Twenty Eighth Day: May 25, 2020
Treatise of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [201-207]
Services of Our Lady to her Faithful Servants
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 described in the story of Jacob and Rebecca. Today we will consider the first service and tomorrow we will consider the rest of her services.
1. She loves them
- Because she is their truly their Mother. What mother does not love her child, the fruit of her womb?
- She loves them in gratitude for the active love they show to her, their beloved Mother.
- She loves them because they are loved by God and destined for heaven.
- She loves them because they have consecrated themselves entirely to her and belong to her portion, her inheritance.
St. Louis explains in very beautiful words the immensity of Mary’s love for us, which surpasses the love and tenderness of all mothers 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.” (TD 202)
She loves them not only affectively but effectively, that is, her love is active and productive of good like Rebecca’s love for Jacob—even more so, for Rebecca was, after all, only a symbolic figure of Mary.
In imitation of the attention that Rebecca had for Jacob, here is what this loving Mother does for her children:
- See looks out for favorable opportunities to promote their interests, to ennoble and enrich them. “She personally manages our affairs,” says a saint.
- 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 receives them as something that belongs to her.
- She kills them, that is, makes them die to the life of the old Adam. She strips them of their skin, that is, of their natural inclinations and their self-love.
- She prepares them to God’s taste and to his greater glory. She alone knows perfectly what the divine taste is and where the greatest glory of God is to be found.
In this week, St. Louis directs us to resolve to know Jesus Christ, by repeating throughout the day the prayer of St. Augustine: “Lord Jesus, let me know You.” We will follow the advice Saint Louis teaches in the section: “How to live the Consecration in Holy Communion.” (Treatise of True Devotion 266-273). Therefore, you can apply this advice for the reception of Holy Communion. If you are unable to receive sacramentally, you can make a spiritual communion, which will be explained below.
Before the communion
1. Place yourself humbly in the presence of God.
2. Renounce your corrupt nature and dispositions, no matter how good self-love make them appear to you.
3. Renew your consecration saying, “I belong entirely to you, dear Mother, and all that I have is yours.”
4. Implore Mary to lend you her heart so that you may receive her Son with her dispositions.
During Holy Communion
When you are about to receive our Lord, in honor of each person of the Holy Trinity, say three times the prayer, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
1. Say it the first time as if you were telling the eternal Father that because of your evil thoughts and your ingratitude to such a good Father, you are unworthy to receive his only-begotten Son, but that here is Mary, his handmaid, who acts for you and whose presence gives you a special confidence and hope in him.
2. Say to God the Son, “Lord I am not worthy,” meaning that you are not worthy to receive him because of your useless and evil words and your carelessness in her service, but nevertheless you ask him to have pity on you because you are going to usher him into the house of his Mother and yours.
3. Say to the Holy Spirit, “Lord I am not worthy.” Tell him that you are not worthy to receive the masterpiece of his love because of your lukewarmness, wickedness and resistance to his inspirations. But nonetheless, you put all your confidence in Mary, his faithful Spouse.
Then you will approach to receive Holy Communion or, if you do not have the possibility of communicating sacramentally, you can make it spiritually with a formula like this:
“Lord, I believe you are really present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I wish you in my soul. Since now I cannot receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my heart (brief pause in which you join Jesus). Having come to me, I embrace you and join with you; never allow me to be separated from you.”
After Holy Communion
Close your eyes and recollect yourself. Then usher Jesus into the heart of Mary: You are giving him to his Mother who will receive him with great love and give him the place of honor, adore him profoundly, show him perfect love, embrace him intimately in spirit and in truth, and perform many offices for him of which we, in our ignorance, would know nothing.
Or, maintain a profoundly humble heart in the presence of Jesus dwelling in Mary. Or be in attendance like a slave at the gate of the royal palace, where the King is speaking with the Queen. While they are talking to each other, with no need of you, go in spirit to heaven and to the whole world, and all upon all creatures to thank, adore and love Jesus and Mary for you, “Come, let us adore.”
There are innumerable other thoughts with which the Holy Spirit will inspire you, which he will make yours if you are thoroughly recollected and mortified, constantly faithful to the great and sublime devotion which I have been teaching you.
Next, pray the Litany of the Incarnate Word. You could recite all of the invocations or eight per day. Conclude with the Ave Maris Stella [Hail, Star of the Sea].
LITANY OF THE INCARNATE WORD
Blessed be the Word who was incarnate of the Virgin Mary [repeated after each invocation]
Blessed be the Word, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. R.
Blessed be the Word who existed from all eternity. R.
Blessed be the Word through whom all things were made. R.
Blessed be the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who enlightens all people. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who emptied Himself and took the form of a slave. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who for nine months was formed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who was born in a manger, circumcised, and offered in the Temple. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who was baptized by John in the Jordan. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who chose his disciples. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who proclaimed the Beatitudes. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who announced repentance. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, poor, chaste and obedient, even unto death. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, Priest, King and Prophet. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the Bread of Life for the world. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, who obediently accepted even death, death on a cross. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, man of sorrows. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, meek and humble of heart. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, who descended into hell. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who ascended into heaven. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who will come again. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the Eternal High Priest. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, Head of all, in heaven and on earth. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, present in every soul through grace. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, under the appearance of bread and wine. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word in the sword of the Spirit which is His Word. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word in whom all things are restored. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the King of all peoples. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the sign of contradiction. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the dawn from on high. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the Lamb of God who takes away
the sins of the world. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the Head of the Body, the Church. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word who sent the Holy Spirit. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, who gave us the seven Sacraments. R.
Blessed be the Mother of the Incarnate Word, Mary, Most Holy. R.
Blessed be the Mother of the Incarnate Word, Co-redemptrix. R.
Blessed be the Incarnate Word, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. R.
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
Download the meditation in PDF here.