Tag Archives: Redemption

Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CXLIX

Furthermore, this devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a means of intercession with Jesus.

Upon the words of Blessed de Montfort quoted above, Père Lhoumeau makes the following commentary: ‘This does not mean that we cannot speak directly to Our Lord in contemplation, prayer and so on, nor that it is necessary to think actually and definitely of the Blessed Virgin at the beginning of each action.  Though Blessed de Montfort has said that clearly that an act of offering or consecration, even if renewed each month, each week (and we might say even each day), if it is but a passing act, does not establish us in the spirit of this devotion, which is that it be habitual.  He also observes that this turning towards Mary need only be “a general and imperceptible glance,” and it is clear that a virtual intention is sufficient.’

Blessed de Montfort has told us that Jesus is our Mediator of Redemption and that Mary is our Mediatrix of Intercession.  The two offices, the two positions are quite clearly defined.  Our Lord, by His whole life, His sufferings and His death, has merited for us all graces.  Mary by her intercession and her influence obtains for us all these graces, applies to us all these merits, while adding them to her own.

Thus the Montfortian doctrine is no other than the traditional Catholic doctrine of the Redemption and the attributing of the merits and graces of Jesus Christ through Mary.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CX

Jesus Christ is God, and because He is God, He is the Infinite Holiness and our supreme and last End, and because He is our Savior, He is our Mediator of Redemption.

In a sentence, S. Paul has elucidated the whole economy of the divine plan, creative and redemptive.  ‘For all are yours.  And you are Christ’s.  And Christ is God’s.’

If we would rise to God, we must then have Christ.  ‘No man cometh to the Father but by Me.  I am the way.’  And so His beloved disciple says: ‘No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.’

No one then can do without the help of Jesus Christ if he would surely know God, love and serve Him perfectly, and live as He would have us.

Now we have said that if Jesus Christ is our supreme Mediator, He is at the same time, since He is God, our End, He is the indispensable corner-stone upon which each one must erect the building of his perfection.

Even as God, Jesus Christ is the final destination, the necessary End of our aspirations, our actions, our devotions, He must be the constant object of our love, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all our spiritual and moral life.  To Him belong our adoration and our homage.

But according to the observation of Blessed de Montfort, His infinite greatness is such as to fill us with fear and to separate us from Him through our excessive reverence.  That is why in order to approach Him suitably, we must have a Mediatrix who intercedes with Him.

‘God,’ says Bossuet, ‘having resolved from all eternity to give us Jesus Christ through the mediation of Mary, is not content with using her merely as an instrument for this glorious ministry.  It is not His will that she should be merely a passive channel of grace, but an active instrument who contributes to this great work, not only by means of her excellent disposition, but also by an action of her will.’

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LVII

It was to Mary that God the Son said: In Israel hereditare: Dear Mother, let thine inheritance be in Israel, that is to say, in the predestinate.’

Jacob received from God Himself the name of Israel.  For the space of a night, an angel wrestled with him, and could not overcome Him.  He touched Jacob on the sinew of his thigh which shrank and made him halt.  The angel said to Jacob: ‘Let me go, for it is the break of day.’

Jacob answered: “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.’

The Angel said: ‘What is thy name?’  Jacob answered: ‘Jacob.’  Then the angel said: ‘Thy name shall not be called Jacob, but Israel, for if thou hast been strong against God, how much more shalt thou prevail against men?’

This glorious name was to be handed down to Jacob’s posterity, to the people of the covenant.

But alas! this people of the covenant became ungrateful and rebellious, ceaselessly striving against God.  They fought against the messengers of God, they persecuted the prophets, they killed the Son of God.  They spent their life as a nation in struggling against God up to the Easter morning, to the Resurrection from Death, to the dawn of the new dispensation.  The strength and the goodness of God could not win them.  And therefore when on the Easter morning Jesus left the tomb, living and glorious, without having conquered their obstinacy, it was not a blessing which He conferred upon them.  These madmen had said: ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children!’

Their prayer was at once granted, and without pity.  It is no longer the sinew of the thigh which is touched to make them halt, but their mind and their heart.  God blinded their minds and hardened their hearts.  They struggled to the end against God and His Christ.  God and His Christ cursed them and rejected them.

And so on the night of the divine Agony, when this people who were to kill their God uttered their cry of revolt, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us,’ Jesus in the bitterness of His soul, but also in full accomplishment of the divine plan, rejecting for a space this people who were a figure, turned to His Mother and said: ‘These find My words too hard and My yoke too heavy.  They go away with curses on their lips.  I let them depart into their iniquity with the divine vengeance and malediction upon them till the day when the scales shall fall from their eyes.  But lift up thy eyes round about and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee; thy sons shall come from afar and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side.  Then shalt thou see and abound and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged.’

Who are these who come thus from every side, to my Calvary and to thy Heart?  They are those whom I am redeeming now, the Church which comes from My side, pierced by the soldier’s spear, and in the Christian Church, all the predestinate.  Enter into this new and more wonderful heritage.’

And Mary accepted.

(To be continued.)

 

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LII

8. Because it is Mary’s office to nourish souls and make them grow in God.

Mary,’ says Blessed de Montfort, ‘has received from God a special dominion over souls in order to nourish them and make them grow in God.’  There is in this sentence an astonishingly rich and suggestive synthesis of the part Mary was to play.

This power over souls comes to her from her spiritual Maternity and is founded on the function of human mothers with regard to their children.  The reason of Mary’s power over souls come to her then from her rank of spiritual Mother.

