We are on the final week - how time flies! Below is the information for this last week.
Tomorrow starts the week for the Knowledge of Jesus just before making our Consecration to Jesus through Mary on March 25th. You may do this on your own before an image of Our Lady or you may have a witness of a priest if this is your first time. I will provide a document for you to print with the words of the Consecration on it for you to print - later this week. Below is the guideline and talk for this week. May we keep each other in prayer.
May St. Therese and Our Lady pray for us to come closer to Jesus - the One Who loves us!
27TH Day - Christ Our Last End – True Devotion to Mary
28th Day - The Gift of Jesus in the Eucharist/Passion- St. Matthew
29th Day - Imitating Jesus/Indifference to World – Imitation of Christ
30th Day - Royal Road of the Cross – St. Matthew & Imitation of Christ
31st Day - Love of God in the Blessed Sacrament – Imitation/True Dev.
32nd Day - Loving Jesus Above All Things – Imitation/True Devotion
33rd Day - Necessity of Communion – Imitation/True Devotion
Jesus Christ Our Last End – True Devotion Nos. 61, 62
Jesus Christ our Savior, true God and true Man, ought to be the last end of all our devotions, else they are false and delusive. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things. We labor not, as the Apostle says, except to render every man perfect in Jesus Christ; because it is in Him alone that the whole plentitude of the Divinity dwells together with all the other plenitudes of graces, virtues and perfections. It is in Him alone that we have been blessed with all spiritual benediction; and He is our only Master, Who has to teach us; our only Lord on Whom we ought to depend; our only Head to Whom we must be united; our only Shepherd Who can feed us; our only Way Who can lead us; our only Truth Whom we must believe; our only Life Who can animate us and our only All in all things Who can satisfy us. There has been no other name given under heaven, except the name of Jesus, by which we can be saved. God has laid no other foundation of our salvation, our perfection or our glory than Jesus Christ. Every building which is not built on that firm rock is founded upon the moving sand, and sooner or later infallibly will fall.
By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, we can do all things; we can render all honor and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit; we can become perfect ourselves, and be to our neighbors a good odor of eternal life.
If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ, and to provide an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ. Devotion to our Lady is necessary for us, as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter, as a means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, of serving Him faithfully.
The above text from “True Devotion to Mary” sums up the entire Consecration but we will proceed further in learning how we can obtain a close friendship and knowledge of Jesus. We learn from St John in 8:12 that Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Jesus instructs us that to be truly enlightened and freed of all blindness, we must follow Him. We can get frustrated at ourselves and those around us for not seeing the Truth. If we really analyze the situation, we can see that we are not walking with the Light of Christ – we have strayed from the path of Truth. When we encounter darkness and blindness in the world, we are called upon to pray for ourselves and those who are wandering to search for this Light of the World – Jesus Christ.
We might ask ourselves – How can I be fervent? How can I remain faithful to the Light of the World? In our studies this week we will touch on the importance of devotion to the Incarnation of Jesus, the gift of Himself in the Eucharist and the necessity of the cross. These are all essential in understanding Jesus.
We learn in the True Devotion Nos. 243-254 on the 31st day that we are called to have a special devotion to the Incarnation of the Word. First, to honor the mystery of dependence which God the Son was pleased to have on Mary, for His Father’s glory and our salvation. Secondly, to thank God for the infinite graces He has given Mary and particularly for having chosen Her to be His most holy Mother. St. Louis states that these are the two principal ends of the slavery of Jesus and Mary.
The Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ is a profound mystery. One that St. Louis de Montfort says we should meditate on often and have a deep appreciate for. Why? God humbled Himself to become Man in order to be our Redeemer. God Himself chose to be dependent and obedient to Mary as Her Child. St. Louis says that when we think of Mary, we cannot consider Mary without considering the Incarnation. St. Alphonsus says, “In the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, Mary could not have humbled Herself more than She did humble Herself: God on the other hand, could not have exalted Her more than He did exalt Her”. She became the Mother of God.
