Seek Consolation In The Sacred Heart Of Jesus!

(The following words, taken from ‘Love, peace and joy: a month of the Sacred Heart according to St. Gertrude’, will be of immense profit to all those who put these words into practice. The fruits derived from this practice are so great that you might well wish the whole world knew these words.)

It seems, however, that the Heart of Jesus desires, above all, that we shall unite our sufferings to His, in order that He may communicate to them His infinite merits. There is nothing that He recommends so frequently. One day, when St. Mechtilde felt that her infirmities rendered her, as it were, useless in the service of God, Jesus said to her:

“Place all thy sufferings in My Heart, and I will give them the highest perfection for the utility of the whole Church. Even as My Divinity has united to itself the sufferings of My humanity, in order to make them Divine, so I wish to unite thy sufferings to Myself, in order to render them perfect.

Offer them to My love, saying: O Love, to Thee do I entrust my sufferings, with the same intention with which Thou hast brought them to me from the Heart of my God; and I beseech Thee, with my deepest gratitude, to receive them again when Thou hast given them their highest perfection. Thy heart will thus unite itself to the love which makes Me embrace the Cross with My whole Heart, and to the gratitude with which I thanked My Father for having permitted Me to suffer for those I love ; and even as My Passion has borne infinite fruits, both in Heaven and on earth, thy sufferings, even the most trivial, when united to My Passion, will bear such fruits that the citizens of Heaven will receive from them an increase of glory; the just an increase of grace; sinners their pardon; and the souls in Purgatory an alleviation of their pains.

What is there, in fact, that My Divine Heart cannot change for the better, since all that is precious in Heaven and on earth has its source in the goodness of My Heart?”

And why should not we also, in all, even the most trivial of our sufferings, assure to ourselves the incomparable fruits which union with the Heart of Jesus secured for our Saint? Why should not we also receive them with the love and gratitude which she drew from the Saviour’s Heart? It is so sweet and easy to do so! It is not a question of suffering more, but of suffering better, with more consolation and fruit. We have only to suffer all in union with the Heart of Jesus. May it be henceforth our habitual practice!

Is it not evident that if we thus place our trials in the Heart of Jesus, they will at once be greatly alleviated? On one occasion, as St. Mechtilde was praying for a person in affliction, Our Lord said to her:

“Let her, with childlike simplicity, bring all her troubles to Me; let her seek her consolation in My compassionate Heart, and I will never abandon her.”

“Jesus”, adds the Saint, “has bestowed on us the gift of His Heart, in order that we may, when in sorrow, seek our refuge and our consolation therein.”

Keep falling into the same sins? Pray!

“He who prays most receives most.”

– St. Alphonsus

Rather than provide a theological argument for the importance of (mental) prayer, I will rely on the authority of the Church and the saints. What they say about mental prayer, quite simply, is that it is the means for obtaining all good things: confidence, peace, joy, happiness, humility, conversion, virtue, and the crowning graces, namely, divine love and final perseverance, without which no one can be saved.

What is Mental Prayer?

“… a silent elevation and application of our mind and heart to God in order to offer Him our homages and to promote His glory by our advancement in virtue.” – Tanquerey 

Some simple steps for mental prayer:

1. Ask for the grace to pray well.

2. Put ourselves in the presence of God.

3. Resolve to pray for a certain period of time, despite temptations, dryness etc.

4. Make a firm resolution to overcome a particular sin, or to practice a particular virtue.

What do the saints say about mental prayer?

One cannot fail to make a firm resolution to pray more frequently (or at least more attentively) after having read the following words:

“Short of a miracle, a man who does not practice mental prayer will end up in mortal sin…

All the saints have become saints by mental prayer.”

– St. Alphonsus

Why is this so? Here is what St. Peter of Alacantara has to say about mental prayer:

“IN MENTAL PRAYER, THE SOUL IS

purified from its sins,

nourished with charity,

confirmed in faith,

and strengthened in hope;

the mind expands,

the affections dilate,

the heart is purified,

truth becomes evident;

temptation is conquered,

sadness dispelled;

the senses are renovated;

drooping powers revive;

tepidity ceases;

the rust of vices disappears.

