‘My God,’ exclaims Blessed Louis once more, so persuaded is he of his nothingness and of his own powerlessness for good, ‘how little is the best that we can do! but let us then put it in the hands of Mary by this devotion.’
She is the Queen. Let us place ourselves before her as that humble and prudent peasant did, let us have his sense and his supernatural wisdom. As to our Sovereign we need not hesitate, nor fear lest she repulse us, humiliate us and discourage us by a refusal. She is attracted by the poor, the wretched, the loving and the trustful. She is Mercy itself; that is, a mother’s heart given to human misery.
‘As we shall have given ourselves as entirely to her as it is within our power to give ourselves, and have despoiled ourselves of everything in her honor, she will be infinitely more generous to us, and in return for our little offering will bestow a great favor on us.’
The act of Consecration is an act of voluntary and absolute despoiling, and this despoiling, without greatly enriching the Blessed Virgin, yet honors her and pleases her divinely. She accepts this filial homage, this impoverishment, which make us her slaves of love, and beneficiaries of her wealth. She sees and appreciates the intention behind our gift, and as Mary, even as God, never allows herself to be outdone in generosity, she restores to us our little gift a hundredfold. Our good actions are, according to the picturesque expression of Blessed Louis, as small as an egg, and Mary’s generosity makes them as large as an ox.
We consecrate ourselves to Mary and we surrender to her our goods of every kind and description. And she: ‘She will give herself to us, she will share all, even her merits and her virtues, with us, and she will place our present in the golden dish of her charity.’
In themselves, our actions have little value. Mary will purify them from all stain of self-love and from an unconscious attachment to creatures. ‘She will adorn them with her merits and virtues.’ And in her charity for us, she undertakes herself to offer to her divine Son our poor presents, and to secure their acceptance by Him, for her sake, but purified, enriched, adorned, by her gentle maternal hands. And what could Jesus refuse those virginal hands, that Mother’s heart, that burning love?
And so for His Mother’s sake, Jesus receives us graciously and from His divine Heart sheds over us through the heart of His tender Mother those graces of life, strength and knowledge which give to our humble acts infinite possibilities of sanctification and a meritorious value of eternal glory.
(To be continued.)