The three Persons of the Holy Trinity freely chose to have need of Mary for the Incarnation, each of them in their own way took her into consideration. The love that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit bore Mary and the riches with which they lavishly endowed her are justified by the role they entrusted to Her. Her role did not consist merely in giving His individual humanity to the Word; She was meant to extend this role to the accomplishment of the whole Christ – Head and members. The Incarnation is the beginning of the act of giving birth to the new humanity in Jesus Christ. St. Louis de Montfort says in the “True Devotion to Mary” that this birthing will only come to an end “at the end of time”. Meaning: “It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through Her that He must reign in the world.”
St. Louis continues to says, “God-made-man found freedom in imprisoning Himself in Her womb…He glorified His independence and His majesty in depending upon this loveable Virgin in His Conception, His Birth, His Presentation in the Temple, and in the thirty years of His hidden life. Even at His Death, She had to be present so that He might be united with Her in one Sacrifice.” St. Louis goes further by saying, “Since grace enhances our human nature and glory adds a still greater perfection to grace, it is certain that Our Lord remains in Heaven just as much the Son of Mary as He was on earth. Consequently, He has retained the submissiveness and obedience of the most perfect of all children toward the best of all mothers”. He points out that this dependence is in no way an abasement or imperfection of Jesus. He says, Mary is infinitely inferior to Her Son, who is God, and that She does not command Him like mothers do on earth. It is different in glory from what it was on earth. Her will is perfectly united to the Will of God – She never acts or desires anything against God’s Will but by Her tender love is interceding for us.
What does this mean for us? Why did He do this? This “dependence” is not optional for us, if we are to live in imitation of Jesus. By becoming man, God actually involves us in a filial dependence on Mary, as far as our spiritual life is concerned. It is our responsibility to acknowledge and live it at our own level, as Jesus Himself accepted and lived it at His own. Since this is Mary’s whole reason for being – to be the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ; we can understand why God so generously lavished Her with profound graces. They were meant in turn to be given to us.
The Incarnation is a mystery of love. The association of Mary with the Holy Spirit in the Incarnation entails Her permanent cooperation with Him until the mystery (the entire mission of Christ) is accomplished. St. Louis sees the Incarnation as the seat of Divine Mercy because in it we find Jesus “through Mary”. Mary is really the way of mercy by which Jesus came to us and by which we should go to Him.
Let us conclude with how this gave amazing glory to the Father. St. Louis says in the “True Devotion to Mary”, “Jesus gave more glory to God than He would have given had He offered all the sacrifices of the Old Law. In Mary He gave His Father infinite glory, such as His Father had never received from man.” Jesus’ dependence on Mary, consequent of the Incarnation, enabled Him to “Give more glory to God His Father by submitting to His Mother for thirty years than He would have given Him had He converted the whole world by working the greatest miracles.” Could this be the reason Mary is so despised today? Satan is unleashed and has deceived even the elect in rejecting their Mother through their pride. The secret to sanctity is humility – The humility of Jesus and Mary. Let us be humble in imitation of Jesus and accept and embrace and depend on Mary-Our Queen and Mother. Let us repeat the words of Our Mother, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Word.”
The mystery of the Incarnation can help us with our love and understanding of the great gift of Jesus to us in the Blessed Sacrament. When we come to ask Our Lady for her profound humility in accepting the gift of Jesus Himself, we can come to experience ourselves the beauty of the soul of Our Lady as we receive Him in Holy Communion. We should always ask for the gift of humility from Our Lady before receiving Her Son at EACH Communion. This would follow the instruction of St. Louis de Montfort in living by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary. If we prayed to receive Our Lady in our soul before each Communion, how happy Jesus would be to come to that soul where His Holy Mother dwells.