Out of mental prayer issues forth, like living sparks, those desires of heaven which the soul conceives when inflamed with the fire of divine love. Sublime is the excellence of mental prayer, great are its privileges; to mental prayer heaven is opened; to mental prayer heavenly secrets are manifested and the ear of God [is] ever attentive.”

“By the efficacy of mental prayer temptation is banished, sadness is driven away, lost virtue is restored, fervor which has grown cold is excited, and the lovely flame of divine love is augmented.” – St. Laurence Justinian

“When one does not love prayer, it is morally impossible for him to resist his passions.” – St. Alphonsus

Many more quotes could be added, but these are sufficient. Here are some further tips for overcoming sin, discouragement and unhappiness:

“In the spiritual life, one must always go on pushing ahead and never go backwards; if not, the same things happens to a boat which when it loses headway gets blown backwards with the wind.” – St. Padre Pio

“Impregnate yourself with humility, and you will soon find that all other virtues will follow without any effort on your part.” – Fr. Cajetan

“God requires of us only strong resolutions; he himself will do the rest.” – St. Teresa of Avila

” How much soever you have advanced here below, you err if you think your vices are not only suppressed, but dead.” – St. Bernard

“So long as we tackle all our troubles ourselves, we shall be always worried and tired, and Our Lord will leave us to our own devices; but when we leave everything to Him, He will look after all our troubles Himself. … . I am not just speaking of temporal things, but also of spiritual ones.” – St. Francis de Sales

“If you say the Holy Rosary every day, with a spirit of faith and love, our Lady will make sure she leads you very far along her Son’s path.” St. Josemaria Escriva

” A prayer in which a person is not aware of Whom he is speaking to, what he is asking, who it is who is asking and of Whom, I don’t call prayer- however much the lips may move.” – St. Teresa of Avila

“We must not be upset by our imperfections; instead, we must recognize them and learn to combat them. And it is in fighting against our imperfections without being discouraged by them that our very perfection consists.”

– St. Francis de Sales

Jesus Is Most Deserving Of Compassion!

“My Child, do not believe that my agony has been only three hours, no; actually I will be in agony till the end of the world because of the souls I love.”

– Jesus to St. Padre Pio

Similar words were spoken to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida:

“I only remained on the Cross of Calvary for three hours, but on the interior Cross of My Heart, my whole life. The monasteries (Oasis) will venerate both of them but especially my Interior Cross which symbolizes these pains and these inner sufferings, so incomprehensible, which constantly oppress my soul. These sufferings remained hidden during My life. I smiled, I labored. Only My Mother was aware of this martyrdom which crushed My loving Heart. My external Passion lasted but a few hours. It was like a gentle dew, a comfort for the other Passion, terribly cruel, which tortured ceaselessly My soul!” (Diary, Sept. 25, 1894).

How worthy is Jesus of our compassion! Recognising my own sinfulness and past obstinacy, I repeat the words of Bl. Alexandrina:

“Do not offend our dear Lord any more. Convert yourselves. Do not lose Jesus for all eternity. He is so good. Enough of sin! LOVE HIM! LOVE HIM!”

The following words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde should fill us with a holy fear, but also with profound humility, love and gratitude:

“As long as a sinner remains in sin, he keeps Me stretched and fastened to the Cross, but as soon as he is converted and repentant he detaches Me, and as if I really had been detached from the Cross I fall, with all My weight on him, as formerly on Joseph of Arimathea, with My grace and mercy; I give Myself into his hands, that he may do with Me as he will.”

However sinful our past, God offers us a fresh start. Salvation is our greatest good, and sanctity is our means of salvation; therefore, let us pray daily for the grace to become a saint! This is the most noble, joyful and meaningful end that any human can aspire to! Fortunate are they who strive earnestly for holiness! Here are some book suggestions to help you progress in the spiritual life:

‘The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life’ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (112 pages)

‘The Ways of Mental Prayer’ by Dom Vital Lehodey (408 pages) (Recommended by Garrigou-Lagrange and St. Pope Pius X, who was reffered to by St. Padre Pio as “the greatest Pope since St. Peter”!)

‘Christian Perfection and Contemplation’ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (470 pages)

The first recommendation will be of great profit to all- Protestant or Catholic- and it is very affordable: http://www.bookdepository.com/Three-Conversions-Spiritual-Life-R-Gamigou-Lagrange/9780895557391

God bless!

