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The Church Courtyard => Catholic Liturgical Life => Topic started by: Xavier on April 11, 2018, 12:03:54 PM

Title: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 11, 2018, 12:03:54 PM
For those who may wish to make or renew their consecration to Jesus through Mary as their slaves of love - if we start today, we can finish on May 13th, anniversary of Our Lady's apparition in Fatima, where She spoke of the necessity of devotion to the Immaculate Heart and heaven attested the power of Marian consecration. I'm going to share the standard prayers recommended for the Consecration taught by St. Montfort in this thread; please feel free to share your own prayers helpful to that end, or your own experience of making/renewing your own personal consecration to Our loving Lord and Lady. These prayers can also be used at any other time of the year.

Even if you're unsure, you can say the prayers for discernment and the decide on the last day. Those who've made it before will know by experience just how powerful this devotion is. God bless. https://www.catholiccompany.com/content/total-consecration-jesus-through-mary.cfm

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Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 
(https://static.trinityroad.com/sites/cc/content/totalConsecrationJesusMarymontfort.jpg)

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

READING
Matthew 5:1—19
 

The Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

 

Salt of the earth and light of the world

"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

 

The fulfillment of the Law

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

 

PRAYERS
Veni Creator Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

Ave Maris Stella
Hail, O Star of the ocean,
God's own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav'nly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve's name.

Break the sinners' fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.

Magnificat
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

 

Glory Be
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be forever. Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 12, 2018, 01:25:29 AM
Fisheaters has good resources: https://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

"Happy are the faithful slaves of the Queen of Heaven, for they will enjoy true freedom."

- St. Cecilia to Mother Agnes of Jesus, as quoted by St. Louis de Montfort

(https://static.trinityroad.com/sites/cc/content/TotalConsecrationJesusMary.png)

Quote
Day 2: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
 

Save
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

 
Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Readings
Matthew 5:48, 6:1—15
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Almsgiving in secret

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Prayer in secret

And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

How to pray. The Lord's Prayer

When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Pray then in this way:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
 
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Prayers:
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 13, 2018, 10:41:29 PM
(https://bylovealone.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/ihm-and-child-jesus.jpg)

"Introduction of St. Louis-Marie: True Devotion to Mary.

1. It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world.

2. Because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church "Alma Mater", Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God.

3. In answer to her prayers to remain hidden, poor and lowly, God was pleased to conceal her from nearly every other human creature in her conception, her birth, her life, her mysteries, her resurrection and assumption. Her own parents did not really know her; and the angels would often ask one another, "Who can she possibly be?", for God had hidden her from them, or if he did reveal anything to them, it was nothing compared with what he withheld.

4. God the Father willed that she should perform no miracle during her life, at least no public one, although he had given her the power to do so. God the Son willed that she should speak very little although he had imparted his wisdom to her.

Even though Mary was his faithful spouse, God the Holy Spirit willed that his apostles and evangelists should say very little about her and then only as much as was necessary to make Jesus known.

5. Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and he has reserved the knowledge and possession of her for himself. She is the glorious Mother of God the Son who chose to humble and conceal her during her lifetime in order to foster her humility. He called her "Woman" as if she were a stranger, although in his heart he esteemed and loved her above all men and angels. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit where only he may enter. She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendour than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding his dwelling above the cherubim and seraphim. No creature, however pure, may enter there without being specially privileged.

6. I declare with the saints: Mary is the earthly paradise of Jesus Christ the new Adam, where he became man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish in her wonders beyond our understanding. She is the vast and divine world of God where unutterable marvels and beauties are to be found. She is the magnificence of the Almighty where he hid his only Son, as in his own bosom, and with him everything that is most excellent and precious. What great and hidden things the all- powerful God has done for this wonderful creature, as she herself had to confess in spite of her great humility, "The Almighty has done great things for me." The world does not know these things because it is incapable and unworthy of knowing them.

7. The saints have said wonderful things of Mary, the holy City of God, and, as they themselves admit, they were never more eloquent and more pleased than when they spoke of her. And yet they maintain that the height of her merits rising up to the throne of the Godhead cannot be perceived; the breadth of her love which is wider than the earth cannot be measured; the greatness of the power which she wields over one who is God cannot be conceived; and the depths of her profound humility and all her virtues and graces cannot be sounded. What incomprehensible height! What indescribable breadth! What immeasurable greatness! What an impenetrable abyss!

Quote
Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Reading
Matthew 7:1—14
 

Do not judge

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

Do not profane sacred things

Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

Effective prayer

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

The golden rule

In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

The two ways

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Prayers

Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 15, 2018, 01:21:51 AM
(https://i0.wp.com/www.returntofatima.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Sacred-and-Immaculate-Hearts.jpg?w=550&ssl=1)

"St. Montfort: True Devotion to Mary.

8. Every day, from one end of the earth to the other, in the highest heaven and in the lowest abyss, all things preach, all things proclaim the wondrous Virgin Mary. The nine choirs of angels, men and women of every age, rank and religion, both good and evil, even the very devils themselves are compelled by the force of truth, willingly or unwillingly, to call her blessed.

According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: "Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God." They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, "Hail, Mary", while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honour her and lead others to honour her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of one of her servants.

9. The whole world is filled with her glory, and this is especially true of Christian peoples, who have chosen her as guardian and protectress of kingdoms, provinces, dioceses, and towns. Many cathedrals are consecrated to God in her name. There is no church without an altar dedicated to her, no country or region without at least one of her miraculous images where all kinds of afflictions are cured and all sorts of benefits received. Many are the confraternities and associations honouring her as patron; many are the orders under her name and protection; many are the members of sodalities and religious of all congregations who voice her praises and make known her compassion. There is not a child who does not praise her by lisping a Hail Mary. There is scarcely a sinner, however hardened, who does not possess some spark of confidence in her. The very devils in hell, while fearing her, show her respect.

10. And yet in truth we must still say with the saints: De Maria numquam satis : We have still not praised, exalted, honoured, loved and served Mary adequately. She is worthy of even more praise, respect, love and service.

11. Moreover, we should repeat after the Holy Spirit, "All the glory of the king's daughter is within", meaning that all the external glory which heaven and earth vie with each other to give her is nothing compared to what she has received interiorly from her Creator, namely, a glory unknown to insignificant creatures like us, who cannot penetrate into the secrets of the king.

12. Finally, we must say in the words of the apostle Paul, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man understood" the beauty, the grandeur, the excellence of Mary, who is indeed a miracle of miracles of grace, nature and glory. "If you wish to understand the Mother," says a saint, "then understand the Son. She is a worthy Mother of God." Hic taceat omnis lingua : Here let every tongue be silent.

13. My heart has dictated with special joy all that I have written to show that Mary has been unknown up till now, and that that is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as he should be.

If then, as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary. She who first gave him to the world will establish his kingdom in the world."

Quote
Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Readings
Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapters 40, 7
That man has no good of himself, and that he cannot glory in anything

Lord, what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You visit him? What has man deserved that You should give him Your grace? What cause have I, Lord, to complain if You desert me, or what objection can I have if You do not do what I ask? This I may think and say in all truth: "Lord, I am nothing, of myself I have nothing that is good; I am lacking in all things, and I am ever tending toward nothing. And unless I have Your help and am inwardly strengthened by You, I become quite lukewarm and lax. But You, Lord, are always the same. You remain forever, always good, just, and holy; doing all things rightly, justly, and holily, disposing them wisely.

I, however, who am more ready to go backward than forward, do not remain always in one state, for I change with the seasons. Yet my condition quickly improves when it pleases You and when You reach forth Your helping hand. For You alone, without human aid, can help me and strengthen me so greatly that my heart shall no more change but be converted and rest solely in You. Hence, if I knew well how to cast aside all earthly consolation, either to attain devotion or because of the necessity which, in the absence of human solace, compels me to seek You alone, then I could deservedly hope for Your grace and rejoice in the gift of new consolation.

________

He who wishes to be too secure in time of peace will often become too dejected and fearful in time of trial. If you were wise enough to remain always humble and small in your own eyes, and to restrain and rule your spirit well, you would not fall so quickly into danger and offense. When a spirit of fervor is enkindled within you, you may well meditate on how you will feel when the fervor leaves.

Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 16, 2018, 07:01:20 AM
"14. With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since he alone can say, "I am he who is". Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and the manifestation of his glory. To do all things he has only to will them.

15. However, I declare that, considering things as they are, because God has decided to begin and accomplish his greatest works through the Blessed Virgin ever since he created her, we can safely believe that he will not change his plan in the time to come, for he is God and therefore does not change in his thoughts or his way of acting.

16. God the Father gave his only Son to the world only through Mary. Whatever desires the patriarchs may have cherished, whatever entreaties the prophets and saints of the Old Law may have had for 4,000 years to obtain that treasure, it was Mary alone who merited it and found grace before God by the power of her prayers and the perfection of her virtues. "The world being unworthy," said Saint Augustine, "to receive the Son of God directly from the hands of the Father, he gave his Son to Mary for the world to receive him from her."

The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary.

God the Holy Spirit formed Jesus Christ in Mary but only after having asked her consent through one of the chief ministers of his court.

17. God the Father imparted to Mary his fruitfulness as far as a mere creature was capable of receiving it, to enable her to bring forth his Son and all the members of his mystical body.

18. God the Son came into her virginal womb as a new Adam into his earthly paradise, to take his delight there and produce hidden wonders of grace.

God-made-man found freedom in imprisoning himself in her womb. He displayed power in allowing himself to be borne by this young maiden. He found his glory and that of his Father in hiding his splendours from all creatures here below and revealing them only to Mary. He glorified his independence and his majesty in depending upon this loveable virgin in his conception, his birth, his presentation in the temple, and in the thirty years of his hidden life. Even at his death she had to be present so that he might be united with her in one sacrifice and be immolated with her consent to the eternal Father, just as formerly Isaac was offered in sacrifice by Abraham when he accepted the will of God. It was Mary who nursed him, fed him, cared for him, reared him, and sacrificed him for us.

The Holy Spirit could not leave such wonderful and inconceivable dependence of God unmentioned in the Gospel, though he concealed almost all the wonderful things that Wisdom Incarnate did during his hidden life in order to bring home to us its infinite value and glory. Jesus gave more glory to God his Father by submitting to his Mother for thirty years than he would have given him had he converted the whole world by working the greatest miracles. How highly then do we glorify God when to please him we submit ourselves to Mary, taking Jesus as our sole model.

19. If we examine closely the remainder of the life of Jesus Christ, we see that he chose to begin his miracles through Mary. It was by her word that he sanctified Saint John the Baptist in the womb of his mother, Saint Elizabeth; no sooner had Mary spoken than John was sanctified. This was his first and greatest miracle of grace. At the wedding in Cana he changed water into wine at her humble prayer, and this was his first miracle in the order of nature. He began and continued his miracles through Mary and he will continue them through her until the end of time.

20. God the Holy Spirit, who does not produce any divine person, became fruitful through Mary whom he espoused. It was with her, in her and of her that he produced his masterpiece, God-made-man, and that he produces every day until the end of the world the members of the body of this adorable Head. For this reason the more he finds Mary his dear and inseparable spouse in a soul the more powerful and effective he becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul and that soul in Jesus Christ."

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(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYJXzSVeXkgBifNIbq8wN4FSr0amqt245a2AGqt_8v-V3GX_K5)

Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Today's Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 40
Thanks be to You from Whom all things come, whenever it is well with me. In Your sight I am vanity and nothingness, a weak, unstable man. In what, therefore, can I glory, and how can I wish to be highly regarded? Is it because I am nothing? This, too, is utterly vain.

Indeed, the greatest vanity is the evil plague of empty self-glory, because it draws one away from true glory and robs one of heavenly grace. For when a man is pleased with himself he displeases You, when he pants after human praise he is deprived of true virtue. But it is true glory and holy exultation to glory in You and not in self, to rejoice in Your name rather than in one's own virtue, and not to delight in any creature except for Your sake.

Let Your name, not mine, be praised. Let Your work, not mine, be magnified. Let Your holy name be blessed, but let no human praise be given to me. You are my glory. You are the joy of my heart. In You I will glory and rejoice all the day, and for myself I will glory in nothing but my infirmities.

Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 21, 2018, 08:25:04 AM
"21. This does not mean that the Blessed Virgin confers on the Holy Spirit a fruitfulness which he does not already possess. Being God, he has the ability to produce just like the Father and the Son, although he does not use this power and so does not produce another divine person. But it does mean that the Holy Spirit chose to make use of our Blessed Lady, although he had no absolute need of her, in order to become actively fruitful in producing Jesus Christ and his members in her and by her. This is a mystery of grace unknown even to many of the most learned and spiritual of Christians.

2. Mary's part in the sanctification of souls

22. The plan adopted by the three persons of the Blessed Trinity in the Incarnation, the first coming of Jesus Christ, is adhered to each day in an invisible manner throughout the Church and they will pursue it to the end of time until the last coming of Jesus Christ.

23. God the Father gathered all the waters together and called them the seas (maria). He gathered all his graces together and called them Mary (Maria). The great God has a treasury or storehouse full of riches in which he has enclosed all that is beautiful, resplendent, rare, and precious, even his own Son. This immense treasury is none other than Mary whom the saints call the "treasury of the Lord". From her fullness all men are made rich.

24. God the Son imparted to his mother all that he gained by his life and death, namely, his infinite merits and his eminent virtues. He made her the treasurer of all his Father had given him as heritage. Through her he applies his merits to his members and through her he transmits his virtues and distributes his graces. She is his mystical channel, his aqueduct, through which he causes his mercies to flow gently and abundantly.

25. God the Holy Spirit entrusted his wondrous gifts to Mary, his faithful spouse, and chose her as the dispenser of all he possesses, so that she distributes all his gifts and graces to whom she wills, as much as she wills, how she wills and when she wills. No heavenly gift is given to men which does not pass through her virginal hands. Such indeed is the will of God, who has decreed that we should have all things through Mary, so that, making herself poor and lowly,, and hiding herself in the depths of nothingness during her whole life, she might be enriched, exalted and honoured by almighty God. Such are the views of the Church and the early Fathers.

26. Were I speaking to the so-called intellectuals of today, I would prove at great length by quoting Latin texts taken from Scripture and the Fathers of the Church all that I am now stating so simply. I could also instance solid proofs which can be read in full in Fr. Poiré's book "The Triple Crown of the Blessed Virgin". But I am speaking mainly for the poor and simple who have more good will and faith than the common run of scholars. As they believe more simply and more meritoriously, let me merely state the truth to them quite plainly without bothering to quote Latin passages which they would not understand. Nevertheless, I shall quote some texts as they occur to my mind as I go along.

27. Since grace enhances our human nature and glory adds a still greater perfection to grace, it is certain that our Lord remains in heaven just as much the Son of Mary as he was on earth. Consequently he has retained the submissiveness and obedience of the most perfect of all children towards the best of all mothers."

Quote
Day 6: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
 
Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.
Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 18

On the Example of the Holy Fathers

Consider the lively examples set us by the saints, who possessed the light of true perfection and religion, and you will see how little, how nearly nothing, we do. What, alas, is our life, compared with theirs? The saints and friends of Christ served the Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in work and fatigue, in vigils and fasts, in prayers and holy meditations, in persecutions and many afflictions. How many and severe were the trials they suffered -- the Apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and all the rest who willed to follow in the footsteps of Christ! They hated their lives on earth that they might have life in eternity.

How strict and detached were the lives the holy hermits led in the desert! What long and grave temptations they suffered! How often were they beset by the enemy! What frequent and ardent prayers they offered to God! What rigorous fasts they observed! How great their zeal and their love for spiritual perfection! How brave the fight they waged to master their evil habits! What pure and straightforward purpose they showed toward God!

By day they labored and by night they spent themselves in long prayers. Even at work they did not cease from mental prayer. They used all their time profitably; every hour seemed too short for serving God, and in the great sweetness of contemplation, they forgot even their bodily needs. They renounced all riches, dignities, honors, friends, and associates. They desired nothing of the world. They scarcely allowed themselves the necessities of life, and the service of the body, even when necessary, was irksome to them. They were poor in earthly things but rich in grace and virtue.
Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 21, 2018, 08:30:44 AM
"We must take care, however, not to consider this dependence as an abasement or imperfection in Jesus Christ. For Mary, infinitely inferior to her Son, who is God, does not command him in the same way as an earthly mother would command her child who is beneath her. Since she is completely transformed in God by that grace and glory which transforms all the saints in him, she does not ask or wish or do anything which is contrary to the eternal and changeless will of God. When therefore we read in the writings of Saint Bernard, Saint Bernardine, Saint Bonaventure, and others that all in heaven and on earth, even God himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, they mean that the authority which God was pleased to give her is so great that she seems to have the same power as God. Her prayers and requests are so powerful with him that he accepts them as commands in the sense that he never resists his dear mother's prayer because it is always humble and conformed to his will.

Moses by the power of his prayer curbed God's anger against the Israelites so effectively that the infinitely great and merciful Lord was unable to withstand him and asked Moses to let him be angry and punish that rebellious people. How much greater, then, will be the prayer of the humble Virgin Mary, worthy Mother of God, which is more powerful with the King of heaven than the prayers and intercession of all the angels and saints in heaven and on earth.

28. Mary has authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and the mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride.

Such is the will of almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasures, dispenser of his graces, worker of his wonders, restorer of the human race, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs.

29. God the Father wishes Mary to be the mother of his children until the end of time and so he says to her, "Dwell in Jacob", that is to say, take up your abode permanently in my children, in my holy ones represented by Jacob, and not in the children of the devil and sinners represented by Esau.

30. Just as in natural and bodily generation there is a father and a mother, so in the supernatural and spiritual generation there is a father who is God and a mother who is Mary. All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for their mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father. This is why the reprobate, such as heretics and schismatics, who hate, despise or ignore the Blessed Virgin, do not have God for their father though they arrogantly claim they have, because they do not have Mary for their mother. Indeed if they had her for their mother they would love and honour her as good and true children naturally love and honour the mother who gave them life.

An infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God's true friends is that the heretic and the hardened sinner show nothing but contempt and indifference for our Lady. He endeavours by word and example, openly or insidiously - sometimes under specious pretexts - to belittle the love and veneration shown to her. God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them because they are, alas, other Esaus.

31. God the Son wishes to form himself, and, in a manner of speaking, become incarnate every day in his members through his dear Mother. To her he said: "Take Israel for your inheritance." It is as if he said, God the Father has given me as heritage all the nations of the earth, all men good and evil, predestinate and reprobate. To the good I shall be father and advocate, to the bad a just avenger, but to all I shall be a judge. But you, my dear Mother, will have for your heritage and possession only the predestinate represented by Israel. As their loving mother, you will give them birth, feed them and rear them. As their queen, you will lead, govern and defend them.

32. "This one and that one were born in her." According to the explanation of some of the Fathers, the first man born of Mary is the God-man, Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ, the head of mankind, is born of her, the predestinate, who are members of this head, must also as a necessary consequence be born of her. One and the same mother does not give birth to the head without the members nor to the members without the head, for these would be monsters in the order of nature. In the order of grace likewise the head and the members are born of the same mother. If a member of the mystical body of Christ, that is, one of the predestinate, were born of a mother other than Mary who gave birth to the head, he would not be one of the predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but a monster in the order of grace.

33. Moreover, Jesus is still as much as ever the fruit of Mary, as heaven and earth repeat thousands of times a day: "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." It is therefore certain that Jesus is the fruit and gift of Mary for every single man who possesses him, just as truly as he is for all mankind. Consequently, if any of the faithful have Jesus formed in their heart they can boldly say, "It is thanks to Mary that what I possess is Jesus her fruit, and without her I would not have him." We can attribute more truly to her what Saint Paul said of himself, "I am in labour again with all the children of God until Jesus Christ, my Son, is formed in them to the fullness of his age." Saint Augustine, surpassing himself as well as all that I have said so far, affirms that in order to be conformed to the image of the Son of God all the predestinate, while in the world, are hidden in the womb of the Blessed Virgin where they are protected, nourished, cared for and developed by this good Mother, until the day she brings them forth to a life of glory after death, which the Church calls the birthday of the just. This is indeed a mystery of grace unknown to the reprobate and little known even to the predestinate!

34. God the Holy Spirit wishes to fashion his chosen ones in and through Mary. He tells her, "My well-beloved, my spouse, let all your virtues take root in my chosen ones that they may grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace. When you were living on earth, practising the most sublime virtues, I was so pleased with you that I still desire to find you on earth without your ceasing to be in heaven. Reproduce yourself then in my chosen ones, so that I may have the joy of seeing in them the roots of your invincible faith, profound humility, total mortification, sublime prayer, ardent charity, your firm hope and all your virtues. You are always my spouse, as faithful, pure, and fruitful as ever. May your faith give me believers; your purity, virgins; your fruitfulness, elect and living temples."

Quote
Day 7: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.
Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 18 (continued)

Outwardly destitute, inwardly they were full of grace and divine consolation. Strangers to the world, they were close and intimate friends of God. To themselves they seemed as nothing, and they were despised by the world, but in the eyes of God they were precious and beloved. They lived in true humility and simple obedience; they walked in charity and patience, making progress daily on the pathway of spiritual life and obtaining great favor with God.

They were given as an example for all religious, and their power to stimulate us to perfection ought to be greater than that of the lukewarm to tempt us to laxity. How great was the fervor of all religious in the beginning of their holy institution! How great their devotion in prayer and their rivalry for virtue! What splendid discipline flourished among them! What great reverence and obedience in all things under the rule of a superior! The footsteps they left behind still bear witness that they indeed were holy and perfect men who fought bravely and conquered the world.

Today, he who is not a transgressor and who can bear patiently the duties which he has taken upon himself is considered great. How lukewarm and negligent we are! We lose our original fervor very quickly and we even become weary of life from laziness! Do not you, who have seen so many examples of the devout, fall asleep in the pursuit of virtue!
Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 21, 2018, 08:34:38 AM
St. Montfort: True Devotion to Mary (continued)

"35. When Mary has taken root in a soul she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce; for she alone is the fruitful virgin who never had and never will have her equal in purity and fruitfulness. Together with the Holy Spirit Mary produced the greatest thing that ever was or ever will be: a God-man. She will consequently produce the marvels which will be seen in the latter times. The formation and the education of the great saints who will come at the end of the world are reserved to her, for only this singular and wondrous virgin can produce in union with the Holy Spirit singular and wondrous things.

36. When the Holy Spirit, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to his spouse. One of the main reasons why the Holy Spirit does not work striking wonders in souls is that he fails to find in them a sufficiently close union with his faithful and inseparable spouse. I say "inseparable spouse", for from the moment the substantial love of the Father and the Son espoused Mary to form Jesus, the head of the elect, and Jesus in the elect, he has never disowned her, for she has always been faithful and fruitful.

3. Consequences

37. We must obviously conclude from what I have just said:

First, that Mary received from God a far-reaching dominion over the souls of the elect. Otherwise she could not make her dwelling-place in them as God the Father has ordered her to do, and she could not conceive them, nourish them, and bring them forth to eternal life as their mother. She could not have them for her inheritance and her possession and form them in Jesus and Jesus in them. She could not implant in their heart the roots of her virtues, nor be the inseparable associate of the Holy Spirit in all these works of grace. None of these things, I repeat, could she do unless she had received from the Almighty rights and authority over their souls. For God, having given her power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave her power over his adopted children - not only in what concerns their body - which would be of little account - but also in what concerns their soul.

38. Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth by grace as Jesus is king by nature and by conquest. But as the kingdom of Jesus Christ exists primarily in the heart or interior of man, according to the words of the Gospel, "The kingdom of God is within you", so the kingdom of the Blessed Virgin is principally in the interior of man, that is, in his soul. It is principally in souls that she is glorified with her Son more than in any visible creature. So we may call her, as the saints do, Queen of our hearts.

39. Secondly, we must conclude that, being necessary to God by a necessity which is called "hypothetical", (that is, because God so willed it), the Blessed Virgin is all the more necessary for men to attain their final end. Consequently we must not place devotion to her on the same level as devotion to the other saints as if it were merely something optional.

40. The pious and learned Jesuit, Suarez, Justus Lipsius, a devout and erudite theologian of Louvain, and many others have proved incontestably that devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary to attain salvation. This they show from the teaching of the Fathers, notably St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, deacon of Edessa, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. John Demascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure. Even according to Oecolampadius and other heretics, lack of esteem and love for the Virgin Mary is an infallible sign of God's disapproval. On the other hand, to be entirely and genuinely devoted to her is a sure sign of God's approval.

41. The types and texts of the Old and New Testaments prove the truth of this, the opinions and examples of the saints confirm it, and reason and experience teach and demonstrate it. Even the devil and his followers, forced by the evidence of the truth, were frequently obliged against their will to admit it. For brevity's sake, I shall quote one only of the many passages which I have collected from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church to support this truth. "Devotion to you, O Blessed Virgin, is a means of salvation which God gives to those whom he wishes to save" (St. John Damascene).

Quote
Day 8: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
 
Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.
Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 13: Of Resisting Temptations

So long as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written in Job: "The life of man upon earth is a warfare."  Everyone, therefore, must guard against temptation and must watch in prayer lest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour, find occasion to deceive him. No one is so perfect or so holy but he is sometimes tempted; man cannot be altogether free from temptation.

Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away. There is no state so holy, no place so secret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them as long as he lives, for they come from within us -- in sin we were born. When one temptation or trial passes, another comes; we shall always have something to suffer because we have lost the state of original blessedness.

Many people try to escape temptations, only to fall more deeply. We cannot conquer simply by fleeing, but by patience and true humility we become stronger than all our enemies. The man who only shuns temptations outwardly and does not uproot them will make little progress; indeed they will quickly return, more violent than before.

Little by little, in patience and long-suffering you will overcome them, by the help of God rather than by severity and your own rash ways. Often take counsel when tempted; and do not be harsh with others who are tempted, but console them as you yourself would wish to be consoled.

The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted in many ways.

Prayers

Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 28, 2018, 02:57:06 AM
42. I could tell many stories in evidence of what I have just said.

(1) One is recorded in the chronicles of St. Francis. The saint saw in ecstasy an immense ladder reaching to heaven, at the top of which stood the Blessed Virgin. This is the ladder, he was told, by which we must all go to heaven.

(2) There is another related in the Chronicles of St. Dominic. Near Carcassonne, where St. Dominic was preaching the Rosary, there was an unfortunate heretic who was possessed by a multitude of devils. These evil spirits to their confusion were compelled at the command of our Lady to confess many great and consoling truths concerning devotion to her. They did this so clearly and forcibly that, however weak our devotion to our Lady may be, we cannot read this authentic story containing such an unwilling tribute paid by the devils to devotion to our Lady without shedding tears of joy.

43. If devotion to the Blessed Virgin is necessary for all men simply to work out their salvation, it is even more necessary for those who are called to a special perfection. I do not believe that anyone can acquire intimate union with our Lord and perfect fidelity to the Holy Spirit without a very close union with the most Blessed Virgin and an absolute dependence on her support.

44. Mary alone found grace before God without the help of any other creature. All those who have since found grace before God have found it only through her. She was full of grace when she was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel and was filled with grace to overflowing by the Holy Spirit when he so mysteriously overshadowed her. From day to day, from moment to moment, she increased so much this twofold plenitude that she attained an immense and inconceivable degree of grace. So much so, that the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces. She can now ennoble, exalt and enrich all she chooses. She can lead them along the narrow path to heaven and guide them through the narrow gate to life. She can give a royal throne, sceptre and crown to whom she wishes. Jesus is always and everywhere the fruit and Son of Mary and Mary is everywhere the genuine tree that bears that Fruit of life, the true Mother who bears that Son.

45. To Mary alone God gave the keys of the cellars of divine love and the ability to enter the most sublime and secret ways of perfection, and lead others along them. Mary alone gives to the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies. There they can feed without fear of death on the delicious fruit of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They can drink copiously the heavenly waters of that beauteous fountain which gushes forth in such abundance. As she is herself the earthly paradise, that virgin and blessed land from which sinful Adam and Eve were expelled she lets only those whom she chooses enter her domain in order to make them saints.

46. All the rich among the people, to use an expression of the Holy Spirit as explained by St. Bernard, all the rich among the people will look pleadingly upon her countenance throughout all ages and particularly as the world draws to its end. This means that the greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.

47. I said that this will happen especially towards the end of the world, and indeed soon, because Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs. This has been revealed to a holy soul whose life has been written by M. de Renty.

48. These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Fathers of the Church the Temple of Solomon and the City of God . By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and though this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone. This is what God revealed to St. Vincent Ferrer, that outstanding apostle of his day, as he has amply shown in one of his works.

This seems to have been foretold by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 58: "The Lord will reign in Jacob and all the ends of the earth. They will be converted towards evening and they will be as hungry as dogs and they will go around the city to find something to eat." This city around which men will roam at the end of the world seeking conversion and the appeasement of the hunger they have for justice is the most Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Holy Spirit the City of God.

Quote
Day 9: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Today's Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 13 (continued)
Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just. Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are.

Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.

Someone has said very aptly: "Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength." First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.

Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others toward the end, while some are troubled almost constantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted but lightly according to the wisdom and justice of Divine Providence Who weighs the status and merit of each and prepares all for the salvation of His elect.

We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue with temptation that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for He will save and exalt the humble in spirit.

In temptations and trials the progress of a man is measured; in them opportunity for merit and virtue is made more manifest.

Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 28, 2018, 03:03:29 AM
Mary's part in the latter times

49. The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished. Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Jesus Christ so that men, as yet insufficiently instructed and enlightened concerning the person of her Son, might not wander from the truth by becoming too strongly attached to her. This would apparently have happened if she had been known, on account of the wondrous charms with which Almighty God had endowed even her outward appearance. So true is this that St. Denis the Areopagite tells us in his writings that when he saw her he would have taken her for a goddess, because of her incomparable beauty, had not his well-grounded faith taught him otherwise. But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her. The reasons which moved the Holy Spirit to hide his spouse during her life and to reveal but very little of her since the first preaching of the gospel exist no longer.

1) God wishes to make Mary better known in the latter times.

50. God wishes therefore to reveal Mary, his masterpiece, and make her more known in these latter times:

(1) Because she kept herself hidden in this world and in her great humility considered herself lower than dust, having obtained from God, his apostles and evangelists the favour of being made known.

(2) Because, as Mary is not only God's masterpiece of glory in heaven, but also his masterpiece of grace on earth, he wishes to be glorified and praised because of her by those living upon earth.

(3) Since she is the dawn which precedes and discloses the Sun of Justice Jesus Christ, she must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged.

(4) As she was the way by which Jesus first came to us, she will again be the way by which he will come to us the second time though not in the same manner.

(5) Since she is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find him. He who finds Mary finds life, that is, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. But no one can find Mary who does not look for her. No one can look for her who does not know her, for no one seeks or desires something unknown. Mary then must be better known than ever for the deeper understanding and the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity.

(6) In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power and grace; in mercy, to bring back and welcome lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, she must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for his cause.

(7) Lastly, Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less now than ever - to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary's faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others.

Quote
Day 10: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 
Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 10
That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God
Now again I will speak, Lord, and will not be silent. I will speak to the hearing of my God, my Lord, and my King Who is in heaven. How great, O Lord, is the multitude of Your mercies which You have stored up for those who love You. But what are You to those who love You? What are You to those who serve You with their whole heart?

Truly beyond the power of words is the sweetness of contemplation You give to those who love You. To me You have shown the sweetness of Your charity, especially in having made me when I did not exist, in having brought me back to serve You when I had gone far astray from You, in having commanded me to love You.

O Fountain of unceasing love, what shall I say of You? How can I forget You, Who have been pleased to remember me even after I had wasted away and perished? You have shown mercy to Your servant beyond all hope, and have exhibited grace and friendship beyond his deserving. What return shall I make to You for this grace? For it is not given every man to forsake all things, to renounce the world, and undertake the religious life.

