‘The third devotion to the Blessed Virgin, known and practiced by very few, is that which I will show you, Chosen Soul.’
Let us remember here what the holy writer says at the beginning of his little work. ‘It is a secret which you will only communicate to those who deserve it.’ He addresses himself then to a chosen few only, distinguished by ‘their meditations, their alms, their mortifications, their persecutions, their detachment and their zeal for the salvation of souls.’
Notice the careful choice of these expressions. ‘Their meditations’: that is to say their interior life of prayer and piety; ‘their alms,’ that is, their share in good works whether spiritual or material; ‘their mortifications, their persecutions,’ that is, the penance imposed by oneself, the suffering from without, the trial sent by God; ‘their detachment’: that is, the renunciation, actual and sensible, of their own will, and of all the perishable goods of this world; ‘their zeal for the salvation of souls,’ that is, a practical apostleship for the extension for the reign of Jesus through Mary in the world.
That is, in brief, the magnificent program Montfort draws up and which souls whom God predestines and who aspire to the Holy Slavery of Jesus in Mary must make their own.
Then Blessed de Montfort puts forth in three lone the complete and succinct plan of the devotion for which he pleads and to which the Church has granted her approval by judging his writings as exempt from any error that could stand in the way of his beatification and by giving canonical erection to the Archconfraternity, in the name of Mary, Queen of Hearts, the essence of this devotion. This is the celebrated passage, the complete summary of the nature and practice of the true devotion: ‘It consists in abandoning oneself utterly and in the capacity of a slave to Mary, and through her to Jesus, so that everything we do, we do through Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary.’
This is the secret unveiled which Blessed de Montfort promised. We shall now try to understand the meaning of these words, and to discover the wonderful fruit beneath their rind.
(To be continued.)