Thirty Third Day: May 30, 2020
Treatise of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [257-265]
EXPRESSIONS AND COMMITMENTS OF THE CONSECRATION
Montfort indicates the true spirit of this consecration. The exterior practices of this devotion “should be observed as far as one’s circumstances and state of life permit. They should not be omitted through negligence or deliberate disregard.”
In addition to them, there should arise the interior disposition. It may be expressed in four words, doing everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary, in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus.
1. Everything is through Mary—in the spirit of Mary
In order for the soul to be guided by the spirit of Mary, it must fulfill the following:
(1) Before doing anything, for example, before making a meditation, the celebration or participation in the Holy Mass, before Communion it is necessary to renounce our own spirit, way of seeing and wanting. For the darkness of our own spirit and the evil tendencies of our own will and actions, good as they may seem to us, would hinder the holy spirit of Mary were we to follow them.
(2) We should give ourselves up to the spirit of Mary to be moved and directed as she wishes. We should place and leave ourselves in her virginal hands, like a tool in the hands of a craftsman or a lute in the hands of a good musician. We should cast ourselves into her like a stone thrown into the sea. This is done easily and quickly by a mere thought, a slight movement of the will or just a few words as—“I renounce myself and give myself to you, my dear Mother.” And even if we do not experience any emotional fervor in this spiritual encounter, it is none the less real.
(3) From time to time during an action and after it, we should renew this same act of offering and of union. The more we do so, the quicker we shall grow in holiness and the sooner we shall reach union with Christ, which necessarily follows upon union with Mary, since the spirit of Mary is the spirit of Jesus.
2. Everything is with Mary—imitating Mary
“We must do everything with Mary, that is to say, in all our actions we must look upon Mary, although a simple human being, as the perfect model of every virtue and perfection, fashioned by the Holy Spirit for us to imitate, as far as our limited capacity allows. In every action then we should consider how Mary performed it or how she would perform it if she were in our place. For this reason, we must examine and meditate on the great virtues she practiced during her life, especially her lively faith, her deep humility, and her truly divine purity.”
3. Everything is in Mary—intimately united with Mary
We must do everything in Mary, performing our actions in Mary. Mary is compared to a divine garden full of delights. She is called the Sanctuary of the Divinity, the Resting-place of the Holy Trinity, the Throne of God, the City of God, the Altar of God, the Temple of God, the World of God.
“These are very true epithets and praises, when they refer to the different wonders and graces that the Most High has done in Mary.”
St. Louis invites us to immerse ourselves in this holy and divine place: “The place is guarded not by a cherub, like the first earthly paradise but by the Holy Spirit himself who has become its absolute Master. Referring to her, he says: You are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride, an enclosed garden and a sealed fountain. Mary is an enclosed garden! Mary is a sealed fountain! The unfortunate children of Adam and Eve, driven from the earthly paradise, can enter this new paradise only by a special grace of the Holy Spirit which they have to merit.”
“When we have obtained this remarkable grace by our fidelity, we should be delighted to remain in Mary. We should rest there peacefully, rely on her confidently, hide ourselves there with safety, and abandon ourselves unconditionally to her.”
4) Everything is for Mary—in the service of Mary
Finally, we must do everything for Mary. Since we have given ourselves completely to her service, it is only right that we should do everything for her “as if we were her personal servant and slave.”
Once again Saint Louis Marie makes it clear: “This does not mean that we take her for the ultimate end of our service. Jesus alone is our ultimate end. But we take Mary for our proximate end, our mysterious intermediary and the easiest way of reaching him.”
“Like every good servant and slave we must not remain idle, but relying on her protection, we should undertake and carry out great things for our noble Queen.
Specifically, we must:
- Defend her privileges when they are questioned.
- Uphold her good name when it is under attack.
- Attract everyone, if possible, to her service and to this true and sound devotion.
- We must speak up and denounce those who distort devotion to her by outraging her Son, and at the same time we must apply ourselves to spreading this true devotion. As a reward for these little services, we should expect nothing in return save the honor of belonging to such a loveable Queen and the joy of being united through her to Jesus, her Son, by a bond that is indissoluble in time and in eternity.”
Glory to Jesus in Mary! Glory to Mary in Jesus! Glory to God alone!
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.