Category Archives: Holiness

St. Maximilian Kolbe (2/26)

“God permits that you go through a sense of being disheartened, filled with doubts and lonesomeness.  But this is always for His glory and that of His Immaculate Mother.  However, if you trust not in yourself in anything, placing instead all your confidence in our Immaculate Mother, you will always triumph, even though all of hell, the flesh, and the devil assailed you.”

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Filed under Devotion to Mary, Holiness, Marian devotion, Spiritual Life

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (2/10)

“What do these words mean: “To strive for the conversion and sanctification of the souls of all through Mary Immaculate?”  What do we want to emphasize by these words?  We want to emphasize that the shortest and surest way to conversion and sanctification is – “Mary Immaculate”.  Our desire is to follow that cause ourselves and to teach it to others.”

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Filed under Consecration to Mary, Devotion to Mary, Holiness, Marian Consecration, Total Consecration, True Devotion to Mary

St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Today is the Feast of the great servant of Mary, St. Lawrence of Brindisi.  He was a trult extraordinary man, even among the Saints.  Here are some passages from his life:

“Hebrew he knew so perfectly, and spoke with such a correct pronunciation, that the Jews at first believed he was born of Jewish parents, and the most learned of the Rabbis admitted that he knew and spoke it better than themselves.  For this wonderful mastery of what is generally regarded as a difficult language he himself confessed his indebtedness to the Mother of God.  Preaching on her prerogatives in the Church of the Holy Ghost at Naples, he says: “I know a man still living and speaking, who received the gift of Hebrew from the Blessed Virgin.  Wishing to acquire a perfect knowledge of the Scriptures, and particularly of the Virgin’s greatness, he besought the Virgin herself to instruct him in the Hebrew tongue.  Then, having fallen into a light sleep, he found himself, on awakening, a perfect master of it, so much so that the Jews inferred from his pronunciation that he belonged to their own nation.” 

“This memory he employed to splendid advantage, not merely in learning languages, but in getting off by heart the whole of the Bible from beginning to end, so that he could quote with ease and without hesitation any text, giving book, chapter, and verse, just as if he held the Bible before him, and were reading it.”

“To him nothing seemed too much to expect from the power and the goodness of God.”

His confessor: “Between six and seven years I heard his confession at least twice a week, and I can say with truth that I never found matter of even one willful venial sin.”

“…convinced that whatever he had and did belonged to God, he neither acted, nor spoke, nor thought, as if anything belonged to himself.  So far from showing off, or boasting of his achievements, he endeavored to hide them, except in case of necessity or utility.  Extraordinary heavenly favors he concealed even from his intimate companions…To exercise himself in humility he delighted in performing menial work, such as washing the dishes, even when he was General.”

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Filed under Co-Redemptrix, Devotion to Mary, Holiness, Mediatrix of All Graces, Saints

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 – CLIII

There are evidently sacraments in which Mary intervenes without our personal and voluntary concurrence: such as the baptism of infants.  But in all, she acts without our knowledge.  And when we are grown up and receive a sacrament, over and above her official and ever active intervention, we can pray to her personally to intercede then and there in our favor.  And this is to unite our individual concurrence with that of our divine Mother.

 

This is why we, slaves of love of Jesus in Mary, know that we have to do in receiving the sacraments which are our right: to receive them through Mary.

 

And thus it is that this wide devotion brings even the sacraments within the scope of our life in Mary.

 

The adult who received Baptism, Confirmation, Absolution, the Eucharist, Marriage, the young deacon who receives the sacrament of Orders, the sick man who receives Extreme Unction, all these have only to entrust themselves to Mary.  Whilst the priest and the bishop give life with their words of office to the signs with which they work, they need only pray to the Ever Blessed Virgin to take part herself in the sacramental act and to communicate to them the grace ensuig.

 

Then Mary will have her full place as Mother and Mediatrix between God and their souls through the sacrament administered by the priest or the bishop.

 

Blessed de Montfort specially points out to us how to communicate in union with Mary.  We can apply the same method to all the sacraments, for each is capable of this application.  Why should not one teach the adult baptized by the missionary, the little child making his first private Communion or receiving Confirmation, to receive these sacraments through Mary?  The young levite, in the various orders, must find in his piety a very special charm and sweetness in receiving them through his tender and Heavenly Mother.  The faithful soul who confesses and communicates, will surely obtain a surplus of strength, light, consolation, of every grace, in short, if he does so through Mary.  Young Christians, united in true marriage, will do well dutifully to confide to that loving Virgin the life, so new, unknown, mysterious, which is opening before them.  And the sick man, receiving the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction, will feel the growth of his supernatural strength, of his faith and his confidence in God, will find death more gentle and his Judge more clement, if he receives them through Mary.  Thus it is that through this Devotion the Blessed Virgin enters our lives for good and all, to supernaturalize them, and as de Montfort sings:

‘Je fais tout en Elle et par Elle;

            C’est un secret de sainteté

Pour être à Dieu toujours fidèle

            Et faire en tout sa volonté.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CXXVIII

The humble slaves of Jesus in Mary do not dream of such an emancipation, tumultuous, cruel and fatal.  But on a closer inspection, we find that this innate spirit of liberty which since the Fall has joined forces in us with original pride, slumbers in each of us and that very little will suffice to rouse it.

True liberty is found in humility, in the considered, intelligent, willing recognition of the rights of God over us, and at the same time in the strict obligation we are under, in that we depend on Him alone for life and through our baptism, to serve Him, love Him, and accept Him as the only end of all our natural and supernatural aspirations.

The true Christian who serves God in all simplicity, who does not presume to ask God the reason of His commands, who strives with the help of His grace to practice faithfully all the virtues and duties of his state, who accepts with resignation, that they may be meritorious, trial and sorrow, who is satisfied with his station, who would not cause others suffering but rather please and help them, he knows true liberty and peace of heart – he is a child of God, free as the Father Whom he has in Heaven.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CXXVII

What a different thing is the freedom and happiness of the child of God, of the soul in a state of grace, of the faithful and obedient servant!

True liberty is the service of God in love; a clear calm view of eternal things, the detachment of the heart from creatures; it is to be freed supernaturally and utterly from the bonds of time, of material needs and human obstacles.

Then when the sirens call is and would entice us to liberty, incite us to break the eternal precepts of Order, Right and Virtue, by withdrawing us from the sovereign authority of God, the soul will rise up in its dignity and its pride and with indignant tone return to these dreamers of easy, fictitious and deceptive liberty, the great answer of the Apostles and Martyrs: ‘Non possumus, we cannot.  It is better to obey God rather than man,’ or more gently, with the royal prophet, the soul whispers to the Master of its will: ‘For better is one day in Thy courts above thousands…in the tabernacles of sinners.’

(To be continued.)

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