Is it anything great that I should serve You Whom every creature is bound to serve? It should not seem much to me; instead it should appear great and wonderful that You condescend to receive into Your service one who is so poor and unworthy.

It is a great honor, a great glory to serve You and to despise all things for Your sake. They who give themselves gladly to Your most holy service will possess great grace. They who cast aside all carnal delights for Your love will find the most sweet consolation of the Holy Ghost.

Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 28, 2018, 03:06:05 AM
51. It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil. "I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race; she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel" (Gen. 3:15).

52. God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable one - which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.

Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin's, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments.

53. What Lucifer lost by pride Mary won by humility. What Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience. By obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them up to him. Mary by her perfect fidelity to God saved her children with herself and consecrated them to his divine majesty.

54. God has established not just one enmity but "enmities", and not only between Mary and Satan but between her race and his race. That is, God has put enmities, antipathies and hatreds between the true children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love and no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world, - for they are all one and the same - have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will unmask his serpent's cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws.

But Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God's graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.

Quote
Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 25

On the Fervent Amendment of our Whole Life
One day when a certain man who wavered often and anxiously between hope and fear was struck with sadness, he knelt in humble prayer before the altar of a church. While meditating on these things, he said: "Oh if I but knew whether I should persevere to the end!" Instantly he heard within the divine answer: "If you knew this, what would you do? Do now what you would do then and you will be quite secure." Immediately consoled and comforted, he resigned himself to the divine will and the anxious uncertainty ceased. His curiosity no longer sought to know what the future held for him, and he tried instead to find the perfect, the acceptable will of God in the beginning and end of every good work.

"Trust thou in the Lord and do good," says the Prophet; "dwell in the land and thou shalt feed on its riches." There is one thing that keeps many from zealously improving their lives, that is, dread of the difficulty, the toil of battle. Certainly they who try bravely to overcome the most difficult and unpleasant obstacles far outstrip others in the pursuit of virtue. A man makes the most progress and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein he gains the greatest victories over self and most mortifies his will. True, each one has his own difficulties to meet and conquer, but a diligent and sincere man will make greater progress even though he have more passions than one who is more even-tempered but less concerned about virtue.

Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 28, 2018, 03:09:56 AM
2) Devotion to Mary is especially necessary in the latter times.

55. Finally, God in these times wishes his Blessed Mother to be more known, loved and honoured than she has ever been. This will certainly come about if the elect, by the grace and light of the Holy Spirit, adopt the interior and perfect practice of the devotion which I shall later unfold. Then they will clearly see that beautiful Star of the Sea, as much as faith allows. Under her guidance they will perceive the splendours of this Queen and will consecrate themselves entirely to her service as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience her motherly kindness and affection for her children. They will love her tenderly and will appreciate how full of compassion she is and how much they stand in need of her help. In all circumstances they will have recourse to her as their advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will see clearly that she is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus and will surrender themselves to her, body and soul, without reserve in order to belong entirely to Jesus.

56. But what will they be like, these servants, these slaves, these children of Mary?

They will be ministers of the Lord who, like a flaming fire, will enkindle everywhere the fires of divine love. They will become, in Mary's powerful hands, like sharp arrows, with which she will transfix her enemies.

They will be as the children of Levi, thoroughly purified by the fire of great tribulations and closely joined to God. They will carry the gold of love in their heart, the frankincense of prayer in their mind and the myrrh of mortification in their body. They will bring to the poor and lowly everywhere the sweet fragrance of Jesus, but they will bring the odour of death to the great, the rich and the proud of this world.

57. They will be like thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God's word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God's word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.

58. They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from his enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfilment of the whole law.

59. Lastly, we know they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will they show favour to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be. They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behaviour.

Such are the great men who are to come. By the will of God Mary is to prepare them to extend his rule over the impious and unbelievers. But when and how will this come about? Only God knows. For our part we must yearn and wait for it in silence and in prayer: "I have waited and waited."
Quote
Day 12: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Purpose: Emptying Yourself of the Spirit of the World
 
Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Reading
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 25 (continued)
Study also to guard against and to overcome the faults which in others very frequently displease you. Make the best of every opportunity, so that if you see or hear good example you may be moved to imitate it. On the other hand, take care lest you be guilty of those things which you consider reprehensible, or if you have ever been guilty of them, try to correct yourself as soon as possible. As you see others, so they see you.

How pleasant and sweet to behold brethren fervent and devout, well mannered and disciplined! How sad and painful to see them wandering in dissolution, not practicing the things to which they are called! How hurtful it is to neglect the purpose of their vocation and to attend to what is not their business!

Remember the purpose you have undertaken, and keep in mind the image of the Crucified. Even though you may have walked for many years on the pathway to God, you may well be ashamed if, with the image of Christ before you, you do not try to make yourself still more like Him.

The religious who concerns himself intently and devoutly with our Lord's most holy life and passion will find there an abundance of all things useful and necessary for him. He need not seek for anything better than Jesus. If the Crucified should come to our hearts, how quickly and abundantly we would learn!

A fervent and diligent man is ready for all things. It is greater work to resist vices and passions than to sweat in physical toil. He who does not overcome small faults, shall fall little by little into greater ones.

If you have spent the day profitably, you will always be happy at eventide. Watch over yourself, arouse yourself, warn yourself, and regardless of what becomes of others, do not neglect yourself. The more violence you do to yourself, the more progress you will make.
 
Prayers
Veni Creator Spiritus
Ave Maris Stella
Magnificat
Glory Be
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2018, 09:26:09 AM
"St. Montfort True Devotion to Mary (continued)"

In What does Devotion to Our Lady Consist

1. Basic principles of devotion to Mary


60. Having spoken briefly of the necessity of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I must now explain what this devotion consists in. This I will do with God's help after I have laid down certain basic truths which throw light on the remarkable and sound devotion which I propose to unfold.

First principle: Christ must be the ultimate end of all devotions

61. Jesus, our Saviour, true God and true man must be the ultimate end of all our other devotions; otherwise they would be false and misleading. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end of everything. "We labour," says St. Paul, "only to make all men perfect in Jesus Christ."

For in him alone dwells the entire fullness of the divinity and the complete fullness of grace, virtue and perfection. In him alone we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing; he is the only teacher from whom we must learn; the only Lord on whom we should depend; the only Head to whom we should be united and the only model that we should imitate. He is the only Physician that can heal us; the only Shepherd that can feed us; the only Way that can lead us; the only Truth that we can believe; the only Life that can animate us. He alone is everything to us and he alone can satisfy all our desires.

We are given no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. God has laid no other foundation for our salvation, perfection and glory than Jesus. Every edifice which is not built on that firm rock, is founded upon shifting sands and will certainly fall sooner or later. Every one of the faithful who is not united to him is like a branch broken from the stem of the vine. It falls and withers and is fit only to be burnt. If we live in Jesus and Jesus lives in us, we need not fear damnation. Neither angels in heaven nor men on earth, nor devils in hell, no creature whatever can harm us, for no creature can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Through him, with him and in him, we can do all things and render all honour and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit; we can make ourselves perfect and be for our neighbour a fragrance of eternal life.

62. If then we are establishing sound devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only in order to establish devotion to our Lord more perfectly, by providing a smooth but certain way of reaching Jesus Christ. If devotion to our Lady distracted us from our Lord, we would have to reject it as an illusion of the devil. But this is far from being the case. As I have already shown and will show again later on, this devotion is necessary, simply and solely because it is a way of reaching Jesus perfectly, loving him tenderly, and serving him faithfully.

63. Here I turn to you for a moment, dear Jesus, to complain lovingly to your divine Majesty that the majority of Christians, and even some of the most learned among them, do not recognise the necessary bond that unites you and your Blessed Mother. Lord, you are always with Mary and Mary is always with you. She can never be without you because then she would cease to be what she is. She is so completely transformed into you by grace that she no longer lives, she no longer exists, because you alone, dear Jesus, live and reign in her more perfectly than in all the angels and saints. If we only knew the glory and the love given to you by this wonderful creature, our feelings for you and for her would be far different from those we have now. So intimately is she united to you that it would be easier to separate light from the sun, and heat from the fire. I go further, it would even be easier to separate all the angels and saints from you than Mary; for she loves you ardently, and glorifies you more perfectly than all your other creatures put together.

64. In view of this, my dear Master, is it not astonishing and pitiful to see the ignorance and short-sightedness of men with regard to your holy Mother? I am not speaking so much of idolaters and pagans who do not know you and consequently have no knowledge of her. I am not even speaking of heretics and schismatics who have left you and your holy Church and therefore are not interested in your holy Mother. I am speaking of Catholics, and even of educated Catholics, who profess to teach the faith to others but do not know you or your Mother except speculatively, in a dry, cold and sterile way.

These people seldom speak of your Mother or devotion to her. They say they are afraid that devotion to her will be abused and that you will be offended by excessive honour paid to her. They protest loudly when they see or hear a devout servant of Mary speak frequently with feeling, conviction and vigour of devotion to her. When he speaks of devotion to her as a sure means of finding and loving you without fear or illusion, or when he says this devotion is a short road free from danger, or an immaculate way free from imperfection, or a wondrous secret of finding you, they put before him a thousand specious reasons to show him how wrong he is to speak so much of Mary. There are, they say, great abuses in this devotion which we should try to stamp out and we should refer people to you rather than exhort them to have devotion to your Mother, whom they already love adequately.

If they are sometimes heard speaking of devotion to your Mother, it is not for the purpose of promoting it or convincing people of it but only to destroy the abuses made of it. Yet all the while these persons are devoid of piety or genuine devotion to you, for they have no devotion to Mary. They consider the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions suitable only for simple women or ignorant people. After all, they say, we do not need them to be saved. If they come across one who loves our Lady, who says the rosary or shows any devotion towards her, they soon move him to a change of mind and heart. They advise him to say the seven penitential psalms instead of the Rosary, and to show devotion to Jesus instead of to Mary.

Dear Jesus, do these people possess your spirit? Do they please you by acting in this way? Would it please you if we were to make no effort to give pleasure to your Mother because we are afraid of offending you? Does devotion to your holy Mother hinder devotion to you? Does Mary keep for herself any honour we pay her? Is she a rival of yours? Is she a stranger having no kinship with you? Does pleasing her imply displeasing you? Does the gift of oneself to her constitute a deprivation for you? Is love for her a lessening of our love for you?

Quote
Day 13: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
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Purpose: To Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself

 

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves?

 
Readings

 
Luke 11:1—10

 
The Lord’s Prayer

 

He [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”

 
Perseverance in Prayer

 

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

 
Prayers

 
Litany of the Holy Spirit

 

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.


Father all powerful, have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.

Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless Life of both, sanctify us.

Holy Trinity, hear us.

 

Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Holy Spirit, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
 

Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.

Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us.

Author of all good, have mercy on us.

Source of Heavenly water, have mercy on us.

Consuming Fire, have mercy on us. 

Ardent Charity, have mercy on us.

Spiritual Unction, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of love and truth, have mercy on us.

Spirit of wisdom and understanding, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of counsel and fortitude, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of knowledge and piety, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of the fear of the Lord, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of grace and prayer, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of peace and meekness, have mercy on us. 

Spirit of modesty and innocence, have mercy on us. 

Holy Spirit, the Comforter, have mercy on us. 

Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, have mercy on us. 

Holy Spirit, Who governs the Church, have mercy on us. 

Gift of God the Most High, have mercy on us. 

Spirit Who fills the universe, have mercy on us.

Spirit of the adoption of the children of God, have mercy on us.
 

Holy Spirit, inspire us with horror of sin.

Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth.

Holy Spirit, shed Thy light into our souls.

Holy Spirit, engrave Thy law in our hearts.

Holy Spirit, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.

Holy Spirit, open to us the treasures of Thy graces.

Holy Spirit, teach us to pray well.

Holy Spirit, enlighten us with Thy Heavenly inspirations.

Holy Spirit, lead us in the way of salvation.

Holy Spirit, grant us the only necessary knowledge.

Holy Spirit, inspire in us the practice of good.

Holy Spirit, grant us the merits of all virtues.

Holy Spirit, make us persevere injustice.

Holy Spirit, be our everlasting reward.

 

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Send us Thy Holy Spirit.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.

V. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,

R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Let Us Pray.


Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, lives and reigns forever and ever. R. Amen.

 
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto)

 

Lord, have mercy on us,

Christ have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

 

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

 

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Holy Mother of God, pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Mother of divine grace, pray for us.

Mother most pure, pray for us.

Mother most chaste, pray for us.

Mother inviolate, pray for us.

Mother undefiled, pray for us.

Mother most amiable, pray for us.

Mother most admirable, pray for us.

Mother of good counsel,pray for us.

Mother of our Creator, pray for us.

Mother of our Saviour, pray for us.

Mother of the Church, pray for us.

Virgin most prudent, pray for us.

Virgin most venerable, pray for us.

Virgin most renowned, pray for us.

Virgin most powerful, pray for us.

Virgin most merciful, pray for us.

Virgin most faithful, pray for us.

Preparation for Consecration, pray for us.

Mirror of justice, pray for us.

Seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Cause of our joy, pray for us.

Vessel of honor, pray for us.

Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.

Mystical rose, pray for us.

Tower of David, pray for us.

Tower of ivory, pray for us.

House of gold, pray for us.

Ark of the covenant, pray for us.

Gate of Heaven, pray for us.

Morning star, pray for us.

Health of the sick, pray for us.

Refuge of sinners, pray for us.

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.

Help of Christians, pray for us.

Queen of angels, pray for us.

Queen of patriarchs, pray for us.

Queen of prophets, pray for us.

Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

Queen of martyrs, pray for us.

Queen of confessors, pray for us.

Queen of virgins, pray for us.

Queen of all saints, pray for us.

Queen conceived without Original Sin, pray for us.

Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us.

Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.

Queen of peace, pray for us.

 

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

 

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

Let Us Pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Christ Our Lord.

R. Amen

 
Ave Maris Stella

Hail, O Star of the ocean,
God's own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav'nly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve's name.

Break the sinners' fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2018, 09:29:31 AM
"65. Nevertheless, my dear Master, the majority of learned scholars could not be further from devotion to your Mother, or show more indifference to it even if all I have just said were true. Keep me from their way of thinking and acting and let me share your feelings of gratitude, esteem, respect and love for your holy Mother. I can then love and glorify you all the more, because I will be imitating and following you more closely.

66. As though I had said nothing so far to further her honour, grant me now the grace to praise her more worthily, in spite of all her enemies who are also yours. I can then say to them boldly with the saints, "Let no one presume to expect mercy from God, who offends his holy Mother."

67. So that I may obtain from your mercy a genuine devotion to your blessed Mother and spread it throughout the whole world, help me to love you wholeheartedly, and for this intention accept the earnest prayer I offer with St. Augustine and all who truly love you.

    Prayer of Saint Augustine

    O Jesus Christ, you are my Father, my merciful God, my great King, my good Shepherd, my only Master, my best helper, my beloved friend of overwhelming beauty, my living Bread, my eternal priest. You are my guide to my heavenly home, my one true light, my holy joy, my true way, my shining wisdom, my unfeigned simplicity, the peace and harmony of my soul, my perfect safeguard, my bounteous inheritance, my everlasting salvation.

    My loving Lord, Jesus Christ, why have I ever loved or desired anything else in my life but you, my God? Where was I when I was not in communion with you? From now on, I direct all my desires to be inspired by you and centred on you. I direct them to press forward for they have tarried long enough, to hasten towards their goal, to seek the one they yearn for.

    O Jesus, let him who does not love you be accursed, and filled with bitterness. O gentle Jesus, let every worthy feeling of mine show you love, take delight in you and admire you. O God of my heart and my inheritance, Christ Jesus, may my heart mellow before the influence of your spirit and may you live in me. May the flame of your love burn in my soul. May it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart. May it glow in my innermost being. May it spread its heat into the hidden recesses of my soul and on the day of my consummation may I appear before you consumed in your love. Amen.

Second principle: We belong to Jesus and Mary as their slaves

68. From what Jesus Christ is in regard to us we must conclude, as St. Paul says, that we belong not to ourselves but entirely to him as his members and his slaves, for he bought us at an infinite price - the shedding of his Precious Blood. Before baptism, we belonged to the devil as slaves, but baptism made us in very truth slaves of Jesus.

We must therefore live, work and die for the sole purpose of bringing forth fruit for him, glorifying him in our body and letting him reign in our soul. We are his conquest, the people he has won, his heritage.

It is for this reason that the Holy Spirit compares us: 1) to trees that are planted along the waters of grace in the field of the Church and which must bear their fruit when the time comes; 2) to branches of the vine of which Jesus is the stem, which must yield good grapes; 3) to a flock of sheep of which Jesus is the Shepherd, which must increase and give milk; 4) to good soil cultivated by God, where the seed will spread and produce crops up to thirty-fold, sixty-fold, or a hundred-fold. Our Lord cursed the barren fig-tree and condemned the slothful servant who wasted his talent.

All this proves that he wishes to receive some fruit from our wretched selves, namely, our good works, which by right belong to him alone, "created in Jesus Christ for good works". These words of the Holy Spirit show that Jesus is the sole source and must be the sole end of all our good works, and that we must serve him not just as paid servants but as slaves of love. Let me explain what I mean.

69. There are two ways of belonging to another person and being subject to his authority. One is by ordinary service and the other is by slavery. And so we must use the terms "servant" and "slave". Ordinary service in Christian countries is when a man is employed to serve another for a certain length of time at a wage which is fixed or agreed upon. When a man is totally dependent on another for life, and must serve his master without expecting any wages or recompense, when he is treated just like a beast of the field over which the owner has the right of life and death, then it is slavery.

70. Now there are three kinds of slavery; natural slavery, enforced slavery, and voluntary slavery. All creatures are slaves of God in the first sense, for "the earth and its fullness belong to the Lord". The devils and the damned are slaves in the second sense. The saints in heaven and the just on earth are slaves in the third sense. Voluntary slavery is the most perfect of all three states, for by it we give the greatest glory to God, who looks into the heart and wants it to be given to him. Is he not indeed called the God of the heart or of the loving will? For by this slavery we freely choose God and his service before all things, even if we were not by our very nature obliged to do so. "

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Day 14: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
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Purpose: To Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself

 

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'?
 
Readings

 
Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 13

 
The Obedience of One Humbly Subject to the Example of Jesus Christ

My child, he who attempts to escape obeying withdraws himself from grace. Likewise he who seeks private benefits for himself loses those which are common to all. He who does not submit himself freely and willingly to his superior, shows that his flesh is not yet perfectly obedient but that it often rebels and murmurs against him.

Learn quickly, then, to submit yourself to your superior if you wish to conquer your own flesh. For the exterior enemy is more quickly overcome if the inner man is not laid waste. There is no more troublesome, no worse enemy of the soul than you yourself, if you are not in harmony with the spirit. It is absolutely necessary that you conceive a true contempt for yourself if you wish to be victorious over flesh and blood.

Because you still love yourself too inordinately, you are afraid to resign yourself wholly to the will of others. Is it such a great matter if you, who are but dust and nothingness, subject yourself to man for the sake of God, when I, the All-Powerful, the Most High, Who created all things out of nothing, humbly subjected Myself to man for your sake? I became the most humble and the lowest of all men that you might overcome your pride with My humility.

Learn to obey, you who are but dust! Learn to humble yourself, you who are but earth and clay, and bow down under the foot of every man! Learn to break your own will, to submit to all subjection!

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2018, 09:31:02 AM
"71. There is a world of difference between a servant and a slave. 1) A servant does not give his employer all he is, all he has, and all he can acquire by himself or through others. A slave, however, gives himself to his master completely and exclusively with all he has and all he can acquire. 2) A servant demands wages for the services rendered to his employer. A slave, on the other hand, can expect nothing, no matter what skill, attention or energy he may have put into his work. 3) A servant can leave his employer whenever he pleases, or at least when the term of his service expires, whereas the slave has no such right. 4) An employer has no right of life and death over a servant. Were he to kill him as he would a beast of burden, he would commit murder. But the master of a slave has by law the right of life and death over him, so that he can sell him to anyone he chooses or - if you will pardon the comparison - kill him as he would kill his horse. 5) Finally, a servant is in his employer's service only for a time; a slave for always.

72. No other human state involves belonging more completely to another than slavery. Among Christian peoples, nothing makes a person belong more completely to Jesus and his holy Mother than voluntary slavery. Our Lord himself gave us the example of this when out of love for us he "took the form of a slave". Our Lady gave us the same example when she called herself the handmaid or slave of the Lord. The Apostle considered it an honour to be called "slave of Christ". Several times in Holy Scripture, Christians are referred to as "slaves of Christ".

The Latin word "servus" at one time signified only a slave because servants as we know them did not exist. Masters were served either by slaves or by freedmen. The Catechism of the Council of Trent leaves no doubt about our being slaves of Jesus Christ, using the unequivocal term "Mancipia Christi", which plainly means: slaves of Christ.

73. Granting this, I say that we must belong to Jesus and serve him not just as hired servants but as willing slaves who, moved by generous love, commit themselves to his service after the manner of slaves for the honour of belonging to him. Before we were baptised we were the slaves of the devil, but baptism made us the slaves of Jesus. Christians can only be slaves of the devil or slaves of Christ.

74. What I say in an absolute sense of our Lord, I say in a relative sense of our Blessed Lady. Jesus, in choosing her as his inseparable associate in his life, glory and power in heaven and on earth, has given her by grace in his kingdom all the same rights and privileges that he possesses by nature. "All that belongs to God by nature belongs to Mary by grace", say the saints, and, according to them, just as Jesus and Mary have the same will and the same power, they have also the same subjects, servants and slaves.

75. Following therefore the teaching of the saints and of many great men we can call ourselves, and become, the loving slaves of our Blessed Lady in order to become more perfect slaves of Jesus. Mary is the means our Lord chose to come to us and she is also the means we should choose to go to him, for she is not like other creatures who tend rather to lead us away from God than towards him, if we are over-attached to them. Mary's strongest inclination is to unite us to Jesus, her Son, and her Son's strongest wish is that we come to him through his Blessed Mother. He is pleased and honoured just as a king would be pleased and honoured if a citizen, wanting to become a better subject and slave of the king, made himself the slave of the queen. That is why the Fathers of the Church, and St. Bonaventure after them, assert that the Blessed Virgin is the way which leads to our Lord.

76. Moreover, if, as I have said, the Blessed Virgin is the Queen and Sovereign of heaven and earth, does she not then have as many subjects and slaves as there are creatures? "All things, including Mary herself, are subject to the power of God. All things, God included, are subject to the Virgin's power", so we are told by St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine and St. Bonaventure. Is it not reasonable to find that among so many slaves there should be some slaves of love, who freely choose Mary as their Queen? Should men and demons have willing slaves, and Mary have none? A king makes it a point of honour that the queen, his consort, should have her own slaves, over whom she has right of life and death, for honour and power given to the queen is honour and power given to the king. Could we possibly believe that Jesus, the best of all sons, who shared his power with his Blessed Mother, would resent her having her own slaves? Has he less esteem and love for his Mother than Ahasuerus had for Esther, or Solomon for Bathsheba? Who could say or even think such a thing?

77. But where is my pen leading me? Why am I wasting my time proving something so obvious? If people are unwilling to call themselves slaves of Mary, what does it matter? Let them become and call themselves slaves of Jesus Christ, for this is the same as being slaves of Mary, since Jesus is the fruit and glory of Mary. This is what we do perfectly in the devotion we shall discuss later. "

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Day 15: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
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Purpose: Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself

 

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves?

 
Readings

 
Luke 13:1—5

 
Repent or Perish

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did."

 
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, #81 and #82

We Need Mary in order to Die to Ourselves

Secondly, in order to empty ourselves of ourselves, we must die to ourselves daily. That is to say, we must renounce the operations of the powers of our soul, and of the senses of our body. We must see as if we saw not, understand as if we understood not, and make use of the things of this world as if we made no use of them at all. This is what St. Paul calls dying daily—Quotidie morior. If the grain of corn falling on the earth does not die, it remains earth, and brings forth no good fruit. Nisi granum frumenti, cadens in terram, mortuum fuerit, ipsum solum manet.

If we die not to ourselves, and if our holiest devotions do not incline us to this necessary and useful death, we shall bring forth no fruit worth anything, and our devotions will become useless. All our justices will be stained by self-love and our own will; and this will cause God to hold in abomination the greatest sacrifices we can make, and the best actions we can do; so that at our death we shall find our hands empty of virtues and of merits, and we shall not have one spark of pure love, which is only communicated to souls dead to themselves, souls whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in God. We must choose, therefore, among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin, the one which draws us most towards this death to ourselves, inasmuch as it will be the best and the most sanctifying.
 
Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2018, 09:34:00 AM
Third principle: We must rid ourselves of what is evil in us

78. Our best actions are usually tainted and spoiled by the evil that is rooted in us. When pure, clear water is poured into a foul-smelling jug, or wine into an unwashed cask that previously contained another wine, the clear water and the good wine are tainted and readily acquire an unpleasant odour. In the same way when God pours into our soul, infected by original and actual sin, the heavenly waters of his grace or the delicious wines of his love, his gifts are usually spoiled and tainted by the evil sediment left in us by sin. Our actions, even those of the highest virtue, show the effects of it. It is therefore of the utmost importance that, in seeking the perfection that can be attained only by union with Jesus, we rid ourselves of all that is evil in us. Otherwise our infinitely pure Lord, who has an infinite hatred for the slightest stain in our soul, will refuse to unite us to himself and will drive us from his presence.

79. To rid ourselves of selfishness, we must first become thoroughly aware, by the light of the Holy Spirit, of our tainted nature. Of ourselves we are unable to do anything conducive to our salvation. Our human weakness is evident in everything we do and we are habitually unreliable. We do not deserve any grace from God. Our tendency to sin is always present. The sin of Adam has almost entirely spoiled and soured us, filling us with pride and corrupting every one of us, just as leaven sours, swells and corrupts the dough in which it is placed. The actual sins we have committed, whether mortal or venial, even though forgiven, have intensified our base desires, our weakness, our inconstancy and our evil tendencies, and have left a sediment of evil in our soul.

Our bodies are so corrupt that they are referred to by the Holy Spirit as bodies of sin, as conceived and nourished in sin, and capable of any kind of sin. They are subject to a thousand ills, deteriorating from day to day and harbouring only disease, vermin and corruption.

Our soul, being united to our body, has become so carnal that it has been called flesh. "All flesh had corrupted its way". Pride and blindness of spirit, hardness of heart, weakness and inconstancy of soul, evil inclinations, rebellious passions, ailments of the body, - these are all we can call our own. By nature we are prouder than peacocks, we cling to the earth more than toads, we are more base than goats, more envious than serpents, greedier than pigs, fiercer than tigers, lazier than tortoises, weaker than reeds, and more changeable than weather-cocks. We have in us nothing but sin, and deserve only the wrath of God and the eternity of hell.

80. Is it any wonder then that our Lord laid down that anyone who aspires to be his follower must deny himself and hate his very life? He makes it clear that anyone who loves his life shall lose it and anyone who hates his life shall save it. Now, our Lord, who is infinite Wisdom, and does not give commandments without a reason, bids us hate ourselves only because we richly deserve to be hated. Nothing is more worthy of love than God and nothing is more deserving of hatred than self.

81. Secondly, in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what St. Paul calls "dying daily". Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit. If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares only with those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him.

82. Thirdly, we must choose among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin the one which will lead us more surely to this dying to self. This devotion will be the best and the most sanctifying for us. For we must not believe that all that glitters is gold, all that is sweet is honey, or all that is easy to do and is done by the majority of people is the most sanctifying. Just as in nature there are secrets enabling us to do certain natural things quickly, easily and at little cost, so in the spiritual life there are secrets which enable us to perform works rapidly, smoothly and with facility. Such works are, for example, emptying ourselves of self-love, filling ourselves with God, and attaining perfection.

The devotion that I propose to explain is one of these secrets of grace, for it is unknown to most Christians. Only a few devout people know of it and it is practised and appreciated by fewer still. To begin the explanation of this devotion here is a fourth truth which is a consequence of the third.

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Day 16: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
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Purpose: Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'?

Readings
True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary, # 228

Preparatory Exercises

During the first week they should employ all their prayers and pious actions in asking for a knowledge of themselves, and for contrition of their sins; and they should do this in a spirit of humility. For that end they can, if they choose, meditate on what I have said before of our inward corruption.

They can look upon themselves during the six days of this week as snails, crawling things, toads, swine, serpents, and unclean animals; or they can reflect on those three considerations of St. Bernard, the vileness of our origin, the dishonours of our present state, and our ending as the food of worms.

They should pray our Lord and the Holy Ghost to enlighten them; and for that end they might use the ejaculations, Dominie ut videam, ("Lord, that I may see"), or Noverim me ("Lord, let me know myself"), or Veni Sancte Spiritus ("Come, Holy Spirit") together with the Litany of the Holy Spirit. They will turn to our Blessed Lady and beg her to obtain for them that great grace which is the foundation of all others, the grace of self-knowledge. For this intention they will say each day the Ave Maris Stella and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.
 
Imitation of Christ: Book 2, Chapter 5
Of self-consideration

We must not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light, and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile we do wrong, and then do worse in excusing it. At times we are moved by passion, and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes, and overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others, but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us. If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgment on others.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of the Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 06, 2018, 05:22:42 AM
Fourth principle: It is more humble to have an intermediary with Christ

83. It is more perfect because it supposes greater humility to approach God through a mediator rather than directly by ourselves. Our human nature, as I have just shown, is so spoilt that if we rely on our own work, effort and preparedness to reach God and please him, it is certain that our good works will be tainted and carry little weight with him. They will not induce him to unite himself to us or answer our prayers. God had his reasons for giving us mediators with him. He saw our unworthiness and helplessness and had pity on us. To give us access to his mercies he provided us with powerful advocates, so that to neglect these mediators and to approach his infinite holiness directly and without help from any one of them, is to be lacking in humility and respect towards God who is so great and holy. It would mean that we have less esteem for the King of kings than for an earthly king or ruler, for we would not dare approach an earthly king without a friend to speak for us.

84. Our Lord is our Advocate and our Mediator of redemption with God the Father. It is through him that we must pray with the whole Church, triumphant and militant. It is through him that we have access to God the Father. We should never appear before God, our Father, unless we are supported by the merits of his Son, and, so to speak, clothed in them, as young Jacob was clothed in the skin of the young goats when he appeared before his father Isaac to receive his blessing.

85. But have we no need at all of a mediator with the Mediator himself? Are we pure enough to be united directly to Christ without any help? Is Jesus not God, equal in every way to the Father? Therefore is he not the Holy of Holies, having a right to the same respect as his Father? If in his infinite love he became our security and our Mediator with his Father, whom he wished to appease in order to redeem us from our debts, should we on that account show him less respect and have less regard for the majesty and holiness of his person?

Let us not be afraid to say with St. Bernard that we need a mediator with the Mediator himself and the divinely-honoured Mary is the one most able to fulfil this office of love. Through her, Jesus came to us; through her we should go to him. If we are afraid of going directly to Jesus, who is God, because of his infinite greatness, or our lowliness, or our sins, let us implore without fear the help and intercession of Mary, our Mother. She is kind, she is tender, and there is nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception.

She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.

86. All this is taken from St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure. According to them, we have three steps to take in order to reach God. The first, nearest to us and most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we should go to Mary, our mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go to Jesus, our Mediator of redemption. This order is perfectly observed in the devotion I shall speak about further on.

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Purpose: To Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself
 

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'?

 

Readings
 

Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 24

Judgment and the Punishment of Sin
In all things consider the end; how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgment in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgment when no man can be excused or defended by another because each will have enough to do to answer for himself?

 
Luke 16:1—8

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’

Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’

So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’

And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.

Prayers

Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 06, 2018, 05:31:09 AM
Fifth principle: It is difficult to keep the graces received from God

87. It is very difficult, considering our weakness and frailty, to keep the graces and treasures we have received from God.

1. We carry this treasure, which is worth more than heaven and earth, in fragile vessels, that is, in a corruptible body and in a weak and wavering soul which requires very little to depress and disturb it.

