Thirty First Day: May 28, 2020
Treatise of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [218-221]
Continuation of the Wonderful Effects of this Devotion
Sixth Effect: Transformation in Mary into the image of Jesus Christ
As Saint Louis explains very well, the purpose of this devotion is to unite us closely to Jesus. This is what Mary most desires, and she grants this immense grace to those who approach her as true devotees.
St. Louis points out that there are many people who seek this end, union with Jesus Christ. Many devout souls search for Jesus in one way or another, and so often when they have worked hard through the night, all they can say is, We have worked all night and we have not caught anything (Luke 5:2). To them we can say: You have sown much, but you have harvested little (Haggai 1:6). Jesus Christ can only be recognized faintly in you. “But if we follow the immaculate path of Mary, living the devotion that I teach, we will always work in daylight, we will work in a holy place, and we will work but little. There is no darkness in Mary, not even the slightest shadow since there was never any sin in her. She is a holy place, a holy of holies, in which saints are formed and molded.”
Montfort uses a very enlightening image to show us that through Mary we reach her Son Jesus.
“Listen carefully to what I say: saints are molded in Mary. There is a vast difference between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by using a mold. Sculptors and statue-makers work hard and need plenty of time to make statues by the first method. But the second method does not involve much work and takes very little time.”
“St Augustine speaking of the Blessed Virgin calls her forma Dei (form of God). Mary is a mold capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mold is quickly shaped and molded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mold that fashioned a God-man.”
“I think I can very well compare some spiritual directors to sculptors who wish to produce Jesus in themselves and in others by methods other than this. Many of them rely on their own skill, ingenuity and art and chip away endlessly with mallet and chisel at hard stone or badly-prepared wood, in an effort to produce a likeness of our Lord. At times, they do not manage to produce a recognizable likeness either because they lack knowledge and experience of the person of Jesus or because a clumsy stroke has spoiled the whole work.”
But those who accept this little known secret of grace which I offer them can rightly be compared to smelters and molders who have discovered the beautiful mold of Mary where Jesus was so divinely and so naturally formed. They do not rely on their own skill but on the perfection of the mold. They cast and lose themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.
Saint Louis expresses his desire for us to understand this profound reality, so that we can put it into practice. He explains the need we have to die to ourselves. Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone (John 12:24). We are stained by the original sin of our parents. Mary then is the means since she is the image and likeness of God.
“You may think this is a beautiful and convincing comparison. But how many understand it? I would like you, my dear friend, to understand it. But remember that only molten and liquefied substances may be poured into a mold. That means that you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you in you wish to acquire the likeness of the new Adam in Mary.”
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.