Monthly Archives: April 2012

Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLIX

I have said that in this devotion God loses none of His glory.  The more we give to Mary, the more she gives to God.  She is the infallible and faithful connecting link.

The interests of souls and our own suffer no privation either.  It is the opposite that happens.  We only gain by it.  This question has already been discussed in speaking of the good offices of the Blessed Virgin and of the great benefits which this devotion secures to the just, to sinners, and to the souls in Purgatory.

I would only stress that Mary does not take to herself as final end the honours which we show her, but makes a double use of them, by giving them to God as the homage of glory and to us in showers of grace.  So that the order is actually this: all for Mary by the cultus of hyperdulia; all for God alone through Mary, by the cultus of latria.  Mary, Jesus, God alone!

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLVIII

But let us not believe that God or ourselves will lose anything by this proceeding.  We know that Mary never allows herself to be outdone in generosity, that she conscientiously administers the interests of God and souls, our own and those of our loved ones.

What do we seek by this gift?  Definitely the glory of God, the salvation of our souls and those of our brethren.

And Mary is only a temporary and secondary end, although wonderfully perfect, adequate and indispensable.  And by this practice we give more glory to God and to Jesus Christ in a month than by any other in many years.

If, as says S. Bernard, ‘After Christ, everything was made for Mary,’ it is also correct and permissible to reverse the factors and to say that Mary only exists for the glory of God.  She keeps nothing for herself of all that is surrendered to her.  And Blessed de Montfort in his Treatise of the True Devotion, when he speaks to us of the great glory that this practice gives to God, writes a magnificent page, which is so to the point of what we are discussing that I quote it in full.

‘You never think of Mary without Mary in your place thinking of God.  You never praise or honour Mary, without Mary praising and honouring God.  Mary is altogether relative to God; and indeed I might well call her the relation to God.  She only exists with reference to God.  She is the echo of God, who says nothing, repeats nothing but God.  If you say Mary, she says God.  S. Elisabeth praised Mary and called her blessed because she had believed.  Mary, the faithful echo of God, at once intoned: Magnificat anima mea Dominum…My soul doth magnify the Lord.  That which Mary did then, she does daily now.  When we praise her, love her, honour her, or give anything to her, it is God Who is praised, God Who is loved, God Who is glorified.  We give then to God, by Mary and in Mary.’

This action on Mary’s part, shows plainly, that she is only our secondary end, and that God alone is for us, as for her, our sole, supreme and ultimate end.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLVII

But further, and this is the gist of the matter, we must act for Mary, and this is a completely logical consequence of our deed of gift.

Of our free will we consecrated ourselves to her, as slaves of love, with everything that we are and have.  We no longer belong to ourselves then.  And the necessary conclusion is not only that we belong to her but that we do everything for her.

The slave as a result of his master’s complete ownership works for him.  His body, his soul, his strength, his intelligence, his talents, his industry, his work, are all so much output for his master.  He is a deposit which brings in interest, but all in his master’s name.

Thus, if we truly understand this teaching, it must be, with regard to Mary.

That soul,’ says Blessed de Montfort, ‘in everything it does, must renounce self-love, which nearly always imperceptibly insinuates itself as our motive, and often say from the bottom of the heart: O my dear Mistress, it is for thee that I go here or there, that I do this or that, that I suffer this or that wrong!

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLVI

But Mary, what are her rights, her rank, her purpose?  S. Bernard says: ‘After Christ, everything was made for her,’ and Blessed Albert the Great: ‘Jesus died for the glory of God and of Mary.’

Following the example of God and of Jesus, it is, then, neither bold nor out of place to take Mary as the end of our actions.

But clearly she is only a secondary end, an intermediate means for attaining the supreme and final end.

In God the cause and the end are one, for He is our all.  In Mary, in proportion, it is the same thing.

She is the efficient and secondary cause for the production of grace in us.  She is the exemplary cause which makes of us copies of Jesus.  He is our Model; we must approach Him, and in order to do this, look at Mary, go to her, act for her,

She is the Mold of God, ‘forma Dei.’  She must be that for us too, but in a moral sense.  And therefore, we must remain in her power, beneath her moral influence.

Since we belong to Mary by an official deed of gift, Mary will put upon us the seal and stamp of her ownership; ‘ut signaculum super cor meum,’ to love her: ‘ut signaculum super brachium meum,’ to work for her glory.

She is our final cause.  ‘Behold thou shalt do after the law which was given thee in the Mount.’

The slave then must imitate his Mistress in order to be as far as possible another such, in order to resemble yet more Jesus, the eternal archetype.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CLV

In omnibus respice finem,’ this adage of philosophy has been put into practice by God Himself.

The Book of Proverbs tells us that ‘The Lord hath made all things for Himself.’

But we know too and S. Paul repeats it many times that everything was made for Christ and by Christ.

Let us read the opening lines of the Gospel of S. John.  It is the same truth expressed in sublime language.

Christ, in the thought of God, was the ideal Archetype of Creation and remains for us the great efficient, exemplary, and final cause of our nature and all its impulses, as regards the carrying out of the latter and the intention of the former.

(To be continued.)

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