Tenth Day: May 7, 2020
Treatise: of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [60-67]
SECOND PART – DEVOTION TO MARY IN THE CHURCH
Basic Principles of Devotion to Mary
By examining salvation history, St. Louis has spoken of the need for devotion to the Blessed Virgin. In this section of True Devotion, before explaining what this devotion consists of, St. Louis presents the fundamental theological truths that illuminate this great and solid devotion.
First Truth: Jesus Christ, our Savior, true God and true man, must be the ultimate end of all our other devotions. Otherwise, they would be false and misleading devotions. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 1:8), the Beginning and the End (Rev 21:6) of everything. Furthermore, there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus himself tells us that when the branch is broken from the vine, it withers and only serves to be thrown into the fire (cf. Jn 15:6). Instead, if we are in Jesus and Jesus in us, we should not fear anything.
If, then, we establish a solid devotion with the Blessed Virgin, it is only to establish more perfectly the devotion to Jesus following an easy and safe way to find it. If devotion to Mary would take us away from Jesus, it would have to be rejected as an illusion of the devil.
“This devotion is necessary for us to find Jesus Christ perfectly, to love him with tenderness and to serve him faithfully.” (TD 62)
Denouncing the sad fact that most Christians—among them also the wisest—do not know the union between Jesus and his Mother, the saint exclaims, addressing the Lord:
“She is so intimately united with You that it would be easier to separate light from the sun, and heat from the fire. I go further, it would be easier to separate all the angels and saints from you than Mary; for she loves you more ardently, and glorifies you more perfectly than all the other creatures put together.”
Many, also among Catholics, believe that leading people to devotion to Blessed Virgin Mary would be equivalent to ‘taking something away from Jesus.’ But, referring to these, St. Louis says that “they lack piety and tender devotion for Jesus Christ because they do not have it for Mary. They consider the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions suitable only for simple women or ignorant people. 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, exhorting him to devotion to Jesus instead of devotion to Mary.” Finally, he ends with a strong admonition:
“Let no one presume to expect mercy from God, who offends his holy Mother.”
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.
How to Resist the Worldly Environment
(From Antonio Royo Marín, Theology of Christian Perfection)
Second Resolution: Rekindle the faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 Jn 5:4). “Enlightened by faith, we must oppose the false maxims of the world with the words of Christ. To its seductions, eternal promises, pleasures and diversions, respond with peace and the serenity of a good conscience. To their ironies and their contempt, the courage of the children of God. At their scandals and bad examples, the behavior of the saints and the constant affirmation of an irreproachable life before God and men.” In light of this we consider two biblical texts:
The natural man does not grasp the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because only the Spirit can judge them. (1 Cor 2:14).
The preaching of the cross is foolishness for those who are lost; But for those who are saved, it is the strength of God. (…) In fact, as the world through its own wisdom did not know God in his divine wisdom, God wanted to save the believers through the foolishness of preaching. (1 Cor 1:18-21).
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
Download the meditation in PDF here.