Blessed de Montfort then lays down a definite principle which he deduces by means of logic from the place occupied by Mary in the scheme of Redemption.  In order to form in her, in all its perfection, the adorable Body of the Savior, God lavished upon her all graces, knowledge, power.  And she was thus able to fit the Son of God, Who was at the same time hers, with a perfect Body which made Him ‘the fairest of the children of men.’  In order to bring up Jesus, God gave Mary a heart loving above all things, a fair and enlightenend understanding, a maternal soul.  He made of her the model Woman, the ideal Mother, of whom the valiant woman of the Bible was but an inadequate figure.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LI

In the mind of God, the work of the Redemption is a whole which will only be completed with its consummation.  The Redemption is not limited to Calvary.  It began at Nazareth, it was accomplished at Golgotha, it is intended and is to be individually applied to each soul, to all souls, through all time.  Now all Christian souls are members of the Church, and the Head of that Church is Christ.  It is the complete and entire mystical Body of Christ.

What then do we see in the realization of this redemptive plan?  The intimate and constant co-operation of Mary.  God is the inspiring force, Jesus Christ is the principal and necessary agent.  Mary co-operates in a secondary but equally necessary way.  Without her, there would have been no Redemption according to the plan conceived by God.  The fall and the Redemption would not have balanced each other.  The fault would not have had its perfect counterpart in the reparation.  The man and the woman of the Fall needed for the harmony of the divine plan the man and the woman who should raise them up.

This action and this co-operation of Mary began then when the Head of the predestinate, Jesus Christ, was formed.  That they might attain their full consummation, they had to be in union with those of the Holy Ghost, that both might continue together the formation of the elect.

Then God’s work of Redemption will be perfect.  It will appear in all its majestic beauty, displaying, with the justice and the power of God, His mercy and His love.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XLIX

Let us illustrate these truths from the luminous language of S. Luke, Mary’s Evangelist.  We there see the mysterious action of the Holy Ghost in the humble and prudent Virgin for the production of the great Event.  If, to begin with, we see the purpose of the Archangel’s visit, to ask Mary’s consent to become the Mother of the Word, Who wills to be incarnate; if we hear Mary, enlightened, reassured, happy, pronounce her simple and tremendous ‘Fiat‘; if we sense the loving eager Word, coming upon Mary at those words and overshadowing her; if in the contemplation of the unfathomable mystery which overwhelms us, we instinctively utter the cry which our Redeemer will utter in the last moments of His agony on the Cross, ‘Consummatum est.  It is consummated’; if we do all this, we yet hear within us a voice which tells us that the words of S. Luke are not all, that beneath their cloak there is something else hidden.

Let us remove the cloak, let us seek further, and with what result?  This: with the Word, in the Word, Who knocked at Mary’s door, the Angel brought the Annunciation of souls, all souls whom the Word made Man was to redeem.  Mary saw them.  She understood her fullness of grace, the habitation of God within her, the intervention of the Holy Spirit.  She understood that the Word came for a purpose: to redeem mankind.  She understood that this could not be done without her, that all those souls were clinging to Him Who should come, as the shipwrecked to the saving raft.  She understood that if she became the Mother of the Son of God, she must, at the same time, become the Mother of mankind.  Then a ray of light illumined her soul; a torrent of love flooded her heart.  She understood the Divine plan, she saw those souls saved.  She said, ‘Fiat! Yea! Behold the handmaid of the Lord.’  Jesus and souls had a Mother and their Mother was one and the same.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – XLVII

Whoever,’ adds Blessed Louis, ‘wishes to be a member of Christ, full of grace and truth, must be formed in Mary by means of the grace of Jesus Christ, Who will live in her in all His fullness, to be communicated in fullness to the true members of Jesus Christ, and her true children.’

It is always the same thought which returns and to which Montfort reverts.  In order to be members of Christ, we must be children of Mary.  But here another idea is added, that of the communication of grace.  In that Jesus is God and its Author, He possesses grace in its absolute and infinite fullness.  Mary possesses it in a fullness which is communicated, relative but overflowing, and almost limitless as regards time and space.  Souls possess grace in indefinitely varied degrees and strengths..  But it is the same grace, the principle of the same life which must circulate in all.  Now in Christ as in Christians, in the Head as in the members, it is Mary who must be the only channel of the same vital grace.

I am the life,’ said Our Lord.  And He gave this truth a concrete form when He said, ‘I am the Vine, you the branches.’  The life of the branch is the same as the life of the vine.  It is the same sap which nourishes it.  And the Mother of the Vine must be the Mother of the branches, for the stem and the branches are all one Vine.  The Christian and Jesus have the same grace, the same life, they form a whole.  The Christian then can say: ‘I am one with Christ and the Mother of Christ is my Mother.’

Jesus is in eternity the eternal and necessary Son of God; Jesus is in time, the Very Son of Mary according to nature.  The child grafted on Christ by baptismal grace, partaker of the divine nature, becomes actually the child of God and Mary, the brother of Jesus, a branch of the divine vine, a living member of the mystical Body of which Jesus is the Head.

This is theological reality, a sweet and consoling doctrine.

And we may close with these words of Père Lhoumeau: ‘If we call Mary our Mother, we do so not alone out of a feeling of gratitude and love in return for her love and care of us, but because she is as really our Mother in the order of grace as she is the Mother of Christ in the order of nature.  This spiritual maternity of Mary, the consequence of her Divine Maternity, is one of the truths on which the devotion of Blessed de Montfort is founded.’

(To be continued.)

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