88. 2. The evil spirits, cunning thieves that they are, can take us by surprise and rob us of all we possess. They are watching day and night for the right moment. They roam incessantly seeking to devour us and to snatch from us in one brief moment of sin all the grace and merit we have taken years to acquire. Their malice and their experience, their cunning and their numbers ought to make us ever fearful of such a misfortune happening to us. People, richer in grace and virtue, more experienced and advanced in holiness than we are, have been caught off their guard and robbed and stripped of everything. How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament have we sadly watched fall and lose in a short time their loftiness and their brightness!

What has brought about this unexpected reverse? Not the lack of grace, for this is denied no one. It was a lack of humility; they considered themselves stronger and more self- sufficient than they really were. They thought themselves well able to hold on to their treasures. They believed their house secure enough and their coffers strong enough to safeguard their precious treasure of grace. It was because of their unconscious reliance on self - although it seemed to them that they were relying solely on the grace of God - that the most just Lord left them to themselves and allowed them to be despoiled. If they had only known of the wonderful devotion that I shall later explain, they would have entrusted their treasure to Mary, the powerful and faithful Virgin. She would have kept it for them as if it were her own possession and even have considered that trust an obligation of justice.

89. 3. It is difficult to persevere in holiness because of the excessively corrupting influence of the world. The world is so corrupt that it seems almost inevitable that religious hearts be soiled, if not by its mud, at least by its dust. It is something of a miracle for anyone to stand firm in the midst of this raging torrent and not be swept away; to weather this stormy sea and not be drowned, or robbed by pirates; to breathe this pestilential air and not be contaminated by it. It is Mary, the singularly faithful Virgin over whom Satan had never any power, who works this miracle for those who truly love her.

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Purpose: To Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself
 

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing.We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'?

Readings
 
Luke 17:1—10
Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 47

The Voice of Christ
My child, do not let the labors which you have taken up for My sake break you, and do not let troubles, from whatever source, cast you down; but in everything let My promise strengthen and console you. I am able to reward you beyond all means and measure. You will not labor here long, nor will you always be oppressed by sorrows. Wait a little while and you will see a speedy end of evils.

Prayers

Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 06, 2018, 05:39:09 AM
2. Marks of false and authentic devotion to Mary

90. Now that we have established these five basic truths, it is all the more necessary to make the right choice of the true devotion to our Blessed Lady, for now more than ever there are false devotions to her which can easily be mistaken for true ones. The devil, like a counterfeiter and crafty, experienced deceiver, has already misled and ruined many Christians by means of fraudulent devotions to our Lady. Day by day he uses his diabolical experience to lead many more to their doom, fooling them, lulling them to sleep in sin and assuring them that a few prayers, even badly said, and a few exterior practices, inspired by himself, are authentic devotions. A counterfeiter usually makes coins only of gold and silver, rarely of other metals, because these latter would not be worth the trouble. Similarly, the devil leaves other devotions alone and counterfeits mostly those directed to Jesus and Mary, for example, devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin, because these are to other devotions what gold and silver are to other metals.

91. It is therefore very important, first, to recognise false devotions to our Blessed Lady so as to avoid them, and to recognise true devotion in order to practise it. Second, among so many different forms of true devotion to our Blessed Lady we should choose the one most perfect and the most pleasing to her, the one that gives greater glory to God and is most sanctifying for us.

1. False devotion to our Lady

92. There are, I find, seven kinds of false devotion to Mary, namely, the devotion of (1) the critical, (2) the scrupulous, (3) the superficial, (4) the presumptuous, (5) the inconstant, (6) the hypocritical, (7) the self-interested.

Critical devotees

93. Critical devotees are for the most part proud scholars, people of independent and self-satisfied minds, who deep down in their hearts have a vague sort of devotion to Mary. However, they criticise nearly all those forms of devotion to her which simple and pious people use to honour their good Mother just because such practices do not appeal to them. They question all miracles and stories which testify to the mercy and power of the Blessed Virgin, even those recorded by trustworthy authors or taken from the chronicles of religious orders. They cannot bear to see simple and humble people on their knees before an altar or statue of our Lady, or at prayer before some outdoor shrine. They even accuse them of idolatry as if they were adoring the wood or the stone. They say that as far as they are concerned they do not care for such outward display of devotion and that they are not so gullible as to believe all the fairy tales and stories told of our Blessed Lady. When you tell them how admirably the Fathers of the Church praised our Lady, they reply that the Fathers were exaggerating as orators do, or that their words are misrepresented. These false devotees, these proud worldly people are greatly to be feared. They do untold harm to devotion to our Lady. While pretending to correct abuses, they succeed only too well in turning people away from this devotion.

Scrupulous devotees

94. Scrupulous devotees are those who imagine they are slighting the Son by honouring the Mother. They fear that by exalting Mary they are belittling Jesus. They cannot bear to see people giving to our Lady the praises due to her and which the Fathers of the Church have lavished upon her. It annoys them to see more people kneeling before Mary's altar than before the Blessed Sacrament, as if these acts were at variance with each other, or as if those who were praying to our Lady were not praying through her to Jesus. They do not want us to speak too often of her or to pray so often to her.

Here are some of the things they say: "What is the good of all these rosaries, confraternities and exterior devotions to our Lady? There is a great deal of ignorance in all this. It is making a mockery of religion. Tell us about those who are devoted to Jesus (and they often pronounce his name without uncovering their heads). We should go directly to Jesus, since he is our sole Mediator. We must preach Jesus; that is sound devotion." There is some truth in what they say, but the inference they draw to prevent devotion to our Lady is very insidious. It is a subtle snare of the evil one under the pretext of promoting a greater good. For we never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son.

95. The Church, with the Holy Spirit, blesses our Lady first, then Jesus, "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." Not that Mary is greater than Jesus, or even equal to him - that would be an intolerable heresy. But in order to bless Jesus more perfectly we should first bless Mary. Let us say with all those truly devoted to her, despite these false and scrupulous devotees: "O Mary, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

Superficial devotees

96. Superficial devotees are people whose entire devotion to our Lady consists in exterior practices. Only the externals of devotion appeal to them because they have no interior spirit. They say many rosaries with great haste and assist at many Masses distractedly. They take part in processions of our Lady without inner fervour. They join her confraternities without reforming their lives or restraining their passions or imitating Mary's virtues. All that appeals to them is the emotional aspect of this devotion, but the substance of it has no appeal at all. If they do not feel a warmth in their devotions, they think they are doing nothing; they become upset, and give up everything, or else do things only when they feel like it. The world is full of these shallow devotees, and there are none more critical of men of prayer who regard the interior devotion as the essential aspect and strive to acquire it without, however, neglecting a reasonable external expression which always accompanies true devotion.

Presumptuous devotees

97. Presumptuous devotees are sinners who give full rein to their passions or their love of the world, and who, under the fair name of Christian and servant of our Lady, conceal pride, avarice, lust, drunkenness, anger, swearing, slandering, injustice and other vices. They sleep peacefully in their wicked habits, without making any great effort to correct them, believing that their devotion to our Lady gives them this sort of liberty. They convince themselves that God will forgive them, that they will not die without confession, that they will not be lost for all eternity. They take all this for granted because they say the Rosary, fast on Saturdays, are enrolled in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary or the Scapular, or a sodality of our Lady, wear the medal or the little chain of our Lady.

When you tell them that such a devotion is only an illusion of the devil and a dangerous presumption which may well ruin them, they refuse to believe you. God is good and merciful, they reply, and he has not made us to damn us. No man is without sin. We will not die without confession, and a good act of contrition at death is all that is needed. Moreover, they say they have devotion to our Lady; that they wear the scapular; that they recite faithfully and humbly every day the seven Our Fathers and seven Hail Marys in her honour; that sometimes they even say the Rosary and the Office of our Lady, as well as fasting and performing other good works.

Blinding themselves still more, they quote stories they have heard or read - whether true or false does not bother them - which relate how people who had died in mortal sin were brought back to life again to go to confession, or how their soul was miraculously retained in their bodies until confession, because in their lifetime they said a few prayers or performed a few pious acts, in honour of our Lady. Others are supposed to have obtained from God at the moment of death, through the merciful intercession of the Blessed Virgin, sorrow and pardon for their sins, and so were saved. Accordingly, these people expect the same thing to happen to them.

98. Nothing in our Christian religion is so deserving of condemnation as this diabolical presumption. How can we truthfully claim to love and honour the Blessed Virgin when by our sins we pitilessly wound, pierce, crucify and outrage her Son? If Mary made it a rule to save by her mercy this sort of person, she would be condoning wickedness and helping to outrage and crucify her Son. Who would even dare to think of such a thing?

99. I declare that such an abuse of devotion to her is a horrible sacrilege and, next to an unworthy Communion, is the greatest and the least pardonable sin, because devotion to our Lady is the holiest and best after devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

I admit that to be truly devoted to our Lady, it is not absolutely necessary to be so holy as to avoid all sin, although this is desirable. But at least it is necessary (note what I am going to say), (1) to be genuinely determined to avoid at least all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother as well as the Son; (2) to practise self-restraint in order to avoid sin; (3) to join her confraternities, say the Rosary and other prayers, fast on Saturdays, and so on.

100. Such means are surprisingly effective in converting even the hardened sinner. Should you be such a sinner, with one foot in the abyss, I advise you to do as I have said. But there is an essential condition. You must perform these good works solely to obtain from God, through the intercession of our Lady, the grace to regret your sins, obtain pardon for them and overcome your evil habits, and not to live complacently in the state of sin, disregarding the warning voice of conscience, the example of our Lord and the saints, and the teaching of the holy gospel.

Quote
Purpose: To Obtain Knowledge Of Yourself
 

Prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. It is near her, that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. We should employ all our pious actions in asking for a knowledge of ourselves and contrition of our sins: and we should do this in a spirit of piety.

During this period, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christlike perfection, we shall enter seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves'?

 
Readings
 

Luke 18:15—30
 

Jesus Blesses Little Children
 

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”

 

The Rich Ruler
 

A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”

Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.

Prayers

Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 06, 2018, 05:44:20 AM
Inconstant devotees

101. Inconstant devotees are those whose devotion to our Lady is practised in fits and starts. Sometimes they are fervent and sometimes they are lukewarm. Sometimes they appear ready to do anything to please our Lady, and then shortly afterwards they have completely changed. They start by embracing every devotion to our Lady. They join her confraternities, but they do not faithfully observe the rules. They are as changeable as the moon, and like the moon Mary puts them under her feet. Because of their fickleness they are unworthy to be included among the servants of the Virgin most faithful, because faithfulness and constancy are the hallmarks of Mary's servants. It is better not to burden ourselves with a multitude of prayers and pious practices but rather adopt only a few and perform them with love and perseverance in spite of opposition from the devil the world and the flesh.

Hypocritical devotees

102. There is another category of false devotees of our Lady, - hypocritical ones. These hide their sins and evil habits under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin so as to appear to their fellow-men different from what they are.

Self-interested devotees

103. Then there are the self-interested devotees who turn to her only to win a court-case, to escape some danger, to be cured of some ailment, or have some similar need satisfied. Except when in need they never think of her. Such people are acceptable neither to God not to his Mother.

104. We must, then, carefully avoid joining the critical devotees, who believe nothing and find fault with everything; the scrupulous ones who, out of respect for our Lord, are afraid of having too much devotion to his Mother; the exterior devotees whose devotion consists entirely in outward practices; the presumptuous devotees who under cover of a fictitious devotion to our Lady wallow in their sins; the inconstant devotees who, being unstable, change their devotional practices or abandon them altogether at the slightest temptation; the hypocritical ones who join confraternities and wear emblems of our Lady only to be thought of as good people; finally, the self-interested devotees who pray to our Lady only to be rid of bodily ills or to obtain material benefits.

2. Marks of authentic devotion to our Lady

105. After having explained and condemned false devotions to the Blessed Virgin we shall now briefly describe what true devotion is. It is interior, trustful, holy, constant and disinterested.

106. First, true devotion to our Lady is interior, that is, it comes from within the mind and the heart and follows from the esteem in which we hold her, the high regard we have for her greatness, and the love we bear her.

107. Second, it is trustful, that is to say, it fills us with confidence in the Blessed Virgin, the confidence that a child has for its loving Mother. It prompts us to go to her in every need of body and soul with great simplicity, trust and affection. We implore our Mother's help always, everywhere, and for everything. We pray to her to be enlightened in our doubts, to be put back on the right path when we go astray, to be protected when we are tempted, to be strengthened when we are weakening, to be lifted up when we fall into sin, to be encouraged when we are losing heart, to be rid of our scruples, to be consoled in the trials, crosses and disappointments of life. Finally, in all our afflictions of body and soul, we naturally turn to Mary for help, with never a fear of importuning her or displeasing our Lord.

108. Third, true devotion to our Lady is holy, that is, it leads us to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of Mary. Her ten principal virtues are: deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom.

109. Fourth, true devotion to our Lady is constant. It strengthens us in our desire to do good and prevents us from giving up our devotional practices too easily. It gives us the courage to oppose the fashions and maxims of the world, the vexations and unruly inclinations of the flesh and the temptations of the devil. Thus a person truly devoted to our Blessed Lady is not changeable, fretful, scrupulous or timid. We do not say however that such a person never sins or that his sensible feelings of devotion never change. When he has fallen, he stretches out his hand to his Blessed Mother and rises again. If he loses all taste and feeling for devotion, he is not at all upset because a good and faithful servant of Mary is guided in his life by faith in Jesus and Mary, and not by feelings.

110. Fifth, true devotion to Mary is disinterested. It inspires us to seek God alone in his Blessed Mother and not ourselves. The true subject of Mary does not serve his illustrious Queen for selfish gain. He does not serve her for temporal or eternal well-being but simply and solely because she has the right to be served and God alone in her. He loves her not so much because she is good to him or because he expects something from her, but simply because she is loveable. That is why he loves and serves her just as faithfully in weariness and dryness of soul as in sweet and sensible fervour. He loves her as much on Calvary as at Cana. How pleasing and precious in the sight of God and his holy Mother must these servants of Mary be, who serve her without any self-seeking. How rare they are nowadays! It is to increase their number that I have taken up my pen to write down what I have been teaching with success both publicly and in private in my missions for many years.

Quote
Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin

Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

Readings
Luke 2:16-21; 45-52
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Jesus Is Named
After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb....

The Boy Jesus in the Temple
When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”

He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella

St. Montfort's prayer to Our Lady

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father! Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son! Hail Mary, faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost! Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign! Hail my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul!

You are all mine by mercy, and I am all yours by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently yours. I now give myself wholly to you without keeping anything back for myself or others. If you still see in me anything which does not belong to you, I beseech you to take it and to make yourself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine. Destroy in me all that may be displeasing to God, root it up and bring it to nought; place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to you.

May the light of your faith dispel the darkness of my mind; may your profound humility take the place of my pride; may your sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination; may your continuous sight of God fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of your heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine; may your virtues take the place of my sins; may your merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and make up for all that is wanting in me.

Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but yours to know Jesus and His divine will; that I may have no other soul but yours to praise and glorify the Lord; that I may have no other heart but yours to love God with a love as pure and ardent as yours.

I do not ask you for visions, revelations, sensible devotion, or spiritual pleasures. It is your privilege to see God clearly; it is your privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is your privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons; it is your privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as you will.

Such is, O heavenly Mary, the "best part," which the Lord has given you and which shall never be taken away from you---and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was yours: to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures; to suffer joyfully without human consolation; to die continually to myself without respite; and to work zealously and unselfishly for you, until death, as the humblest of your servants.

The only grace I beg you to obtain for me is that every day and every moment of my life I may say: Amen, so be it---to all that you did while on earth; Amen, so be it--- to all that thou you are now doing in Heaven; Amen, so be it---to all that you are doing in my soul, so that you alone may fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 09, 2018, 06:53:52 AM
111. I have already said many things about the Blessed Virgin and, as I am trying to fashion a true servant of Mary and a true disciple of Jesus, I have still a great deal to say, although through ignorance, inability, and lack of time, I shall leave infinitely more unsaid.

112. But my labour will be well rewarded if this little book falls into the hands of a noble soul, a child of God and of Mary, born not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man. My time will be well spent if, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, after having read this book he is convinced of the supreme value of the solid devotion to Mary I am about to describe. If I thought that my guilty blood could help the reader to accept in his heart the truths that I set down in honour of my dear Mother and Queen, I, her most unworthy child and slave, would use it instead of ink to write these words. I would hope to find faithful souls who, by their perseverance in the devotion I teach, will repay her for the loss she has suffered through my ingratitude and infidelity.

113. I feel more than ever inspired to believe and expect the complete fulfilment of the desire that is deeply engraved on my heart and what I have prayed to God for over many years, namely, that in the near or distant future the Blessed Virgin will have more children, servants and slaves of love than ever before, and that through them Jesus, my dear Lord, will reign more than ever in the hearts of men.

114. I clearly foresee that raging beasts will come in fury to tear to pieces with their diabolical teeth this little book and the one the Holy Spirit made use of to write it, or they will cause it at least to lie hidden in the darkness and silence of a chest and so prevent it from seeing the light of day. They will even attack and persecute those who read it and put into practice what it contains. But no matter! So much the better! It even gives me encouragement to hope for great success at the prospect of a mighty legion of brave and valiant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, both men and women, who will fight the devil, the world, and corrupt nature in the perilous times that are sure to come.

"Let the reader understand. Let him accept this teaching who can."


3. Principal practices of devotion to Mary

115. There are several interior practices of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Here briefly are the main ones:

(1) Honouring her, as the worthy Mother of God, by the cult of hyperdulia, that is, esteeming and honouring her more than all the other saints as the masterpiece of grace and the foremost in holiness after Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

(2) Meditating on her virtues, her privileges and her actions.

(3) Contemplating her sublime dignity.

(4) Offering to her acts of love, praise and gratitude.

(5) Invoking her with a joyful heart.

(6) Offering ourselves to her and uniting ourselves to her.

(7) Doing everything to please her.

(8) Beginning, carrying out and completing our actions through her, in her, with her, and for her in order to do them through Jesus, in Jesus, with Jesus, and for Jesus, our last end. We shall explain this last practice later.
116. True devotion to our Lady has also several exterior practices. Here are the principal ones:

(1) Enrolling in her confraternities and joining her sodalities.

(2) Joining religious orders dedicated to her.

(3) Making her privileges known and appreciated.

(4) Giving alms, fasting, performing interior and exterior acts of self-denial in her honour.

(5) Carrying such signs of devotion to her as the rosary, the scapular, or a little chain.

(6) Reciting with attention, devotion and reverence the fifteen decades of the Rosary in honour of the fifteen principal mysteries of our Lord, or at least five decades in honour of the Joyful mysteries - the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of our Lord, the Purification, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the temple; or the Sorrowful mysteries: the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging, the Crowning with thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion; or the Glorious mysteries: The Resurrection of our Lord, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of our Lady, body and soul, into heaven, the Crowning of Mary by the Blessed Trinity.

One may also choose any of the following prayers: the Rosary of six or seven decades in honour of the years our Lady is believed to have spent on earth; the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin in honour of her crown of twelve stars or privileges; the Little Office of our Lady so widely accepted and recited in the Church; the Little Psalter of the Blessed Virgin, composed in her honour by St. Bonaventure, which is so heart-warming, and so devotional that you cannot recite it without being moved by it; the fourteen Our Fathers and Hail Marys in honour of her fourteen joys. There are various other prayers and hymns of the Church, such as, the hymns of the liturgical seasons, the Ave Maris Stella, the O Gloriosa Domina ; the Magnificat and other prayers which are found in all prayer-books.

(7) Singing hymns to her or teaching others to sing them.

(8) Genuflecting or bowing to her each morning while saying for example sixty or a hundred times, "Hail Mary, Virgin most faithful", so that through her intercession with God we may faithfully correspond with his graces throughout the day; and in the evening saying "Hail Mary, Mother of Mercy", asking her to obtain God's pardon for the sins we have committed during the day.

(9) Taking charge of her confraternities, decorating her altars, crowning and adorning her statues.

(10) Carrying her statues or having others carry them in procession, or keeping a small one on one's person as an effective protection against the evil one.

(11) Having statues made of her, or her name engraved and placed on the walls of churches or houses and on the gates and entrances of towns, churches and houses.

(12) Solemnly giving oneself to her by a special consecration.
117. The Holy Spirit has inspired saintly souls with other practices of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, all of which are conducive to holiness. You can read of them in detail in "Paradise opened to Philagia", a collection of many devotions practised by holy people to honour the Blessed Virgin, compiled by Fr. Paul Barry of the Society of Jesus. These devotions are a wonderful help for souls seeking holiness provided they are performed in a worthy manner, that is:

(1) With the right intention of pleasing God alone, seeking union with Jesus, our last end, and giving edification to our neighbour.

(2) With attention, avoiding wilful distractions.

(3) With devotion, avoiding haste and negligence.

(4) With decorum and respectful bodily posture.

4. The Perfect Practice

118. Having read nearly every book on devotion to the Blessed Virgin and talked to the most saintly and learned people of the day, I can now state with conviction that I have never known or heard of any devotion to our Lady which is comparable to the one I am going to speak of. No other devotion calls for more sacrifices for God, none empties us more completely of self and self-love, none keeps us more firmly in the grace of God and the grace of God in us. No other devotion unites us more perfectly and more easily to Jesus. Finally no devotion gives more glory to God, is more sanctifying for ourselves or more helpful to our neighbour.

119. As this devotion essentially consists in a state of soul, it will not be understood in the same way by everyone. Some - the great majority - will stop short at the threshold and go no further. Others - not many - will take but one step into its interior. Who will take a second step? Who will take a third? Finally who will remain in it permanently? Only the one to whom the Spirit of Jesus reveals the secret. The Holy Spirit himself will lead this faithful soul from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from light to light, until at length he attains transformation into Jesus in the fullness of his age on earth and of his glory in heaven.

Quote
Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
 

Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

 

Readings
The Secret of Mary by St. Louis de Montfort: #23–#24

True Devotion to Our Blessed Lady
If we would go up to God, and be united with Him, we must use the same means He used to come down to us to be made Man and to impart His graces to us. This means is a true devotion to our Blessed Lady. There are several true devotions to our Lady: here I do not speak of those which are false.

The first consists in fulfilling our Christian duties, avoiding mortal sin, acting more out of love than with fear, praying to our Lady now and then, honoring her as the Mother of God, yet without having any special devotion to her.

The second consists in entertaining for our Lady more perfect feelings of esteem and love, of confidence and veneration. It leads us to join the Confraternities of the Holy Rosary and of the Scapular, to recite the five or the fifteen decades of the Holy Rosary, to honor Mary's images and altars, to publish her praises and to enroll ourselves in her modalities. This devotion is good, holy and praiseworthy if we keep ourselves free from sin. But it is not so perfect as the next, nor so efficient in severing our soul from creatures, in detaching ourselves in order to be united with Jesus Christ.

The third devotion to our Lady, known and practiced by very few persons, is this I am about to disclose to you, predestinate soul. It consists in giving one's self entirely and as a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through Mary, and after that, to do all that we do, through Mary, with Mary in Mary and for Mary We should choose a special feast day on which we give, consecrate and sacrifice to Mary voluntarily lovingly and without constraint, entirely and without reserve: our body and soul, our exterior property such as house, family and income, and also our interior and spiritual possessions: namely, our merits, graces, virtues, and satisfactions.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 09, 2018, 07:00:10 AM
120. As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites, and consecrates us most completely to Jesus. Now of all God's creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.

That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin, which is the devotion I teach; or in other words, it is the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy baptism.

121. This devotion consists in giving oneself entirely to Mary in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her. It requires us to give:

Our body with its senses and members;

Our soul with its faculties;

Our present material possessions and all we shall acquire in the future;

Our interior and spiritual possessions, that is, our merits, virtues and good actions of the past, the present and the future.
In other words, we give her all that we possess both in our natural life and in our spiritual life as well as everything we shall acquire in the future in the order of nature, of grace, and of glory in heaven. This we do without any reservation, not even of a penny, a hair, or the smallest good deed. And we give for all eternity without claiming or expecting, in return for our offering and our service, any other reward than the honour of belonging to our Lord through Mary and in Mary, even though our Mother were not–as in fact she always is–the most generous and appreciative of all God's creatures.

122. Note here that two things must be considered regarding our good works, namely, satisfaction and merit or, in other words, their satisfactory or prayer value and their meritorious value. The satisfactory or prayer value of a good work is the good action in so far as it makes condign atonement for the punishment due to sin or obtains some new grace. The meritorious value or merit is the good action in so far as it merits grace and eternal glory. Now by this consecration of ourselves to the Blessed Virgin we give her all satisfactory and prayer value as well as the meritorious value of our good works, in other words, all the satisfactions and the merits. We give her our merits, graces and virtues, not that she might give them to others, for they are, strictly speaking, not transferable, because Jesus alone, in making himself our surety with his Father, had the power to impart his merits to us. But we give them to her that she may keep, increase and embellish them for us, as we shall explain later, and we give her our acts of atonement that she may apply them where she pleases for God's greater glory.

123. It follows then: (1) that by this devotion we give to Jesus all we can possibly give him, and in the most perfect manner, that is, through Mary's hands. Indeed we give him far more than we do by other devotions which require us to give only part of our time, some of our good works or acts of atonement and penances. In this devotion everything is given and consecrated, even the right to dispose freely of one's spiritual goods and the satisfactions earned by daily good works. This is not done even in religious orders. Members of religious orders give God their earthly goods by the vow of poverty, the goods of the body by the vow of chastity, their free will by the vow of obedience, and sometimes their freedom of movement by the vow of enclosure. But they do not give him by these vows the liberty and right to dispose of the value of their good works. They do not despoil themselves of what a Christian considers most precious and most dear– his merits and satisfactions.

124. (2) It follows then that anyone who in this way consecrates and sacrifices himself voluntarily to Jesus through Mary may no longer dispose of the value of any of his good actions. All his sufferings, all his thoughts, words, and deeds belong to Mary. She can then dispose of them in accordance with the will of her Son and for his greater glory. This dependence, however, is without detriment to the duties of a person's present and future state of life. One such duty, for example, would be that of a priest who, by virtue of his office or otherwise, must apply the satisfactory or prayer value of the Holy Mass to a particular person. For this consecration can only be made in accordance with the order established by God and in keeping with the duties of one's state of life.

125. (3) It follows that we consecrate ourselves at one and the same time to Mary and to Jesus. We give ourselves to Mary because Jesus chose her as the perfect means to unite himself to us and unite us to him. We give ourselves to Jesus because he is our last end. Since he is our Redeemer and our God we are indebted to him for all that we are.


2. A perfect renewal of baptismal promises

126. I have said that this devotion could rightly be called a perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy baptism. Before baptism every Christian was a slave of the devil because he belonged to him. At baptism he has either personally or through his sponsors solemnly renounced Satan, his seductions and his works. He has chosen Jesus as his Master and sovereign Lord and undertaken to depend upon him as a slave of love. This is what is done in the devotion I am presenting to you. We renounce the devil, the world, sin and self, as expressed in the act of consecration, and we give ourselves entirely to Jesus through Mary. We even do something more than at baptism, when ordinarily our godparents speak for us and we are given to Jesus only by proxy. In this devotion we give ourselves personally and freely and we are fully aware of what we are doing.

In holy baptism we do not give ourselves to Jesus explicitly through Mary, nor do we give him the value of our good actions. After baptism we remain entirely free either to apply that value to anyone we wish or keep it for ourselves. But by this consecration we give ourselves explicitly to Jesus through Mary's hands and we include in our consecration the value of all our actions.

127. "Men" says St. Thomas, "vow in baptism to renounce the devil and all his seductions." "This vow," says St. Augustine, "is the greatest and the most indispensable of all vows." Canon Law experts say the same thing: "The vow we make at baptism is the most important of all vows." But does anyone keep this great vow? Does anyone fulfill the promises of baptism faithfully? Is it not true that nearly all Christians prove unfaithful to the promises made to Jesus in baptism? Where does this universal failure come from, if not from man's habitual forgetfulness of the promises and responsibilities of baptism and from the fact that scarcely anyone makes a personal ratification of the contract made with God through his sponsors?

128. This is so true that the Council of Sens, convened by order of the Emperor Louis the Debonair to remedy the grave disorders of Christendom, came to the conclusion that the main cause of this moral breakdown was man's forgetfulness of his baptismal obligations and his disregard for them. It could suggest no better way of remedying this great evil than to encourage all Christians to renew the promises and vows of baptism.

129. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, faithful interpreter of that holy Council, exhorts priests to do the same and to encourage the faithful to remember and hold fast to the belief that they are bound and consecrated as slaves to Jesus, their Redeemer and Lord. "The parish priest shall exhort the faithful never to lose sight of the fact that they are bound in conscience to dedicate and consecrate themselves for ever to their Lord and Redeemer as his slaves."

130. Now the Councils, the Fathers of the Church and experience itself, all indicate that the best remedy for the frequent lapses of Christians is to remind them of the responsibilities of their baptism and have them renew the vows they made at that time. Is it not reasonable therefore to do this in our day and in a perfect manner by adopting this devotion with its consecration to our Lord through his Blessed Mother? I say "in a perfect manner", for in making this consecration to Jesus they are adopting the perfect means of giving themselves to him, which is the most Blessed Virgin Mary.

131. No one can object that this devotion is novel or of no value. It is not new, since the Councils, the Fathers of the Church, and many authors both past and present, speak of consecration to our Lord or renewal of baptismal vows as something going back to ancient times and recommended to all the faithful. Nor is it valueless, since the chief source of moral disorders and the consequent eternal loss of Christians spring from the forgetfulness of this practice and indifference to it.

132. Some may object that this devotion makes us powerless to help the souls of our relatives, friends and benefactors, since it requires us to give our Lord, through Mary, the value of our good works, prayers, penances, and alms-giving.

To them I reply:

(1) It is inconceivable that our friends, relatives and benefactors should suffer any loss because we have dedicated and consecrated ourselves unconditionally to the service of Jesus and Mary; it would be an affront to the power and goodness of Jesus and Mary who will surely come to the aid of our relatives, friends and benefactors whether from our meagre spiritual assets or from other sources.

(2) This devotion does not prevent us from praying for others, both the living and the dead, even though the application of our good works depends on the will of our Blessed Lady. On the contrary, it will make us pray with even greater confidence. Imagine a rich man, who, wanting to show his esteem for a great prince, gives his entire fortune to him. Would not that man have greater confidence in asking the prince to help one of his friends who needed assistance? Indeed the prince would only be too happy to have such an opportunity of proving his gratitude to one who had sacrificed all that he possessed to enrich him, thereby impoverishing himself to do him honour. The same must be said of our Lord and our Lady. They will never allow themselves to be outdone in gratitude.
133. Some may say, perhaps, if I give our Lady the full value of my actions to apply it to whom she wills, I may have to suffer a long time in purgatory. This objection, which arises from self-love and from an unawareness of the generosity of God and his holy Mother, refutes itself.

Take a fervent and generous soul who values God's interests more than his own. He gives God all he has without reserve till he can give no more. He desires only that the glory and the kingdom of Jesus may come through his Mother, and he does all he can to bring this about. Will this generous and unselfish soul, I ask, be punished more in the next world for having been more generous and unselfish than other people? Far from it! For we shall see later that our Lord and his Mother will prove most generous to such a soul with gifts of nature, grace and glory in this life and in the next.

134. We must now consider as briefly as possible:

1) The motives which commend this devotion to us,
2) the wonderful effects it produces in faithful souls,
3) the practices of this devotion.

Quote
Day 22: Total Consecration

Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
 

Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

 

Reading
 

True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Louis de Montfort: #106–#110
 
Marks of authentic devotion to our Lady
True devotion to our Lady is interior; that is to say, it comes from the spirit and the heart. It flows from the esteem we have of her, the high idea we have formed of her greatness, and the love which we have for her.

