33 Reasons to Consecrate Yourself to Mary

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‘Thy face is full of graces.’  Esther 15:17

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PART I:

  • ‘And Her Riches I Hide Not’ (Wis. 7:13)
  • ‘De Maria Numquam Satis’ – Of Mary, Never Enough!
  • ‘Oculi Mei Semper Ad Dominum’ (Ps. 24:15) – My Eyes are Ever Towards the Lord
  • Mary Magnifies the Lord; She Leads Souls to the Most-High
  • Mary: Terror of Demons
  • ‘Her Children Rose Up, and Called Her Blessed’ (Prov. 31:28)
  • The Ave Maria: A Simple Key to Understanding Marian Devotion
  • A Simple Yet Infallible Means for Coming to Know Mary
  • A Final Word for the Centenary of Fatima

PART II:

  • 33 Reasons to Consecrate Yourself to Jesus, Through Mary
  • Act of Consecration to the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin

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PART I

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And Her Riches I Hide Not’ (Wis. 7:13)

In 17th century France, a holy Visitandine, Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (d. 1692), was to echo the teaching of so many Saints, Doctors, mystics and theologians who had preceded her; and a prodigious number, in turn, would echo the sentiments of this little-known Servant of God. Speaking of a vision in which she was privileged to behold the august Queen of Heaven, she declares:

“O God! who can relate the beauty and the grandeur of that incomparable Queen!… I am not afraid of asserting that nothing that has ever been said of the glory enjoyed by that sovereign Queen of Heaven comes even near to what I have seen of it; so that the little sight of it which was granted me took away all the pleasure I used to have before in hearing her praises proclaimed, so low and unworthy has the human expression of them seemed to me since then.”

Upon hearing such words, it might seem somewhat presumptuous to attempt to speak of the dignity and beauty of Our Lady – but this is certainly not the case. St. Alphonsus did not write ‘The Glories of Mary’ for nothing, and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church does not put the following words on the lips of the Mother of God without just cause: ‘They that explain me shall have life everlasting’ (Ecclus. 24:31). Let us proceed, then, to reflect a little upon the unique prerogatives of the Mother of God.

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‘De Maria Numquam Satis’ – Of Mary, Never Enough!

One must always bear in mind that, however much we honour Our Lady, we will never be able to honour her as much as God Himself, Who, through ‘the angel Gabriel’ (Lk. 1:26), was the first to call her ‘blessed’:

‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Lk. 1:28)

Yes, blessed, truly blessed is Mary, ‘fairest among women’ (Cant. 1:7), for even prior to the Incarnation she was ‘full of grace’ and the Lord was with her! “So full of grace” is she, that St. Thomas, Doctor of the Church, does not hesitate to say that “… it overflows onto all mankind.” “She is so filled with dilection,” said Our Lord to Bl. Agnes de Langeac (d. 1634), “that it is she who gives love to the Cherubim and Seraphim.”

But of course, for Our Lady is “the sacred and living ark of the living God, who conceived her Creator Himself” (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church) – that is, He of Whose ‘fulness we all have received’ (Jn. 1:16). She is “the Mother of the Lord, the temple of the living God, the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit” (St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church); she is the Immaculate Conception, of whom it is said: ‘Wisdom hath built herself a house’ (Prov. 9:1) – and, more emphatically still: ‘NOW ALL GOOD THINGS CAME TO ME TOGETHER WITH HER, AND INNUMERABLE RICHES THROUGH HER HANDS.’ (Wis. 7:11).

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‘Who is she,’ we ask, ‘that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?’ (Cant. 6:9) Do these words not constitute an apt description of the Immaculate Virgin? Undoubtedly. “She is,” said Jesus to Bl. Agnes de Langeac, “the true unchanging moon that has banished darkness by her virtues… She is the most beautiful and the most perfect of all creatures.” “Because she was humblest among angels and men,” said an Angel to St. Bridget of Sweden (whose revelations were approved by the Ecumenical Council of Constance), “she has been raised up highest over all creation, the most beautiful creature of all and the one most like to God Himself.” (The Angel’s Discourse, Ch. 20)

“It is not possible for the Mother of God not to be heard, according to that which Solomon spoke to his mother by way of a figure:

MY MOTHER, ASK: FOR I MUST NOT TURN AWAY THY FACE (3 Kings 2:20).

– St. Antoninus

‘Oculi Mei Semper Ad Dominum’ (Ps. 24:15) – My Eyes are Ever Towards the Lord

In the book of Ezekiel we read: ‘And he brought me back toward the outer gate of the sanctuary which looked toward the east; and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut’ (Ezek. 44:1-2). What is this mysterious east gate of which the Scriptures speak? “The east gate,” writes St. Aelred of Rievaulx, “is Mary most holy. For the gate which faces east generally receives the brightness of the sun first. So, Mary most blessed, who always looked to the east, to the brightness of God, first received within herself the ray, indeed, the whole fulness of the brightness of the true sun – the Son of God, of whom Zachary said: The rising sun visited us from on high (Lk. 1:78).”

