Sixth Day: May 3, 2020
Treatise of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [27-36]
1. Mary’s Maternal Influence
Jesus is already in glory at the right hand of the Father. So, is he still the Son of Mary? Saint Louis Marie says yes, because what is natural is elevated by grace. Glory brings grace to perfection. All that was naturally good on this earth is elevated to the supernatural reality. Now, in the glory of God, it is perfect.
“It is true, then, that our Lord, in heaven, is still the Son of Mary as He was on earth and maintains the submission and obedience of the most perfect of all children to the best of all mothers.”
But it is not a motherhood as we know it: “Mary is infinitely inferior to her Son, who is God. Therefore, when we read in the writings of St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure, and others, that in heaven and on earth everything, even God himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, it must be understood that the authority that God bestowed upon her is so great that it seems as if she had 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 prayers because it is always humble and conformed to his will.”
2. Mary is a sign of true faith
God the Father wants to engender children through Mary until the end of the world: “Just as in the 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.”
Catholics “who do not have Mary as their Mother, do not have God for their Father either,” affirms Saint Louis Marie, echoing an affirmation of Saint Cyprian. But it is not enough to say that Mary is mother if there is no filial love. “If they had her for their mother they would love and honor her as good and true children naturally love and honor the mother who gave him 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.”
3. Mary is Mother of the Church
“God the Son wants to be formed, and so to speak, to be incarnate each day through his beloved Mother, in his members.” In the Mystical Body of the Church, where Christ is the head and we are the members, “Mary is the neck that unites the Head with the members.”
“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 same way, in the order of grace, the Head and the members are born of the same mother. If a member of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is to say, a predestined one, were born of a Mother other than Mary who gave birth to the Head, he would not be an heir of Heaven, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but a monster in the order of the grace.”
4. Mary is a figure of the Church
“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: the God-man. Consequently, she will also perform the greatest marvels which will be seen in the latter times. The formation and education of the great saints, who will come at the end of the world, are reserved for her, for only this singular and miraculous Virgin can produce, in union with the Holy Spirit, singular and extraordinary things.”
1) Place yourself in the presence of God.
2) Ask for the grace of having a great desire to be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, and to have eternal life as the only goal of my most important choices, without letting myself be seduced by the spirit of the world.
3) Read the text below and then spend a brief period of time reflecting on it. (From Antonio Royo Marín, Theology of Christian Perfection) What is the “worldly environment”?
The second way the worldly spirit is characterized is by ridicule and persecution against what the Christian loves. In particular, the world mocks and persecutes the life of piety and decent, modest clothing. Moral events, which elevate the spirit, are defined as ridiculous and boring. They are the object of mockery. The world considers the holy laws of marriage obsolete and impossible to practice.
If we must suffer ridicule, let us remember the Lord, and offer to accompany him in his Passion: Then the soldiers of the procurator took Jesus inside the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a purple cloak over him and, braiding a crown of thorns, put it on his head and a cane in his right hand. Then they bent the knee in front of him, and made fun of him saying: ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and they spit on him and took a cane to hit him on the head. And after having mocked him, they took off his mantle, put his clothes on him and took him to crucify him. (Mt 27:27-31)
4) Conclude the meditation with the Litany of Humility.
Litany of Humility
(By Servant of God Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val)
Lord have mercy—Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy—Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy—Lord have mercy
Jesus, meek and humble of heart—Hear me.
O Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, Make my heart like unto Thine.
From the desire of being esteemed—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged—Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected—Deliver me, O Jesus.
Jesus, grant me—The knowledge and love of my nothingness
Jesus, grant me—The perpetual remembrance of my sins
Jesus, grant me—The awareness of the persuasion of my stinginess
Jesus, grant me—The aversion for all vanity
Jesus, grant me—The pure intention to serve God
Jesus, grant me—The perfect submission to the will of the Father
Jesus, grant me—The true spirit of compunction
Jesus, grant me—The decided obedience to my superiors
Jesus, grant me—The holy hatred of all envy and jealousy
Jesus, grant me—The promptness in the forgiveness of offenses
Jesus, grant me—The prudence in being quiet before the business of others
Jesus, grant me—Peace and charity with and for all
Jesus, grant me—The ardent desire for being disdained and for humiliations
Jesus, grant me—The want to be treated like You and the grace to know how to accept it in a saintly manner.
That others may be loved more than I—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should—Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
O Mary, Queen and Mother of the humble—plead for me.
Saint Joseph, protector and model of the humble—plead for me.
Saint Michael Archangel, who was the first to take down the proud—plead for me.
All the Saints, sanctified by the spirit of humility—plead for me.
Let us pray—Lord Jesus, who being God humbled yourself unto death and death by the cross, as to be a perennial example that confounds our pride and self-love, grant us the grace to imitate Your example so that, humbling ourselves as we should to our misery on earth, we may be exalted to enjoy You eternally in Heaven. Amen
May Jesus Christ reign through the Virgin Mary!
Religious Family of the Incarnate Word
Province of the Immaculate Conception, USA