Category Archives: Love of God

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe (2/7)

“The final aim of man is that to which he tends and for the attainment of which he uses all means.  Our aim is to love God through Mary Immaculate and in Her; therefore our whole life should be used for this purpose.”

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CXXVI

6. It is the means of acquiring the true liberty of the Children of God.

This devotion makes us truly free with the liberty of the children of God.’

Liberty in the literal sense of the word is a right which allows man to do what he will.  But let us note at once that liberty is not independence.  S. Paul lifts up his voice vigorously against such as would claim this.  He says to himself: ‘All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.’

Human liberty is relative.  It is within certain limits and exercised according to conscience, the divine and human law, and is subject to the established order of things.  It must follow the principles of eternal reason included in the dictates of the human conscience and in the divine principles contained in the Gospel and the Decalogue, taught by the Church.  This sovereign law is opposed to liberty independent of all dogma and all morality that it may lay down for it what is good and what is evil.  It is then within these impassable limits of submission to order, that we can and must act and our liberty evolve and be developed.

If it transgresses these laws, if it turns aside from true reasonableness, if it crosses these limits, there follow disaster, abuses, sin, slavery.  We think to free ourselves from a humiliating and embarrassing constraint, and we do not perceive that we are submitting ourselves to a degrading and bitter servitude.  Man is only great and noble on his knees before God, under the easy yoke of His law and in obedience to His will.  Everywhere else and always, man is the slave of someone or something.

In the human conscience, on the Tables of the Mosaic Law, in our Lord’s Gospel of the new Law, the rights of God to command are written.  But desirous of liberty, Adam emancipates himself, the Jews put the divine Lawgiver to death, these distant ancestors of the French Revolution inscribe at the head of the new Code, the Rights of Man.  Do we think they gained true liberty, the source and pledge of the future bliss we dream of?  No, they subjected themselves to every kind of slavery: that of suffering without consolation, work without an aim, physical and moral distresses, death without the hope of a death which should make all good; that of the curse of Heaven, the blindness of the mind, the hardness of the heart; that of social revolution, unjust and homicidal strikes, of blood…

In the world, man resists the divine law.  He denies to God and His representatives the right of having a word to say in the government of the nations and the obedience which they owe to the Sovereign Governor of the worlds.  Then as they no longer desire a God, it is but logical that they should no longer desire masters, for a master is a vestige of authority, and they have done with authority.  Such a nation has the leaders and the masters that it deserves, effeminate tyrants, incapable and therefore dangerous.

Man is unwilling to serve God in the love and holy liberty of the child.  Such a one becomes the slave tormented by every bad passion, by every untrammeled ambition, degrading vice, the thrall of sin, of error, of every sort of compromise, in short, of the devil…

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XLIII

5. Because in order to have God for our Father, we must have Mary for our Mother.

As in the natural order,’ says Blessed de Montfort, ‘a child must have a father and a mother, so in the order of grace, a true child of the Church must have God for his father and Mary for his Mother.’

We have already said how through creation we become the image and the children of God, and how we become so still more and in a higher sense through Redemption and the grace of Holy Baptism.  It is a certain and consoling truth.  Through this Sacrament we enter the Church which is the Mystical Body of Christ, and united to our Head, we become the true children of the common Father Whom we have in Heaven.

But we may, through the free act of madness which is called sin, break within us the image and reject the fatherhood of God.  Nevertheless, even in this state of formal or latent apostasy, the soul still keeps the indelible character of the divine effigy and the seal of its supernatural origin.  But having repudiated its God, it is in its turn repudiated by Him, and at the same time, loses its rights to the paternal heritage.

It is important, then, and it is what Blessed Louis tells us, to remain true children of the Church, faithful to grace and to the obligations of the Sacraments…conformable to the model who created us and sanctified us, obedient to all the duties that filial piety, no less than the divine law, imposes upon us.  Then and then only shall we be true children of God and of Mary.

In the supernatural life, it is impossible to honor, to serve and to love God worthily and truly without having at the same time equivalent and proportionate feelings of devotion towards Mary.  Psychologically it would be a phenomenon contrary to all the laws of nature.  Would it be comprehensible that in a family a child could honot his father without showing this mother the same duty when both are equally worthy of it and ahve an equal right to it?

