Eleventh Day: May 8, 2020
Treatise: of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [68-77]
We belong to Jesus and Mary as their slaves.
Second Truth. Through baptism, we have become slaves of Jesus Christ; therefore we must strive to bear fruit for the glory of God, letting him reign in our souls, because He has conquered us with his blood. In fact, in many parables, Jesus himself affirms our belonging to Him and our duty to bear fruit. For example, he compares us to a flock that must multiply and give milk, and of which Jesus is the Shepherd. On the contrary, Jesus cursed the barren fig tree and condemned the slothful servant who wasted his talent. All this proves that Jesus Christ wants to gather some fruit from us, that is, from our good works. St. Paul writes: Indeed, we are God’s workmanship: created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10).These words show that Jesus Christ is the beginning and end of all our good deeds. We must serve him, not just as paid servants, but rather, as slaves of love.
Saint Louis Marie, explains the meaning of the word “slave,” making the appropriate distinctions (remember that he lived at the end of the 1600s and the beginning of the 1700s): “there are in this world two ways of belonging to another and being subject to his authority: ordinary service and the other is by slavery. With ordinary service, one commits to serve another for a certain time and for a certain salary or wage. With slavery, on the other hand, one depends entirely on another, for all of his life and must serve the master without claiming any salary or reward.” On the other hand, he states that there are three types of slavery:
1. Natural slavery: In this way all creatures are slaves of God, for the earth is the Lord’s and everything that fills it. (Ps 24:1)
2. Forced slavery: The demons and the condemned are slaves in this sense.
3. Voluntary slavery. This is the most perfect and gives the greatest glory to God, who looks into the heart and wants it to be given to him. 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.
He also clarifies the difference between the servant and the slave, saying: “The servant does not give to his employer all that he is, all he possesses, or all that he can acquire for himself or for others; the slave, on the other hand, gives himself totally to his master, with all that he possesses and can acquire, without exception. The servant demands wages for the services rendered to his employer. The slave, on the other hand, cannot demand anything, no matter how much skill, attention and energy he put into the work. The servant can leave his employer when he wants or at least, when the term of the contract expires; whereas the slave has no right to abandon his master at any time. Finally, the servant is at the patron’s service only for a time; the slave’s service is forever.”
No other human state involves belonging more completely to another than slavery. Among Christians, nothing makes a person belong more completely to Jesus Christ and Mary than voluntary slavery. Repeatedly, in the Holy Scripture, Christians are called slaves of Christ. Formerly, the word servant was used to indicate only a slave, because servants as we know them did not exist. Therefore, we cannot belong to Christ as servants with wages, but as slaves, who are moved by a great love to consecrate our service as slaves. Everything that we have said of Jesus, we can refer, without doubt, also to the Blessed Virgin Mary because as the saints say:
“All that belongs to God by nature belongs to Mary by grace.”
According to the saints, we call ourselves slaves of love of the Blessed Virgin so as to be more perfectly slaves of Jesus Christ. She, in fact, is not like the other creatures. If we become attached to them, they can separate us from God instead of allowing us to approach Him. The strongest inclination of Mary is to unite us to her Son Jesus Christ, as the strongest desire of the Son is that we go to him through his Holy Mother. The saint concludes with this statement:
“If people are unwilling to call themselves slaves of Mary, what difference does it make? Let them become and call them a slave of Jesus Christ for this is the same as being slaves of Mary, since Jesus is the fruit and glory of Mary.”
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).
How to Combat the Worldly Environment
Third Resolution: Consider the vanity of the world; the world passes quickly: For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Cor 7:31) It pleasures and lusts vanish: The world passes away with its lusts; but whoever does the will of God abides eternally (1 Jn 2:17). There is nothing stable under heaven; everything moves and stirs like the sea when the storm rages. The world continuously changes its judgments, affirmations, tastes and whims; sometimes one denies what he had first applauded with frenzy, going from one extreme to the other without scruple, remaining only constant in the ease of lying and obstinacy for evil. Everything happens and vanishes; only God does not change, Santa Teresa said. And with him remains his truth: The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. (Ps 117:2). Your word: The word of God endures forever. (1 Pet 1:25); His Justice endures forever (Ps 111:3), and he who fulfills his divine will; He who does the will of God abides forever. (1 Jn 2:17).
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mt 6: 19-21)
Here is how to concretely live, seeking treasure in Heaven:
When he saw the crowd, he went up into the mountain, and sat down, and his disciples came to him. He taught them saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are those that weep, for they shall receive consolation.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are those who work for peace, because they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you, and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. (Mt 5:1-12).
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.