Twenty First Day: May 18, 2020
Treatise of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [144-151]
Third Motive: This consecration obtains Mary’s maternal assistance.
This total surrender of ourselves to the Virgin Mary implies for us, instead of supposing a loss, a very great gain. Seeing our consecration, Mary, a Mother as generous as her Son, gives us much more than we poorly possess and can offer him. St. Louis teaches: “since as consecrated souls you belong totally to Mary, she too belongs to you in fullness.” Therefore, by consecrating yourself to her in this way, you belong to him intimately. This attitude “will move the soul to approach Our Lord without any servile or scrupulous fear and to pray with all confidence.”
This consecration also gives us a holy distrust of ourselves. It helps us to put our strength and hope not in our poor merits, but in fully supporting Mary, owner of all our works, aware that “this kind Mother purifies, embellishes, presents Jesus Christ and makes his Son accept them.” Saint Louis continues:
(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.
(2) 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 favor of the king, were to go to 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.
(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.
(4) She makes them acceptable to her Son. Those who, on their own and supported by their own effort and ability, bring something to Jesus Christ must remember that He examines the gift. Many times, finding it stained with selfishness, He rejects it, as in the past He rejected the sacrifices of the Jews for being full of self-will.
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.
This is our consolation: “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 lowly and sinful.”
Fourth Motive: It is an excellent means of giving glory to God.
“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, can boldly claim that the value of all his actions, words, and thoughts is used for the greatest glory of God.”
For this third week, Saint Louis Marie says, “They should endeavor 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 the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Ave Maria Stella [Hail, Star of the Sea]. In this week you can also offer prayers that can be habitually done (Morning Offering, praying three Hail Mary’s, the Angelus …) and (as possible) reciting the Holy Rosary.”
1) Place yourself in the presence of God.
2) Ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to know Mary Most Holy.
3) Exhortation to Trust by Saint Bernard
“Oh! You, whoever you are, who feel far from land, dragged by the waves of this world, in the midst of storms, if you do not want to capsize, do not take your eyes off the light of this Star.
If the wind of temptation rises, if the stumbling block of tribulations gets in your way, look at the Star, invoke Mary.
If you are unbalanced by the agitations of pride, of ambition, of murmuring, of envy, look at the Star, invoke Mary.
If anger, avarice, impure desires shake the fragile vessel of your soul, raise your eyes to Mary.
If, disturbed by the memory of the enormity of your crimes, confused before the awkwardness of your conscience, terrified by the fear of Judgment, you begin to let yourself be swept away by the whirlwind of sadness, to throw yourself into the abyss of despair, think of Mary.
In the dangers, in the anxieties, in the doubts, think of Mary, invoke Mary.
May her name never depart from your lips, never leave your heart; and to reach the relief of her intercession, do not neglect the examples of her life.
Following her, you will not get lost; praying, you will not despair; thinking about her, you will avoid all mistakes.
If she sustains you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you will have nothing to fear; if she leads you, you will not get tired; if she is favorable to you, you will reach the end. And so you will verify, from your own experience, how right it was said: And the name of the Virgin was Mary.”
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy, Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy
Christ hear us, Christ hear us
Christ graciously 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 Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
(Repeat after each invocation: Have mercy on us)
Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, have mercy on us.
Spirit of the Lord, who at the beginning of creation, breathed over the waters, made them fertile.
Spirit under whose inspiration God’s saints spoke.
Spirit whose unction teaches us everything.
Spirit who gives testimony of Jesus Christ.
Spirit of truth who inspires everything.
Spirit who descended upon Mary.
Spirit of the Lord who fills all the earth.
Spirit of God who dwells in us.
Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
Spirit of counsel and fortitude.
Spirit of knowledge and piety.
Spirit of fear of the Lord.
Spirit of grace and mercy.
Spirit of virtue, esteem and sobriety.
Spirit of faith, hope, love and peace.
Spirit of humility and chastity.
Spirit of goodness and meekness.
Spirit of all the forms of grace.
Spirit who scrutinizes the divine depths.
Spirit who prays for us with inexpressible pleading.
Spirit who descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove.
Spirit by whom we receive new birth.
Spirit who fills hearts with charity.
Spirit of adoption of the sons of God.
Spirit who appeared over the Disciples in the form of tongues of fire.
Spirit with which the Apostles were filled.
Spirit who gives to each one according to His will.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Ave Maris Stella
Hail, bright star of ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.
Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.
Break the captives’ fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
May Jesus Christ reign through the Virgin Mary!
Religious Family of the Incarnate Word
Province of the Immaculate Conception, USA