3. It is the means of adorning and purifying our actions.
‘To consecrate ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary is to place in the hands of Mary all our good actions, which, however good they may appear, are very often sullied and unworthy in the eyes of God, before Whom the stars are not pure.’
Of what is life as a rule composed? Of trifles, a chain formed of little links, forged the one to the other, all alike, and often worn and damaged by the rust of routine. Sin breaks them and makes them useless, dangerous and even harmful.
But this chain of life should be made of a little gold, should be shining, rich and precious. How? By a good and single-hearted intention; by the offering made with true purity of heart, by seeking God’s glory alone. But even that may be spoiled, stained with self-love, and a vain and barren self-satisfaction.
Does not Blessed de Montfort say that ‘our best actions are very often sullied and corrupted by the very foundations of our nature…that our actions, even our greatest virtues, bear the trace of it?’
Our actions, then, are condemned to remain hopelessly imperfect and without any real value? No, let us take courage. We have a perfect way of restoring to the links of our life their brilliance, their efficacy, their value. And this way is a true devotion to Mary.
‘Oh! let us pray to that good Mother, that, having received our poor gift, she may purify it, sanctify it, ennoble and adorn it, so that it may be worthy of God.’
There was once a gathering which was called the Gathering of silence. Everything was done or said by means of signs. One day a new subject asked permission to form part of it. Impossible, their numbers were complete. And to explain this to him, the Superior took a goblet and filled it with water to the brim, so that one drop more would have made it overflow. The postulant understood, but he was not disconcerted. In his turn he took a rose leaf, and gently placed it on the surface of the water. Not a drop flowed over, and all the water was scented with its fragrance.
Occupations of all kinds absorb our lives. They seem full and are not; they seem hardly meritorious; would we fill them without their overflowing, make them fragrant, useful for our salvation, and our admission to the Heavenly Gathering? Let us place on all our actions the rose of oblation.
(To be continued.)