Tag Archives: Faith

Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XXVIII

Chapter II

Why Mary Is Necessary To Us

I. Because Mary alone found grace before God.

Blessed Louis is then justified in repeating after the Angelic Messenger: ‘Mary alone found grace before God,’ as a result of divine predestination and of the incomparable gifts bestowed gratuitously and liberally upon her.  She found grace ‘both for herself’ that she might be worthy to be the Mother of the Son of God, and ‘for each individual soul’ in whose salvation she cooperated by the perpetual union of her sacrifice with that of her Son from the initial act at Nazareth and by the universal distribution which she makes of the grace merited by the Redeemer.

Neither the Patriarchs, Prophets nor Saints of the Old Law,’ who were born beneath the yoke of sin and lived under the rule of fear in a religion of shadows and parables, ‘were able to attain that grace,’  The time was not yet.  They lived in the expectation of Him Who should come and salvation was granted to them in virtue of the faith which they had in the Messiah Who would be born of a Virgin.  And we may justly affirm that salvation came to them through Mary, who for them too was, in anticipation, their true Co-Redemptrix.

(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 – XVI

But this general redemption is not all.  Merit is ours.  God will apply it to us individually by means of a Sacrament, Baptism.  Through it and the infinite merits of the Spotless Lamb, God takes from the soul its sins, gives it supernatural faith, and makes it share His own life.

When the priest, as he pours water upon the head of the future member of the Church, pronounces these liturgical words: ‘I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,’ there at once takes place in the soul of the subject a peerless wonder, a complete transformation, invisible but real, an amazing miracle, which more effectually than in the sudden restoration of a paralyzed limb, restores the soul and makes of it the wondrous image of the Holy Trinity.  Original sin is destroyed.  Satan loses his rights and flees.  God takes possession of His temple, and infuses into the soul the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, communicates to it His own divine life, and the possibility of producing works of merit and acquiring by them a clear right to the inheritance of the saints in light.

And the communication of this supernatural and divine life and of all these benefits makes him who is baptized an entirely new creature, truly divine, a child of God, ‘a partaker of the divine nature,’ says S. Peter.

So that at the hour of baptism and in the state of sanctifying grace the soul resembles God, for God transmits to Him His own life and communicates to him His own nature.

It is when I receive a life similar to that of my parents that I am their image and can say to them: ‘Father, Mother.’

It is when I receive from God a life similar to His that I am His image and that I can say to Him: ‘Father.’  Thus I become the image, the child, the redeemed and sanctified soul, the temple of the Most Holy Trinity.

We can then never too much esteem our Baptism and the sanctifying grace which create us again anew in the divine image and semblance.

(To be continued.)

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Virgin Most Faithful

Are we prepared, as was Our Lady, to make every sacrifice for the greater glory of God?  Or do we hesitate and count the cost?  Mary had the faith to offer herself completely in union with the sacrifice of her Son.

Mary can help our faith, sustain it and strengthen it.  That is the reward of those who turn to her.  They are protected by her whom the Church proclaims as the Virgin Most Faithful.

The Immaculate Way

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Spirit of Faith

To realize our own nothingness is to realize how much we need the help that Our Lady can give us.  Grace does not come from any effort of ours.

It is that we may share in such a spirit of faith that we seek the imitation of Mary’s virtues.  That our faith may become ‘firm and unshakeable as a rock’.  We have only to read the lives of the saints to see that the virtue of faith was always severely tested.  The further one progresses in the way of prayer the more one relies on that foundation of faith.  God detaches a soul gradually from external things until it comes to desire God only.  Its very way of prayer is then purified from all sensible and spiritual attachments.  The one light that guides a person on this road of perfection is faith.  Montfort strengthens us throughout these trials by offering us the protection of Our Lady.  It is on this point that Montfort gives the key to perseverance throughout the greatest trials of the spiritual life…

            Live with Mary and in Mary and let her sustain your faith.

‘Therefore the more you gain the benevolence of this august Princess and faithful Virgin, the more will pure faith be evident in your conduct.’  And what need we have of pure, unquestioning faith in God!  Where there is deep faith there will be no distress or upset or annoyance.  ‘Let not your heart be distressed.’  The stronger our faith then the deeper will be our peace of soul.

This is by no means easy.  We will need great help if we are to persevere.  Our Blessed Lady can give us that help.  St. Louis-Marie shows the qualities needed in our faith.  We can note here that these words of St. Louis-Marie are the basis of the great prayer for faith said daily by members of the Legion of Mary.

The Immaculate Way

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