Devotion to Mary
Wonderful Effects of this Devotion
My dear friend, be sure that if you remain faithful to the interior and exterior
practices of this devotion which I will point out, the following effects will
be produced in your soul:
1. Knowledge of our unworthiness
By the light which the Holy Spirit will give you through Mary, his faithful
spouse, you will perceive the evil inclinations of your fallen nature and how
incapable you are of any good apart from that which God produces in you as Author
of nature and of grace. As a consequence of this knowledge you will despise
yourself and think of yourself only as an object of repugnance. You will consider
yourself as a snail that soils everything with its slime, as a toad that poisons
everything with its venom, as a malevolent serpent seeking only to deceive.
Finally, the humble Virgin Mary will share her humility with you so that, although
you regard yourself with distaste and desire to be disregarded by others, you
will not look down slightingly upon anyone.
2. A share in Mary's faith
Mary will share her faith with you. Her faith on earth was stronger than that
of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and saints. Now that she is reigning
in heaven she no longer has this faith, since she sees everything clearly in
God by the light of glory. However, with the consent of almighty God she did
not lose it when entering heaven. She has preserved it for her faithful servants
in the Church militant. Therefore the more you gain the friendship of this noble
Queen and faithful Virgin the more you will be inspired by faith in your daily
life. It will cause you to depend less upon sensible and extraordinary feelings.
For it is a lively faith animated by love enabling you to do everything from
no other motive than that of pure love. It is a firm faith, unshakable as a
rock, prompting you to remain firm and steadfast in the midst of storms and
tempests. It is an active and probing faith which like some mysterious pass-key
admits you into the mysteries of Jesus Christ and of man's final destiny and
into the very heart of God himself. It is a courageous faith which inspires
you to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for God and the
salvation of souls. Lastly, this faith will be your flaming torch, your very
life with God, your secret fund of divine Wisdom, and an all-powerful weapon
for you to enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. It inflames
those who are lukewarm and need the gold of fervent love. It restores life to
those who are dead through sin. It moves and transforms hearts of marble and
cedars of Lebanon by gentle and convincing argument. Finally, this faith will
strengthen you to resist the devil and the other enemies of salvation.
3. The gift of pure love
The Mother of fair love will rid your heart of all scruples and inordinate
servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to obey the commandments of her Son
with alacrity and with the holy freedom of the children of God. She will fill
your heart with pure love of which she is the treasury. You will then cease
to act as you did before, out of fear of the God who is love, but rather out
of pure love. You will look upon him as a loving Father and endeavour to please
him at all times. You will speak trustfully to him as a child does to its father.
If you should have the misfortune to offend him you will abase yourself before
him and humbly beg his pardon. You will offer your hand to him with simplicity
and lovingly rise from your sin. Then, peaceful and relaxed and buoyed up with
hope you will continue on your way to him.
4. Great confidence in God and in Mary
Our Blessed Lady will fill you with unbounded confidence in God and in herself:
1) Because you will no longer approach Jesus by yourself but always through
Mary, your loving Mother.
2) Since you have given her all your merits, graces and satisfactions to dispose
of as she pleases, she imparts to you her own virtues and clothes you in her
own merits. So you will be able to say confidently to God: "Behold Mary,
your handmaid, be it done unto me according to your word."
3) Since you have now given yourself completely to Mary, body and soul, she,
who is generous to the generous, and more generous than even the kindest benefactor,
will in return give herself to you in a marvellous but real manner. Indeed you
may without hesitation say to her, "I am yours, O Blessed Virgin, obtain
salvation for me," or with the beloved disciple, St. John, "I have
taken you, Blessed Mother, for my all." Or again you may say with St. Bonaventure,
"Dear Mother of saving grace, I will do everything with confidence and
without fear because you are my strength and my boast in the Lord," or
in another place, "I am all yours and all that I have is yours, O glorious
Virgin, blessed above all created things. Let me place you as a seal upon my
heart, for your love is as strong as death." Or adopting the sentiments
of the prophet, "Lord, my heart has no reason to be exalted nor should
my looks be proud; I have not sought things of great moment nor wonders beyond
my reach; nevertheless, I am still not humble. But I have roused my soul and
taken courage. I am as a child, weaned from earthly pleasures and resting on
its mother's breast. It is upon this breast that all good things come to me."