 

Love Of God: “the only true love”…

“… those who wound My Heart most are the much-loved ones who always keep something back, and do not give themselves wholly to Me. Yet, do I not show them clearly enough how dearly I love them? Do I not give them My whole Heart?”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

Words such as these are commonly addressed to saints and victim souls. The following words of Our Lord to Conchita, should humble us greatly, and inspire us with love for God:

“Some souls do not love Me. That is why they are lost. Among the souls who love Me and call themselves Mine, how few there are who give Me their whole heart! Almost always I receive but a part of their heart. All of it, so rarely! Nevertheless I want them to love Me ‘with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength!’ The human heart turns partly toward creatures, toward the world, toward self. Self-love for the greatest part fills it. It lives and breathes only for that. I demand a love which surpasses everything. I have imposed this precept on them to render men happy and to save them. Despite this, how few, I repeat, are the souls who carry out My sovereign will to perfection! I wish them well and they resist. I present them with a treasure and they despise it. I give them life and they run to death. To love and to sacrifice oneself, therein is the eternal felicity in heaven.

“To overcome vices and to practice virtues, it is necessary to sacrifice oneself, but do so with love. The soul which does this, love Me wholeheartedly and I will be its eternal recompense. Give Me a love like this, give Me souls who love Me in suffering, who find their joy on the Cross. My Heart thirsts for such a love. I want a pure love, an unselfish love, an expiatory, crucified love, a sound love such as it may be said no longer exists on earth. Yet it is the only true love, the love which saves, purifies and the love I require through My commandments. All other apparent loves do not satisfy Me; all other love is vain, artificial, often culpable, save the love which I have just shown you.

“Love Me as I have loved you, in my interior Cross, after the very first moment of my Incarnation. Love Me in suffering and in sacrifice out of love. Love Me for I am God and solely to please Me. It is toward this love I aspire, the love I desire. Happy the soul possessing it… 

I PROMISE THAT ON THIS EARTH, THAT SOUL WILL BEGIN TO TASTE OF THE DELIGHTS OF HEAVEN.”  

“Oh how easily we could win Heaven

– day by day –

just by doing what we have to do,

but doing it for God.”

– St. John Vianney

A Remedy For Anxiety (Revelations to a privileged nun)

“No, there is not a single superfluous suffering in your life.”

– Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity

When we suffer, let us be content to carry our cross out of love for God. This way “… your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” (John 6:20).

It is not within our power to free ourselves from all feelings of anxiety. Jesus Himself experienced such fear and anxiety that He sweat blood! What God asks of us is our love and our trust.

“Those who love Me much, have great confidence in Me… And notice, I respond at once by putting joy into the heart that honors Me with confidence.”

– Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity

He knows what is best for us. If we place our trust in Him and humbly accept our cross (which is an efficacious means of converting sinners), then we can be sure that whatever state God leaves us in is for a greater good, and for His glory. Sometimes healing takes time, so we must be patient. We can be assured, however, that God will reward our faith (remember that growth in virtue is in itself a great reward).

Here are some instructions from Our Lord to Sr. Mary of the Trinity about how to avoid anxiety:

“It is not sufficient to say: ‘My God, I have confidence in You!’ You must make the interior act of freeing yourself from all anxiety, and rest on My Heart like the Apostle St. John at the Last Supper – yes, like St. John, the Beloved Apostle. I await this confidence from every soul.”

“So many anxieties and shadows in your heart. Think of Me, of Me – perfect Beauty, Splendor, Peace, Life, Truth, Holiness – of Me, your God who loves you. Give Me your heart – your whole heart. And do you not also wish to give Me your life? I desire it, I have need of it. It is such a great thing to belong to Me. What does anything else matter to you? Be full of joy at belonging to Me. I want you to be altogether Mine.”

“Do not get agitated; do not be anxious. Everything passes away, except your God. I am order and perfect calm, being at the same time life and movement and action. To live My Life, rest silently in Me. I love you. Is that not enough to fill every one of your moments with the fullness of joy? I love you and desire that you should know it. Oh, if you knew how much I love you, My little child.”