To prepare ourselves for a worthy reception of Jesus in Holy Communion we not only call upon Mary but we ask ourselves the following questions: “Who is it that is coming?” “To whom does He come, and why is He coming?” We can answer, “It is my Creator, who has given me everything that I possess, in whom I live, and move and am. It is God all Powerful, all Wise, all Knowing, all Holy, all Beautiful!” Jesus Christ is coming, the Eternal Son of the Father, who moved by love unspeakable, came down from Heaven into the pure womb of the Virgin, was born into this world and lived as man among sinners! The Good Shepherd is coming to seek His lost sheep; My Redeemer is coming who died on the cross for sinners. To whom is He coming? To a miserable sinner who has not fulfilled the end of his creation, to a steward who has wasted his master’s goods, to a servant who has disobeyed his Lord, to a subject who has rebelled against his Prince, to a redeemed captive who has been unthankful to his Deliverer, to a soldier who has deserted his Commander, to a prodigal child who has turned his back upon his Father, to a spouse who has been unfaithful to her Bridegroom.
HOW GREAT IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN HIM WHO IS RECEIVED AND THE SINNER WHO RECEIVES!
Who can think of this and not feel himself completely unworthy of such a grace! Does this not stir into a repentant soul the desire to receive on one’s knees and (on one’s tongue).
The saints with their lives teach us that to possess Love is to love Him; it is to allow oneself to be penetrated by His fire – by the Holy Spirit like our Lady. On our own, we cannot love. This love comes from the Holy Spirit, and where ever the Holy Spirit is – there is His Spouse, Mary. Mary with the Holy Spirit has been the one who has nourished us with the Body and Blood of Her Son in Holy Communion. The Dispenser of Graces has entered into our soul with the Holy Spirit to give us the graces Jesus wants us to have. Love comes from God and is given back to Him. This is why we must humble ourselves at all times knowing that any charity, any love, any grace coming from our souls originated by the Holy Spirit with the cooperative work of Mary. This is exactly what Our Lady was saying during the Magnificat. The Carmelite mystics call this passive love not because the soul does not move but because the soul does not move itself. The Holy Spirit moves it and it works under His Divine impulse. Therefore, it can truly be said that the Holy Spirit loves in the soul and that the soul loves with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is rightly called fire – Divine Fire. The Holy Spirit possesses the soul and that soul burns by a divine fire. Charity or love is the intimate fire that burns the soul, but the Holy Spirit, present in the soul is both the cause of that fire and its glorious end. At first the soul does not burn totally because it needs to be purified in order that the Divine Fire may perfectly penetrate and possess it. Little by little the divine penetration is effected and the soul gradually burns more thoroughly, more profoundly. The divine penetration becomes so perfect, the spiritual combustion so complete that the soul is “deified” – changed into fire – into Love. St. John of the Cross explains this with the burning of a log in a fire. The fire is difficult to get started on the log but once it takes hold of it – it is consumed and becomes ablaze – so much so that the wood is transformed. St. Paul states in 1Cor. 6:17 “he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.”
It is the Holy Spirit that gave Christ to the world at the moment of His conception. Likewise, in the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit gives us Jesus through Mary. Every time we Communicate, our souls and hearts become the temple of the Most Holy Trinity with the Father, through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit.
Christian holiness must be realized according to the relationship we have with the Eucharist, it must be Eucharistic holiness. We are united in Christ. The offering of ourselves and the Church would be nothing without Christ; it would be neither holy nor acceptable to God as we are only sinful creatures. The offering of the Body of Christ must be accompanied by the offering of one’s own body. On the altar, the priest acts in the place of Christ, the High Priest, but also in the place of Christ the High Victim. Each member of the Church is simultaneously both priest and victim while acknowledging the essential difference between the ministerial priesthood and the universal priesthood of all baptized persons. So when we unite ourselves to Jesus and offer ourselves up with Him through Mary to the Father, we are united in such a way that we too are Eucharistic. Our life’s little actions, words, and deeds become crumbs of the Eucharistic Jesus that feed the world. It is because of the Eucharist that love enters the world. We are in the world for the most sublime of reasons – to be living sacrifices in imitation of Jesus.