It is tender; that is to say, full of confidence in her, like a child’s confidence in his loving mother. This confidence makes the soul have recourse to her in all its bodily or mental necessities, with much simplicity, trust, and tenderness. It implores the aid of its good Mother, at all times, in all places, and about all things; in its doubts, that it may be enlightened; in its wanderings, that it may be brought into the right path; in its temptations, that it may be supported; in its weaknesses, that it may be strengthened; in its falls, that it may be lifted up; in its discouragements, that it may be cheered; in its scruples, that they may be taken away; in its crosses, toils, and disappointments of life, that it may be consoled under them. In a word, in all its evils of body and mind, the soul’s ordinary refuge is in Mary, without fearing to be importunate to her or to displease Jesus Christ.

True devotion to our Lady is holy; that is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin, and to imitate in the Blessed Virgin particularly her profound humility, her lively faith, her continual prayer, her universal mortification, her divine purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelical sweetness, and her divine wisdom. These are the ten principal virtues of the most holy Virgin.

True devotion to our Lady is constant. It confirms the soul in good, and it does not let it easily abandon its spiritual exercises. It makes it courageous in opposing the world in its fashions and maxims, the flesh in its wearinesses and passions, and the devil in his temptations. So that a person truly devout to our Blessed Lady is neither changeable, irritable, scrupulous, nor timid. It is not that such a person does not fall, or change sometimes in the sensible feeling of devotion, or in the amount of devotion itself. But when he falls, he rises again by stretching out his hand to his good Mother. If he loses the taste and relish of devotion, he does not disturb himself because of that; for the just and faithful client of Mary lives on the faith of Jesus and Mary, and not on sentiments and sensibilities.

Lastly, true devotion to our Blessed Lady is disinterested; that is to say, it inspires the soul not to seek itself but God only, and God in His holy Mother. A true client of Mary does not serve that august Queen from a spirit of lucre and interest, nor for its own good, whether temporal, corporal, or spiritual; but exclusively because she merits to be served, and God alone in her.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 09, 2018, 07:22:04 AM
Motives Which
Recommend This Devotion

1. By it we give ourselves completely to God

135. This first motive shows us the excellence of the consecration of ourselves to Jesus through Mary.

We can conceive of no higher calling than that of being in the service of God and we believe that the least of God's servants is richer, stronger, and nobler than any earthly monarch who does not serve God. How rich and strong and noble then must the good and faithful servant be, who serves God as unreservedly and as completely as he possibly can! Just such a person is the faithful and loving slave of Jesus in Mary. He has indeed surrendered himself entirely to the service of the King of kings through Mary, his Mother, keeping nothing for himself. All the gold of the world and the beauties of the heavens could not recompense him for what he has done.

136. Other congregations, associations, and confraternities set up in honour of our Lord and our Blessed Lady, which do so much good in the Church, do not require their members to give up absolutely everything. They simply prescribe for them the performance of certain acts and practices in fulfilment of their obligations. They leave them free to dispose of the rest of their actions as well as their time. But this devotion makes us give Jesus and Mary all our thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings and every moment of our lives without exception. Thus, whatever we do, whether we are awake or asleep, whether we eat or drink, whether we do important or unimportant work, it will always be true to say that everything is done for Jesus and Mary. Our offering always holds good, whether we think of it or not, unless we explicitly retract it. How consoling this is!

137. Moreover, as I have said before, no other act of devotion enables us to rid ourselves so easily of the possessiveness which slips unnoticed even into our best actions. This is a remarkable grace which our dear Lord grants us in return for the heroic and selfless surrender to him through Mary of the entire value of our good works. If even in this life he gives a hundredfold reward to those who renounce all material, temporal and perishable things out of love for him, how generously will he reward those who give up even interior and spiritual goods for his sake!

138. Jesus, our dearest friend, gave himself to us without reserve, body and soul, grace and merits. As St. Bernard says, "He won me over entirely by giving himself entirely to me." Does not simple justice as well as gratitude require that we give him all we possibly can? He was generous with us first, so let us be generous to him in return and he will prove still more generous during life, at the hour of death, and throughout eternity. "He will be generous towards the generous."


2. It helps us to imitate Christ

139. Our good Master stooped to enclose himself in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, a captive but loving slave, and to make himself subject to her for thirty years. As I said earlier, the human mind is bewildered when it reflects seriously upon this conduct of Incarnate Wisdom. He did not choose to give himself in a direct manner to the human race though he could easily have done so. He chose to come through the Virgin Mary. Thus he did not come into the world independently of others in the flower of his manhood, but he came as a frail little child dependent on the care and attention of his Mother. Consumed with the desire to give glory to God, his Father, and save the human race, he saw no better or shorter way to do so than by submitting completely to Mary.

He did this not just for the first eight, ten or fifteen years of his life like other children, but for thirty years. He gave more glory to God, his Father, during all those years of submission and dependence than he would have given by spending them working miracles, preaching far and wide, and converting all mankind. Otherwise he would have done all these things.

What immeasurable glory then do we give to God when, following the example of Jesus, we submit to Mary! With such a convincing and well-known example before us, can we be so foolish as to believe that there is a better and shorter way of giving God glory than by submitting ourselves to Mary, as Jesus did?

140. Let me remind you again of the dependence shown by the three divine Persons on our Blessed Lady. Theirs is the example which fully justifies our dependence on her. The Father gave and still gives his Son only through her. He raises children for himself only through her. He dispenses his graces to us only through her. God the Son was prepared for mankind in general by her alone. Mary, in union with the Holy Spirit, still conceives him and brings him forth daily. It is through her alone that the Son distributes his merits and virtues. The Holy Spirit formed Jesus only through her, and he forms the members of the Mystical Body and dispenses his gifts and his favours through her.

With such a compelling example of the three divine Persons before us, we would be extremely perverse to ignore her and not consecrate ourselves to her. Indeed we would be blind if we did not see the need for Mary in approaching God and making our total offering to him.

141. Here are a few passages from the Fathers of the Church which I have chosen to prove what I have just said: "Mary has two sons, the one a God-man, the other, mere man. She is Mother of the first corporally and of the second spiritually" (St. Bonaventure and Origen).

"This is the will of God who willed that we should have all things through Mary. If then, we possess any hope or grace or gift of salvation, let us acknowledge that it comes to us through her" (St. Bernard).

"All the gifts, graces, virtues of the Holy Spirit are distributed by the hands of Mary, to whom she wills, when she wills, as she wills, and in the measure she wills" (St. Bernardine).

"As you were not worthy that anything divine should be given to you, all graces were given to Mary so that you might receive through her all graces you would not otherwise receive" (St. Bernard).

142. St. Bernard tells us that God, seeing that we are unworthy to receive his graces directly from him, gives them to Mary so that we might receive from her all that he decides to give us. His glory is achieved when he receives through Mary the gratitude, respect and love we owe him in return for his gifts to us. It is only right then that we should imitate his conduct, "in order", as St. Bernard again says, "that grace might return to its author by the same channel through which it came to us".

This is what we do by this devotion. We offer and consecrate all we are and all we possess to the Blessed Virgin in order that our Lord may receive through her as intermediary the glory and gratitude that we owe to him. We deem ourselves unworthy and unfit to approach his infinite majesty on our own, and so we avail ourselves of Mary's intercession.

143. Moreover, this devotion is an expression of great humility, a virtue which God loves above all others. A person who exalts himself debases God, and a person who humbles himself exalts God. "God opposes the proud, but gives his graces to the humble." If you humble yourself, convinced that you are unworthy to appear before him, or even to approach him, he condescends to come down to you. He is pleased to be with you and exalts you in spite of yourself. But, on the other hand, if you venture to go towards God blindly without a mediator, he vanishes and is nowhere to be found. How dearly he loves the humble of heart! It is to such humility that this devotion leads us, for it teaches us never to go alone directly to our Lord, however gentle and merciful though he may be, but always to use Mary's power of intercession, whether we want to enter his presence, speak to him, be near him, offer him something, seek union with him or consecrate ourselves to him.


3. It obtains many blessings from our Lady

144. The Blessed Virgin, mother of gentleness and mercy, never allows herself to be surpassed in love and generosity. When she sees someone giving himself entirely to her in order to honour and serve her, and depriving himself of what he prizes most in order to adorn her, she gives herself completely in a wondrous manner to him. She engulfs him in the ocean of her graces, adorns him with her merits, supports him with her power, enlightens him with her light, and fills him with her love. She shares her virtues with him - her humility, faith, purity, etc. She makes up for his failings and becomes his representative with Jesus. Just as one who is consecrated belongs entirely to Mary, so Mary belongs entirely to him. We can truthfully say of this perfect servant and child of Mary what St. John in his gospel says of himself, "He took her for his own."

145. This produces in his soul, if he is persevering, a great distrust, contempt, and hatred of self, and a great confidence in Mary with complete self-abandonment to her. He no longer relies on his own dispositions, intentions, merits, virtues and good works, since he has sacrificed them completely to Jesus through his loving Mother. He has now only one treasury, where all his wealth is stored. That treasury is not within himself: it is Mary. That is why he can now go to our Lord without any servile or scrupulous fear and pray to him with great confidence. He can also share the sentiments of the devout and learned Abbot Rupert, who, referring to the victory which Jacob won over an angel, addressed our Lady in these words, "O Mary, my Queen, Immaculate Mother of the God-man, Jesus Christ, I desire to wrestle with this man, the Divine Word, armed with your merits and not my own."

How much stronger and more powerful are we in approaching our Lord when we are armed with the merits and prayers of the worthy Mother of God, who, as St. Augustine says, has conquered the Almighty by her love!

146. Since by this devotion we give to our Lord, through the hands of his holy Mother, all our good works, she purifies them, making them beautiful and acceptable to her Son.

(1) She purifies them of every taint of self-love and of that unconscious attachment to creatures which slips unnoticed into our best actions. Her hands have never been known to be idle or uncreative. They purify everything they touch. As soon as the Blessed Virgin receives our good works, she removes any blemish or imperfection she may find in them.

Quote
Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
 

Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

 

Readings
True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #120–#121

Nature of perfect devotion to the Blessed Virgin or perfect consecration to Jesus Christ
All our perfection consists in being conformed, united, and consecrated to Jesus Christ; and therefore the most perfect of all devotions is, without any doubt, that which the most perfectly conforms, unites, and consecrates us to Jesus Christ. Now, Mary being the most conformed of all creatures to Jesus Christ, it follows that, of all devotions, that which most consecrates and conforms the soul to our Lord is devotion to His holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more is it consecrated to Jesus.

Hence it comes to pass, that the most perfect consecration to Jesus Christ is nothing else but a perfect and entire consecration of ourselves to the Blessed Virgin, and this is the devotion which I teach; or in other words, a perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy Baptism.

This devotion consists, then, in giving ourselves entirely and altogether to our Lady, in order to belong entirely and altogether to Jesus by her. We must give her;

1. Our body, with all its senses and its members;

2. Our soul, with all its powers;

3. The exterior goods of fortune, whether present or to come;

4. Our interior and spiritual goods, which are our merits and our virtues, and our good works, past, present, and future.

In a word, we must give her all we have in the order of nature and in the order of grace, and all that may become ours in future in the orders of nature, grace, and glory; and this we must do without any reserve of so much as one farthing, one hair, or one least good action; and we must do it also for all eternity, and we must do it further without pretending to, or hoping for, any other recompense for our offering and service, except the honour of belonging to Jesus Christ by Mary and in Mary, even though that sweet Mistress were not, as she always is, the most generous and the most grateful of creatures.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 10, 2018, 07:38:35 AM
147. She enriches our good works by adorning them with her own merits and virtues. It is as if a poor peasant, wishing to win the friendship and favour of the king, were to go the queen and give her an apple - his only possession - for her to offer it to the king. The queen, accepting the peasant's humble gift, puts it on a beautiful golden dish and presents it to the king on behalf of the peasant. The apple in itself would not be a gift worthy of a king, but presented by the queen in person on a dish of gold, it becomes fit for any king.

148. (3) Mary presents our good works to Jesus. She does not keep anything we offer for herself, as if she were our last end, but unfailingly gives everything to Jesus. So by the very fact we give anything to her, we are giving it to Jesus. Whenever we praise and glorify her, she sings today as she did on the day Elizabeth praised her, "My soul glorifies the Lord."

149. At Mary's request, Jesus accepts the gift of our good works, no matter how poor and insignificant they may be for one who is the King of kings, the Holiest of the holy. When we present anything to Jesus by ourselves, relying on our own dispositions and efforts, he examines our gift and often rejects it because it is stained with self-love, just as he once rejected the sacrifices of the Jews because they were imbued with selfish motives.

But when we present something to him by the pure, virginal hands of his beloved Mother, we take him by his weak side, in a manner of speaking. He does not consider so much the present itself as the person who offers it. Thus Mary, who is never slighted by her Son but is always well received, prevails upon him to accept with pleasure everything she offers him, regardless of its value. Mary has only to present the gift for Jesus graciously to accept it. This is what St. Bernard strongly recommended to all those he was guiding along the pathway to perfection. "When you want to offer something to God, to be welcomed by him be sure to offer it through the worthy Mother of God, if you do not wish to see it rejected."

150. Does not human nature itself, as we have seen, suggest this mode of procedure to the less important people of this world with regard to the great? Why should grace not inspire us to do likewise with regard to God? He is infinitely exalted above us. We are less than atoms in his sight. But we have an advocate so powerful that she is never refused anything. She is so resourceful that she knows every secret way to win the heart of God. She is so good and kind that she never passes over anyone no matter how lonely and sinful.

Further on, I shall relate the story of Jacob and Rebecca which exemplifies the truths I have been setting before you.

4. It is an excellent means of giving glory to God

151. This devotion, when faithfully undertaken, is a perfect means of ensuring that the value of all our good works is being used for the greater glory of God. Scarcely anyone works for that noble end, in spite of the obligation to do so, either because men do not know where God's greatest glory is to be found or because they do not desire it. Now Mary, to whom we surrender the value and merit of our good actions, knows perfectly well where God's greatest glory lies and she works only to promote that glory. The devout servant of our Lady, having entirely consecrated himself to her as I have described above, can boldly claim that the value of all his actions, words and thoughts is used for the greatest glory of God, unless he has explicitly retracted his offering. For one who loves God with a pure and unselfish love and prizes God's glory and interests far above his own, could anything be more consoling?

5. It leads to union with our Lord

152. This devotion is a smooth, short, perfect and sure way of attaining union with our Lord, in which Christian perfection consists.

(a) This devotion is a smooth way. It is the path which Jesus Christ opened up in coming to us and in which there is no obstruction to prevent us reaching him. It is quite true that we can attain to divine union by other roads, but these involve many more crosses and exceptional setbacks and many difficulties that we cannot easily overcome. We would have to pass through spiritual darkness, engage in struggles for which we are not prepared, endure bitter agonies, scale precipitous mountains, tread upon painful thorns, and cross frightful deserts. But when we take the path of Mary, we walk smoothly and calmly.

It is true that on our way we have hard battles to fight and serious obstacles to overcome, but Mary, our Mother and Queen, stays close to her faithful servants. She is always at hand to brighten their darkness, clear away their doubts, strengthen them in their fears, sustain them in their combats and trials. Truly, in comparison with other ways, this virgin road to Jesus is a path of roses and sweet delights. There have been some saints, not very many, such as St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure, and St. Francis de Sales, who have taken this smooth path to Jesus Christ, because the Holy Spirit, the faithful Spouse of Mary, made it known to them by a special grace. The other saints, who are the greater number, while having a devotion to Mary, either did not enter or did not go very far along this path. That is why they had to undergo harder and more dangerous trials.

153. Why is it then, a servant of Mary might ask, that devoted servants of this good Mother are called upon to suffer much more than those who serve her less generously? They are opposed, persecuted, slandered, and treated with intolerance. They may also have to walk in interior darkness and through spiritual deserts without being given from heaven a single drop of the dew of consolation. If this devotion to the Blessed Virgin makes the path to Jesus smoother, how can we explain why Mary's loyal servants are so ill-treated?

154. I reply that it is quite true that the most faithful servants of the Blessed Virgin, being her greatest favourites, receive from her the best graces and favours from heaven, which are crosses. But I maintain too that these servants of Mary bear their crosses with greater ease and gain more merit and glory. What could check another's progress a thousand times over, or possibly bring about his downfall, does not balk them at all, but even helps them on their way. For this good Mother, filled with the grace and unction of the Holy Spirit, dips all the crosses she prepares for them in the honey of her maternal sweetness and the unction of pure love. They then readily swallow them as they would sugared almonds, though the crosses may be very bitter. I believe that anyone who wishes to be devout and live piously in Jesus will suffer persecution and will have a daily cross to carry. But he will never manage to carry a heavy cross, or carry it joyfully and perseveringly, without a trusting devotion to our Lady, who is the very sweetness of the cross. It is obvious that a person could not keep on eating without great effort unripe fruit which has not been sweetened.

155. (b) This devotion is a short way to discover Jesus, either because it is a road we do not wander from, or because, as we have just said, we walk along this road with greater ease and joy, and consequently with greater speed. We advance more in a brief period of submission to Mary and dependence on her than in whole years of self-will and self-reliance. A man who is obedient and submissive to Mary will sing of glorious victories over his enemies It is true, his enemies will try to impede his progress, force him to retreat or try to make him fall. But with Mary's help, support and guidance, he will go forward towards our Lord. Without falling, retreating and even without being delayed, he will advance with giant strides towards Jesus along the same road which, as it is written, Jesus took to come to us with giant strides and in a short time.

156. Why do you think our Lord spent only a few years here on earth and nearly all of them in submission and obedience to his Mother? The reason is that "attaining perfection in a short time, he lived a long time", even longer than Adam, whose losses he had come to make good. Yet Adam lived more than nine hundred years!

Jesus lived a long time, because he lived in complete submission to his Mother and in union with her, which obedience to his Father required. The Holy Spirit tells us that the man who honours his mother is like a man who stores up a treasure. In other words, the man who honours Mary, his Mother, to the extent of subjecting himself to her and obeying her in all things will soon become very rich, because he is amassing riches every day through Mary who has become his secret philosopher's stone.

There is another quotation from Holy Scripture, "My old age will be found in the mercy of the bosom". According to the mystical interpretation of these words it is in the bosom of Mary that people who are young grow mature in enlightenment, in holiness, in experience and in wisdom, and in a short time reach the fullness of the age of Christ. For it was Mary's womb which encompassed and produced a perfect man. That same womb held the one whom the whole universe can neither encompass nor contain.

157. (c) This devotion is a perfect way to reach our Lord and be united to him, for Mary is the most perfect and the most holy of all creatures, and Jesus, who came to us in a perfect manner, chose no other road for his great and wonderful journey. The Most High, the Incomprehensible One, the Inaccessible One, He who is, deigned to come down to us poor earthly creatures who are nothing at all. How was this done?

The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of his divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear.

God the Incomprehensible, allowed himself to be perfectly comprehended and contained by the humble Virgin Mary without losing anything of his immensity. So we must let ourselves be perfectly contained and led by the humble Virgin without any reserve on our part.

God, the Inaccessible, drew near to us and united himself closely, perfectly and even personally to our humanity through Mary without losing anything of his majesty. So it is also through Mary that we must draw near to God and unite ourselves to him perfectly, intimately, and without fear of being rejected.

Lastly, He who is deigned to come down to us who are not and turned our nothingness into God, or He who is. He did this perfectly by giving and submitting himself entirely to the young Virgin Mary, without ceasing to be in time He who is from all eternity. Likewise it is through Mary that we, who are nothing, may become like God by grace and glory. We accomplish this by giving ourselves to her so perfectly and so completely as to remain nothing, as far as self is concerned, and to be everything in her, without any fear of illusion.

158. Show me a new road to our Lord, pave it with all the merits of the saints, adorn it with their heroic virtues, illuminate and enhance it with the splendour and beauty of the angels, have all the angels and saints there to guide and protect those who wish to follow it. Give me such a road and truly, truly, I boldly say - and I am telling the truth - that instead of this road, perfect though it be, I would still choose the immaculate way of Mary. It is a way, a road without stain or spot, without original sin or actual sin, without shadow or darkness,. When our loving Jesus comes in glory once again to reign upon earth - as he certainly will - he will choose no other way than the Blessed Virgin, by whom he came so surely and so perfectly the first time. The difference between his first and his second coming is that the first was secret and hidden, but the second will be glorious and resplendent. Both are perfect because both are through Mary. Alas, this is a mystery which we cannot understand, "Here let every tongue be silent."

Quote
Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
 
Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

 

Readings
True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #152–#164
This devotion is an easy, short, perfect, and secure way of arriving at union with our Lord, in which the perfection of a Christian consists.

It is an easy way. It is the way which Jesus Christ Himself trod in coming to us, and in which there is no obstacle in arriving at Him. It is true that we can attain to divine union by other roads; but it is by many more crosses, and strange deaths, and with many more difficulties, which we shall find it hard to overcome.

This devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a short road to find Jesus Christ, both because it is a road which we do not stray from, and because, as I have just said, it is a road we tread with joy and facility, and by consequence with promptitude. We make more progress in a brief period of submission to, and dependence on, Mary than in whole years of our own will, and of resting upon ourselves.

This practice of devotion to our Blessed Lady is also a perfect path by which to go and unite ourselves to Jesus, because the divine Mary is the most perfect and the most holy of creatures, and because Jesus, who has come to us most perfectly, took no other road for His great and admirable journey.

The Most High, the Incomprehensible, the Inaccessible, He Who Is, has deigned to come to us, little worms of earth who are nothing. How has He done this? The Most High has come down to us perfectly and divinely by the humble Mary. He has come to us by her, without losing anything of His divinity and sanctity. So it is by Mary that the unspeakably little are to ascend, perfectly and divinely, without any fear, to the Most High.

TThis devotion to our Blessed Lady is also a secure way to go to Jesus, and to acquire perfection by uniting us to Him. It is a secure way, because the practice which I am teaching is not new.  Indeed it could not be condemned without overthrowing the foundations of Christianity.

It is clear, then, that this devotion is not new; and that if it is not common, it is because it is too precious to be relished and practised by all the world. This devotion is a secure means of going to Jesus Christ, because it is the very characteristic of our Blessed Lady to conduct us surely to Jesus, just as it is the very characteristic of Jesus to conduct us surely to the Eternal Father.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
St. Montfort's prayer.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 10, 2018, 07:46:49 AM
159. (d) This devotion to our Lady is a sure way to go to Jesus and to acquire holiness through union with him.

(1) The devotion which I teach is not new. Its history goes back so far that the time of its origin cannot be ascertained with any precision, as Fr. Boudon, who died a holy death a short time ago, states in a book which he wrote on this devotion. It is however certain that for more than seven hundred years we find traces of it in the Church.

St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny, who lived about the year 1040, was one of the first to practise it publicly in France as is told in his life.

Cardinal Peter Damian relates that in the year 1076 his brother, Blessed Marino, made himself the slave of the Blessed Virgin in the presence of his spiritual director in a most edifying manner. He placed a rope around his neck, scourged himself and placed on the altar a sum of money as a token of his devotion and consecration to our Lady. He remained so faithful to this consecration all his life that me merited to be visited and consoled on his death-bed by his dear Queen and hear from her lips the promise of paradise in reward for his service.

Caesarius Bollandus mentions a famous knight, Vautier de Birback, a close relative of the Dukes of Louvain, who about the year 1300 consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin.

This devotion was also practised privately by many people up to the seventeenth century, when it became publicly known.

160. Father Simon de Rojas of the Order of the Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives, court preacher to Philip III, made this devotion popular throughout Spain and Germany. Through the intervention of Philip III, he obtained from Gregory XV valuable indulgences for those who practised it.

Father de los Rios, of the Order of St. Augustine, together with his intimate friend, Father de Roias, worked hard, propagating it throughout Spain and Germany by preaching and writing. He composed a large volume entitled "Hierarchia Mariana", where he treats of the antiquity, the excellence and the soundness of this devotion, with as much devotion as learning.

The Theatine Fathers in the seventeenth century established this devotion in Italy and Savoy.

161. Father Stanislaus Phalacius of the Society of Jesus spread this devotion widely in Poland.

Father de los Rios in the book quoted above mentions the names of princes and princesses, bishops and cardinals of different countries who embraced this devotion.

Father Cornelius a Lapide, noted both for holiness and profound learning, was commissioned by several bishops and theologians to examine it. The praise he gave it after mature examination, is a worthy tribute to his own holiness. Many other eminent men followed his example.

The Jesuit Fathers, ever zealous in the service of our Blessed Lady, presented on behalf of the sodalities of Cologne to Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria, the then archbishop of Cologne, a little treatise on the devotion, and he gave it his approval and granted permission to have it printed. He exhorted all priests and religious of his diocese to do their utmost to spread this solid devotion.

162. Cardinal de Bérulle, whose memory is venerated throughout France, was outstandingly zealous in furthering the devotion in France, despite the calumnies and persecutions he suffered at the hands of critics and evil men. They accused him of introducing novelty and superstition. They composed and published a libellous tract against him and they - rather the devil in them - used a thousand stratagems to prevent him from spreading the devotion in France. But this eminent and saintly man responded to their calumnies with calm patience. He wrote a little book in reply and forcefully refuted the objections contained in it. He pointed out that this devotion is founded on the example given by Jesus Christ, on the obligations we have towards him and on the promises we made in holy baptism. It was mainly this last reason which silenced his enemies. He made clear to them that this consecration to the Blessed Virgin, and through her to Jesus, is nothing less than a perfect renewal of the promises and vows of baptism. He said many beautiful things concerning this devotion which can be read in his works.

163. In Fr. Boudon's book we read of different popes who gave their approval to this devotion, the theologians who examined it, the hostility it encountered and overcame, the thousands who made it their own without censure from any pope. Indeed it could not be condemned without overthrowing the foundations of Christianity. It is obvious then that this devotion is not new. If it is not commonly practised, the reason is that it is too sublime to be appreciated and undertaken by everyone.

164. (2) This devotion is a safe means of going to Jesus Christ, because it is Mary's role to lead us safely to her Son; just as it is the role of our Lord to lead us to the eternal Father. Those who are spiritually-minded should not fall into the error of thinking that Mary hinders our union with God. How could this possibly happen? How could Mary, who found grace with God for everyone in general and each one in particular, prevent a soul from obtaining the supreme grace of union with him? Is it possible that she who was so completely filled with grace to overflowing, so united to Christ and transformed in God that it became necessary for him to be made flesh in her, should prevent a soul from being perfectly united to him?

It is quite true that the example of other people, no matter how holy, can sometimes impair union with God, but not so our Blessed Lady, as I have said and shall never weary of repeating. One reason why so few souls come to the fullness of the age of Jesus is that Mary who is still as much as ever his Mother and the fruitful spouse of the Holy Spirit is not formed well enough in their hearts. If we desire a ripe and perfectly formed fruit, we must possess the tree that bears it. If we desire the fruit of life, Jesus Christ, we must possess the tree of life which is Mary. If we desire to have the Holy Spirit working within us, we must possess his faithful and inseparable spouse, Mary the divinely-favoured one whom, as I have said elsewhere, he can make fruitful.

165. Rest assured that the more you turn to Mary in your prayers, meditations, actions and sufferings, seeing her if not perhaps clearly and distinctly, at least in a general and indistinct way, the more surely you will discover Jesus. For he is always greater, more powerful, more active, and more mysterious when acting through Mary than he is in any other creature in the universe, or even in heaven. Thus Mary, so divinely-favoured and so lost in God, is far from being an obstacle to good people who are striving for union with him. There has never been and there never will be a creature so ready to help us in achieving that union more effectively, for she will dispense to us all the graces to attain that end. As a saint once remarked, "Only Mary knows how to fill our minds with the thought of God." Moreover, Mary will safeguard us against the deception and cunning of the evil one.

166. Where Mary is present, the evil one is absent. One of the unmistakable signs that a person is led by the Spirit of God is the devotion he has to Mary, and his habit of thinking and speaking of her. This is the opinion of a saint, who goes on to say that just as breathing is a proof that the body is not dead, so the habitual thought of Mary and loving converse with her is a proof that the soul is not spiritually dead in sin.

167. Since Mary alone has crushed all heresies, as we are told by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Office of B.V.M.), a devoted servant of hers will never fall into formal heresy or error, though critics may contest this. He may very well err materially, mistaking lies for truth or an evil spirit for a good one, but he will be less likely to do this than others. Sooner or later he will discover his error and will not go on stubbornly believing and maintaining what he mistakenly thought was the truth.

168. Whoever then wishes to advance along the road to holiness and be sure of encountering the true Christ, without fear of the illusions which afflict many devout people, should take up with valiant heart and willing spirit this devotion to Mary which perhaps he had not previously heard about. Even if it is new to him, let him enter upon this excellent way which I am now revealing to him. "I will show you a more excellent way."

It was opened up by Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom. He is our one and only Head, and we, his members, cannot go wrong in following him. It is a smooth way made easy by the fullness of grace, the unction of the Holy Spirit. In our progress along this road, we do not weaken or turn back. It is a quick way and leads us to Jesus in a short time. It is a perfect way without mud or dust or any vileness of sin. Finally, it is a reliable way, for it is direct and sure, having no turnings to right or left but leading us straight to Jesus and to life eternal.

Let us then take this road and travel along it night and day until we arrive at the fullness of the age of Jesus Christ.


6. It gives great liberty of spirit

169. It gives great liberty of spirit - the freedom of the children of God - to those who faithfully practise it. Through this devotion we make ourselves slaves of Jesus by consecrating ourselves entirely to him. To reward us for this enslavement of love, our Lord frees us from every scruple and servile fear which might restrict, imprison or confuse us; he opens our hearts and fills them with holy confidence in God, helping us to regard God as our Father; he inspires us with a generous and filial love.

170. Without stopping to prove this truth, I shall simply relate an incident which I read in the life of Mother Agnes of Jesus, a Dominican nun of the convent of Langeac in Auvergne, who died a holy death there in 1634.

When she was only seven years old and was suffering great spiritual anguish, she heard a voice telling her that if she wished to be delivered from her anguish and protected against all her enemies, she should make herself the slave of our Lord and his Blessed Mother as soon as possible. No sooner had she returned home than she gave herself completely to Jesus and Mary as their slave, although she had never known anything about this devotion before. She found an iron chain, put it round her waist and wore it till the day she died. After this, all her sufferings and scruples disappeared and she found great peace of soul.

This led her to teach this devotion to many others who made rapid progress in it - among them, Father Olier, the founder of the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, and several other priests and students from the same seminary. One day the Blessed Virgin appeared to Mother Agnes and put a gold chain around her neck to show her how happy she was that Mother Agnes had become the slave of both her and her Son. And St. Cecilia, who accompanied our Lady, said to her, "Happy are the faithful slaves of the Queen of heaven, for they will enjoy true freedom." Tibi servire libertas.

Quote
Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
 

Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

 

Readings
True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #213–#225
 
Wonderful Effects of this Devotion
My dear brother, be sure that, if you are faithful to the interior and exterior practices of this devotion, which I will point out, the following effects will take place in your soul.

First Effect: Knowledge of our unworthiness:
By the light which the Holy Ghost will give you by His dear Spouse, Mary, you will understand your own evil, your corruption, and your incapacity for anything good. In other words, the humble Mary will communicate to you a portion of her profound humility, which will make you despise yourself, despise nobody else, but love to be despised yourself.

Second Effect: A share in Mary's faith
Our Blessed Lady will give you also a portion of her faith, which was the greatest of all faiths that ever were on earth, greater than the faith of all the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Saints put together.

Third Effect: The gift of pure love
This Mother of fair love will take away from your heart all scruple and all disorder of servile fear.

Fourth Effect: Great confidence in God and in Mary
Our Blessed Lady will fill you with a great confidence in God and in herself
,
because you will not be approaching to Jesus by yourself, but always by that good Mother.