“Rely on Me with closed eyes, without anxiety, content… yes like a babe sleeping in its mother’s arms. Are you not like babes carried in the arms of God? Who is kinder than I? You will see My care all through the hours, if you take notice.”

“I wish to live more in you. Let Me find you at every moment empty of the past, empty of anxiety for the future, empty of attachment to creatures, so that My Presence may take possession of you and that in every passing moment you may receive all My grace. Remain fixed in Me – like the little magnetized needle of the compass.”

“… all religion and all your happiness consist in a few words of the Gospel which it is sufficient to understand and to practice. ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Justice; and the rest will be added unto you.’ You encumber yourselves with so many anxieties. See Me within yourself; I am so near you, so close; you always seek too far away. And listen, and receive My grace. When a soul receives it with great joy, I give it to her in abundance. It is My joy to give. And you will never exhaust My riches. My gifts are inexhaustible and always new. “

“Anxiety [not the feeling] is a temptation in itself and also the source from and by which other temptations come… We must not fear fear.”

– St. Francis de Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Union With God: “An Anticipated Paradise”!

“… the sweetness of My Divinity surpasses incomparably all the pleasures of the flesh and the senses… all earthly and corporal pleasure is but as a drop of dew to this great ocean.”

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

Our Lord continues: “… And yet these sensible pleasures often draw men away irresistibly, though they know how they endanger, not only their bodies, but even their souls. How, then, should a soul penetrated with the sweetness of My Divinity be able to hinder itself from being carried away by the attractions of a love which will constitute its eternal felicity?”

The purpose of this article is to inspire us with a greater desire for intimate union with God. Although mystical contemplation is an unmerited grace that God bestows on whom He wills, we may all aspire to the interior life. The joys of the interior life, such as those experienced by the saints, far surpass any earthly pleasure. It would be wrong to seek these gifts as ends in themselves, but as we grow in love of God we will naturally find greater delight in His presence.

God invites us ALL to intimate union with Him

“My happiness is to reproduce Myself in the souls that I created through love.

The more a soul allows me to reproduce Myself truly in itself, the more happiness and repose I feel in it.

The greatest joy a soul can give Me is to let Me raise it to the Divinity.”

– Jesus to Bl. Dina Belanger

How do we nourish our Interior Life?

“If a soul desires to become interior quickly, and to preserve and increase this treasure, she ought:

(1) To love silence;

(2) To practice continual mortification;

(3) To surrender herself wholly to the authority of Love, like a straw on the water;

(4) To keep herself as much as possible in the sanctuary of her heart, to enjoy God, to speak to God, to listen to God, and to give herself to God.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

 What hinders the Interior Life?

 “The touchstone of sanctity is mortification; and the love of comforts is the ruin of sanctity.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

God calls us to be saints, not merely for our own sake and for God’s glory, but for the salvation of immortal souls:

“Souls are not saved if nothing is done for them. I died on the Cross to save them—I ask of thee no great thing—only a word withheld, a look repressed, a pleasant thought banished, in a word all that restrains and mortifies nature. These little things, united to My infinite merits, acquire a great value.” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

“Why is it that so few souls walk with a resolute step in the way of Love? It is because few enter with generosity into the way of sacrifice.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

 Fruits of the Interior Life

“THE LIFE OF UNION WITH GOD IS AN ANTICIPATED PARADISE: IT IS HEAVEN ON EARTH, THE HEAVEN OF THE INTERIOR SOUL. 

The more a soul loves purity of heart, the better is she fitted for converse with God.

God acts with the pure of heart as a mother acts with her little babe.

Purity of heart, humility of heart, detachment, gives all (to God) but especially it gives oneself; it is this God seeks in a soul that He may communicate Himself to her with a most intimate and loving communication.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

“Penance brings light to the soul. It consumes and causes to disappear all in it that is purely material. It raises him higher and higher above the earth, making him taste of delights hitherto unknown and pure. But this penance should be the daughter of reverence and exist in the soul, hidden from all humans.”

(Conchita’s Diary, Sept. 24, 1895)

 

Fear Of Hell? … Consolation For The Doubtful

“Perfect charity casteth out fear.” (1 John 4:18).

When Our Lord asked Sr. Benigna Consolata, a “little soul”, to meditate on Hell, He assured her that they would do so in an atmosphere of love. We will do the same (very briefly), though we will not go into specifics about that dreadful place. (Many would profit, however, by considering their last end, as the saints did so regularly).

