Tag Archives: Salvation

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 – CXXII

To err, to stray, to fall, with the disasters which must of necessity follow, that is, alas! easy.  It is to forestall such misfortune, such loss, that Montfort exclaims:  ‘Oh, my Powerful, my most Powerful Princess, hold me lest I fall, guard all my goods lest they rob me of them, I confide to thy keeping all that I possess: Depositum custody.’

And you, slaves of Jesus in Mary, must you not tremble for your little hard-won treasure?  Must you, not fear lest into the limited but precious field of your virtues and merits, the ravening fox may come, to spoil your borders, root up the seeds, delay their growth, trample the flowers and imperil the ripening and the harvest of fruit?

Precious treasure, collected little by little, work by work, day by day, what effort, sacrifice, prayer and solicitude have you not cost?  We cling to it, and with reason, for it is the precious sum with which we shall pay for our eternal bliss in Heaven.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – CII

Jesus Christ as our Creator and our God is our Sovereign, Master and Lord.  He has an absolute dominion over us.  He possesses us unconditionally.  We depend essentially upon Him and He is ever exercising over us His universal and plenary empire.

Jesus Christ holds His complete power in right of His divinity and of His eternal birth: ‘The Lord hath said to Me: Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.  Ask of Me and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance.’

But Jesus Christ also possesses the empire of the world by right of conquest and redemption.  His sufferings, His blood, His cross, His death, all that mission fulfilled by Him, have seemed to Him an unimpeachable right of ownership.  He is our Master and only Lord, the God-man born of the Virgin Mary Who died upon the Cross.  ‘Dominus regnavit a ligno’: the cross is His sovereign throne and His rights are written and signed with His blood.

Baptism, by applying to us the merits of His Passion, by delivering us from the shameful slavery of satan, has placed us in the honorable mystery slavery of Jesus.  And by Baptism He has acquired fresh rights to our service and to the ownership of us.  To serve Him, love Him, adore Him, to do His good pleasure and His will, to die for Him, and all this without expecting from Him any reward, any wage, save the bliss of serving and loving Him more, these are our duties.  And we must refer everything to Him, actions, words, thoughts, sufferings, health, strength, work, prayers, prospects, and so on, everything to Him Who permits us to do so, because we are His conquest, His property, His chosen people, His spiritual and eternal heritage.

All this is indeed to belong to Him, to be His slaves.  Slaves, I say, and not servants, namely, entirely His, His chattels, res Domini, with which He can do what He pleases.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LXXXV

CONCLUSION

 THE TRUE MEANS OR THE SECRET UNVEILED

Having reached this stage of his enquiry and of all that leads up to it, Blessed de Montfort puts his subject clearly: ‘The difficulty is, then, truly to know how to find Divine Mary that we may find all abundant grace.’

It is not that he does not know or that he hesitates.  But with the soul to whom he speaks before his eyes, he would make it clearly understand the design of God and the place occupied by Mary in the scheme of the distribution of graces, of the sanctification of souls, and of the salvation of the predestinate.

(To be continued.)

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Secret Way of the Enclosed Garden – LXXI

Mary is the Paradise of God and His wonderful world, into which the Son of God entered, that He might work wonders there, might watch over and seek His delight in it.’

God Himself prepared this chosen creature, formed her with minute and jealous care.  He decked with rare gifts and unknown privileges this new Paradise destined to shelter the Father of the truly living, in a greater degree than He ever did that other Paradise, destined for our first parents.  Before Mary He made original sin recoil; He wrapped her in the sun of her Immaculate Conception as in a cloak; He placed on her brow a diadem, sparkling with graces and privileges, with power and glory, love and kindness.  He gave her universal rule over all the worlds; the place beside Him, more than that, the first place and the authority over Him, sine He made her the Mother of His Son.  And when He had finished, God, delighted with His work, exclaimed as in a transport of enthusiasm: ‘How beautiful art thou, My love!  There is not a spot in thee.’

Then when the hour so long awaited for the realization of Love’s design had struck, God sent a Prince of the Celestial court to hail His Chosen One.  ‘Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee.’

And when the Virgin had uttered the humble and prodigious Fiat of the little handmaid of the Lord, the Word, without a pause, was made Flesh: ‘Et Verbum caro factum est.’  The Son of God became the Son of Mary and Mary became in truth the Paradise of God.

Who shall say what gifts of joyful greeting were brought by the Word to this living Tabernacle in which He was to dwell?  Montfort says that ‘He worked wonders in it, watched over it and sought His delight in it.’

What were these wonders?  Eye has not seen nor intelligence grasped the sum of grace brought by the Son to the soul of Mary when He penetrated there.  First Himself, and that was Everything, and this Everything comprised all bounty and all supernatural treasure.  And when the Son of God in due time had left like a ripe fruit His Mother’s womb, there lingered there the fragrance of His presence, the fragrance of a God; He stayed there through grace, extraordinary grace, through a divine and constant indwelling, unknown to our human understanding.  If S. Paul could say: ‘And I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ how much more could Mary do so.

Only God can understand the incomparable and exquisite beauty with which He Himself has endowed this living tabernacle of the Divinity.

(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 – LVI

9. Because Mary must dwell in the predestinate.

We have arrived at a trilogy of thoughts which often recur life a refrain in the writings of Blessed de Montfort.  It is the theme of the relationship of the Blessed Virgin to the three divine Persons.  Elsewhere the holy writer describes what is rather passive action of Mary with regard to the Blessed Trinity, that is to say, her formation by the three divine Persons.  Blessed Louis here explains the active part given by them to Mary in souls, that she should dwell in them and prepare them for the reign of God.

It is for Mary,’ he says, ‘that God the Father said: In Jacob inhabita: Daughter, let thy dwelling by in Jacob, that is, in my elect typified by Jacob.’

We all know the beautiful story of Jacob and Rebecca explained by Père de Montfort in his Treatise of the True Devotion.

Isaac is a figure of the Eternal Father; Rebecca of Mary; Jacob of the predestinate; Esau of the rejected.  We desire the paternal blessing.  Mary, like Rebecca, will see to this.

Jacob, as his Hebrew name signifies, is a supplanter.  For a mess of red pottage, Esau sells him his birthright.  Thanks to his mother’s skill, Jacob actually supplants Esau in the paternal heritage.

Jacob prefigures the Gentiles; Esau the Jews.  Thanks to Mary’s skill, the pagan nations come into the inheritance of the Jewish people, and supplant them in the Church, the inheritance and mystical Body of Christ.

Later on Jacob and Esau are reconciled in the love and with the blessing of Isaac and Rebecca.  In the end of time, Christians and Jews will be reconciled, united, will love each other, in the same faith in Christ and the same devotion to Mary.

Jacob prefigures true Christians, children of grace and of Mary; Esau, false Christians, children of wrath and of Belial.

These true Christians, these predestinate, are supplanters.  Mary dwells in them, inspires them, directs them, makes them succeed.  Thanks to her diligence, they supplant the children of this world, obtain the paternal benediction of God and enter into possession of the celestial heritage.

(To be continued.)

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