5. It is to make Mary our depository.
‘By this devotion we place our graces and merits in safe keeping, for we make Mary the depository of them.’
Blessed de Montfort shows us that this practice is a powerful means of persevering in virtue and in faithfulness to what we have undertaken. We must consider it also as an act of humility and of distrust of ourselves, and therefor of prudence.
How often have we not been admonished to watchfulness, to correspondence to grace, to faithfulness in little things, to purity of intention, to the spirit of sacrifice and of generosity? And we did not really pay attention and only carried these things out now and then.
How often have we not been exhorted to persevere? And the little resolution we had, had vanished like smoke at the breath of the first breeze of distraction or difficulty. This is why we are forever relapsing into the same faults.
All the means of sanctification and of perseverance taught by the Church are good. Some of them are absolutely necessary to salvation.
But there is one which includes them all, strengthens them, preserves them and confers upon them the secret power of attaining the maximum of supernatural result. This sovereign Means, so great and so unique of its kind, is the ever Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus and of men. And the practice, so wise and so prudent, recommended here by Blessed Louis, is to confide to Mary all our spiritual treasure. Then ‘by this devotion we place our graces and merits and virtues in safe keeping, for we make Mary the Depository of them, saying to her: “Guard, my dear Mistress, this good which, by the grace of your dear Son, I have been able to do. I am not able to keep it on account of my weakness and inconstancy, and because of the great number and the malice of my enemies who attack me by night and by day.”’
Blessed Louis first point out briefly what our spiritual possessions are. They are, he says, our graces, virtues and good works, the source of merit, and our merits, the source, cause and guarantee of our future bliss. He then adverts briefly to the three causes which make the keeping of our supernatural possessions so precarious and so difficult; the three obstacles which rise up against our will, the three enemies constantly opposed to our efforts. First ourselves, with our passions, our tendencies, our inclinations, our bodily senses, ourselves, with the inherent weakness which makes it so difficult for our minds to plant and take serious decisions, the inconstancy of our will in keeping and carrying out our resolutions. Then the world with its seductive and deceptive charms. Last, the devil with his malice, his enticements, his wiles and his perfidious temptations.
(To be continued.)