desire of humility that we may desire it also.  We can do the same with the graces requested in the other decades…

Furthermore when at prayer begin it with Mary.  It is something we are going to offer together.  Then we can let the intentions of Our Lady be ours also.  Whatever she has in mind at this moment for the greater glory of God is what we desire at this moment also…Through practicing the True Devotion we are seeking God’s greater glory.

 The Immaculate Way

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