Fifth Effect: Communication of the spirit of Mary
The soul of Mary will be communicated to you to glorify the Lord. Her spirit will take the place of yours to rejoice in God, her Saviour, but only if you are faithful to the practices of this devotion.

Sixth Effect: Transformation into the likeness of Jesus
 If Mary, the Tree of Life, is well cultivated in our soul by fidelity to this devotion, she will in due time bring forth her fruit which is none other than Jesus Christ.

Seventh Effect: The greater glory of Christ
By this practice, faithfully observed, you will give Jesus more glory in a month, than by any other practice, however difficult, in many years.

Prayers

Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
St. Montforts prayer
 
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 11, 2018, 11:02:31 AM
It is of great benefit to our neighbour

171. It is of great benefit to our neighbour, for by it we show love for our neighbour in an outstanding way since we give him through Mary's hands all that we prize most highly - that is, the satisfactory and prayer value of all our good works, down to the least good thought and the least little suffering. We give our consent that all we have already acquired or will acquire until death should be used in accordance with our Lady's will for the conversion of sinners or the deliverance of souls from Purgatory.

Is this not perfect love of our neighbour? Is this not being a true disciple of our Lord, one who should always be recognised by his love? Is this not the way to convert sinners without any danger of vainglory, and deliver souls from Purgatory by doing hardly anything more than what we are obliged to do by our state of life?

172. To appreciate the excellence of this motive we must understand what a wonderful thing it is to convert a sinner or to deliver a soul from Purgatory. It is an infinite good, greater than the creation of heaven and earth, since it gives a soul the possession of God. If by this devotion we secured the release of only soul from Purgatory or converted only one sinner in our whole lifetime, would that not be enough to induce any person who really loves his neighbour to practise this devotion?

It must be noted that our good works, passing through Mary's hands, are progressively purified. Consequently, their merit and their satisfactory and prayer value are also increased. That is why they become much more effective in relieving the souls in Purgatory and in converting sinners than if they did not pass through the virginal and liberal hands of Mary. Stripped of self-will and clothed with disinterested love, the little that we give to the Blessed Virgin is truly powerful enough to appease the anger of God and draw down his mercy. It may well be that at the hour of death a person who has been faithful to this devotion will find that he has freed many souls from Purgatory and converted many sinners, even though he performed only the ordinary actions of his state of life. Great will be his joy at the judgement. Great will be his glory throughout eternity.

8. It is a wonderful means of perseverance

173. Finally, what draws us in a sense more compellingly to take up this devotion to the most Blessed Virgin is the fact that it is a wonderful means of persevering in the practice of virtue and of remaining steadfast.

Why is it that most conversions of sinners are not lasting? Why do they relapse so easily into sin? Why is it that most of the faithful, instead of making progress in one virtue after another and so acquiring new graces, often lose the little grace and virtue they have? This misfortune arises, as I have already shown, from the fact that man, so prone to evil, so weak and changeable, trusts himself too much, relies on his own strength, and wrongly presumes he is able to safeguard his precious graces, virtues and merits.

By this devotion we entrust all we possess to Mary, the faithful Virgin. We choose her as the guardian of all our possessions in the natural and supernatural sphere. We trust her because she is faithful, we rely on her strength, we count on her mercy and charity to preserve and increase our virtues and merits in spite of the efforts of the devil, the world, and the flesh to rob us of them. We say to her as a good child would say to its mother or a faithful servant to the mistress of the house, "My dear Mother and Mistress, I realise that up to now I have received from God through your intercession more graces than I deserve. But bitter experience has taught me that I carry these riches in a very fragile vessel and that I am too weak and sinful to guard them by myself. Please accept in trust everything I possess, and in your faithfulness and power keep it for me. If you watch over me, I shall lose nothing. If you support me, I shall not fail. If you protect me, I shall be safe from my enemies."

174. This is exactly what St. Bernard clearly pointed out to encourage us to take up this devotion, "When Mary supports you, you will not fail. With her as your protector, you will have nothing to fear. With her as your guide, you will not grow weary. When you win her favour, you will reach the port of heaven." St. Bonaventure seems to say the same thing in even more explicit terms, "The Blessed Virgin," he says, "not only preserves the fullness enjoyed by the saints, but she maintains the saints in their fullness so that it does not diminish. She prevents their virtues from fading away, their merits from being wasted and their graces from being lost. She prevents the devils from doing them harm and she so influences them that her divine Son has no need to punish them when they sin."

175. Mary is the Virgin most faithful who by her fidelity to God makes good the losses caused by Eve's unfaithfulness. She obtains fidelity to God and final perseverance for those who commit themselves to her. For this reason St. John Damascene compared her to a firm anchor which holds them fast and saves them from shipwreck in the raging seas of the world where so many people perish through lack of such a firm anchor. "We fasten souls," he said, "to Mary, our hope, as to a firm anchor." It was to Mary that the saints who attained salvation most firmly anchored themselves as did others who wanted to ensure their perseverance in holiness.

Blessed, indeed, are those Christians who bind themselves faithfully and completely to her as to a secure anchor! The violent storms of the world will not make them founder or carry away their heavenly riches. Blessed are those who enter into her as into another Noah's ark! The flood waters of sin which engulf so many will not harm them because, as the Church makes Mary say in the words of divine Wisdom, "Those who work with my help - for their salvation - shall not sin." Blessed are the unfaithful children of unhappy Eve who commit themselves to Mary, the ever-faithful Virgin and Mother who never wavers in her fidelity and never goes back on her trust. She always loves those who love her, not only with deep affection, but with a love that is active and generous. By an abundant outpouring of grace she keeps them from relaxing their effort in the practice of virtue or falling by the wayside through loss of divine grace.

176. Moved by pure love, this good Mother always accepts whatever is given her in trust, and, once she accepts something, she binds herself in justice by a contract of trusteeship to keep it safe. Is not someone to whom I entrust the sum of a thousand francs obliged to keep it safe for me so that if it were lost through his negligence he would be responsible for it in strict justice? But nothing we entrust to the faithful Virgin will ever be lost through her negligence. Heaven and earth would pass away sooner than Mary would neglect or betray those who trusted in her.

177. Poor children of Mary, you are extremely weak and changeable. Your human nature is deeply impaired. It is sadly true that you have been fashioned from the same corrupted nature as the other children of Adam and Eve. But do not let that discourage you. Rejoice and be glad! Here is a secret which I am revealing to you, a secret unknown to most Christians, even the most devout.

Do not leave your gold and silver in your own safes which have already been broken into and rifled many times by the evil one. They are too small, too flimsy and too old to contain such great and priceless possessions. Do not put pure and clear water from the spring into vessels fouled and infected by sin. Even if sin is no longer there, its odour persists and the water would be contaminated. You do not put choice wine into old casks that have contained sour wine. You would spoil the good wine and run the risk of losing it.

178. Chosen souls, although you may already understand me, I shall express myself still more clearly. Do not commit the gold of your charity, the silver of your purity to a threadbare sack or a battered old chest, or the waters of heavenly grace or the wines of your merits and virtues to a tainted and fetid cask, such as you are. Otherwise you will be robbed by thieving devils who are on the look-out day and night waiting for a favourable opportunity to plunder. If you do so all those pure gifts from God will be spoiled by the unwholesome presence of self-love, inordinate self-reliance, and self-will.

Pour into the bosom and heart of Mary all your precious possessions, all your graces and virtues. She is a spiritual vessel, a vessel of honour, a singular vessel of devotion. Ever since God personally hid himself with all his perfections in this vessel, it has become completely spiritual, and the spiritual abode of all spiritual souls. It has become honourable and has been the throne of honour for the greatest saints in heaven. It has become outstanding in devotion and the home of those renowned for gentleness, grace and virtue. Moreover, it has become as rich as a house of gold, as strong as a tower of David and as pure as a tower of ivory.

179. Blessed is the man who has given everything to Mary, who at all times and in all things trusts in her, and loses himself in her. He belongs to Mary and Mary belongs to him. With David he can boldly say, "She was created for me", or with the beloved disciple, "I have taken her for my own", or with our Lord himself, "All that is mine is yours and all that is yours is mine."

180. If any critic reading this should imagine that I am exaggerating or speaking from an excess of devotion, he has not, alas, understood what I have said. Either he is a carnal man who has no taste for the spiritual; or he is a worldly man who has cut himself off from the Holy Spirit; or he is a proud and critical man who ridicules and condemns anything he does not understand. But those who are born not of blood, nor of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God and Mary, understand and appreciate what I have to say. It is for them that I am writing.

181. Nevertheless, after this digression, I say to both the critics and the devout that the Blessed Virgin, the most reliable and generous of all God's creatures, never lets herself be surpassed by anyone in love and generosity. For the little that is given to her, she gives generously of what she has received from God. Consequently, if a person gives himself to her without reserve, she gives herself also without reserve to that person provided his confidence in her is not presumptuous and he does his best to practise virtue and curb his passions.

182. So the faithful servants of the Blessed Virgin may confidently say with St. John Damascene, "If I confide in you, Mother of God, I shall be saved. Under your protection I shall fear nothing. With your help I shall rout all my enemies. For devotion to you is a weapon of salvation which God gives to those he wishes to save."

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Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
 

Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary - this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, Saint Louis De Montfort asks that we employ ourselves in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

Readings
True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #12–#38

"If you wish to comprehend the Mother," says a Saint, "comprehend the Son; for she is the worthy Mother of God."
Hic taceat omnis lingua
, “Here let every tongue be silent.”

It is with a particular joy that my heart has dictated what I have just written, in order to show that the divine Mary has been up to this time unknown, and that this is one of the reasons that Jesus Christ is not known as He ought to be. If, then, as is certain, the kingdom of Jesus Christ is to come into the world, it will be but a necessary consequence of the knowledge of the kingdom of the most holy Virgin Mary, who brought Him into the world the first time, and will make His second advent full of splendour.

With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since he alone can say, "I am he who is". Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and the manifestation of his glory. To do all things he has only to will them.

Nevertheless I say that, things being supposed as they are now, God having willed to commence and to complete His greatest works by the most holy Virgin, since He created her, we may well think He will not change His conduct in the eternal ages; for He is God, and He changes not either in His sentiments or in His conduct.

Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth by grace, as Jesus is the King of them by nature and by conquest. Now, as the kingdom of Jesus Christ consists principally in the heart and interior of a man—according to that word, “The kingdom of God is within you,”—in like manner the kingdom of our Blessed Lady is principally in the interior of a man, that is to say, his soul; and it is principally in souls that she is more glorified with her Son than in all visible creatures, and that we can call her, as the Saints do, the Queen of hearts.

Prayers
 
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Litany of Loretto
Ave Maris Stella
St. Montfort's prayer
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 11, 2018, 11:14:20 AM
The Biblical Figure of this Perfect Devotion:
Rebecca and Jacob


183. The Holy Spirit gives us in Sacred Scripture, a striking allegorical figure of all the truths I have been explaining concerning the Blessed Virgin and her children and servants. It is the story of Jacob who received the blessing of his father Isaac through the care and ingenuity of his mother Rebecca.

Here is the story as the Holy Spirit tells it. I shall expound it further later on.

The Story of Jacob

184. Several years after Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob, Rebecca, their mother, who loved Jacob tenderly, secured this blessing for him by a holy stratagem full of mystery for us.

Isaac, realising that he was getting old, wished to bless his children before he died. He summoned Esau, who was his favourite son, and told him to go hunting and bring him something to eat, in order that he might then give him his blessing. Rebecca immediately told Jacob what was happening and sent him to fetch two small goats from the flock. When Jacob gave them to his mother, she cooked them in the way Isaac liked them. Then she dressed Jacob in Esau's clothes which she had in her keeping, and covered his hands and neck with the goat-skin. The father, who was blind, although hearing the voice of Jacob, would think that it was Esau when he touched the skin on his hands.

Isaac was of course surprised at the voice which he thought was Jacob's and told him to come closer. Isaac felt the hair on the skin covering Jacob's hands and said that the voice was really like Jacob's but the hands were Esau's. After he had eaten, Isaac kissed Jacob and smelt the fragrance of his scented clothes. He blessed him and called down on him the dew of heaven and the fruitfulness of earth. He made him master of all his brothers and concluded his blessing with these words, "Cursed be those who curse you and blessed be those who bless you."

Isaac had scarcely finished speaking when Esau came in, bringing what he had caught while out hunting. He wanted his father to bless him after he had eaten. The holy patriarch was shocked when he realised what had happened. But far from retracting what he had done, he confirmed it because he clearly saw the finger of God in it all. Then, as Holy Scripture relates, Esau began to protest loudly against the treachery of his brother. He then asked his father if he had only one blessing to give. In so doing, as the early Fathers point out, Esau was the symbol of those who are too ready to imagine that there is an alliance between God and the world, because they themselves are eager to enjoy, at one and the same time, the blessings of heaven and the blessings of the earth. Isaac was touched by Esau's cries and finally blessed him only with a blessing of the earth, and he subjected him to his brother. Because of this, Esau conceived such a venomous hatred for Jacob that he could hardly wait for his father's death to kill him. And Jacob would not have escaped death if his dear mother Rebecca had not saved him by her ingenuity and her good advice.

Interpretation of the story

185. Before explaining this beautiful story, let me remind you that, according to the early Fathers and the interpreters of Holy Scripture, Jacob is the type of our Lord and of souls who are saved, and Esau is the type of souls who are condemned. We have only to examine the actions and conduct of both in order to judge each one.

(1) Esau, the elder brother, was strong and robust, clever, and skilful with the bow and very successful at hunting.

(2) He seldom stayed at home and, relying only on his own strength and skill, worked out of doors.

(3) He never went out of his way to please his mother Rebecca, and did little or nothing for her.

(4) He was such a glutton and so fond of eating that he sold his birthright for a dish of lentils.

(5) Like Cain, he was extremely jealous of his brother and persecuted him relentlessly.
186. This is the usual conduct of sinners:

(1) They rely upon their own strength and skill in temporal affairs. They are very energetic, clever and well- informed about things of this world but very dull and ignorant about things of heaven.

187. (2) And they are never or very seldom at home, in their own house, that is, in their own interior, the inner, essential abode that God has given to every man to dwell in, after his own example, for God always abides within himself. Sinners have no liking for solitude or the spiritual life or interior devotion. They consider those who live an interior life, secluded from the world, and who work more interiorly than exteriorly, as narrow-minded, bigoted and uncivilised.

188. (3) Sinners care little or nothing about devotion to Mary, the Mother of the elect. It is true that they do not really hate her. Indeed they even speak well of her sometimes. They say they love her and they practise some devotion in her honour. Nevertheless, they cannot bear to see anyone love her tenderly, for they do not have for her any of the affection of Jacob; they find fault with the honour which her good children and servants faithfully pay her to win her affection. They think this kind of devotion is not necessary for salvation, and as long as they do not go as far as hating her or openly ridiculing devotion to her they believe they have done all they need to win her good graces. Because they recite or mumble a few prayers to her without any affection and without even thinking of amending their lives, they consider they are our Lady's servants.

189. (4) Sinners sell their birthright, that is, the joys of paradise, for a dish of lentils, that is, the pleasures of this world. They laugh, they drink, they eat, they have a good time, they gamble, they dance and so forth, without taking any more trouble than Esau to make themselves worthy of their heavenly Father's blessing. Briefly, they think only of this world, love only the world, speak and act only for the world and its pleasures. For a passing moment of pleasure, for a fleeting wisp of honour, for a piece of hard earth, yellow or white, they barter away their baptismal grace, their robe of innocence and their heavenly inheritance.

190. (5) Finally, sinners continually hate and persecute the elect, openly and secretly. The elect are a burden to them. They despise them, criticise them, ridicule them, insult them, rob them, deceive them, impoverish them, hunt them down and trample them into the dust; while they themselves are making fortunes, enjoying themselves, getting good positions for themselves, enriching themselves, rising to power and living in comfort.

191. Jacob, the younger son, was of a frail constitution, gentle and peaceable and usually stayed at home to please his mother, whom he loved so much. If he did go out it was not through any personal desire of his, nor from any confidence in his own ability, but simply out of obedience to his mother.

192. He loved and honoured his mother. That is why he remained at home close to her. He was never happier than when he was in her presence. He avoided everything that might displease her, and did everything he thought would please her. This made Rebecca love him all the more.

193. He was submissive to his mother in all things. He obeyed her entirely in everything, promptly without delay and lovingly without complaint. At the least indication of her will, young Jacob hastened to comply with it. He accepted whatever she told him without questioning. For instance, when she told him to get two small goats and bring them to her so that she might prepare something for his father Isaac to eat, Jacob did not reply that one would be enough for one man, but without arguing he did exactly what she told him to do.

194. He had the utmost confidence in his mother. He did not rely on his own ability; he relied solely on his mother's care and protection. He went to her in all his needs and consulted her in all his doubts. For instance, when he asked her if his father, instead of blessing him, would curse him, he believed her and trusted her when she said she would take the curse upon herself.

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Day 27: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.

Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ
 

During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

 
Readings
True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #61–#62
JESUS CHRIST our Saviour, true God and true Man, ought to be the last end of all our other devotions, else they are false and delusive. Jesus Christ is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end of all things. We labour not, as the Apostle says, except to render every man perfect in Jesus Christ; because it is in Him alone that the whole plenitude of the Divinity dwells, together with all the other plenitudes of graces, virtues, and perfections; because it is in Him alone that we have been blessed with all spiritual benediction; and because He is our only Master, who has to teach us; our only Lord, on whom we ought to depend; our only Head, to whom we must belong; our only Model, to whom we should conform ourselves; our only Physician, who can heal us; our only Shepherd, who can feed us; our only Way, who can lead us; our only Truth, who can make us grow; our only Life, who can animate us; and our only All in all things, who can suffice us.

There has been no other name given under heaven, except the name of Jesus, by which we can be saved. God has laid no other foundation of our salvation, of our perfection, and of our glory, except Jesus Christ. Every building which is not built upon that firm rock is founded upon the moving sand, and sooner or later will fall infallibly. Every one of the faithful who is not united to Him, as a branch to the stock of the vine, shall fall, shall wither, and shall be fit only to be cast into the fire. If we are in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in us, we have no condemnation to fear. Neither the Angels of heaven, nor the men of earth, nor the devils of hell, nor any other creatures, can injure us; because they cannot separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, we can do all things; we can render all honour and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost; we can become perfect ourselves, and be to our neighbour a good odour of eternal life.

If, then, we establish the solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly the devotion to Jesus Christ, and to put forward an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ If devotion to our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil; but on the contrary, so far from this being the case, there is nothing which makes devotion to our Lady more necessary for us, as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter, than that it is the means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, and of serving Him faithfully.

Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us .
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of Glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Sun of Justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our Lover, have mercy on us .
Jesus, God of Peace, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Author of Life, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Model of Virtues, have mercy on us .
Jesus, zealous for souls, have mercy on us .
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us .
Jesus, our Refuge, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Father of the Poor, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful, have mercy on us .
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true Light, have mercy on u .
Jesus, eternal Wisdom, have mercy on us .
Jesus, infinite Goodness, have mercy on us .
Jesus, our Way and our Life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us .
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Light of Confessors, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Purity of Virgins, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Crown of all Saints, have mercy on us .

Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!

From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus .
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus .
From your wrath, deliver us, O Jesus .
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of your inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through the mystery of your holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your most divine Life, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Cross and Dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Death and Burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Glory, deliver us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!

Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, you have said, "Ask and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you"; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the grace of your most divine love, that we may love you with all our hearts, and in all our words and actions, and never cease to praise you.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of your holy name, for you never fail to govern those whom you solidly establish in your love. You, who live and reign forever and ever. R. Amen.

 

St. Louis De Montfort's Prayer to Jesus
O most loving Jesus, deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before You, for the grace You have bestowed upon me in giving me to Your holy Mother through the devotion of Holy Bondage, that she may be my advocate in the presence of Your majesty and my support in my extreme misery.

Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother I should be certainly lost. Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Your side and everywhere: that she may appease Your just wrath, because I have so often offended You; that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Your justice, which I deserve; that she may contemplate You, speak to You, pray to You, approach You and please You; that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others; in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Your holy will and seek Your greater glory in all things.

Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world the mercy that You have shown to me! Would that everyone might know I should be already damned, were it not for Mary! Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing! Mary is in me. Oh, what a treasure! Oh, what a consolation! And shall I not be entirely hers? Oh, what ingratitude! My dear Savior, send me death rather than such a calamity, for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary.

With St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her a thousand times for my own and as many times have given myself to her; but if I have not yet done it as You, dear Jesus, do wish, I now renew this offering as You desire me to renew it. And if You seest in my soul or my body anything that does not belong to this august princess, I pray You to take it and cast it far from me, for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of You.

O Holy Spirit, grant me all these graces. Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life, which is Mary; cultivate it and tend it so that it may grow and blossom and bring forth the fruit of life in abundance. O Holy Spirit, give me great devotion to Mary, Your faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her You may truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen.

 

O Jesus Living in Mary
O Jesus living in Mary,
Come and live in Thy servants,
In the spirit of Thy holiness,
In the fullness of Thy might,
In the truth of Thy virtues,
In the perfection of Thy ways,
In the communion of Thy mysteries;
Subdue every hostile power
In Thy spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 11, 2018, 11:24:26 AM
Finally, he adopted, as much as he could, the virtues he saw in his mother. It seems that one of the reasons why he spent so much time at home was to imitate his dear mother, who was so virtuous, and to keep away from evil companions - who might lead him into sin. In this way, he made himself worthy to receive the double blessing of his beloved father.

196. It is in a similar manner that God's chosen ones usually act. They stay at home with their mother - that is, they have an esteem for quietness, love the interior life, and are assiduous in prayer. They always remain in the company of the Blessed Virgin, their Mother and Model, whose glory is wholly interior and who during her whole life dearly loved seclusion and prayer. It is true, at times they do venture out into the world, but only to fulfil the duties of their state of life, in obedience to the will of God and the will of their Mother.

No matter how great their accomplishments may appear to others, they attach far more importance to what they do within themselves in their interior life, in the company of the Blessed Virgin. For there they work at the great task of perfection, compared to which all other work is mere child's play. At times their brothers and sisters are working outside with great energy, skill and success, and win the praise and approbation of the world. But they know by the light of the Holy Spirit that there is far more good, more glory and more joy in remaining hidden and recollected with our Lord, in complete and perfect submission to Mary than there is in performing by themselves marvellous works of nature and grace in the world, like so many Esaus and sinners. Glory for God and riches for men are in her house.

Lord Jesus, how lovely is your dwelling-place! The sparrow has found a house to dwell in, and the turtle-dove a nest for her little ones! How happy is the man who dwells in the house of Mary, where you were the first to dwell! Here in this home of the elect, he draws from you alone the help he needs to climb the stairway of virtue he has built in his heart to the highest possible points of perfection while in this vale of tears. "How lovely is your dwelling-place, Lord, God of hosts!"

197. The elect have a great love for our Lady and honour her truly as their Mother and Queen. They love her not merely in word but in deed. They honour her not just outwardly, but from the depths of their heart. Like Jacob, they avoid the least thing that might displease her, and eagerly do whatever they think might win her favour. Jacob brought Rebecca two young goats. They bring Mary their body and their soul, with all their faculties, symbolised by Jacob's two young goats, 1) so that she may accept them as her own; 2) that she may make them die to sin and self by divesting them of self-love, in order to please Jesus her Son, who wishes to have as friends and disciples only those who are dead to sin and self; 3) that she may clothe them according to their heavenly Father's taste and for his greater glory, which she knows better than any other creature; 4) that through her care and intercession, this body and soul of theirs, thoroughly cleansed from every stain, thoroughly dead to self, thoroughly stripped and well- prepared, may be pleasing to the heavenly Father and deserving of his blessing.

Is this not what those chosen souls do who, to prove to Jesus and Mary how effective and courageous is their love, live and esteem the perfect consecration to Jesus through Mary which we are now teaching them?

Sinners may say that they love Jesus, that they love and honour Mary, but they do not do so with their whole heart and soul. Unlike the elect, they do not love Jesus and Mary enough to consecrate them their body with its senses and their soul with its passions.

198. They are subject and obedient to our Lady, their good Mother, and here they are simply following the example set by our Lord himself, who spent thirty of the thirty-three years he lived on earth glorifying God his Father in perfect and entire submission to his holy Mother. They obey her, following her advice to the letter, just as Jacob followed that of Rebecca, when she said to him, "My son, follow my advice"; or like the stewards at the wedding in Cana, to whom our Lady said, "Do whatever he tells you."

Through obedience to his mother, Jacob received the blessing almost by a miracle, because in the natural course of events he should not have received it. As a reward for following the advice of our Lady, the stewards at the wedding in Cana were honoured with the first of our Lord's miracles when, at her request he changed water into wine. In the same way, until the end of time, all who are to receive the blessing of our heavenly Father and who are to be honoured with his wondrous graces will receive them only as a result of their perfect obedience to Mary. On the other hand, the "Esaus" will lose their blessing because of their lack of submission to the Blessed Virgin.

199. They have great confidence in the goodness and power of the Blessed Virgin, their dear Mother, and incessantly implore her help. They take her for their pole-star to lead them safely into harbour. They open their hearts to her and tell her their troubles and their needs. They rely on her mercy and kindness to obtain forgiveness for their sins through her intercession and to experience her motherly comfort in their troubles and anxieties. They even cast themselves into her virginal bosom, hide and lose themselves there in a wonderful manner. There they are filled with pure love, they are purified from the least stain of sin, and they find Jesus in all his fullness. For he reigns in Mary as if on the most glorious of thrones. What incomparable happiness! Abbot Guerric says, "Do not imagine there is more joy in dwelling in Abraham's bosom than in Mary's, for it is in her that our Lord placed his throne."

Sinners, on the other hand, put all their confidence in themselves. Like the prodigal son, they eat with the swine. Like toads they feed on earth. Like all worldlings, they love only visible and external things. They do not know the sweetness of Mary's bosom. They do not have that reliance and confidence which the elect have for the Blessed Virgin, their Mother. Deplorably they choose to satisfy their hunger elsewhere, as St. Gregory says, because they do not want to taste the sweetness already prepared within themselves and within Jesus and Mary.

200. Finally, chosen souls keep to the ways of the Blessed Virgin, their loving Mother - that is, they imitate her and so are sincerely happy and devout and bear the infallible sign of God's chosen ones. This loving Mother says to them "Happy are those who keep my ways", which means, happy are those who practise my virtues and who, with the help of God's grace, follow the path of my life. They are happy in this world because of the abundance of grace and sweetness I impart to them out of my fullness, and which they receive more abundantly than others who do not imitate me so closely. They are happy at the hour of death, which is sweet and peaceful for I am usually there myself to lead them home to everlasting joy. Finally, they will be happy for all eternity, because no servant of mine who imitated my virtues during life has ever been lost.

On the other hand, sinners are unhappy during their life, at their death, and throughout eternity, because they do not imitate the virtues of our Lady. They are satisfied with going no further than joining her confraternities, reciting a few prayers in her honour, or performing other exterior devotional exercises.

O Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother, how happy are those who faithfully keep your ways, your counsels and your commands; who never allow themselves to be led astray by a false devotion to you! But how unhappy and accursed are those who abuse devotion to you by not keeping the commandments of your Son! "They are accursed who stray from your commandments."


Services of our Lady to her faithful servants

201. Here now are the services which the Virgin Mary, as the best of all mothers, lovingly renders to those loyal servants who have given themselves entirely to her in the manner I have described and following the figurative meaning of the story of Jacob and Rebecca.

1. She loves them.

"I love those who love me." She loves them:

a) Because she is truly their Mother. What mother does not love her child, the fruit of her womb?

b) She loves them in gratitude for the active love they show to her, their beloved Mother.

c) She loves them because they are loved by God and destined for heaven. "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

d) She loves them because they have consecrated themselves entirely to her and belong to her portion, her inheritance. "In Israel receive your inheritance."
202. She loves them tenderly, more tenderly than all the mothers in the world together. Take the maternal love of all the mothers of the world for their children. Pour all that love into the heart of one mother for an only child. That mother's love would certainly be immense. Yet Mary's love for each of her children has more tenderness than the love of that mother for her child.

She loves them not only affectively but effectively, that is, her love is active and productive of good like Rebecca's love for Jacob -and even more so, for Rebecca was, after all, only a symbolic figure of Mary. Here is what this loving Mother does for her children to obtain for them the blessings of their heavenly Father:

203. 1) Like Rebecca she looks out for favourable opportunities to promote their interests, to ennoble and enrich them. She sees clearly in God all that is good and all that is evil; fortunate and unfortunate events; the blessings and condemnations of God. She arranges things in advance so as to divert evils from her servants and put them in the way of abundant blessings. If there is any special benefit to be gained in God's sight by the faithful discharge of an important work, Mary will certainly obtain this opportunity for a beloved child and servant and at the same time, give him the grace to persevere in it to the end. "She personally manages our affairs," says a saintly man.

204. 2) She gives them excellent advice, as Rebecca did to Jacob. "My son, follow my counsels." Among other things, she persuades them to bring her the two young goats, that is, their body and soul, and to confide them to her so that she can prepare them as a dish pleasing to God. She inspires them to observe whatever Jesus Christ, her Son, has taught by word and example. When she does not give these counsels herself in person, she gives them through the ministry of angels who are always pleased and honoured to go at her request to assist one of her faithful servants on earth.

205. 3) What does this good Mother do when we have presented and consecrated to her our soul and body and all that pertains to them without excepting anything? Just what Rebecca of old did to the little goats Jacob brought her. (a) She kills them, that is, makes them die to the life of the old Adam. (b) She strips them of their skin, that is, of their natural inclinations, their self-love and self-will and their every attachment to creatures. (c) She cleanses them from all stain, impurity and sin. (d) She prepares them to God's taste and to his greater glory. As she alone knows perfectly what the divine taste is and where the greatest glory of God is to be found, she alone without any fear of mistake can prepare and garnish our body and soul to satisfy that infinitely refined taste and promote that infinitely hidden glory.

206. 4) Once this good Mother has received our complete offering with our merits and satisfactions through the devotion I have been speaking about, and has stripped us of our own garments, she cleanses us and makes us worthy to appear without shame before our heavenly Father.

She clothes us in the clean, new, precious and fragrant garments of Esau, the first born, namely, her Son Jesus Christ. She keeps these garments in her house, that is to say, she has them at her disposal. For she is the treasurer and universal dispenser of the merits and virtues of Jesus her Son. She gives and distributes them to whom she pleases, when she pleases, as she pleases, and as much as she pleases, as we have said above.

She covers the neck and hands of her servants with the skins of the goats that have been killed and flayed, that is, she adorns them with the merits and worth of their own good actions. In truth, she destroys and nullifies all that is impure and imperfect in them. She preserves and enhances this good so that it adorns and strengthens their neck and hands, that is, she gives them the strength to carry the yoke of the Lord and the skill to do great things for the glory of God and the salvation of their poor brothers.

She imparts new perfume and fresh grace to those garments and adornments by adding to them the garments of her own wardrobe of merits and virtues. She bequeathed these to them before her departure for heaven, as was revealed by a holy nun of the last century, who died a holy death. Thus all her domestics, that is, all her servants and slaves, are clothed with double garments, her own and those of her Son. Now they have nothing to fear from that cold which sinners, naked and stripped as they are of the merits of Jesus and Mary, will be unable to endure.