The secret of happiness lies in a total offering of one’s self just like Mary – “Let it be done unto me according to Thy Word”. We can achieve this same offering through this Consecration. She will allow us to withhold NOTHING back so that by Her to Jesus we may receive the Holy Spirit – THE SPIRIT OF LOVE. The Holy Spirit impels the soul very strongly to offer oneself without ceasing like the log that is transformed into fire. The Eucharistic soul does not desire anything but love for the Father and seeing that HE IS NOT LOVED, that soul soon undergoes the martyrdom of martyrdoms – the sorrow of Jesus in the Host that cries “I thirst”. That soul now hungers for souls to satiate the thirst of Jesus. That soul feels the pain of Christ’s rejection in the world and becomes a victim of love of the Heavenly Father and shares in the Cross of Jesus Christ.
THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST
Those who truly love Jesus want to share in His sufferings. They want to know His Heart. They want to comfort His Heart. This is who Mary is. Our Consecration will lead us to experience this sharing of the “cross”. One cannot be united to Christ if we are not united to the cross. Jesus cannot be seen in this life without the cross. It gives Jesus consolation to know that He can share this passion of horrible human ingratitude with His Eucharistic souls. It is a means of reparation. If we truly love Him and want to console Him whom we love, how can we deny Him the gift of ourselves in sharing in His passion. We must ask Him like St. Francis of Assisi to not be allowed to die without sharing in that love for the salvation of souls by uniting ourselves to Jesus for the glory of the Father. The highest love for the Father is the complete accomplishment of His Will in the perfect and personal participation by every soul in the sacrifice of Jesus. Since Mary was the only soul who perfectly accomplished this union with Jesus on the cross, it is only wise to seek to accomplish this ourselves with Her, in Her and by Her.
To love the Cross, we must see Jesus on it and understand the personal and indestructible ties that bind Him to it. To love the Cross, we must experience the sweet and strong attraction which Jesus Crucified exercises over souls, as He Himself promised in John 12:32 when He said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to Myself.” When man is abandoned to himself, he hates pain but when the fire of the Holy Spirit burns within his soul, there is nothing he loves so intensely. It seems like madness but that madness is the madness of a God in love, who willed to die for us and who left on earth this sublime folly for us to share in.
The Holy Spirit, who communicates the science of the cross and infuses love for it in souls; also gives to chosen souls a participation in it according to His loving designs. We must remember that martyrdom itself without love means nothing. Hell is suffering but it is sterile, desolate and full of despair. In order for sacrifice to have value, it must be the fruit of love and to have infinite value, it must be the fruit of infinite love. All the souls who wish to share in the sacrifice of Jesus, all who wish like Him to offer themselves to the Father in their Holy Communions must offer themselves through the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit with His Spouse, Mary who unites our poor sorrows with the infinite sorrows of Jesus, mingles our blood with the Divine Blood, nails us to the Cross with the Divine Victim and fuses our hearts with the Divine Heart of Jesus. It is important to understand that the Eucharist is the sacrifice of Calvary – the sublime mystery of the Cross. Jesus unites with us in the Eucharist and asks us to prolong His Passion, His martyrdom, His immolation to “complete what is lacking to the Passion of Christ” Col 1:24. The crucifixion of Christ, in anyone who is His member, is fruitful, supremely fruitful in obtaining graces of salvation for souls and for glorifying the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom belongs all honor and glory.
In conclusion, when Jesus left the earth to go to the Father, He wanted to stay with us until the consummation of the world, so He instituted His Sacrament of Love – the Eucharist. When we partake of this great Sacrament, we are called to be Eucharistic souls, like Mary. We partake in the sufferings of Christ on the cross as He cries “I thirst”. We are called to be Jesus in the world but since Jesus was formed in the Immaculate Womb of Mary, we cannot nor will we be formed by the Holy Spirit other than in this same pure Womb of our Heavenly Mother.
In order for Mary to form Jesus within us, we must imitate Her loving abandonment, Her immaculate purity and her hidden life of prayer. We must always say, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Your Word.”
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!