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If only souls knew what a treasure they possess in Mary! What dignity belongs to our dearest Mother, ‘exceedingly beautiful’ (Jud. 8:7) and ‘to all men’s eyes incomparably lovely’ (Jud. 10:4)! ‘There is not such another woman upon earth in look, in beauty, and in sense of words’ (Jud. 11:19).

With St. Ephraem (d. 373), Doctor of the Church, let us proclaim unhesitatingly: “With the Mediator, you [Mary] are the Mediatrix of the entire world.” The priest, acting ‘in persona Christi,’ often imparts a blessing to souls in the following words: “Dominus vobiscum” (“The Lord be with you”); but only of our Blessed Mother, the resting-place of the Most-High (cf. Ecclus. 24:12), could it be said, even while still dwelling in this ‘vale of tears’ (Ps. 83:7): “Dominus tecum” (“The Lord is with you”).

Yes, dear Queen of Heaven, Jesus is and ever will be the Blessed Fruit of your womb; nourish us, then, with ‘the Bread of Life’ (Jn. 6:48) ‘[in] whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Col. 2:3). “Show thyself a mother,” for you are ‘the mother of all the living’ (Gen. 3:20). ‘And do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and deliver us from death’ (Esther 15:3). ‘Blessed art thou, by thy God, in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be magnified on occasion of thee’ (Jud. 13:31).

Mary Magnifies the Lord; She Leads Souls to the Most-High

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‘And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord’ (Lk. 1:46). Yes, Mary ‘doth magnify the Lord’ – these words are, in some sense, a distillation of all Marian theology. Why did the Eternal Father entrust Mary with His only-begotten Son, if not because, in the words of Almighty God to St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, she is the “sweet bait” of Heaven, whose raison d’être is to conquer Satan and lead souls to intimate union with Jesus? ‘Yea, Father; for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight’ (Mt. 11:26). ‘For this will be a glorious monument for Thy name, when he shall fall by the hand of a woman’ (Jud. 9:15).

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Ask yourself: Do the Saints detract from the glory of God? Certainly not; for God is ‘glorified in His saints’ (2 Thess. 1:10); the ‘brightness of the saints’ (Ps. 109:3) reflects His infinite, Uncreated Glory. How, then, can one argue that Mary detracts from the glory of God, when history and Scripture reveal that ‘she maketh the friends of God and prophets’ (Wis. 7:27)?

Read the following, slowly: ‘And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb’ (Lk. 1:41-42). Do not fear that Mary could lead you from the Way, for He is always with her: ‘I found Him whom my soul loveth: I held Him: and I will not let Him go’ (Cant. 3:4). Mary was and, in some sense will forever be, ‘found with child, of the Holy Ghost’ (Mt. 1:18). “The two,” says St. Bernadette Soubirous, “cannot be separated. Jesus and Mary always go together.” One who blesses Mary will, without fail, bless God and draw down His favours! ‘Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord, the most high God, above all women upon the earth’ (Jud. 13:23).

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Mary: Terror of Demons

Satan hates nothing more than when a soul draws nigh to the Mother of God. “God gave her such power over the evil spirits,” said an Angel to St. Bridget of Sweden, “that whenever they attack anyone devoutly imploring her aid, they scatter right off in fear and flee far away at her merest nod” (The Angel’s Discourse, Ch. 20). The demons are terrified of the Immaculate; they are powerless against her. God has never permitted, nor will He ever permit, the demons to speak ill of Mary. “She is the most powerful,” declared Satan during an exorcism. ‘And she was greatly renowned among all, because she feared the Lord very much, neither was there any one that spoke an ill word of her’ (Jud 8:8). ‘The Lord hath blessed thee,’ O powerful Virgin, ‘by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to nought’ (Jud. 13:22).

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‘Her Children Rose Up, and Called Her Blessed’ (Prov. 31:28)

In imitation of so many great Saints, whose divine Election has been confirmed by extraordinary charity and countless miracles, let us make the words of the Almighty Father, of St. Gabriel and of St. Elizabeth our own – especially by means of praying the Holy Rosary. “The recitation of the Rosary – that is what Lucifer hates” (Père Lamy). There is nothing to fear. “He who loves Jesus,” says St. Crescentia, “will also love His Mother. He who loves the Mother will likewise love the Son.” The Saints bear witness to this. The words of St. Maximilian Kolbe are being confirmed every day: “It can be said that all the Saints are the work of the Blessed Virgin, and that a special devotion to her is their common characteristic.” ‘Her children rose up, and called her blessed’ (Prov. 31:28). ‘And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up a treasure’ (Ecclus. 3:5).