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Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ
 

During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

 

Readings
Matthew 26:1, 26–29, 36–46
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
St. Montforts prayer to Jesus
O Jesus living in Mary
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 11, 2018, 11:26:34 AM
Finally, Mary obtains for them the heavenly Father's blessing. As they are the youngest born and adopted, they are not really entitled to it. Clad in new, precious, and sweet- smelling garments, with body and soul well-prepared and dressed, they confidently approach their heavenly Father. He hears their voice and recognises it as the voice of a sinner. He feels their hands covered with skins, inhales the aroma of their garments. He partakes with joy of what Mary, their Mother, has prepared for him, recognising in it the merits and good odour of his Son and his Blessed Mother.

a) He gives them a twofold blessing, the blessing of the dew of heaven, namely, divine grace, which is the seed of glory. "God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing," and also the blessing of the fertility of the earth, for as a provident Father, he gives them their daily bread and an ample supply of the goods of the earth.

b) He makes them masters of their other brothers, the reprobate sinners. This domination does not always show in this fleeting world, where sinners often have the upper hand. "How long shall the wicked glory, mouthing insolent reproaches?" "I have seen the wicked triumphant and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon." But the supremacy of the just is real and will be seen clearly for all eternity in the next world, where the just, as the Holy Spirit tells us, will dominate and command all peoples.

c) The God of all majesty is not satisfied with blessing them in their persons and their possessions, he blesses all who bless them and curses all who curse and persecute them.

2. She provides for all their needs

208. Our Lady's charity towards her faithful servants goes further. She provides them with everything they need for body and soul. We have just seen that she gives them double garments. She also nourishes them with the most delicious food from the banquet table of God. She gives them the Son she has borne, the Bread of Life, to be their food. "Dear children," she says in the words of divine Wisdom, "take your fill of my fruits," that is to say, of the Fruit of Life, Jesus, "whom I brought into the world for you." "Come," she repeats in another passage, "eat the bread which is Jesus. Drink the wine of his love which I have mixed" for you with the milk of my breasts.

As Mary is the treasurer and dispenser of the gifts and graces of the Most High God, she reserves a choice portion, indeed the choicest portion, to nourish and sustain her children and servants. They grow strong on the Bread of Life; they are made joyful with the wine that brings forth virgins. They are carried at her breast. They bear with ease the yoke of Christ scarcely feeling its weight because of the oil of devotion with which she has softened its wood.

3. She leads and guides them

209. A third service which our Lady renders her faithful servants is to lead and direct them according to the will of her Son. Rebecca guided her little son Jacob and gave him good advice from time to time, which helped him obtain the blessing of his father and saved him from the hatred and persecution of his brother Esau. Mary, Star of the sea, guides all her faithful servants into safe harbour. She shows them the path to eternal life and helps them avoid dangerous pitfalls. She leads them by the hand along the path of holiness, steadies them when they are liable to fall and helps them rise when they have fallen. She chides them like a loving mother when they are remiss and sometimes she even lovingly chastises them. How could a child that follows such a mother and such an enlightened guide as Mary take the wrong path to heaven? Follow her and you cannot go wrong, says St. Bernard. There is no danger of a true child of Mary being led astray by the devil and falling into heresy. Where Mary leads, Satan with his deceptions and heretics with their subtleties are not encountered. "When she upholds you, you will not fall."

4. She defends and protects them

210. The fourth good office our Lady performs for her children and faithful servants is to defend and protect them against their enemies. By her care and ingenuity Rebecca delivered Jacob from all dangers that beset him and particularly from dying at the hands of his brother, as he apparently would have done, since Esau hated and envied him just as Cain hated his brother Abel.

Mary, the beloved Mother of chosen souls, shelters them under her protecting wings as a hen does her chicks. She speaks to them, coming down to their level and accommodating herself to all their weaknesses. To ensure their safety from the hawk and vulture, she becomes their escort, surrounding them as an army in battle array. Could anyone surrounded by a well-ordered army of say a hundred thousand men fear his enemies? No, and still less would a faithful servant of Mary, protected on all sides by her imperial forces, fear his enemy. This powerful Queen of heaven would sooner despatch millions of angels to help one of her servants than have it said that a single faithful and trusting servant of hers had fallen victim to the malice, number and power of his enemies.

5. She intercedes for them

211. Finally, the fifth and greatest service which this loving Mother renders her faithful followers is to intercede for them with her Son. She appeases him with her prayers, brings her servants into closer union with him and maintains that union.

Rebecca made Jacob approach the bed of his father. His father touched him, embraced him and even joyfully kissed him after having satisfied his hunger with the well-prepared dishes which Jacob had brought him. Then inhaling most joyfully the exquisite perfume of his garments, he cried: "Behold the fragrance of my son is as the fragrance of a field of plenty which the Lord has blessed." The fragrance of this rich field which so captivated the heart of the father, is none other than the fragrance of the merits and virtues of Mary who is the plentiful field of grace in which God the Father has sown the grain of wheat of the elect, his only Son.

How welcome to Jesus Christ, the Father of the world to come, is a child perfumed with the fragrance of Mary! How readily and how intimately does he unite himself to that child! But this we have already shown at length.

212. Furthermore, once Mary has heaped her favours upon her children and her faithful servants and has secured for them the blessing of the heavenly Father and union with Jesus Christ, she keeps them in Jesus and keeps Jesus in them. She guards them, watching over them unceasingly, lest they lose the grace of God and fall into the snares of their enemies. "She keeps the saints in their fullness" (St. Bonaventure), and inspires them to persevere to the end, as we have already said.

Such is the explanation given to this ancient allegory which typifies the mystery of predestination and reprobation.

Wonderful Effects of This Devotion

213. My dear friend, be sure that if you remain faithful to the interior and exterior practices of this devotion which I will point out, the following effects will be produced in your soul:

1. Knowledge of our unworthiness

By the light which the Holy Spirit will give you through Mary, his faithful spouse, you will perceive the evil inclinations of your fallen nature and how incapable you are of any good apart from that which God produces in you as Author of nature and of grace. As a consequence of this knowledge you will despise yourself and think of yourself only as an object of repugnance. You will consider yourself as a snail that soils everything with its slime, as a toad that poisons everything with its venom, as a malevolent serpent seeking only to deceive. Finally, the humble Virgin Mary will share her humility with you so that, although you regard yourself with distaste and desire to be disregarded by others, you will not look down slightingly upon anyone.

2. A share in Mary's faith

214. Mary will share her faith with you. Her faith on earth was stronger than that of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and saints. Now that she is reigning in heaven she no longer has this faith, since she sees everything clearly in God by the light of glory. However, with the consent of almighty God she did not lose it when entering heaven. She has preserved it for her faithful servants in the Church militant. Therefore the more you gain the friendship of this noble Queen and faithful Virgin the more you will be inspired by faith in your daily life. It will cause you to depend less upon sensible and extraordinary feelings. For it is a lively faith animated by love enabling you to do everything from no other motive than that of pure love. It is a firm faith, unshakeable as a rock, prompting you to remain firm and steadfast in the midst of storms and tempests. It is an active and probing faith which like some mysterious pass-key admits you into the mysteries of Jesus Christ and of man's final destiny and into the very heart of God himself. It is a courageous faith which inspires you to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for God and the salvation of souls. Lastly, this faith will be your flaming torch, your very life with God, your secret fund of divine Wisdom, and an all-powerful weapon for you to enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. It inflames those who are lukewarm and need the gold of fervent love. It restores life to those who are dead through sin. It moves and transforms hearts of marble and cedars of Lebanon by gentle and convincing argument. Finally, this faith will strengthen you to resist the devil and the other enemies of salvation.

3. The gift of pure love

215. The Mother of fair love will rid your heart of all scruples and inordinate servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to obey the commandments of her Son with alacrity and with the holy freedom of the children of God. She will fill your heart with pure love of which she is the treasury. You will then cease to act as you did before, out of fear of the God who is love, but rather out of pure love. You will look upon him as a loving Father and endeavour to please him at all times. You will speak trustfully to him as a child does to its father. If you should have the misfortune to offend him you will abase yourself before him and humbly beg his pardon. You will offer your hand to him with simplicity and lovingly rise from your sin. Then, peaceful and relaxed and buoyed up with hope you will continue on your way to him.

4. Great confidence in God and in Mary

216. Our Blessed Lady will fill you with unbounded confidence in God and in herself:
1) Because you will no longer approach Jesus by yourself but always through Mary, your loving Mother.

2) Since you have given her all your merits, graces and satisfactions to dispose of as she pleases, she imparts to you her own virtues and clothes you in her own merits. So you will be able to say confidently to God: "Behold Mary, your handmaid, be it done unto me according to your word."

3) Since you have now given yourself completely to Mary, body and soul, she, who is generous to the generous, and more generous than even the kindest benefactor, will in return give herself to you in a marvellous but real manner. Indeed you may without hesitation say to her, "I am yours, O Blessed Virgin, obtain salvation for me," or with the beloved disciple, St. John, "I have taken you, Blessed Mother, for my all." Or again you may say with St. Bonaventure, "Dear Mother of saving grace, I will do everything with confidence and without fear because you are my strength and my boast in the Lord," or in another place, "I am all yours and all that I have is yours, O glorious Virgin, blessed above all created things. Let me place you as a seal upon my heart, for your love is as strong as death." Or adopting the sentiments of the prophet, "Lord, my heart has no reason to be exalted nor should my looks be proud; I have not sought things of great moment nor wonders beyond my reach; nevertheless, I am still not humble. But I have roused my soul and taken courage. I am as a child, weaned from earthly pleasures and resting on its mother's breast. It is upon this breast that all good things come to me."

4) What will still further increase your confidence in her is that, after having given her in trust all that you possess to use or keep as she pleases, you will place less trust in yourself and much more in her whom you have made your treasury. How comforting and how consoling when a person can say, "The treasury of God, where he has placed all that he holds most precious, is also my treasury." "She is," says a saintly man, "the treasury of the Lord."
5. Communication of the spirit of Mary

217. The soul of Mary will be communicated to you to glorify the Lord. Her spirit will take the place of yours to rejoice in God, her Saviour, but only if you are faithful to the practices of this devotion. As St. Ambrose says, "May the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the Lord! May the spirit of Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God!" "When will that happy day come," asks a saintly man of our own day whose life was completely wrapped up in Mary, "when God's Mother is enthroned in men's hearts as Queen, subjecting them to the dominion of her great and princely Son? When will souls breathe Mary as the body breathes air?" When that time comes wonderful things will happen on earth. The Holy Spirit, finding his dear Spouse present again in souls, will come down into them with great power. He will fill them with his gifts, especially wisdom, by which they will produce wonders of grace. My dear friend, when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorifying Jesus? That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is understood and put into practice. Ut adveniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum Mariae: "Lord, that your kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come!"

6. Transformation into the likeness of Jesus

218. If Mary, the Tree of Life, is well cultivated in our soul by fidelity to this devotion, she will in due time bring forth her fruit which is none other than Jesus. I have seen many devout souls searching for Jesus in one way or another, and so often when they have worked hard throughout the night, all they can say is, "Despite our having worked all night, we have caught nothing." To them we can say, "You have worked hard and gained little; Jesus can only be recognised faintly in you." But if we follow the immaculate path of Mary, living the devotion that I teach, we will always work in daylight, we will work in a holy place, and we will work but little. There is no darkness in Mary, not even the slightest shadow since there was never any sin in her. She is a holy place, a holy of holies, in which saints are formed and moulded.

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Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ

During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

Readings
Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 1

Imitating Christ and Despising All Vanities on Earth
He who follows Me, walks not in darkness," says the Lord. John 8:12. By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?

Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone. This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world.

Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
St. Montfort's prayer to Jesus
O Jesus living in Mary.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 12, 2018, 06:55:40 AM
219. Please note that I say that saints are moulded in Mary. There is a vast difference between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by using a mould. Sculptors and statue-makers work hard and need plenty of time to make statues by the first method. But the second method does not involve much work and takes very little time. St. Augustine speaking to our Blessed Lady says, "You are worthy to be called the mould of God." Mary is a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mould that fashioned a God-man.

220. I think I can very well compare some spiritual directors and devout persons to sculptors who wish to produce Jesus in themselves and in others by methods other than this. Many of them rely on their own skill, ingenuity and art and chip away endlessly with mallet and chisel at hard stone or badly- prepared wood, in an effort to produce a likeness of our Lord. At times, they do not manage to produce a recognisable likeness either because they lack knowledge and experience of the person of Jesus or because a clumsy stroke has spoiled the whole work. But those who accept this little-known secret of grace which I offer them can rightly be compared to smelters and moulders who have discovered the beautiful mould of Mary where Jesus was so divinely and so naturally formed. They do not rely on their own skill but on the perfection of the mould. They cast and lose themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.

221. You may think this a beautiful and convincing comparison. But how many understand it? I would like you, my dear friend, to understand it. But remember that only molten and liquefied substances may be poured into a mould. That means that you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you if you wish to acquire the likeness of the new Adam in Mary.

7. The greater glory of Christ

222. If you live this devotion sincerely, you will give more glory to Jesus in a month than in many years of a more demanding devotion. Here are my reasons for saying this:

1) Since you do everything through the Blessed Virgin as required by this devotion, you naturally lay aside your own intentions no matter how good they appear to you. You abandon yourself to our Lady's intentions even though you do not know what they are. Thus you share in the high quality of her intentions, which are so pure that she gave more glory to God by the smallest of her actions, say, twirling her distaff, or making a stitch, than did St. Laurence suffering his cruel martyrdom on the grid-iron, and even more than all the saints together in all their most heroic deeds! Mary amassed such a multitude of merits and graces during her sojourn on earth that it would be easier to count the stars in heaven, the drops of water in the ocean or the sands of the sea-shore than count her merits and graces. She thus gave more glory to God than all the angels and saints have given or will ever give him. Mary, wonder of God, when souls abandon themselves to you, you cannot but work wonders in them!

223. 2) In this devotion we set no store on our own thoughts and actions but are content to rely on Mary's dispositions when approaching and even speaking to Jesus. We then act with far greater humility than others who imperceptibly rely on their own dispositions and are self-satisfied about them; and consequently we give greater glory to God, for perfect glory is given to him only by the lowly and humble of heart.

224. 3) Our Blessed Lady, in her immense love for us, is eager to receive into her virginal hands the gift of our actions, imparting to them a marvellous beauty and splendour, and presenting them herself to Jesus most willingly. More glory is given to our Lord in this way than when we make our offering with our own guilty hands.

225. 4) Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise or honour Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honouring God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to him.

She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary" she says "God". When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, "My soul glorifies the Lord." What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honour her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honoured and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary.

Particular Practices of This Devotion

1. Exterior Practices


226. Although this devotion is essentially an interior one, this does not prevent it from having exterior practices which should not be neglected. "These must be done but those not omitted." If properly performed, exterior acts help to foster interior ones. Man is always guided by his senses and such practices remind him of what he has done or should do. Let no worldling or critic intervene to assert that true devotion is essentially in the heart and therefore externals should be avoided as inspiring vanity, or that real devotion should be hidden and private. I answer in the words of our Lord, "Let men see your good works that they may glorify your Father who is in heaven." As St. Gregory says, this does not mean that they should perform external actions to please men or seek praise; that certainly would be vanity. It simply means that we do these things before men only to please and glorify God without worrying about either the contempt or the approval of men.

I shall briefly mention some practices which I call exterior, not because they are performed without inner attention but because they have an exterior element as distinct from those which are purely interior.

1. Preparation and Consecration

227. Those who desire to take up this special devotion, (which has not been erected into a confraternity, although this would be desirable), should spend at least twelve days in emptying themselves of the spirit of the world, which is opposed to the spirit of Jesus, as I have recommended in the first part of this preparation for the reign of Jesus Christ. They should then spend three weeks imbuing themselves with the spirit of Jesus through the most Blessed Virgin. Here is a programme they might follow:

228. During the first week they should offer up all their prayers and acts of devotion to acquire knowledge of themselves and sorrow for their sins.

Let them perform all their actions in a spirit of humility. With this end in view they may, if they wish, meditate on what I have said concerning our corrupted nature, and consider themselves during six days of the week as nothing but sails, slugs, toads, swine, snakes and goats. Or else they may meditate on the following three considerations of St. Bernard: "Remember what you were - corrupted seed; what you are - a body destined for decay; what you will be -food for worms."

They will ask our Lord and the Holy Spirit to enlighten them saying, "Lord, that I may see," or "Lord, let me know myself," or the "Come, Holy Spirit". Every day they should say the Litany of the Holy Spirit, with the prayer that follows, as indicated in the first part of this work. They will turn to our Blessed Lady and beg her to obtain for them that great grace which is the foundation of all others, the grace of self-knowledge. For this intention they will say each day the Ave Maris Stella and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.

229. Each day of the second week they should endeavour in all their prayers and works to acquire an understanding of the Blessed Virgin and ask the Holy Spirit for this grace. They may read and meditate upon what we have already said about her. They should recite daily the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Ave Maris Stella as during the first week. In addition they will say at least five decades of the Rosary for greater understanding of Mary.

230. During the third week they should seek to understand Jesus Christ better. They may read and meditate on what we have already said about him. They may say the prayer of St. Augustine which they will find at the beginning of the second part of this book. Again with St. Augustine, they may pray repeatedly, "Lord, that I may know you," or "Lord, that I may see." As during the previous week, they should recite the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Ave Maris Stella, adding every day the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus.

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Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ
 

During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

 

Readings
Matthew 27:36–44
The Crucifixion of Jesus
And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
St. Montfort's prayer to Jesus
O Jesus living in Mary
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 12, 2018, 07:06:12 AM
231. At the end of these three weeks they should go to confession and Holy Communion with the intention of consecrating themselves to Jesus through Mary as slaves of love. When receiving Holy Communion they could follow the method given later on. They then recite the act of consecration which is given at the end of this book. If they do not have a printed copy of the act, they should write it out or have it copied and then sign it on the very day they make it.

232. It would be very becoming if on that day they offered some tribute to Jesus and his Mother, either as a penance for past unfaithfulness to the promises made in baptism or as a sign of their submission to the sovereignty of Jesus and Mary. Such a tribute would be in accordance with each one's ability and fervour and may take the form of fasting, an act of self- denial, the gift of an alms or the offering of a votive candle. If they gave only a pin as a token of their homage, provided it were given with a good heart, it would satisfy Jesus who considers only the good intention.

233. Every year at least, on the same date, they should renew the consecration following the same exercises for three weeks. They might also renew it every month or even every day by saying this short prayer: "I am all thine and all I have is thine, O dear Jesus, through Mary, Thy holy Mother."

2. The Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin

234. If it is not too inconvenient, they should recite every day of their lives the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, which is composed of three Our Fathers and twelve Hail Marys in honour of the twelve glorious privileges of Mary. This prayer is very old and is based on Holy Scripture. St. John saw in a vision a woman crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun and standing upon the moon. According to biblical commentators, this woman is the Blessed Virgin.

235. There are several ways of saying the Little Crown but it would take too long to explain them here. The Holy Spirit will teach them to those who live this devotion conscientiously. However, here is a simple way to recite it. As an introduction say:" Virgin most holy, accept my praise; give me strength to fight your foes", then say the Creed. Next, say the following sequence of prayers three times: one Our Father, four Hail Marys and one Glory be to the Father. In conclusion say the prayer Sub tuum - "We fly to thy patronage".

3. The Wearing of Little Chains

236. It is very praiseworthy and helpful for those who have become slaves of Jesus in Mary to wear, in token of their slavery of love, a little chain blessed with a special blessing.

It is perfectly true, these external tokens are not essential and may very well be dispensed with by those who have made this consecration. Nevertheless, I cannot help but give the warmest approval to those who wear them. They show they have shaken off the shameful chains of the slavery of the devil, in which original sin and perhaps actual sin had bound them, and have willingly taken upon themselves the glorious slavery of Jesus Christ. Like St. Paul, they glory in the chains they wear for Christ. For though these chains are made only of iron they are far more glorious and precious than all the gold ornaments worn by monarchs.

237. At one time, nothing was considered more contemptible than the Cross. Now this sacred wood has become the most glorious symbol of the Christian faith. Similarly, nothing was more ignoble in the sight of the ancients, and even today nothing is more degrading among unbelievers than the chains of Jesus Christ. But among Christians nothing is more glorious than these chains, because by them Christians are liberated and kept free from the ignoble shackles of sin and the devil. Thus set free, we are bound to Jesus and Mary not by compulsion and force like galley-slaves, but by charity and love as children are to their parents. "I shall draw them to me by chains of love" said God Most High speaking through the prophet. Consequently, these chains are as strong as death, and in a way stronger than death, for those who wear them faithfully till the end of their life. For though death destroys and corrupts their body, it will not destroy the chains of their slavery, since these, being of metal, will not easily corrupt. It may be that on the day of their resurrection, that momentous day of final judgement, these chains, still clinging to their bones, will contribute to their glorification and be transformed into chains of light and splendour. Happy then, a thousand times happy, are the illustrious slaves of Jesus in Mary who bear their chains even to the grave.

238. Here are the reasons for wearing these chains:

a) They remind a Christian of the promises of his baptism and the perfect renewal of these commitments made in his consecration. They remind him of his strict obligation to adhere faithfully to them. A man's actions are prompted more frequently by his senses than by pure faith and so he can easily forget his duties towards God if he has no external reminder of them. These little chains are a wonderful aid in recalling the bonds of sin and the slavery of the devil from which baptism has freed him. At the same time, they remind him of the dependence on Jesus promised at baptism and ratified when by consecration he renewed these promises. Why is it that so many Christians do not think of their baptismal vows and behave with as much licence as unbelievers who have promised nothing to God? One explanation is that they do not wear external sign to remind them of these vows.

239. b) These chains prove they are not ashamed of being the servants and slaves of Jesus and that they reject the deadly bondage of the world, of sin and of the devil.

c) They are a guarantee and protection against enslavement by sin and the devil. For we must of necessity choose to wear either the chains of sin and damnation or the chains of love and salvation.

240. Dear friend, break the chains of sin and of sinners, of the world and the worldly, of the devil and his satellites. "Cast their yoke of death far from us." To use the words of the Holy Spirit, let us put our feet into his glorious shackles and our neck into his chains. Let us bow down our shoulders in submission to the yoke of Wisdom incarnate, Jesus Christ, and let us not be upset by the burden of his chains. Notice how before saying these words the Holy Spirit prepares us to accept his serious advice, "Hearken, my son," he says, "receive a counsel of understanding and do not spurn this counsel of mine."

241. Allow me here, my dear friend, to join the Holy Spirit in giving you the same counsel, "These chains are the chains of salvation". As our Lord on the cross draws all men to himself, whether they will it or not, he will draw sinners by the fetters of their sins and submit them like galley-slaves and devils to his eternal anger and avenging justice. But he will draw the just, especially in these latter days, by the chains of love.

242. These loving slaves of Christ may wear their chains around the neck, on their arms, round the waist or round the ankles. Fr. Vincent Caraffa, seventh General of the Society of Jesus, who died a holy death in 1643, carried an iron band round his ankles as a symbol of his holy servitude and he used to say that his greatest regret was that he could not drag a chain around in public. Mother Agnes of Jesus, of whom we have already spoken, wore a chain around her waist. Others have worn it round the neck, in atonement for the pearl necklaces they wore in the world. Others have worn chains round their arms to remind them, as they worked with their hands, that they are the slaves of Jesus.

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Day 31: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ
 
During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

Readings
Imitation of Christ: Book 4, Chapter 2
God's Great Goodness and Love is Shown to Man in This Sacrament
 

Trusting in Your goodness and great mercy, O Lord, I come as one sick to the Healer, as one hungry and thirsty to the Fountain of life, as one in need to the King of heaven, a servant to his Lord, a creature to his Creator, a soul in desolation to my gentle Comforter.

But whence is this to me, that You should come to me? Who am I that You should offer Yourself to me? How dares the sinner to appear in Your presence, and You, how do You condescend to come to the sinner? You know Your servant, and You know that he has nothing good in him that You should grant him this. I confess, therefore, my unworthiness. I acknowledge Your goodness. I praise Your mercy, and give thanks for Your immense love.

Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
St. Montfort's prayer to Jesus
O Jesus living in Mary
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 12, 2018, 07:10:39 AM
Honouring the mystery of the Incarnation

243. Loving slaves of Jesus in Mary should hold in high esteem devotion to Jesus, the Word of God, in the great mystery of the Incarnation, March 25th, which is the mystery proper to this devotion, because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit for the following reasons:

a) That we might honour and imitate the wondrous dependence which God the Son chose to have on Mary, for the glory of his Father and for the redemption of man. This dependence is revealed especially in this mystery where Jesus becomes a captive and slave in the womb of his Blessed Mother, depending on her for everything.

b) That we might thank God for the incomparable graces he has conferred upon Mary and especially that of choosing her to be his most worthy Mother. This choice was made in the mystery of the Incarnation. These are the two principal ends of the slavery of Jesus in Mary.

244. Please note that I usually say "slave of Jesus in Mary", "slavery of Jesus in Mary". We might indeed say, as some have already been saying, "slave of Mary", "slavery of Mary". But I think it preferable to say, "slave of Jesus in Mary". This is the opinion of Fr. Tronson, Superior General of the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, a man renowned for his exceptional prudence and remarkable holiness. He gave this advice when consulted upon this subject by a priest.

Here are the reasons for it:

245. a) Since we live in an age of pride when a great number of haughty scholars, with proud and critical minds, find fault even with long-established and sound devotions, it is better to speak of "slavery of Jesus in Mary" and to call oneself "slave of Jesus" rather than "slave of Mary". We then avoid giving any pretext for criticism. In this way, we name this devotion after its ultimate end which is Jesus, rather than after the way and the means to arrive there, which is Mary. However, we can very well use either term without any scruple, as I myself do. If a man goes from Orléans to Tours, by way of Amboise, he can quite truthfully say that he is going to Amboise and equally truthfully say that he is going to Tours. The only difference is that Amboise is simply a place on the direct road to Tours, and Tours alone is his final destination.

246. b) Since the principal mystery celebrated and honoured in this devotion is the mystery of the Incarnation where we find Jesus only in Mary, having become incarnate in her womb, it is appropriate for us to say, "slavery of Jesus in Mary", of Jesus dwelling enthroned in Mary, according to the beautiful prayer, recited by so many great souls, "O Jesus living in Mary".

247. c) These expressions show more clearly the intimate union existing between Jesus and Mary. So closely are they united that one is wholly the other. Jesus is all in Mary and Mary is all in Jesus. Or rather, it is no longer she who lives, but Jesus alone who lives in her. It would be easier to separate light from the sun than Mary from Jesus. So united are they that our Lord may be called, "Jesus of Mary", and his Mother "Mary of Jesus".

248. Time does not permit me to linger here and elaborate on the perfections and wonders of the mystery of Jesus living and reigning in Mary, or the Incarnation of the Word. I shall confine myself to the following brief remarks. The Incarnation is the first mystery of Jesus Christ; it is the most hidden; and it is the most exalted and the least known.

It was in this mystery that Jesus, in the womb of Mary and with her co-operation, chose all the elect. For this reason the saints called her womb, the throne-room of God's mysteries.

It was in this mystery that Jesus anticipated all subsequent mysteries of his life by his willing acceptance of them. Consequently, this mystery is a summary of all his mysteries since it contains the intention and the grace of them all.

Lastly, this mystery is the seat of the mercy, the liberality, and the glory of God. It is the seat of his mercy for us, since we can approach and speak to Jesus through Mary. We need her intervention to see or speak to him. Here, ever responsive to the prayer of his Mother, Jesus unfailingly grants grace and mercy to all poor sinners. "Let us come boldly before the throne of grace."

It is the seat of liberality for Mary, because while the new Adam dwelt in this truly earthly paradise God performed there so many hidden marvels beyond the understanding of men and angels. For this reason, the saints call Mary "the magnificence of God", as if God showed his magnificence only in Mary.

It is the seat of glory for his Father, because it was in Mary that Jesus perfectly atoned to his Father on behalf of mankind. It was here that he perfectly restored the glory that sin had taken from his Father. It was here again that our Lord, by the sacrifice of himself and of his will, gave more glory to God than he would have given had he offered all the sacrifices of the Old Law. Finally, in Mary he gave his Father infinite glory, such as his Father had never received from man.

5. Saying the Hail Mary and the Rosary

249. Those who accept this devotion should have a great love for the Hail Mary, or, as it is called, the Angelic Salutation.

Few Christians, however enlightened, understand the value, merit, excellence and necessity of the Hail Mary. Our Blessed Lady herself had to appear on several occasions to men of great holiness and insight, such as St. Dominic, St. John Capistran and Blessed Alan de Rupe, to convince them of the richness of this prayer.

They composed whole books on the wonders it had worked and its efficacy in converting sinners. They earnestly proclaimed and publicly preached that just as the salvation of the world began with the Hail Mary, so the salvation of each individual is bound up with it. This prayer, they said, brought to a dry and barren world the Fruit of Life, and if well said, will cause the Word of God to take root in the soul and bring forth Jesus, the Fruit of Life. They also tell us that the Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which waters the earth of our soul and makes it bear fruit in due season. The soul which is not watered by this heavenly dew bears no fruit but only thorns and briars, and merits only God's condemnation.

250. Here is what our Blessed Lady revealed to Blessed Alan de Rupe as recorded in his book, The Dignity of the Rosary, and as told again by Cartagena: "Know, my son, and make it known to all, that lukewarmness or negligence in saying the Hail Mary, or a distaste for it, is a probable and proximate sign of eternal damnation, for by this prayer the whole world was restored."

These are terrible words but at the same time they are consoling. We should find it hard to believe them, were we not assured of their truth by Blessed Alan and by St. Dominic before him, and by so many great men since his time. The experience of many centuries is there to prove it, for it has always been common knowledge that those who bear the sign of reprobation, as all formal heretics, evil-doers, the proud and the worldly, hate and spurn the Hail Mary and the Rosary. True, heretics learn to say the Our Father but they will not countenance the Hail Mary and the Rosary and they would rather carry a snake around with them than a rosary. And there are even Catholics who, sharing the proud tendencies of their father Lucifer, despise the Hail Mary or look upon it with indifference. The Rosary, they say, is a devotion suitable only for ignorant and illiterate people.

On the other hand, we know from experience that those who show positive signs of being among the elect, appreciate and love the Hail Mary and are always glad to say it. The closer they are to God, the more they love this prayer, as our Blessed Lady went on to tell Blessed Alan.

251. I do not know how this should be, but it is perfectly true; and I know no surer way of discovering whether a person belongs to God than by finding out if he loves the Hail Mary and the Rosary. I say, "if he loves", for it can happen that a person for some reason may be unable to say the Rosary, but this does not prevent him from loving it and inspiring others to say it.

252. Chosen souls, slaves of Jesus in Mary, understand that after the Our Father, the Hail Mary is the most beautiful of all prayers. It is the perfect compliment the most High God paid to Mary through his archangel in order to win her heart. So powerful was the effect of this greeting upon her, on account of its hidden delights, that despite her great humility, she gave her consent to the incarnation of the Word. If you say the Hail Mary properly, this compliment will infallibly earn you Mary's good will.

253. When the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention, devotion and humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan, putting him to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him, a source of holiness for souls, a joy to the angels and a sweet melody for the devout. It is the Canticle of the New Testament, a delight for Mary and glory for the most Blessed Trinity. The Hail Mary is dew falling from heaven to make the soul fruitful. It is a pure kiss of love we give to Mary. It is a crimson rose, a precious pearl that we offer to her. It is a cup of ambrosia, a divine nectar that we offer her. These are comparisons made by the saints.

254. I earnestly beg of you, then, by the love I bear you in Jesus and Mary, not to be content with saying the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, but say the Rosary too, and if time permits, all its fifteen decades, every day. Then when death draws near, you will bless the day and hour when you took to heart what I told you, for having sown the blessings of Jesus and Mary, you will reap the eternal blessings in heaven.

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Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ
 

During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

 

Readings
Imitation of Christ: Book 2, Chapter 7
Loving Jesus Above All Things
 


Blessed is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things.

Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant, but the love of Jesus is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty, but he who gives himself to Jesus will ever be strengthened.

Love Him, then; keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to the glory of Him who alone can help you when all others fail.

Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another -- He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you.

 

True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #257–#260
There are some very sanctifying interior practices for those souls who feel called by the Holy Spirit to a high degree of perfection. They may be expressed in four words, doing everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary, in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus.