And,’ says de Montfort, ‘should he boast of having God for his Father, without at the same time having the tender love of a true child for Mary, his father is the devil,’ because to reject the paternity of God and all the harmony of the Redemption.  This is the will of the sublime Trinity.  It goes without saying that the father of this miserable deserter from the family of God and Mary is the devil.  Before accepting the homage which we owe Him, God insists, then, that we should show the same to Mary in proportion to the sublime and unparalleled dignity which He conferred upon her in the work of Redemption, in the Mystical Body of Christ and in the Kingdom of glory.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXV

Continual prayer, the sine intermissione orare, is the habit of recourse to God, and not continual prayer as such, which is impossible.  Understood thus, all the life of man, with the whole sum of thoughts, words and actions which it contains, becomes a perpetual prayer, a sacrifice constantly offered to God, a sacred fire which ever burns through the constant tending of the soul to God.  And so it must be if we wish our whole life to have efficacious value, deserving of future reward.

Mortification in all things.  As long as we are on the way we must struggle.  Temptation is ever near.  Ceaselessly the devil goes about seeking whom he may devour.  The powers of our soul are fallible, our physical senses are fragile, our passions are always awake.  Hence the constant necessity for vigilance and mortification.  There is no more frequent charge in the Gospel.  To conquer we must strive, mortify ourselves, bear our cross.  No one escapes it.  Since original sin came among us, the obligation to fight and to renounce is a constant one.  Who has not been through this painful and sanctifying experience?  It is by suffering that we enter into glory.

Abandonment to Divine Providence.  Let us remember that God is a Father and that He never leaves one of His creatures in need.  And why would He thus leave a child whom He calls to the supernatural order of grace and glory?

And conformity to the will of God.  God ordains or permits everything.  He who lives by faith understands the immense advantage in conforming in everything to the most holy will of God.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXIV

Blessed de Montfort points out some of those means which are at once the result of the efforts of our will and of the supernatural multiplication of our acts.

They are,’ he says, ‘humility of heart, continual prayer, mortification in all things, abandonment to Divine Providence and conformity to the will of God.’

The mind which pushes each of these terms to its utmost limit will draw from them much luminous and suggestive meaning.  De Montfort had weighed them well.  In their daily practice and in their application to everything which constitutes our moral and supernatural life, we do indeed find the most propitious means for edifying and sanctifying our souls.

‘Humility of Heart.’  Every material edifice, every spiritual work needs a foundation.  Humility is the foundation of all the virtues.  If faith is the foundation of the truths which we must believe, humility is the foundation of all the virtues which we must practice.  And we must bear in mind that in order to practice definite virtue, we must first humble ourselves, our intelligence, our will, our judgment, our heart, our body: charity, faith, obedience, gentleness, patience, work, mortification, etc.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XX

2. In order to sanctify ourselves, we must practice virtue.

Man created in the image of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, revived by sanctifying grace, is faced by an inevitable problem.  If it is true that all does not end with death in the grave, where his body will be laid, if it is true that his soul survives the decay of its earthly fellow pilgrim, that it longs to live and is destined to live an endless life, the soul must then have the wisdom and the prudence to ensure to itself the possession of that life.  Hence the problem of its destiny.  To ensure the enjoyment of this future glorious life, which in reality is only the consummation, the flowering of the Christian life, we have understood that the acquiring of holiness is absolutely necessary.  At least it is indispensable to close our eyes and our earthly course in the friendship of God, for nothing that is not pure, just and conformable to the eternal law shall enter the Heavenly Kingdom.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XIX

How beautiful if God’s masterpiece, man!  How beuatiful is God’s image, the human soul!  But how far more beautiful is the human soul which lives by the very life of God through sanctifying grace and its own constant part of personal effort!

There is nothing more beautiful than the holy soul.  I think it was S. Teresa who said that we should die of joy if we saw a soul in the state of grace.  How would it be if our eyes could contemplate the marvelous soul of a saint in which would be reflected as in a mirror the infinite perfections of the Creator!

And so Montfort draws the conclusion, ‘the creation of the whole universe is not so great a wonder as this.’  The universe is dumb, blind and deaf, it does not love, it does not pray.  It only declares in magnificent language the glory of God.  But the holy soul lives by God, prays to Him, loves Him, and adores Him.  The life of God is his life.  God is his Father.  And this holiness, necessary and possible with the grace of God, is the sure and royal road which leads to the beatific Vision of God, to that place among the ranks of the blest, made by the soul and for the soul, its everlasting dwelling.

(To be continued.)

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