 “I counsel you to have always two thoughts in your heart; first, the remembrance of what I have done for you in suffering and dying; this thought will excite love of God; secondly, the consideration of My justice, and the future judgment; this will strike fear* into your soul.”

Our Lord to St. Bridget

*A confident fear i.e. a fear of offending God’s love, whereby we run the risk of losing that immense privilege. “Confidence and fear of God go together like two sisters.” (St. Padre Pio)

God is infinite love; His goodness never changes. Hell is the necessary consequence of a rejection of infinite love. Certainly sin is to be feared (because sin alone sends one to Hell), and there is a natural horror that arises when we reflect on the sufferings of the damned. But we must remember, first and foremost, that God is goodness itself, and all His judgements are true, loving and just:

“The works of God are perfect, and all his ways are judgments: God is faithful and without any iniquity, he is just and right.”

– Deuteronomy 42:4 

God does not demand the impossible (i.e. that we feel a certain way about His judgements), but 

HE DOES ASK THAT WE ACKNOWLEDGE HIS GOODNESS IN ALL THINGS. 

This pleases Him greatly. From my own experience I can say confidently- though without certainty- that He will reward you with a greater peace and confidence if you leave your fears and doubts to Him (despite your feelings), acknowleding His sovereign, unchanging goodness. St. Gertrude was wont to do this, and she was very pleasing to Our Lord, Who often filled her soul with immense consolations, which are but a foretaste of Heaven.

Mary: A Perfect Role Model

Consider the faith and love of Mary, the Mother of God and our spiritual Mother. According to many saints and mystics, Mary frequently experienced profound raptures of love, in which she was at times lifted from the ground (a phenomenon that can be found in the lives of the saints e.g. St. Joseph Cupertino, St. Padre Pio, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Gerard Majella, Bl. Mariam etc.). Mary also knew the justice of God well; the number of the saved was even revealed to her (though we are not given to know this number). Although Mary was well aware of the justice of God, she did not doubt God’s goodness. She did not waste time trying to reconcile God’s judgements with His acts of mercy. What profit is there in this? We are assured that (perfect) “charity casteth out fear”; knowledge does not cast out fear. We are incapable of conceiving even a faint notion of God’s infinite goodness. The prison of Hell that God has reserved for those who persevere in sin, is far more perfect than the justice exercised in our earthly prisons. It is humility to believe this, because “humility is truth” (St. Padre Pio).

Let us humbly accept all trials, including those that confuse and unsettle us, as coming from the hands of Our Heavenly Father. The love and wisdom of God directs all things to good., Who knows better than we do what will be most conducive to our eternal welfare and ultimate happiness!

A relevant anecdote

(Taken from ‘All For Jesus’ by Fr. Faber, a great spiritual writer)

When our Lord showed Sister Francesca of the Blessed Sacrament, a Spanish Carmelitess, the loss of a soul, and several times in a vision compelled her positively to study the separate tortures of that place*, He upbraided her for weeping: “Francesca! why weepest thou?” She fell prostrate at His sacred feet, and said, “Lord! for the damnation of that soul, and the manner in which it has been damned.” He vouchsafed to reply, “Daughter! it hath chosen to damn itself; I have given it many helps of grace that it might be saved, but it would not profit by them. I am pleased with your compassion, but I would have you rather love My justice.” (*We are not all called to do the same; this was not the way of St. Therese, for example).

What must we do to be saved?

“Do the will of God in the present moment.” – Mother Angelica

*******

“I love souls madly; they must not be lost.”

*******

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

What Gives God “Infinite Pleasure”?

The following words of Our Lord to two chosen souls are remarkable! Every Christian (nay, all people) should know them!

“I, the Creator and Framer of the universe, take infinitely more pleasure in loving souls, than in any labours and corporal exercises performed without love and without a pure intention.”