Through Mary
 

We must do everything through Mary, that is, we must obey her always and be led in all things by her spirit, which is the Holy Spirit of God. "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God," says St. Paul. Those who are led by the spirit of Mary are children of Mary, and, consequently children of God, as we have already shown. Among the many servants of Mary only those who are truly and faithfully devoted to her are led by her spirit.

I have said that the spirit of Mary is the spirit of God because she was never led by her own spirit, but always by the spirit of God, who made himself master of her to such an extent that he became her very spirit. That is why St. Ambrose says, "May the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the Lord. May the spirit of Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God." Happy is the man who follows the example of the good Jesuit Brother Rodriguez, who died a holy death, because he will be completely possessed and governed by the spirit of Mary, a spirit which is gentle yet strong, zealous yet prudent, humble yet courageous, pure yet fruitful.

With Mary
 

We must do our actions with Mary; that is to say, we must in all our actions regard Mary as an accomplished model of every virtue and perfection which the Holy Ghost has formed in a pure creature, for us to imitate according to our little measure. We must therefore in every action consider how Mary has done it, or how she would have done it, had she been in our place. For that end we must examine and meditate the great virtues which she practised during her life, and particularly, first of all, her lively faith, by which she believed without hesitation the Angel’s word, and believed it faithfully and constantly up to the foot of the Cross; Secondly, her profound humility, which made her hide herself, hold her peace, submit to everything, and put herself the last of all; and Thirdly, her altogether divine purity, which never has had, and never can have, its equal under heaven; and so on with all her other virtues.
 
Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litamy of the Holy Name of Jesus
St. Montforts prayer to Jesus
O Jesus living in Mary.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 16, 2018, 01:34:35 AM
Praying the Magnificat

255. To thank God for the graces he has given to our Lady, her consecrated ones will frequently say the Magnificat, following the example of Blessed Marie d'Oignies and several other saints. The Magnificat is the only prayer we have which was composed by our Lady, or rather, composed by Jesus in her, for it was he who spoke through her lips. It is the greatest offering of praise that God ever received under the law of grace. On the one hand, it is the most humble hymn of thanksgiving and, on the other, it is the most sublime and exalted. Contained in it are mysteries so great and so hidden that even the angels do not understand them.

Gerson, a pious and learned scholar, spent the greater part of his life writing tracts full of erudition and love on the most profound subjects. Even so, it was with apprehension that he undertook towards the end of his life to write a commentary on the Magnificat which was the crowning point of all his works. In a large volume on the subject he says many wonderful things about this beautiful and divine canticle. Among other things he tells us that Mary herself frequently recited it, especially at thanksgiving after Holy Communion. The learned Benzonius, in his commentary on the Magnificat, cites several miracles worked through the power of this prayer. The devils, he declare, take to flight when they hear these words, "He puts forth his arm in strength and scatters the proud-hearted".

7. Contempt of the world

256. Mary's faithful servants despise this corrupted world. They should hate and shun its allurements, and follow the exercises of the contempt of the world which we have given in the first part of this treatise.

2. Special interior practices for those who wish to be perfect

257. The exterior practices of this devotion which I have just dealt with should be observed as far as one's circumstances and state of life permit. They should not be omitted through negligence or deliberate disregard. In addition to them, here are some very sanctifying interior practices for those souls who feel called by the Holy Spirit to a high degree of perfection. They may be expressed in four words, doing everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary, in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus.

Through Mary

258. We must do everything through Mary, that is, we must obey her always and be led in all things by her spirit, which is the Holy Spirit of God. "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God," says St. Paul. Those who are led by the spirit of Mary are children of Mary, and, consequently children of God, as we have already shown. Among the many servants of Mary only those who are truly and faithfully devoted to her are led by her spirit.

I have said that the spirit of Mary is the spirit of God because she was never led by her own spirit,, but always by the spirit of God, who made himself master of her to such an extent that he became her very spirit. That is why St. Ambrose says, "May the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the Lord. May the spirit of Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God." Happy is the man who follows the example of the good Jesuit Brother Rodriguez, who died a holy death, because he will be completely possessed and governed by the spirit of Mary, a spirit which is gentle yet strong, zealous yet prudent, humble yet courageous, pure yet fruitful.

259. The person who wishes to be led by this spirit of Mary:

1) Should renounce his own spirit, his own views and his own will before doing anything, for example, before making meditation, celebrating or attending Mass, before Communion. For the darkness of our own spirit and the evil tendencies of our own will and actions, good as they may seem to us, would hinder the holy spirit of Mary were we to follow them.

2) We should give ourselves up to the spirit of Mary to be moved and directed as she wishes. We should place and leave ourselves in her virginal hands, like a tool in the hands of a craftsman or a lute in the hands of a good musician. We should cast ourselves into her like a stone thrown into the sea. This is done easily and quickly by a mere thought, a slight movement of the will or just a few words as, "I renounce myself and give myself to you, my dear Mother." And even if we do not experience any emotional fervour in this spiritual encounter it is none the less real. It is just as if a person with equal sincerity were to say - which God forbid! - "I give myself to the devil." Even though this were said without feeling any emotion, he would no less really belong to the devil.

3) From time to time during an action and after it, we should renew this same act of offering and of union. The more we do so, the quicker we shall grow in holiness and the sooner we shall reach union with Christ, which necessarily follows upon union with Mary, since the spirit of Mary is the spirit of Jesus.
With Mary

260. We must do everything with Mary, that is to say, in all our actions we must look upon Mary, although a simple human being, as the perfect model of every virtue and perfection, fashioned by the Holy Spirit for us to imitate, as far as our limited capacity allows. In every action then we should consider how Mary performed it or how she would perform it if she were in our place. For this reason, we must examine and meditate on the great virtues she practised during her life, especially:

1) Her lively faith, by which she believed the angel's word without the least hesitation, and believed faithfully and constantly even to the foot of the Cross on Calvary.

2) Her deep humility, which made her prefer seclusion, maintain silence, submit to every eventuality and put herself in the last place.

3) Her truly divine purity, which never had and never will have its equal on this side of heaven.
And so on for her other virtues.

Remember what I told you before, that Mary is the great, unique mould of God, designed to make living images of God at little expense and in a short time. Anyone who finds this mould and casts himself into it, is soon transformed into our Lord because it is the true likeness of him.

In Mary

261. We must do everything in Mary. To understand this we must realise that the Blessed Virgin is the true earthly paradise of the new Adam and that the ancient paradise was only a symbol of her. There are in this earthly paradise untold riches, beauties, rarities and delights, which the new Adam, Jesus Christ, has left there. It is in this paradise that he "took his delights" for nine months, worked his wonders and displayed his riches with the magnificence of God himself. This most holy place consists of only virgin and immaculate soil from which the new Adam was formed with neither spot nor stain by the operation of the Holy Spirit who dwells there. In this earthly paradise grows the real Tree of Life which bore our Lord, the fruit of Life, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which bore the Light of the world.

In this divine place there are trees planted by the hand of God and watered by his divine unction which have borne and continue to bear fruit that is pleasing to him. There are flower-beds studded with a variety of beautiful flowers of virtue, diffusing a fragrance which delights even the angels. Here there are meadows verdant with hope, impregnable towers of fortitude, enchanting mansions of confidence and many other delights.

Only the Holy Spirit can teach us the truths that these material objects symbolise. In this place the air is perfectly pure. There is no night but only the brilliant day of the sacred humanity, the resplendent, spotless sun of the Divinity, the blazing furnace of love, melting all the base metal thrown into it and changing it into gold. There the river of humility gushes forth from the soil, divides into four branches and irrigates the whole of this enchanted place. These branches are the four cardinal virtues.

262. The Holy Spirit speaking through the Fathers of the Church, also calls our Lady the Eastern Gate, through which the High Priest, Jesus Christ, enters and goes out into the world. Through this gate he entered the world the first time and through this same gate he will come the second time.

The Holy Spirit also calls her the Sanctuary of the Divinity, the Resting-Place of the Holy Spirit, the Throne of God, the City of God, the Altar of God, the Temple of God, the World of God. All these titles and expressions of praise are very real when related to the different wonders the Almighty worked in her and the graces which he bestowed on her. What wealth and what glory! What a joy and a privilege for us to enter and dwell in Mary, in whom almighty God has set up the throne of his supreme glory!

263. But how difficult it is for us to have the freedom, the ability and the light to enter such an exalted and holy place. This place is guarded not by a cherub, like the first earthly paradise, but by the Holy Spirit himself who has become its absolute Master. Referring to her, he says: "You are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride, an enclosed garden and a sealed fountain." Mary is enclosed. Mary is sealed. The unfortunate children of Adam and Eve driven from the earthly paradise, can enter this new paradise only by a special grace of the Holy Spirit which they have to merit.

264. When we have obtained this remarkable grace by our fidelity, we should be delighted to remain in Mary. We should rest there peacefully, rely on her confidently, hide ourselves there with safety, and abandon ourselves unconditionally to her, so that within her virginal bosom:

1) We may be nourished with the milk of her grace and her motherly compassion.

2) We may be delivered from all anxiety, fear and scruples.

3) We may be safeguarded from all our enemies, the devil, the world and sin which have never gained admittance there. That is why our Lady says that those who work in her will not sin, that is, those who dwell spiritually in our Lady will never commit serious sin.

4) We may be formed in our Lord and our Lord formed in us, because her womb is, as the early Fathers call it, the house of the divine secrets where Jesus and all the elect have been conceived. "This one and that one were born in her."

For Mary

265. Finally, we must do everything for Mary. Since we have given ourselves completely to her service, it is only right that we should do everything for her as if we were her personal servant and slave. This does not mean that we take her for the ultimate end of our service for Jesus alone is our ultimate end. But we take Mary for our proximate end, our mysterious intermediary and the easiest way of reaching him.

Like every good servant and slave we must not remain idle, but, relying on her protection, we should undertake and carry out great things for our noble Queen. We must defend her privileges when they are questioned and uphold her good name when it is under attack. We must attract everyone, if possible, to her service and to this true and sound devotion. We must speak up and denounce those who distort devotion to her by outraging her Son, and at the same time we must apply ourselves to spreading this true devotion. As a reward for these little services, we should expect nothing in return save the honour of belonging to such a loveable Queen and the joy of being united through her to Jesus, her Son, by a bond that is indissoluble in time and in eternity. Glory to Jesus in Mary! Glory to Mary in Jesus! Glory to God alone!

Quote
"Purpose: Obtain Knowledge of Jesus Christ
 
During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. What is to be studied in Christ? First the God-Man, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us; since, after having renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our Lord. What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

Readings
Imitation of Christ: Book 4, Chapter 11
The Body of Christ and Sacred Scripture Are Most Necessary to a Faithful Soul
O most sweet Lord Jesus, how great is the happiness of the devout soul that feasts upon You at Your banquet, where there is set before her to be eaten no other food but Yourself alone, her only Lover, most desired of all that her heart can desire!

To me it would be happiness, indeed, to shed tears in Your presence from the innermost depths of love, and like the pious Magdalen to wash Your feet with them. But where now is this devotion, this copious shedding of holy tears? Certainly in Your sight, before Your holy angels, my whole heart ought to be inflamed and weep for joy. For, hidden though You are beneath another form, I have You truly present in the Sacrament.

My eyes could not bear to behold You in Your own divine brightness, nor could the whole world stand in the splendor of the glory of Your majesty. In veiling Yourself in the Sacrament, therefore, You have regard for my weakness.

True Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary: #261–#265
In Mary
 
We must do our actions in Mary. Thoroughly to understand this practice, we must know, first, that our Blessed Lady is the true terrestrial paradise of the new Adam, and that the ancient Paradise was but a figure of her. There are, then, in this earthly paradise, riches, beauties, rarities, and inexplicable sweetnesses, which Jesus Christ, the new Adam, has left there; it was in this paradise that He took His complacence for nine months, worked His wonders, and displayed His riches with the magnificence of a God.

It is in this earthly paradise that there is the true tree of life, which has borne Jesus Christ, the Fruit of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which has given light unto the world. There are in this divine place trees planted by the hand of God, and watered by His Divine unction, which have borne and daily bear fruits of a taste divine.

It is but the Holy Ghost who can make us know the hidden truth of these figures of material things. The Holy Ghost, by the mouth of the Fathers, also styles the Blessed Virgin the Eastern Gate, by which the High-Priest, Jesus Christ, enters the world and leaves it. By it He came the first time, and by it He will come the second.

For Mary
 

Finally, we must do all our actions for Mary. As we have given ourselves up entirely to her service, it is but just to do everything for her, as a servant and a slave. It is not that we can take her for the last end of our services, for that is Jesus Christ alone; but we may take her for our proximate end, our mysterious means, and our easy way to go to Him. Like a good servant and slave, we must not remain idle, but, supported by her protection, we must undertake and achieve great things for this august sovereign.

We must defend her privileges when they are disputed; we must stand up for her glory when it is attacked; we must entice all the world, if we can, to her service and to this true and solid devotion; we must speak and cry out against those who abuse her devotion to outrage her Son, and we must at the same time establish this Veritable Devotion; we must pretend to no recompense for our little services, except the honour of belonging to so sweet a Queen, and the happiness of being united by her to Jesus her Son by an indissoluble tie in time and in eternity.

Prayers
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Ave Maris Stella
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on August 05, 2018, 03:09:21 AM
Dear Friends, September 8th is of course the blessed Birthday of our Blessed Mother. If we begin anew to make our consecration to Jesus through Mary today, we will have the opportunity to offer ourselves to Her on Her birthday as Her slaves of love. A small birthday present our loving Mother for the blessed nativity, holy infancy and wonderful life She lived for our sake and God's. Aug 5th in Rev. Butler's Lives of the Saints is dedicated to St. Mary Major, Fr. Butler writes, "THERE are in Rome three patriarchal churches, in which the Pope officiates on different festivals. These are the Basilics of St. John Lateran, St. Peter's on the Vatican Hill, and St. Mary Major. This last is so called because it is, both in antiquity and dignity, the first church in Rome among those that are dedicated to God in honor of the Virgin Mary. The name of the Liberian Basilic was given it because it was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated, under the title of the Virgin Mary, by Sixtus III., about the year 435." So it's an excellent day to begin to renew or make for the first time our acts of consecration to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts as well.

We can repeat the prayer of consecration taught us by His Holiness Pope Pius XII to begin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_XII_Consecration_to_the_Immaculate_Heart_of_Mary

Quote from: Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

    Queen of the Holy Rosary,
    Help of the Christians,
    Refuge of the human race,
    Conqueress in God’s battlefields,

    To You and to Your Immaculate Heart
    In this tragic hour of human history
    We entrust and consecrate ourselves,
    And the Holy Church.
    She is the Mystical Body of Your Jesus,
    Suffering and bleeding in so many parts
    And tormented in so many ways,
    We consecrate to You the whole world torn by bitter strive
    And consumed by the fire of hatred
    The victim of its own wickedness.

    Look with compassion to all material and moral destruction
    To the suffering and fears of fathers and mothers
    Of husbands and wives, of brother and sisters and innocent children.
    Look at the many lives cut down in the flower of youth
    So many bodies torn to pieces in brutal slaughter
    So many souls tortured and troubled
    And in danger of being lost eternally.

    Oh, Mother of Mercy, obtain peace for us from God!
    Obtain especially those graces, which can convert human hearts quickly.
    Those graces, which can prepare, establish and insure peace.
    Queen of Peace, pray for us;
    Give the world at war the peace for which all are longing,
    Peace in Truth, Justice and the Charity of Christ.
    Give them peace of the arms and peace of mind,
    That in tranquillity and order
    The Kingdom of God may expand.

    Grant Your protection to infidels
    And to those still walking in the shadow of death;
    Give them peace and permit that the sun of truth may raise upon them;
    And that together with us
    They may repeat before the Only Saviour of the World:
    Glory to God in the highest
    And peace on earth among men of good will (Lk2.14)

    Give peace to the people separated by error and schism,
    Particularly those, who have special devotion to You
    And among whom there was no home,
    Where Your venerable Icon was not honoured,
    Though at present it may be hidden
    In the hope for better days.
    Bring them back to the One Fold of Christ,
    Under the One True Shepherd.

    Obtain peace and complete liberty for the Holy Church of God,
    Check the spreading flood of neo-paganism,
    Arouse within the faithful love of purity
    The practice of Christian life and apostolic zeal,
    So that the people who serve God,
    May increase in merit and number.

    All of humanity were once consecrated to the Heart of Your Son.
    All our hopes rest in Him, Who is in all times
    Sign and pledge of victory and salvation.
    Forever we consecrate ourselves to You
    And to Your Immaculate Heart,
    Oh, Mother and Queen of the World!

    May Your love and patronage hasten the victory of the Kingdom of God,
    May all nations, at peace with each other and with God, proclaim You Blessed
    And sing with You from one end of the earth to the other,
    The eternal Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude
    To the Heart of Jesus, in which alone,
    They can find Truth, Life and Peace.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Miriam_M on August 05, 2018, 12:27:04 PM
Beautiful.  Since I need to renew mine, I may choose this date, but then go ahead and immediately afterward, in September, do the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows, as Fr. Ripperger recommends.

Thank you, Xavier.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on August 08, 2018, 06:59:36 AM
Wonderful, Miriam!

And advance happy Birthday to Our Blessed Mother! Let's make it grand!

Since the excerpts from St. Montfort's True Devotion to Mary and the steps for making/renewing the consecration are already there in the thread, I won't be posting much else. I will just share a few prayers to the Immaculate Heart and other Church-approved consecration prayers. Anyone can post any prayer to the Immaculate Heart that they're fond of.

Prayer: "O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father,
You are the most valued Heavenly treasure.

New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body,
Created of the godly seed by the Spirit of God,
You are the spiritual Mother of mankind.

Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now,
Your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory,
To be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God.

O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth,
I recognize the glory of your highest title,
The Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings,
You who continuously intercedes on our behalf,
Please present my need before your loving Son Jesus.

Make your request

O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I know that you are now presenting my need before Jesus,
For you have never turned away those in dire need.

Mother dearest, I await your favorable answer,
Submitting myself to the Divine will of the Lord,
For all glories are His forever and ever." Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Kaesekopf on August 08, 2018, 06:38:20 PM
Beautiful.  Since I need to renew mine, I may choose this date, but then go ahead and immediately afterward, in September, do the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows, as Fr. Ripperger recommends.

Thank you, Xavier.
I could Google, but when would one start the 33 days for the sorrows feast?

Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Lynne on August 08, 2018, 06:48:26 PM
Beautiful.  Since I need to renew mine, I may choose this date, but then go ahead and immediately afterward, in September, do the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows, as Fr. Ripperger recommends.

Thank you, Xavier.
I could Google, but when would one start the 33 days for the sorrows feast?

Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk

August 13th! I'm going to renew my consecration on the Feast of our Lady of Sorrows too.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Kaesekopf on August 08, 2018, 07:49:22 PM
Beautiful.  Since I need to renew mine, I may choose this date, but then go ahead and immediately afterward, in September, do the Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows, as Fr. Ripperger recommends.

Thank you, Xavier.
I could Google, but when would one start the 33 days for the sorrows feast?

Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk

August 13th! I'm going to renew my consecration on the Feast of our Lady of Sorrows too.
Ty!

Sent from my STV100-1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on August 11, 2018, 11:32:50 AM
Act Of Consecration To The Immaculate Heart Of Mary

"O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.

We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are.

To thee we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families, our country.

We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction.

And that this act of consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, we renew this day at Thy Feet the promises of our Baptism and our first Holy Communion.

We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics who are duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.

We pledge ourselves to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord's Day.

We likewise pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able so to do.

Finally, we promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote ourselves whole-heartedly to the service of Thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure, through the sovereignty of Thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Thine adorable Son, in our own hearts and in those of all men, in our country and in all the world, as in heaven, so on earth." Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on August 12, 2018, 01:27:56 AM
St. Louis de Montfort's Prayer to our Mother Mary (from the Little Office)

"Hail, Mary, most Beloved Daughter of the eternal Father; hail, Mary, most Admirable Mother of the Son; hail, Mary, most Faithful Spouse of the Holy Spirit; hail, Mary, Mother most dear, Lady most lovable.

Queen most powerful! Hail, Mary, my joy, my glory, my heart and soul.

You are all mine through God's mercy, but I am all Yours in justice.

Yet I do not belong sufficiently to You, and so once again, as a slave who always belongs to his master, I give myself wholly to You, reserving nothing for myself or for others.

If you still see anything in me which is not given to You, please take it now.

Make Yourself completely owner of all my capabilities.

Destroy in me everything that is displeasing to God.

Uproot it and bring it to nothing.

Implant in me all that You deem to be good; improve it and make it increase in me.

May the Light of Your Faith dispel the darkness of my mind.

May Your deep humility take the place of my pride.

May Your heavenly contemplation put an end to the distractions of my wandering imagination.

May Your continuous vision of God fill my memory with His Presence.

May the burning love of Your heart inflame the coldness of mine.

May Your virtues take the place of my sins.

May Your merits be my adornment and make up for my unworthiness before God.

Finally, most dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but Yours to know Jesus and His Divine Will.

May I have no soul but Yours to praise and glorify the Lord.

May I have no heart but Yours to love God purely and ardently as You love Him.

I do not ask for visions or revelations, for sensible devotions or even spiritual pleasures.

It is Your privilege to see God clearly in perpetual light.

It is Your privilege to savor the delights of heaven where nothing is without sweetness.

It is Your privilege to triumph gloriously in heaven at the right hand of Your Son without further humiliation, and to command angels, men, and demons, with readiness on their part.

It is Your privilege to dispose at Your own choice of all the good gifts of God with no exception.

Such, most holy Mary, is the excellent portion which the Lord has given You, and which will never be taken from You, and which gives me great joy.

As for my portion here on earth, I wish only to have a share in Yours, that is, to have simple faith without seeing or tasting, to suffer joyfully without the consolations of men, to die daily to myself without flinching, to work gallantly for You even until death without any self- interest, as the most worthless of Your slaves.

The only grace I beg You in Your kindness to obtain for me is that every day and moment of my life I may say this threefold Amen: amen, so be it, to all You did upon earth; Amen, so be it, to all You are doing now in heaven; Amen, so be it, to all You are doing in my soul.

In that way, You and You alone will fully glorify Jesus in me during all my life and my eternity.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life." Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on September 01, 2018, 10:21:43 AM
Gentle reminder: Today is the first day of the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows. Also a First Saturday. It so happens this Year that both the Blessed Mother's Birthday and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows fall on Saturday! Let's make the most of this time of grace and strive to renew and make our act of total consecration, resolving to become Saints in imitation of Mary by union with Her Immaculate Heart.

"Act Of Consecration To The Immaculate Heart Of Mary

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, and tender Mother of men, in accordance with Thy ardent wish made known at Fatima, I consecrate to Thy Immaculate Heart myself, my brethren, my country and the whole human race.

Reign over us, Most Holy Mother of God, and teach us how to make the Heart of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ reign and triumph in us even as It has reigned and triumphed in Thee.

Reign over us, Most Blessed Virgin, that we may be Thine in prosperity and in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death.

O most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven, watch over our minds and hearts and preserve them from the impurity which Thou didst lament so sorrowfully at Fatima.

Assist us in imitating You in all things, especially purity.

Help us to call down upon our country and upon the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.

Therefore, Most Gracious Virgin and Mother, I hereby promise to imitate Thy virtues by the practice of a true Christian life without regard to human respect.

I resolve to receive Holy Communion regularly and to offer to Thee five decades of the Rosary each day, together with my sacrifices, in the spirit of reparation and penance." Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on September 05, 2018, 06:59:09 AM
From Link (http://www.ainglkiss.com/prayers/cihmary.htm)

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart


"Heavenly Mother Mary, I come to Thy most lovable and sweet Heart, refuge of sinners. I offer myself to Thee and consecrate my entire life to Thine Immaculate Heart. In this consecration of my total person, I offer Thee my body and soul with all its miseries and weaknesses. I offer Thee my heart with all its affections and desires, my prayers, works, joys and sufferings. I offer Thee every temptation that comes to me so that my every thought and desire may be purified through Thy holy intercession.

My Queen, my Mother, I offer Thee in consecration all sufferings which come into my life, both physical and spiritual. I offer Thee especially my death with all that will accompany it. I offer Thee my last agony. Accept all this, my Mother, and take all into Thy Immaculate Heart as I give to Thee irrevocably all that I am and all that I have, together with all property and possessions. I offer Thee my family and all who are near and dear to me. Take them all into Thine Immaculate Heart and keep us ever one in Thy Son Jesus Christ.
 
I renew today the vows of my Baptism and Confirmation. Keep me ever faithful to God and to Holy Church, and loyal in obedience to the Holy Father, the Pope. I desire to pray the Rosary properly, meditating on its mysteries. I desire to participate in the Sacrifice of Thy Son perpetuated at Holy Mass and receive Him frequently, even daily in Holy Communion. I attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month in reparation to thine Immaculate Heart and I will work for the conversion of sinners. I will strive to live daily the spirit of Eucharistic reparation.

O Queen of the Angels, my Queen and my Mother, I humbly prostrate myself before Thee as I approach Thee with my Guardian Angel. I desire all the holy Angels, and especially my Guardian, to venerate Thee always as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Command my Guardian and all holy Angels to keep me always in Thy love and in the union of grace with Thy Divine Son. Send forth Thy Angels to assist me in spreading devotion to Thine Immaculate Heart so that through Thine intercession there may be peace in the world and in the Church, and the Kingdom of Christ may come on earth as it is in Heaven." Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on September 06, 2018, 04:21:49 AM
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Immaculate Mother of God and my Mother, Mary, I renew my total consecration to You, and I offer to Your Immaculate Heart my prayers and works, joys and sacrifices of this day in cooperation with Your mission of conquering the whole world for the Kingdom of Christ.
“Allow me to praise You, O most holy Virgin, with my personal commitment and sacrifice. Allow me  to live, work, suffer, be consumed, and die for You, just for You. Allow me to bring the whole world to You. Allow me to contribute to Your ever greater exaltation, to Your greatest possible exaltation. Allow me to give You such glory that no one else has ever given You up to now. Allow others to surpass me in zeal for Your exaltation, and me to surpass them, so that by means of such noble rivalry Your glory may increase ever more profoundly, ever more rapidly, ever more intensely as He who has exalted You so indescribably above all other beings Himself desires” (St. Maximillian Mary)
Ave Maria! Community Prayer Booklet, Franciscans of the Immaculate
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on September 09, 2018, 12:31:43 AM
From the Link:

"Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

    Perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God, my mother and Spiritual Mother of all mankind, I desire to dedicate myself to your Immaculate Heart. Your Heart is Immaculate because you were conceived without original sin, and you are in complete union with God.  I consecrate all that I am and all that I have to you.

    Allow me to be your ambassador, worthy of your confidence. As you permitted a humble Indian to convey your message of hope and love to all the people on the entire American Continent, permit me to spread your Son's message of salvation to everyone I meet.

    You are the Mother of Faith.  Reveal to me the truth of all the mysteries of the Catholic Faith that truth which is found within your Son's teachings and all that has been handed down to me from the Apostles.

    You are the Mother of Hope.  Please ask the Father to "open my eyes so that I may see" and "to open my ears so that I may hear." Transform my heart which has been hardened by the sins of this world. Heal my wounded soul, which has been confused and deeply injured by the " dark thorns of untruth."  Sanctify me in Truth!

    You are the Mother of Love, a true Spiritual Mother, asking nothing for yourself. You are only waiting for me to come to you and ask for your protection and assistance. Please teach me to Love!

    When I come to you, my Dearest Mother, I know you will embrace me in your motherly arms and lead me to your Son. Amen."
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on September 13, 2018, 05:58:18 AM
Great Feasts are at hand. Let us prepare ourselves well and offer ourselves as consecrated souls to the Cross of Jesus through Our Lady of Sorrows. St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, a great Marian Apostle who had an exemplary devotion to the Immaculata, and who did much to fight Freemasonry and Communism, writes to tell us of the importance of consecration. https://saintmaximiliankolbe.com/consecration/

Solemn Act of Consecration

O Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to You, I, an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Your feet, humbly imploring You to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to Yourself as Your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death, and eternity, whatever pleases You. If it pleases You, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what has been said of You: “She will crush your head”, and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.” Let me be a fit instrument in Your immaculate and most merciful hands for introducing and increasing Your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For, wherever You enter, You obtain the grace of conversion and sanctification, since it is through Your hands that all graces come to us from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise You, O most holy Virgin.

R. Give me strength against Your enemies.

Commentary by St. Maximilian Kolbe

This act of consecration consists of three parts:


1. An invocation,
2. A petition that She deign us to accept us as property,
3. An entreaty that She may want to use us in order to win other souls over to Herself.

1 – An Invocation
In the invocation, we say first of all:

O Immaculata:

We address Her with this title, because She Herself in Lourdes chose to state Her name thus: “Immaculate Conception.” God and each of the Three Divine Persons are immaculate, yet God is not conceived. The angels are immaculate, but even in them there is not conception. Our first parents were immaculate before their sin, yet even they were not conceived. Jesus was immaculate and conceived, but He was not a conception, because, being God, He existed before time, and the words that revealed to Moses the name of God referred to Him: “I am Who am” [Ex 3:14], that is, the One who always exists and has no beginning. All other people are a conception; yet, a conception stained by sin. Only She is not merely conceived, but Conception, and, what is more, Immaculate Conception. That name contains many other mysteries that will be revealed in time. For it marks the fact that Immaculate Conception belongs in some way to the very essence of the Immaculata. That name must be dear to Her, for it indicates the first grace She received in the first instant of Her existence, and the first gift is always the most welcome. This name, then, was fulfilled throughout Her life, because She was always without sin. So She was also full of grace and God was with Her (cf. Lk 1:28) always and with Her to the point that She became the Mother of the Son of God.

Queen of Heaven and earth.

In a family, the parents who love their children strive, to the best of their ability, to fulfill the wishes of their children, as long as such desires are not to their detriment. All the more so God, the Creator and Prototype of earthly parents, wants to fulfill the will of His creatures, as long as that does not cause them harm; that is, provided that this will is in accordance with His Will.

Never and in anything did the Immaculata move away from God’s will. In everything She loved God’s Will, She loved God, so She is aptly named “Suppliant Omnipotence”; She exerts Her influence on God Himself, on the whole universe: She is the Queen of Heaven and earth. In Heaven, all recognize the sovereignty of Her Love. Instead, that part of the first angels who would not recognize Her Queenship, lost their place in Heaven.

She is also the Queen of the earth, for the fact that She is the Mother of God. Yet She desires—and is entitled to such desire—to be recognized spontaneously by every heart, to be loved as Queen of all hearts, so that such heart may be purified ever more through Her, become Immaculate, like Her Heart and ever more worthy of union with God, with the love of God, with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Refuge of sinners.

God is merciful, Infinitely Merciful, but He is also Just, Infinitely Just, so that He cannot tolerate even the smallest sin and must demand its complete reparation. The Dispenser of the most precious Blood of Jesus, which has Infinite Value and that washes away such sins, is God’s mercy embodied in the Immaculata. With good reason, therefore, we invoke Her as “Refuge of sinners,” of all sinners; even if their sins were most serious and most numerous, even if those sinners had the impression they no longer deserved any mercy. Indeed, any purification of the soul is for Her a new confirmation of Her title of “Immaculate Conception,” and the more a soul is plunged in sin, the more the power of Her immaculateness, which makes a soul as pure as snow, is made manifest.

Our most loving Mother.

The Immaculata is the Mother of all our supernatural life, for She is the Mediatrix of all graces, indeed the Mother of Divine Grace, so She is Our Mother in the sphere of grace, in the supernatural sphere. Also, She is a most loving Mother, for there is no such loving, such affectionate, such God-filled Mother as the Immaculata, Who is all divine.

God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you.

