Well may Blessed Louis write: ‘I have already said that this devotion consists in doing our actions WITH MARY, IN MARY, THROUGH MARY, FOR MARY.’
Père Lhoumeau, in my opinion, has defined these expressions with great exactitude. For the rest it would be idle to discuss them indefinitely. ‘with, the association; in, the dwelling and union; through, the way; for, indicating the end.’
We shall revert to this more at length. For the moment let us continue with the examination of de Montfort’s words.
‘It is not enough to have once given ourselves as slaves by Jesus through Mary, nor does it suffice to do so every month or every week, for this would be but a passing devotion which would not raise the soul to the perfection to which the slavery of Mary is capable of raising it.’
This devotion must not be a passing one. It must embrace all our lives and all our acts. One single consecration in one’s life, monthly or weekly, would not suffice to establish us in the spirit and practice of this devotion. It must be daily, perpetual, and make of our life an act of perpetual oblation. It must establish us in a state of life and create in us a habit, like a second nature, make us breathe Mary, as our bodies breathe the air, according to Blessed Louis.
A bird for all its wings would not be able to rise in the atmosphere. It needs the air as its support and means of locomotion. It is in vain for the soul to have natural aptitudes at its disposal, even grace and the sacraments which are its channels; that, according to the order established by God, does not suffice. Besides, it needs to be supported by the atmosphere of Mary to move with ease. It must have Mary for the obtaining of those graces necessary to salvation in order to rise to God through the various stages of holiness in the life of every day.
(To be continued.)