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

 “I do not look at the act itself, I look at the intention. The smallest act, if done out of love, acquires such merit that it gives Me immense consolation…I want only love, I ask for nothing else.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez (September 8, 1922)

“I prefer an act of love and Communion of love to any other gift – an act of love is better than the discipline, for I thirst for love. Poor souls! They think that in order to reach Me it is necessary to live an austere, penitential life. See how they misrepresent Me. They make Me out as one to be feared, whereas I am kindness itself! They forget the precept which I have given them, the very essence of the entire Law: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with thy whole strength, and with thy whole mind.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

Our Lord also revealed to Sr. Consolata Betrone that an act of love is so great that the only fitting reward is for God to give us Himself! How humbled we should be, remembering that we cannot love without God. St. Padre Pio said the same thing. The more we have sinned, the more thankful we should be when God inspires us to love Him. What an infinite, and completely unmerited treasure! Thanks be to God!

 

Three Reasons To Have GREAT Confidence In God!

(Taken from The Revelations of St. Gertrude):

As Gertrude prepared herself for Holy Communion of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, she found herself distracted by a crowd of importunate thoughts. Having implored the Divine assistance, our Lord, in His exceeding mercy, spoke thus to her:

“If any one, when encompassed by temptation, throws himself on My protection with a firm hope, he is of the number of those of whom I can say: ‘One is My dove, chosen amongst a thousand. He has pierced My Divine Heart with one glance of His eye.’ If I thought I could not assist him, My heart would be so desolate that even all the joys of Heaven could not alleviate my grief, because he is a part of My Body and is united to My Divinity. I am ever the advocate of My elect, full of compassion for their every need.”

“Lord,” replied St. Gertrude, “how is it that Thy immaculate Body, in which Thou never hadst any contradiction, enables Thee to compassionate our many weaknesses?” He replied:

“You may easily convince yourself of this. Has not My Apostle said: ‘It behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be able to succour them also that are tempted’?” (Heb. ii. 17, 18.)

He added:

“This eye of My beloved, which pierces My heart, is the confidence which she ought to have in Me, that

(1) I KNOW…

(2) I AM ABLE…

(3) I AM WILLING 

to assist her faithfully in all her miseries. This confidence has such power over My goodness, that it is not possible for Me to abandon her.”

“But, Lord,” replied the Saint, “since confidence is so great a gift that none can have it unless Thou dost bestow it, what merit have those who are deprived of it?” He replied:

“Each can at least overcome his diffidence, in some degree, by the testimony of Scripture and say, if not with his whole heart, at least with his lips: ‘If I should be cast into Hell, Thou, O Lord, wilt deliver me.’ And again, ‘Although He should kill me, I will trust Him.'”

Devotion To Mary: A Promise Given To St. Bridget

St. Alphonsus Liguori remarks: Very precious are the graces which Jesus Christ has promised to those who are devoted to the name of Mary, as He Himself, speaking to his holy mother, gave St. Bridget [of Sweden] to understand, revealing to her that whoever will invoke the name of Mary with confidence and a purpose of amendment, shall receive three special graces: namely,

(1) a perfect contrition for his sins,

(2) the grace to make satisfaction for them and strength to obtain perfection, and…

(3) the glory of paradise;

for as the divine Saviour added: “Thy words are so sweet and dear to Me, oh My mother, that I cannot refuse thee what thou dost ask.” (Taken from ‘The Glories of Mary)

Why Practice Devotion To Our Lady?

Some of us may doubt that the intercession of Our Lady is necessary or beneficial. The following words are for you especially, but not exclusively.

Here are three reasons to devote ourselves to Our Lady:
1. Scripture advises us to.
2. The Saints did, and they advise us to.
3. The Catholic Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth”, advises us to.

“Perhaps the saints and the Catholic Church practise devotion to Mary, but nowhere in Scripture are we told to pray to Mary.” If this is your way of thinking, please read on, dear friend.

The Saints frequently said things like, “He who has not recourse to thee, oh Lady, will not reach Paradise.” (St. Bonaventure) Conversely (and this is most consoling),

“… it is impossible that he should be condemned who recommends himself to the Virgin, and is regarded by her with affection.”

(St. Alphonsus)

To ensure that we are regarded by Our dear Mother, Mary, with affection, let us follow the counsel she gave to St. Bridget:

“Daughter, if you wish to bind me to you, love my Son.”

