Category Archives: Sanctity

Month of the Holy Rosary

October is the month of the Holy Rosary.  Pope Leo XIII wrote no fewer than 10 (yes, 10!) encyclicals on the Rosary.  You can find them here:

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/index.htm

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Filed under Devotion to Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, Mother of God, Sanctity

Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LXX

11. Because Mary is the Paradise of God.

Blessed de Montfort begins an enthusiastic hymn in honor of the supernatural and triumphant beauty of Mary.

In Himself, in His essence, in His attributes and perfections, God is infinitely great.  God alone is great as regards perfection and infinity, and these were the words of the gentle but plain-spoken Massillon over the coffin of Louis XIV.

But ‘there is not, there never will be a creature in whom God is greater, outside Himself and in Himself, than in the divine Mary, not excepting Saints,’ who upon earth show His grace and goodness and in Heaven His glory and splendor, ‘nor the Cherubim nor the highest of Seraphim’ in whom He lights the fire of His love and shows forth a ray of His shining spirituality… ‘in Heaven itself,’ …that blessed dwelling-place of which He is the Center, the Joy and the Life.  God is great in all His works, in all His creatures, from the giant sun to the humble hyssop, which each in its sphere, in its rank, with its voice in one great harmonious choir, sings unceasingly the love, the power, and the magnificence of the divine Creator.

You can call to mind all the men, all the women, among the Jews, the pagans and the Christians, in times ancient and times modern, in whom God has placed a particle of His power, flashed a spark of His greatness.  Name these men and women by whom God willed to do great things, to change the course of events or the statutes of nations, who made the world resound with the fame of their genius and their holiness.  You shall not find one like Mary.  God worked in them great human things.  In Mary the great things were divine.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LXI

The ways of the spiritual life are many.  They all deserve our reverence since they are allowed and approved by the Church, and have justified themselves by raising countless souls to the highest sanctity.

Our holy writer is not out to destroy them nor to supplant them.  He would on the contrary make use of them all.  With this purpose he teaches and brings forward a doctrine, old as the mind of God and simple even as that mind, embracing all the others, facilitating them and giving them an incomparable vitality and an infallible meritorious value.  We must imitate God Himself in His conduct towards Mary.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXXIV

All graces and perfections were distributed to her in good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over.  Is this not the meaning of the Archangel’s words: ‘Hail, full of grace‘?

According to a great number of spiritual writers, God makes use of three meaasures in distributing grace and other supernatural gifts.

Good Measure, granted to all the Saints and to all the elect generally.

Measure pressed down and shaken together, distributed to a small number of privileged souls.

Measure running over, the right of Our Lord and granted freely to the Blessed Virgin: superplena.

Mary is then truly full of grace.  Jesus is full of grace by nature.  Mary is full of communicated grace, for the Christ and for souls.  Mary received the fullness of grace into her nature, that is to say, her whole nature was filled with all the graces and the gifts of the divine life: sanctifying and actual graces, gifts, beatitudes and fruits of the Holy Spirit.  She was favoured with all angelic and human perfections.  She was full of grace to the utmost capacity of her being, because she never opposed it in any way.  And this capacity is immense, since God Himself fixed its limits and its boundaries.  It is His Ark which He has filled with treasures and with Himself.  Mary received the fullness of grace for the whole of her life, that is, for every moment of her existence.  She was conceived and lived ever immaculate, spotless.

She grew as Jesus did, in age, in wisdom and in grace without diminution, without fail, without rest, to that fullness of holiness which delighted the heart of God.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXXII

By her Maternity Mary was to be related to God, to be one of His family, to co-operate in the work of the Blessed Trinity.  How could she not resemble the three Divine Persons?  And could the triune God permit a shadow, a veil however slight, to darken and to come between the so intimate and sweet relationship which was to be established between the Father and His Daughter, between the Son and His Mother, between the Spirit and His Spouse?

The entire divine order revolts at it and imperiously refuses.  Besides, the fact, stronger than the hypothesis, exists.  Because Mary was to be the Mother of God, she was Immaculate in her Conception.

This initial privilege implied others, postulated by her future functions.  Everyone through the weakness of our first paretns is liable to actual sin, to the urgings of concupiscence, to errors of intelligence and judgment.

The Blessed Virgin as a result of her perservation from all stain and of the virtue infused into her soul, was immediately confirmed in grace, unable to sin even venially, to feel the least sensual urge, to be touched by the lightest breath of error and infidelity.  Withdrawn from the influence of original sin, she could feel none of its peccant consequences.

Having from the beginning escaped the devices of the wicked one, she was never subject to their harmful influence.

Like us she had passions; she felt their effects.  But her will illuminated by the light of grace, and ordered y the rectitude of her reason, completely dominated them and ever kept them within bounds.

According to Holy Writ, which insists upon the necessity of trial under the form of temptation, we may believe and say that in this sense Mary could be and must have been tempted, just as Jesus was, by the devil in the wilderness.  The trial of temptation had to be hers that she might show still more her love and her fidelity, acquire new merit and give us the example of struggle and victory.  When God, with His divine hands, formed Mary Immaculate, He made her beautiful and holy as Himself, and for Himself, in every sense of the word.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXXI

Original sin destroyed for ever that particular state of justice in which God had created and placed Adam and Eve.  Henceforth we are born in a state of original sin from which Baptism delivers us by establishing us in a state of grace.

But Mary was created as in an order apart, outside the state of original justice of Adam and Eve, and outside the state of original sin, transmitted to all men by birth.  She was formed in exemption and exception: in exemption from original sin and its consequences, so that all the gifts that she received in the privilege of her Immaculate Conception are gratuitous gifts, whose final cause was her divine Maternity; in exception, because only she was, from the beginnings, withdrawn from Adam’s sin and its consequences.

Mary was to be the Mother of the Son of God.  So the first grace that she received at the moment of her conception in the womb of S. Anne, was a gratuitous grace of preservation.  Original sin marks with its malice every human soul and the body itself partakes of it.  The God of all holiness could not be born of a woman who was not blameless.

And this is why He made an exception to the common law in favor of His Chosen One.  He turned aside from her, at the very moment of her birth, the muddy stream of our primal fault.  Her Conception was immaculate.  This immaculate conception is then the primal, essential and preliminary condition of her Maternity.  This final reason would suffice to establish the privilege.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXVII

4. To find this grace, it is necessary to find Mary.

De Montfort knew this way, and taught it, but for the moment he is not thinking of this nor is he discussing it.  He is seeking something else which shall contain all ways and facilitate them.

The important thing therefore is to find an easy means of obtaining from God the grace which is necessary to enable us to become saintsIt is this I wish to teach you.’  It is what he calls his secret.  ‘Now,’ he announces, ‘I say that to find this grace of God, it is necessary to find Mary.’

‘It is this means of finding the grace of God,’ remarks Père Lhoumeau, ‘that characterizes the devotion of Blessed de Montfort and makes it a special form of spiritual life.’

To find grace, we must find Mary, for Mary only has found the fullness of grace.  ‘Invenisti gratiam apud Deum.’  Let us examine how Mary found grace with God.

(To be continued.)

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