4) What will still further increase your confidence in her is that, after having
given her in trust all that you possess to use or keep as she pleases, you will
place less trust in yourself and much more in her whom you have made your treasury.
How comforting and how consoling when a person can say, "The treasury of
God, where he has placed all that he holds most precious, is also my treasury."
"She is," says a saintly man, "the treasury of the Lord."
5. Communication of the spirit of Mary
The soul of Mary will be communicated to you to glorify the Lord. Her spirit
will take the place of yours to rejoice in God, her Saviour, but only if you
are faithful to the practices of this devotion. As St. Ambrose says, "May
the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the Lord! May the spirit of
Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God!" "When will that happy
day come," asks a saintly man of our own day whose life was completely
wrapped up in Mary, "when God's Mother is enthroned in men's hearts as
Queen, subjecting them to the dominion of her great and princely Son? When will
souls breathe Mary as the body breathes air?" When that time comes wonderful
things will happen on earth. The Holy Spirit, finding his dear Spouse present
again in souls, will come down into them with great power. He will fill them
with his gifts, especially wisdom, by which they will produce wonders of grace.
My dear friend, when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many
souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves
completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving
and glorifying Jesus? That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is understood
and put into practice. Ut adveniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum Mariae: "Lord,
that your kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come!"
6. Transformation into the likeness of Jesus
If Mary, the Tree of Life, is well cultivated in our soul by fidelity to this
devotion, she will in due time bring forth her fruit which is none other than
Jesus. I have seen many devout souls searching for Jesus in one way or another,
and so often when they have worked hard throughout the night, all they can say
is, "Despite our having worked all night, we have caught nothing."
To them we can say, "You have worked hard and gained little; Jesus can
only be recognised 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 moulded.
Please note that I say that saints are moulded in Mary. There is a vast difference
between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by
using a mould. 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 to our Blessed
Lady says, "You are worthy to be called the mould of God." Mary is
a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who
is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded 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 mould that fashioned a God-man.
I think I can very well compare some spiritual directors and devout persons
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 recognisable 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 moulders who have discovered the beautiful
mould 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 mould. They cast and lose
themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.
You may think this 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 mould. That means that
you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you if you wish to acquire the
likeness of the new Adam in Mary.
7. The greater glory of Christ
If you live this devotion sincerely, you will give more glory to Jesus in a
month than in many years of a more demanding devotion. Here are my reasons for
(1) Since you do everything through the Blessed Virgin as required by this
devotion, you naturally lay aside your own intentions no matter how good they
appear to you. You abandon yourself to our Lady's intentions even though you
do not know what they are. Thus you share in the high quality of her intentions,
which are so pure that she gave more glory to God by the smallest of her actions,
say, twirling her distaff, or making a stitch, than did St. Laurence suffering
his cruel martyrdom on the grid-iron, and even more than all the saints together
in all their most heroic deeds! Mary amassed such a multitude of merits and
graces during her sojourn on earth that it would be easier to count the stars
in heaven, the drops of water in the ocean or the sands of the sea-shore than
count her merits and graces. She thus gave more glory to God than all the angels
and saints have given or will ever give him. Mary, wonder of God, when souls
abandon themselves to you, you cannot but work wonders in them!
(2) In this devotion we set no store on our own thoughts and actions but are
content to rely on Mary's dispositions when approaching and even speaking to
Jesus. We then act with far greater humility than others who imperceptibly rely
on their own dispositions and are self- satisfied about them; and consequently
we give greater glory to God, for perfect glory is given to him only by the
lowly and humble of heart.
(3) Our Blessed Lady, in her immense love for us, is eager to receive into
her virginal hands the gift of our actions, imparting to them a marvelous beauty
and splendour, and presenting them herself to Jesus most willingly. More glory
is given to our Lord in this way than when we make our offering with our own
(4) Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You
never praise or honour Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honouring
God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative
only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to him.
She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary"
she says "God". When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed
because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her
canticle, "My soul glorifies the Lord." What Mary did on that day,
she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honour her, when we
present anything to her, then God is praised, honoured and loved and receives
our gift through Mary and in Mary.
Taken from True
Devotion to Mary by TAN Books
& Publishers, Inc.
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