Now, as St. Alphonsus reminds us, devotion to Mary is “necessary… not indeed absolutely, but morally.” There was a time when words such as these greatly confused me. “Where does that idea come from?” I thought. I assure you that it took some time to find sufficient answers to these questions, but the point is, I did: the answers are out there. Here is a very helpful resource:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/maryinsc.htm (Unless we have read much Catholic doctrine regarding Mary, including the writings of the saints and Church Fathers, we should remain humble and keep quiet if we feel inclined to object when honour is given to the Mother of God).

The words of the Saints and the Church should never be taken lightly; we have a moral obligation to seek the truth, and it would be the height of folly to assume that the Church and its fine fruits (the Saints) had no reason to believe in doctrines like the Immaculate Conception; especially when the Catholic Church possesses Truth itself in her tabernacles! Yes, for Our Risen Lord dwells substantially in the Sacred Host! Deo gratias!

Mary in the Old Testament?

Many Old Testament passages clearly refer to Mary, such as Genesis 3:5. There are other significant passages that are lesser known, and it is these (well, some of these… there are many) that I would like to share (accompanied by words from ‘The Glories of Mary’ by St. Alphonsus). A basic understanding of typology and mystical theology will go a long way in helping us see the profound truth of these passages:

“Thy belly is as a heap of wheat, set about with lilies.” (Song of Solomon 7:2)

“St. Ambrose explains this and says: Although in the pure womb of Mary there was only one grain of wheat, which was Jesus Christ, yet it is called a heap of grain, because in that one grain were contained all the elect, of whom Mary was to be the mother.”

“The hairs of thy head as the purple of the king bound in the channel.” (Song of Solomon 7:5)

“Ailgrin, explaining this passage of the Canticles, says: These hairs of Mary were her continual thoughts of the passion of Jesus, which kept always before her eyes the blood which was one day to flow from his wounds. Thy mind, oh Mary, and thy thoughts tinged in the blood of the passion of our Lord, were always moved with sorrow as if they actually saw the blood flowing from his wounds. Thus her Son himself was that arrow in the heart of Mary, who, the more worthy of love he showed himself to her, always wounded her more with the sorrowful thought that she should lose him by so cruel a death.”

“She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first showeth herself unto them.” (Wisdom 6:14)

“So great is the love, says Richard of St. Laurence, which this good mother bears us, that when she perceives our necessities, she comes to relieve them. She hastens before she is invoked… These words of wisdom, St. Anselm applies to Mary, and says that she anticipates those who desire her protection. By this we are to understand, that she obtains many graces from God for us before we ask them from her.” 

“Now all good things came to me together with her.” (Wisdom 7:11)

“Justly, then, does St. Antoninus apply to Mary that passage of wisdom… Since Mary is the mother of God and the dispenser of all good, the world may truly say, and especially those in the world who are devoted to this queen, that, together with devotion to Mary, they have obtained every good thing.”

“A garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.” (Song of Solomon 4:12)

“The Holy Spirit signifies the same thing, when he called this his spouse: Mary, says St. Jerome, was properly this enclosed garden and sealed fountain; for the enemies never entered to harm her, but she was always uninjured, remaining holy in soul and body. And in like manner St. Bernard said, addressing the blessed Virgin: Thou art an enclosed garden, where the sinner’s hand never entered to rob it of its flowers.”

“The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains; the Lord loveth the gates of Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob. . . This man is born in her, and the Highest himself hath founded her.” (Psalm 87:1, 5)

“We know that this divine spouse loved Mary more than all the other saints and angels united, as Father Suarez, St. Lawrence Justinian, and others affirm. He loved her from the beginning, and exalted her in sanctity above all creatures, as David expresses it: All which words signify that Mary was holy from her conception. The same thing is signified by what the Holy Spirit himself says in another place:

“Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all.” (Proverbs 31:29)

“If Mary has surpassed all in the riches of grace, she then possessed original justice, as Adam and the angels had it…”

“There are young maidens without number: one is my dove, my perfect one (the Hebrew reads, my uncorrupted, my immaculate); she is the only one of her mother.” (Song of Solomon 6:8) 

“All just souls are children of divine grace; but among these, Mary was the Dove without the bitter gall of sin, the Perfect One without the stain of original sin, the one conceived in grace.”

“Man finds his greatest consolation in faithfully keeping the commandments of God and the holy Church, and in having a great devotion to Mary.”

– Fr. Paul of Moll