At times, in a family, the father rejoices when the mother, by her own intervention, holds his hand, which would punish the child, because in that case justice is met and mercy manifested. It is not without reason, in fact, that Justice is suspended. In the same way God, not to punish us, gives us a spiritual mother, to whose intercession He is never opposed. That is why the Saints have said that Jesus reserved the order of Justice to Himself, entrusting the entire order of mercy to the Immaculata.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on November 21, 2018, 12:59:24 PM
Today is as wonderful a day as any to make or renew your consecration to the Twin Hearts - today we celebrate the day when the Immaculate Heart consecrated Her life to God forever in the Temple! She was a consecrated Virgin, like a Nun, and per Her wishes, She wanted to remain in the Temple to serve God faithfully there forever, if it was His Will. But God's Heart had other designs for His Mother, and the rest is History.

We are also providentially just about 33 days away from Christmas, so it is a great time to start. Christmas is an ideal time to give your life to Jesus anew and ask Him to reign in your heart evermore. May devotion to the Infant Lord and the Infant Mother increase among us Christians. Other important Marian Feasts next month. Dec 8th. The Immaculate Conception. Dec 12th, Our Lady of Gaudalupe. As this season of advent approaches, let us renew our love for and devotion to Jesus and Mary.

May the Twin Hearts ever reign and rule over our own hearts. Amen.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on January 09, 2019, 07:49:07 AM
As Fisheaters mentions, Jan 9th is the day to start if you want to finish your consecration on Feb 11th, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Otherwise, the next standard date is only on 20th Feb (for a Mar. 25th consecration)

It would be very good to renew our consecration periodically, even many times in a year. Each time, we receive new abundant graces and blessings.

This is an excellent devotion to practice as a family, and a solid means to ensure all members, especially children, grow in the Faith and in devotion and never lapse from Our Lord and Our Lady.

It is a devotion especially suited to our times and capable of producing Saints formed by the Holy Ghost in Mary. Many great Saints practiced what St. Montfort taught, and he prophesies Mary will use it to overthrow all heresies, and God will use it to form greater Saints still.

The essence of Total Consecration and of True Devotion is to surrender the satisfactory value of all ones works (merit is strictly personal and never transferred) into Our Lady's hands; She may use it to liberate souls in Purgatory or convert dying sinners. She almost always draws the soul to the experience of a deeper union with God and with Her and multiplies the merits of the soul manifold. Thus the satisfactory value also increases, and for those who rely on God and Mary with faith and devotion, nothing is lost, but merits and satisfaction is multiplied.

May we ever grow in grace and live in life and eternity as joyful slaves of Love to Our Good Lord and Our Dear Lady.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on February 11, 2019, 01:42:21 AM
Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes! On this day 161 years ago, Our Blessed Mother revealed Herself to St. Bernadette saying, "I am the Immaculate Conception". When we consecrate our life to Her on this festive day, we honor Her privilege as the Immaculate Conception, and attest to our desire to live a holy life in Her service. Those who have begun the Consecration on Jan 9th can consecrate their lives to Jesus and Mary today. Those who wish to renew it can do so after saying some of the prayers mentioned earlier.

In extolling the glory of a consecrated life, St. Alphonsus says, citing the Angelic Doctor, "St. Thomas teaches that the perfect consecration which a religious makes of himself to God by his solemn profession remits the guilt and punishment of all his past sins. "But," he says, "it may reasonably be said that a person by entering into religion obtains the remission of all sins. For, to make satisfaction for all sins, it is sufficient to dedicate one's self entirely to the service of God by entering religion, which dedication exceeds all manner of satisfaction. Hence," he concludes, "we read in the lives of the Fathers, that they who enter religion obtain the same grace as those who receive baptism."

St. Montfort compares Total Consecration to such a complete abnegation of self as required upon entering religion, so we may well hope that many of the effects will be similar, that souls who consecrate their lives wholeheartedly, desiring to be placed entirely at the disposal of God's Glory to be consecrated to Jesus through Mary, may obtain the full remission of all sins, so as to be as pure again as on the day of Baptism, to be made anew through the grace of God given to us through Mary, the Immaculate Conception. This is confirmed by the Plenary Indulgences attached to Marian Consecration by Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X http://www.brizek.com/mary/tdtmatc.htm Pope St. Pius X was a great proponent of Montfortian Consecration https://www.ecatholic2000.com/montfort/true/devotion.shtml If the exact indulgences may not apply anymore (although it is said "in perpetuity"), then at least we may prayerfully believe similar effects will happen in the soul that consecrates herself without reserve, desiring only the greater glory of God and His Mother.

Quote from: St. Montfort, the Secret of Mary
29. We should choose a special feast-day on which to give ourselves. Then, willingly and lovingly and under no constraint, we consecrate and sacrifice to her unreservedly our body and soul. We give to her our material possessions, such as house, family, income, and even the inner possessions of our soul, namely, our merits, graces, virtues and atonements. Notice that in this devotion we sacrifice to Jesus through Mary all that is most dear to us, that is, the right to dispose of ourselves, of the value of our prayers and alms, of our acts of self- denial and atonements. This is a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members. We leave everything to the free disposal of our Lady, for her to use as she wills for the greater glory of God, of which she alone is perfectly aware.

30. We leave to her the right to dispose of all the satisfactory and prayer value of our good deeds, so that, after having done so and without going so far as making a vow, we cease to be master over any good we do. Our Lady may use our good deeds either to bring relief or deliverance to a soul in purgatory, or perhaps to bring a change of heart to a poor sinner.

31. By this devotion we place our merits in the hands of our Lady, but only that she may preserve, increase and embellish them, since merit for increase of grace and glory cannot be handed over to any other person. But we give to her all our prayers and good works, inasmuch as they have intercessory and atonement value, for her to distribute and apply to whom she pleases. If, after having thus consecrated ourselves to our Lady, we wish to help a soul in purgatory, rescue a sinner, or assist a friend by a prayer, an alms, an act of self-denial or an act of self-sacrifice, we must humbly request it of our Lady, abiding always by her decision, which of course remains unknown to us. We can be fully convinced that the value of our actions, being dispensed by that same hand which God himself uses to distribute his gifts and graces to us, cannot fail to be applied for his greatest glory.

Prayer of Consecration: O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine Incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through Her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through Her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to Thee.

I, N_____, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to Thee, as Thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to Thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to Thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored Thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as Thy true slave, to seek Thy honor and to obey Thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by Thee, by Thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom Thou lovest and teachest, whom Thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as Thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ Thy Son, that I may attain, by Thine intercession and by Thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen."
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on February 21, 2019, 11:22:10 AM
Gentle reminder: March 25th is the Major Marian Feast of the Annunciation, when Our Lord Jesus Christ became Incarnate in the flesh in the womb of His Virgin Mother. The time to start one's preparation for consecrating one's life on that day - which St. Montfort recommends saying it is the principal feast proper to this devotion - is now.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on March 24, 2019, 02:01:47 AM
The most beautiful feast of the Annunciation approaches, when Our Lady gave Her Heart to God, the Spirit of God overshadowed Her, and the Son of God was Conceived in Her Holy Womb. Let us imitate the perfect consecration Our Lady made of Her Life and Her Will by saying "Fiat" to God. Let us say our own Fiat to God and for Her this day, now almost 2020 years since the day She first said Her Fiat to God for us Her children. As per the sources above, on particular days, one can certainly receive a plenary indulgence by a total consecration to God. On other days, the same principle applies, if we consecrate ourselves without reserve, we can very likely be restored to Baptismal Innocence. Let us not waste this wondrous festival of the Annunciation, but use it to surrender ourselves wholeheartedly, either for the first time, or renewing our consecration, to Jesus and Mary.
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on March 30, 2019, 08:13:27 AM
As we are about to end this month of March, a great feast for the Consecration to be done is the Feast of St. Montfort on Apr 28th. So, those who wish can begin preparation to make or renew this consecration. Some of the prayers for the first few days can be said together.

From the brizek site given above earlier, "True Devotion to Mary and Total Consecration

One of the most zealous promoters of St. Louis Grignion de Montfort's True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary which brings about what is called a "Holy Slavery of Love" was Pope St. Pius X, a devoted "Slave of Mary."

So ardent was the desire of this Marian Pope to encourage interest in Montfort's method of devotion to Our Lady that he gave a special apostolic blessing to all those who even merely read the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, at the same time, he declared: "We eagerly commend the Treatise on True Devotion." In addition to this, the Holy Father granted a plenary indulgence (on 24 December 1907), under the usual conditions, to be gained on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, and on the Feast of Saint Louis de Montfort, April 28, to those who recite the Montfort formula of consecration entitled "Consecration of Ourselves to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, by the Hands of Mary." This plenary indulgence, which Leo XIII (also a "Slave of Mary") had granted for only seven years, was now granted "in perpetuum"—in perpetuity."

So, do not waste the upcoming feast of Apr 28th, where it is almost certain that you can gain a plenary indulgence by Consecration.

Let us Consecrated Slaves of Jesus through Mary make the effort, if possible, to renew the Consecration each day, for e.g. morning and evening, by kneeling and prostrating before God and Our Lady, and saying at least, for e.g. 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, and the Glory Be, along with a simple prayer like, "I am all Yours, Lord Jesus, and all I have is Yours, through Mary Your Most Holy and Immaculate Mother, my Lady, Mistress and Queen."

Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 04, 2019, 07:54:51 AM
As powerful as individual and private prayers and consecration can be, St. Montfort assures us that public prayers and acts of consecration where we unite with millions of other souls are incredibly more powerful. A unique opportunity to participate in Marian Consecration in the run-up to the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, also which Pope Benedict XV authorized as Mediatrix of All Graces in some places, is here: https://www.flameoflove.us/2019-coast-to-coast-consecration-to-jesus-through-mary/

Coast to Coast Consecration to Jesus through Mary

In order to increase the effectiveness of our prayers and apostolic endeavors, let us unite spiritually and consecrate ourselves and our apostolates to Jesus through Mary on one special day at the same time!

BEGIN the 33 Day Preparation: Sunday, April 28, 2019.
The feast of St. Louis de Montfort & DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY!

CONSECRATE on Friday, May 31, 2019
Feast of The Visitation,
The Lady of All Nations,
and Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

The Consecration will be live streamed from the National
Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, MA on May 31, 2019

To learn about the meaning of Consecration:
http://www.myconsecration.org/images/faithbooklet2.pdf"

A Consecrated Soul should regard it as a strict obligation not to go to heaven alone but to try to take several others, thousands if possible, with him or her to Heaven. St. Louis Marie assures us, if we live and practice True Devotion rightly, we can save many souls by it.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort: It is of great benefit to our neighbour

171. It is of great benefit to our neighbour, for by it we show love for our neighbour in an outstanding way since we give him through Mary's hands all that we prize most highly - that is, the satisfactory and prayer value of all our good works, down to the least good thought and the least little suffering. We give our consent that all we have already acquired or will acquire until death should be used in accordance with our Lady's will for the conversion of sinners or the deliverance of souls from Purgatory.

Is this not perfect love of our neighbour? Is this not being a true disciple of our Lord, one who should always be recognised by his love? Is this not the way to convert sinners without any danger of vainglory, and deliver souls from Purgatory by doing hardly anything more than what we are obliged to do by our state of life?

172. To appreciate the excellence of this motive we must understand what a wonderful thing it is to convert a sinner or to deliver a soul from Purgatory. It is an infinite good, greater than the creation of heaven and earth, since it gives a soul the possession of God. If by this devotion we secured the release of only soul from Purgatory or converted only one sinner in our whole lifetime, would that not be enough to induce any person who really loves his neighbour to practise this devotion?

It must be noted that our good works, passing through Mary's hands, are progressively purified. Consequently, their merit and their satisfactory and prayer value are also increased. That is why they become much more effective in relieving the souls in Purgatory and in converting sinners than if they did not pass through the virginal and liberal hands of Mary. Stripped of self-will and clothed with disinterested love, the little that we give to the Blessed Virgin is truly powerful enough to appease the anger of God and draw down his mercy. It may well be that at the hour of death a person who has been faithful to this devotion will find that he has freed many souls from Purgatory and converted many sinners, even though he performed only the ordinary actions of his state of life. Great will be his joy at the judgement. Great will be his glory throughout eternity."
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 08, 2019, 06:28:18 AM
This Life Offering can serve as an Act of Consecration to the Twin Hearts: "My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my of my entire life for the adoration and supplication of the Holy Trinity, for unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and priests, for good priestly vocations, and for all souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept my life sacrifice and my offerings and give me your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death.  Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

Another Act of Consecration from the site, written by St. Maximilian: CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter, you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus." Total Consecration to Mary is the best and surest way of giving the greatest glory to Christ, as taught by St. Montfort and the Popes approving it, and is therefore highly recommended for all, and especially obligatory, to all those who desire perfection.

St. Montfort shows this in True Devotion to Mary in many ways, and the Popes have vied with one another in praising it: "7. The greater glory of Christ

222. If you live this devotion sincerely, you will give more glory to Jesus in a month than in many years of a more demanding devotion. Here are my reasons for saying this:

1) Since you do everything through the Blessed Virgin as required by this devotion, you naturally lay aside your own intentions no matter how good they appear to you. You abandon yourself to our Lady's intentions even though you do not know what they are. Thus you share in the high quality of her intentions ... Mary amassed such a multitude of merits and graces during her sojourn on earth that it would be easier to count the stars in heaven, the drops of water in the ocean or the sands of the sea-shore than count her merits and graces. She thus gave more glory to God than all the angels and saints have given or will ever give him. Mary, wonder of God, when souls abandon themselves to you, you cannot but work wonders in them! ... Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise or honour Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honouring God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to him.

She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary" she says "God". When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, "My soul glorifies the Lord." What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honour her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honoured and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary." and "82. Thirdly, we must choose among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin the one which will lead us more surely to this dying to self. This devotion will be the best and the most sanctifying for us. For we must not believe that all that glitters is gold, all that is sweet is honey, or all that is easy to do and is done by the majority of people is the most sanctifying. Just as in nature there are secrets enabling us to do certain natural things quickly, easily and at little cost, so in the spiritual life there are secrets which enable us to perform works rapidly, smoothly and with facility. Such works are, for example, emptying ourselves of self-love, filling ourselves with God, and attaining perfection. The devotion that I propose to explain is one of these secrets of grace, for it is unknown to most Christians. Only a few devout people know of it and it is practised and appreciated by fewer still."
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 30, 2019, 06:20:30 AM
(http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/marian-feasts.jpg)

The Period for the Wonderful Consecration described above and probably participated in by several thousands and thousands of Catholics is now drawing to an end as the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces approaches. Amazing fruits are already evident.

God bless all who participated and the Church and the world need hundreds of more events like this for Christ's Triumph to come and the chastisement owed to our sins to be minimized as much as possible.

Please join in and make or renew Your own Personal Consecration to the Immaculate Heart, the channel of all Graces from the Sacred Heart, on the grand occasion of this Feast approved for several dioceses by Pope Benedict XV almost every 100 years ago. The incredible Graces the Blessed Virgin Mother gives to those who acknowledge Her as the Mediatrix of All Graces sometimes have to be experienced to be believed.

But let us most firmly exercise our Catholic Faith and believe this sacred dogma and vow to believe and defend it even unto death, so that its dogmatic definition may come. That, together with the Papal Consecration, as the Three SSPX Bishops also indicated during an Aug 2017 Consecration, would inaugurate the Triumph of the Heart of Mary and the Coming of God's Kingdom and Era of Peace for the whole world. "We also beseech thee, O Mother of Mercy, by this most splendid miracle of your suppliant omnipotence, to manifest to the world the truth of your universal mediation of grace." http://www.sspxflorida.com/en/news-events/news/act-consecration-russia-immaculate-heart-mary-31607?calendar_block_month=3&calendar_block_year=2017

Sample Act of Consecration we could make to Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces:

Prayer of Consecration to Mary Mediatrix of All Grace

I, (state your name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in Your hands the vows of my Baptism; and I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works, and I give myself entirely to Your Son, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

I humbly consecrate myself, my family, (my fellow members of the Confraternity), my country, the Catholic Church, especially the religious and the clergy, and the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ and to Your Immaculate Heart.

I invoke You, under the title close to Your Heart, as our Mother and Mediatrix of All Grace.
Intercede and mediate for us to Christ, Your Son and Our Lord, who is All Life, All Holiness, and All Grace Himself.

Obtain for us the triumph against the evil forces that seek to destroy the family, the sacrament of marriage, and the sanctity of human life.

In the presence of the heavenly court, I choose you this day for my Mother and Queen, I deliver and consecrate to you, as your slave, my body and soul, my goods both interior and exterior and even the value of my good actions - past, present and future - leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of me and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to your good pleasure for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity. Amen.

Our Lady Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, Pray for us!
In Jesus name, Amen!"

From: http://blessedmotherbvm.blogspot.com/2013/08/prayer-of-consecration-to-mary.html
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on May 31, 2019, 04:21:40 AM
Those who Consecrate their Lives to the Blessed Mother will join countless others who are also doing so. Our Lady is Mediatrix even of those Graces which it seems to us to be morally or even absolutely impossible (according to us) to obtain. She can obtain them in an instant, because Her Prayers, as demons testified when exorcised by St. Dominic when the Rosary were given, are more powerful than all the prayers of all the Saints, just as Her merits are greater than all the merits of all the Saints put together. Blessed Mother, pray for us. From https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/Consecration_mary.htm

Consecration to Mary

  O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.

(https://www.ewtn.com/art/mary/blackmadonna.jpg)

We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all  that we are. To thee we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls; to thee we give our homes,  our families, our country.

We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee,  and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction. And that this act of consecration  may be truly efficacious and lasting, we renew this day at thy feet the promises of our Baptism and our first Holy Communion.

We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times  the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics who are duly submissive to all the  directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.

We pledge ourselves to keep  the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord's Day.

We  likewise pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able so to do.

Finally, we promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote  ourselves whole-heartedly to the service of thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure,  through the sovereignty of thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred  Heart of thine adorable Son, in our own hearts and in those of all men, in our country and in all  the world, as in heaven. so on earth. Amen."
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on June 18, 2019, 04:42:57 AM
Apologies for the late intimation, but the truly wonderful Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is coming up on July 16th. 13th June was the Day to begin, 13th June being also the wonderful date of Our Lady's second Apparition at Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima has taught us that the essence of wearing the Scapular is a consecrated life lived through devotion to Her Immaculate Heart, our gate to the Sacred Heart of Her Son and God, Jesus Christ. Our Lady of Mount Carmel had earlier taught us that the Priceless Scapular which She gave us from Heaven is a wonderful present we should all wear and make use of, as the one who wears it devoutly and perseveringly shall, by God's Grace, obtain final perseverance and eternal life.

The Brown Scapular
It is a gift to you from your Heavenly Mother.
“WHOSOEVER DIES IN THIS GARMENT SHALL NOT SUFFER ETERNAL FIRE.”
- promise of Our Lady to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251

Frequently asked questions about wearing the brown scapular"

https://www.sistersofcarmel.com/brown-scapular-information.php
https://www.sistersofcarmel.com/faqs-the-brown-scapular/

"Devotion
True devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary consists in three things: VENERATION, CONFIDENCE AND LOVE. By simply wearing the Scapular, we can tell her every moment of the day that we venerate her, love her and trust in her protection.

The Scapular Is a Silent Prayer
As Our Lord taught us to say the Our Father, Our Blessed Mother taught us the value of the scapular. When we use it as a prayer, Our Lady draws us to the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son. It is good, therefore, to hold the scapular in the hand. A prayer offered while holding the Scapular is as perfect as a prayer can be. It is especially in time of temptation that we need the powerful intercession of God’s Mother. The evil spirit is utterly powerless when the wearer of a scapular faces temptation, calling upon the Holy Virgin in this silent devotion. “If you had recommended yourself to me, you would not have run into such danger,” was Our Lady’s gentle reproach to Blessed Alan de la Roche, one of her devoted servants.

The Sabbatine Privilege (https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-7251z/product_images/uploaded_images/scapular.gif)
The Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of hell; She will also shorten their stay in purgatory if they should pass from this world still owing some debt of punishment.

This promise is found in a Bull of Pope John XXII. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and, speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular, said, “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory I shall free so that I may lead them to the Holy Mountain of life everlasting.” The root word of Carmel in Israel means Garden, Vineyard. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Carmel
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on June 18, 2019, 04:44:31 AM
Some general prayers of Perfect and Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary for life and for eternity which we can make use of in this time:

"19. PRAYER ON THE OCCASION OF MARY’S ASSUMPTION INTO HEAVEN (Myriam van Nazareth)

Dear Mother Mary, Through Your life of utmost purity and Love, full of merits and without any sin, You set an example to all humans. Therefore, through Your Assumption into Heaven, body and soul, God testified of His unparalleled mystical Love for You. You know Divine Love better than any soul. On this festive day I wish You may be able to rule the hearts of all Your children as the Queen of Heavenly Love. Dear Mother, today I assume You totally and unreservedly into the heaven of my soul, the deepest chamber that God reserved for my unity with Him. Deign to furnish this little chamber so that it may please You, and to transform it in the flames of Your Love into a small palace in which I will henceforth be able to meet You and God.
 
21. PRAYER FOR THE OCCASION OF MARY’S CORONATION  AS THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN (Myriam van Nazareth)

 Dear Mother Mary, Upon Your Assumption into Heaven God made You our Queen, who as the Treasurer and Distributor of Graces rules every one of us. My Heavenly Queen, I beg you, do establish within me from this day onward Your eternal realm of Love. May my heart become the throne room of Your palace, the place from which You rule my entire being. May my faith and my trust in You serve towards my fellow person as the main expression of your royal power. May my striving for sanctity be like the border guard protecting your kingdom against the attacks of Your and our enemy. Do accept my soul as the humble present of the poor slave of Your Love, who lives for no purpose other than to glorify You and God, to work for You, to defend Your honour, and to establish and enhance Your realm on earth. Mary, my Heavenly Queen, if You accept me, I will be Your tool for all eternity, in total and unconditional submission."

From Mary's Flower Garden: https://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

(https://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/images/stories/bloementuin%20nieuw.jpg)
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on August 06, 2019, 11:43:03 AM
Gentle Reminder: Just 9 days left to go for the Great Feast of Our Blessed Mother's Assumption into Heaven and Coronation there, if anyone wants to make or renew their Marian Consecration on that day.

85. PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
FOR THE PURIFICATION OF MANKIND


(Myriam van Nazareth)

Dear Mother Mary,
Immaculate Conception of the infinite Divine Love that keeps breathing Life into eternity, do spread the cloak of Your powerful protection all over us.
Oh Lily from the Garden of all Life, breathe upon me the tender breeze of God’s strength, so that I may blossom into a stainless flower for God’s Last Times.
Oh most pure Virgin, may the burning Love from Your Immaculate Heart give birth to coredeemers rendering Satan’s realm unfruitful.
Oh Mother of our Redeemer, rescue us from the clutches of all evil forces which keep crucifying Jesus time and time again.
Oh Bride of the Holy Spirit, shed Light into darkened spirits and the fire of Love into frozen hearts, make the fullness of grace fill up our inner emptiness.
Oh sweet voice of the Last Times, shut our weak ears to the deafening cries of all infernal temptations.
Oh Queen of celestial beauty, lend us Your eyes, so that we may recognize the ugliness of sin.
Oh radiant Light shining into our worldly darkness, resuscitate in our souls the hope for the joys of Paradise, so that within us the blossoms of repentance may bloom, from which the fruits of conversion spring.
Oh Heavenly Teacher and Guide, strengthen us in our consecration to You and to the Holy Trinity, and guide us in the renewal of our baptismal vows to turn away from all evil, so that the stain of the original sin may no longer distort us.
Oh Queen of Eternal Love, cleanse our deceived hearts of the poison of hatred. May the ray of burning Love from Your Immaculate Heart inflict a wound of Love upon all hearts, because this is the only wound that can make us stronger in proportion as its bleeding increases.
Oh pure Mother of Mercy, seal the holy bond with Your children, and build a bridge of roses between all hearts, so that the scent of sanctity may show us to way to You.
Dear Mother Mary,
Do obtain for all of Your children Your purity of soul, mind, heart and body, so that we, just like You, may joyfully follow God’s ways with abandon, and may turn away from sin forever.

www.maria-domina-animarum.net

87. PRAYER TO INVITE MARY, MOTHER OF THE LIGHT

(Myriam van Nazareth)

Dear Mother Mary,
While winter is ruling the hearts, and evil is counting its captives, I can see You, lonely and looking for security, for the Light’s desire has become pressing.
Many doors have remained closed to You. Others were opened, yet were shut again before Your very eyes, due to the power of disbelief and egoism. How painful is the Light radiating from Your Face to blinded eyes that have opted for the darkness. Even God’s Gift You are bearing inside of You does not open up any locks.
Like a star in the dark night You are beckoning the flame of hope in my eager soul.
I have heard You knocking. When I set eyes on You the Holy Spirit welcomed my heart, and it opened up to You. My eyes beheld a fire that does not cast shadows, and Your begging servant has recognized her long awaited Queen of the Light.
Oh Messenger from Heaven, I offer You my little house forever. Do honour the table of my soul with Your Presence, and nobody who visits me will get hungry ever again, for You are carrying the Bread of Eternal Life.
The warm glow of my Love will embrace You, and Your immaculate beauty will invite angels and human souls to my little house.
The roses of Your Love and the lilies of Your purity will adorn my table until the end of times.
Oh Mother of God, tonight do give birth to the Light on the straw of my spiritual poverty. It is going to shine into the darkness, and its radiance will illuminate many little houses.
May the world thus understand the Heavenly message and accept the gift of the Light.
May Love and Peace announce the new spring, and may all little lights to whom it is denied to be born, after Your visit be accepted in the warmth of illuminated hearts."

Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on November 05, 2019, 06:47:34 PM
The Wonderful Feast of Our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Conception is now just a mere 33 days away! And we know what that means, today is the day to begin to renew our consecration to Her Immaculate Heart and Her Son's Sacred Heart. Now, among the other special blessings, His Holiness Pope St. Pius X, has established a Primary Indulgence in Perpetuity! for Consecration to Jesus through Mary on Dec. 8th. Let us remember that as God Almighty made His holy Mother All-Immaculate, so too Jesus and Mary desire us to recover or be restored to baptismal innocence and original purity, and a Plenary Indulgence restores us exactly to this baptismal state, so that we are ready immediately to go to Heaven. If we have already, in these holy 8 days of November, obtained one or many for ourselves, happily, we can always either offer up the Indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, to whom this month is dedicated, or simply remain and be preserved even more in that baptismal innocence, along with a correspondingly higher degree of merit in the state of grace.

"One of the most zealous promoters of St. Louis Grignion de Montfort's True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary which brings about what is called a "Holy Slavery of Love" was Pope St. Pius X, a devoted "Slave of Mary." So ardent was the desire of this Marian Pope to encourage interest in Montfort's method of devotion to Our Lady that he gave a special apostolic blessing to all those who even merely read the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, at the same time, he declared: "We eagerly commend the Treatise on True Devotion." In addition to this, the Holy Father [His Holiness Pope St. Pius X, consecrated slave of Jesus through Mary] granted a plenary indulgence (on 24 December 1907), under the usual conditions, to be gained on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, and on the Feast of Saint Louis de Montfort, April 28, to those who recite the Montfort formula of consecration entitled “Consecration of Ourselves to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, by the Hands of Mary.” This plenary indulgence, which Leo XIII (also a “Slave of Mary”) had granted for only seven years, was now granted “in perpetuum” — in perpetuity." http://www.brizek.com/mary/tdtmatc.htm

"37. CONSECRATION TO MARY, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
(Myriam van Nazareth)
Dear Mother Mary,
Today I praise You as the perfect window to God, as the only human soul who was ever conceived in a human being through direct Divine action and who lived in perfect purity ever since and for all eternity. Being exempt from the original sin and from any defiling influence, no evil was ever able to affect You, and from the beginning You were predestined to defeat Satan. God intended You to be the model for the image of the human being as He had meant it to be when He created it.
You want to guide all of Your children to God’s Paradise of purity. So many of them have allowed the evil one to befog their hearts, minds and souls, so that they no longer see the Light.
Because I long to reach the gates of Heaven under Your guidance, I have entered into Your service unrestrictedly. On this feast glorifying Your total and immaculate purity I want to offer You all situations, experiences and feelings which have ever separated my soul from the purity God intended for me.
I offer You all occasions on which I have disappointed You, Jesus and my Eternal Father, or on which I have failed to offer You my cross in equanimity as a sacrificial flower.
Every lack of self-sacrifice I humbly lay down at Your feet like a bunch of roses of conciliation.
Oh most pure Celestial Flower, do accept them as a gift from a penitent heart, and liberate me from every burden that has ever oppressed my heart, and from all resentment, bitterness, frustration or disappointment that has ever poisoned my soul.
Dear Immaculate Mother, teach me under all circumstances to understand that every trial crossing my path is a means through which You can bring my soul nearer to the purity You desire for me so much.
Help me detach my heart from material things, for they tie me to the chains of evil and separate me from Your most pure Light.
Help me spread Your purity of heart and soul around, so that I may be able to guide my brothers and sisters to You and Jesus.
Dear Mother, sin has made my soul ill. Do therefore take her up into Your arms and heal her through Your purity, so that, after Your example, I may acquire the sanctity God has foreseen for me.
May through Your purifying hands touching my soul, the latter be prepared for the Divine kiss which once sealed Your Immaculate Conception and made You the Mirror of Divine Purity on earth."
Title: Re: St. Montfort's 33 day consecration: consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart.
Post by: Xavier on November 29, 2019, 06:18:13 AM
We just celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal a couple of days ago, and a 9 Day Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception begins today! Let us renew that happy preparation, and as God and our Mother wills for us, become ourselves Immaculate anew on the day of the Immaculate Conception! We can do that by honouring Our Lady's Privilege, and gaining a plenary indulgence. Recall from the link above that "In addition to this, the Holy Father [His Holiness Pope St. Pius X, consecrated slave of Jesus through Mary] granted a plenary indulgence (on 24 December 1907), under the usual conditions, to be gained on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th". What an amazing opportunity for us to be restored to Baptismal Innocence in these 9 days!

"85. PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION FOR THE PURIFICATION OF MANKIND
(Myriam van Nazareth)

Dear Mother Mary,
Immaculate Conception of the infinite Divine Love that keeps breathing Life into eternity, do spread the cloak of Your powerful protection all over us.
Oh Lily from the Garden of all Life, breathe upon me the tender breeze of God’s strength, so that I may blossom into a stainless flower for God’s Last Times.
Oh most pure Virgin, may the burning Love from Your Immaculate Heart give birth to coredeemers rendering Satan’s realm unfruitful.
Oh Mother of our Redeemer, rescue us from the clutches of all evil forces which keep crucifying Jesus time and time again.
Oh Bride of the Holy Spirit, shed Light into darkened spirits and the fire of Love into frozen hearts, make the fullness of grace fill up our inner emptiness.
Oh sweet voice of the Last Times, shut our weak ears to the deafening cries of all infernal temptations.
Oh Queen of celestial beauty, lend us Your eyes, so that we may recognize the ugliness of sin.
Oh radiant Light shining into our worldly darkness, resuscitate in our souls the hope for the joys of Paradise, so that within us the blossoms of repentance may bloom, from which the fruits of conversion spring.
Oh Heavenly Teacher and Guide, strengthen us in our consecration to You and to the Holy Trinity, and guide us in the renewal of our baptismal vows to turn away from all evil, so that the stain of the original sin may no longer distort us.
Oh Queen of Eternal Love, cleanse our deceived hearts of the poison of hatred. May the ray of burning Love from Your Immaculate Heart inflict a wound of Love upon all hearts, because this is the only wound that can make us stronger in proportion as its bleeding increases.
Oh pure Mother of Mercy, seal the holy bond with Your children, and build a bridge of roses between all hearts, so that the scent of sanctity may show us to way to You.
Dear Mother Mary,
Do obtain for all of Your children Your purity of soul, mind, heart and body, so that we, just like You, may joyfully follow God’s ways with abandon, and may turn away from sin forever."