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If we wish to have God as our Father, we must take for our Mother her who said: ‘from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed’ (Lk. 1:48). So be prudent: ‘Receive the words of thy handmaid, for if thou wilt follow the words of thy handmaid, the Lord will do with thee a perfect thing’ (Jud. 11:4). And what does ‘the handmaid of the Lord’ (Lk. 1:38) say to us? ‘Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.’ (Jn. 2:5). ‘All that shall be good and best before His eyes, I will do. And whatsoever shall please Him, that shall be best to me all the days of my life’ (Jud. 12:14).

Imitate St. John, the “Disciple whom Jesus Loved” and “the Guardian of the Virgin”*: ‘Behold thy mother’ (Jn. 19:27). ‘But the Mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her’ (2 Kings 4:30). ‘And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own’ (Jn. 19:27).

*St. Gertrude the Great had a vision which she beheld these words inscribed on golden lilies that were attached to the shoulders of St. John.

“Consider, Bernard, my son, that he [St. John] is the first-born of my adopted sons and the model of my cherished ones: aspire to imitate his love for me and for my most holy Son.”

– Our Lady to Bl. Bernard Francis de Hoyos

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“Know that the distance from Heaven to Earth is not so great as from my love to thine.” – Our Lady to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez (d. 1617) “Give up thy devotion to Mary, and I will cease to tempt thee.” – Satan to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

The Ave Maria: A Simple Key to Understanding Marian Devotion

Take note of the structure of the ‘Hail Mary.’ If one looks at this powerful little prayer in Latin – the Church’s “mother-tongue,” and that language so feared by the demons – they will discover that it consists of 31 words. Now, pay close attention to the middle-word of the Ave Maria, the first word of which (‘Ave’) ought to remind us that it was subsequent to Gabriel’s ‘Ave’ that Eva’s knot of disobedience was untied (‘Ave’ is ‘Eva’ backwards):

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, IESUS. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Let this simple observation be for us a reminder that the Rosary – as with all authentic Marian devotion –is Christo-centric, and that if we wish to seek Jesus, Who is an infinite ‘treasure hidden in a field’ (Mt. 13:44), we must seek Him in and with Mary, who is that ‘plentiful field, which the Lord hath blessed’ (Gen. 27:27).

A Simple Yet Infallible Means for Coming to Know Mary

The purpose of this article is to lead us to Jesus, through Mary; this is the end of all authentic Marian devotion. If you the thought of asking for Mary’s intercession leaves you feeling a bit perplexed, begin by praying the following Scriptures, and, provided that you are seeking God, you will find that, in time, God will reward you with a sincere affection for she who is the sweetest, dearest, purest Queen of Hearts:

‘Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women’ (Lk. 1:28) ‘and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb [Jesus]’ (Lk. 1:41-42). ‘[Jesus,] I am Thine: save Thou me’ (Ps. 118:94). ‘I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid’ (Ps. 115:16). ‘O look upon me, and have mercy on me: give Thy command to Thy servant, and save the son of Thy handmaid’ (Ps. 85:16).

A Final Word for the Centenary of Fatima

This year (2017) is not only the centenary of Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, Portugal; it also marks the 175th anniversary of the discovery (in 1842) of St. Louis de Montfort’s masterful work, ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.’ This book is a classic: it is prophetic, inspiring and altogether life-changing if one takes time with it. Why else would Our Lady herself have left a copy of ‘The Secret of Mary’ (which is essentially a distillation of ‘True Devotion’) on Ven. Marthe Robin’s divan bed, saying that she desired this book to be spread across the globe? (While bedridden and too weak to make the Sign of the Cross, Ven. Marthe Robin was assisted by the guiding hand of her Blessed Mother – so solicitous is Mary for the welfare of her children!)

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It is my hope that this humble article will contribute in some way to fulfilling Our Lord’s desire that souls entrust themselves without reserve to their Blessed Mother. The fruits of this devotion are eternal.

This article henceforth follows a very simple structure:

  1. A quote from ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin’ by St. Louis de Montfort
  2. An accompanying quotation

If you want to know more about how and when to consecrate yourself to Mary, according to the recommendations of St. Louis de Montfort, you will find the following link useful:

https://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

Also, ‘The Secret of Mary’: http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/secret.htm

At the end of the article you will find a beautiful little formula for consecrating yourself to Mary. This prayer was dictated by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. 1916).

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PART II

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33 REASONS TO CONSECRATE YOURSELF TO JESUS, THROUGH MARY

WEEK 1

-1- Mary is Mediatrix of All Graces

‘The Holy Ghost gives no heavenly gift to men which He does not pass through her virginal hands.’

“I am the mediatrix between God and men; all graces pass through my hands.” – Our Lady to St. Veronica Giuliani

-2- Mary’s Will is Perfectly Aligned with God’s Will

‘Mary, being altogether transformed into God by grace [so to speak], and by the glory which transforms all the Saints into Him, asks nothing, wishes nothing, does nothing which is contrary to the Eternal and Immutable Will of God.’

“Mother, when thou wast on earth, there was nothing thou didst refuse to do for love of Me; now that I am in Heaven, it is just that I refuse nothing which thou dost ask of Me.” – Jesus to Our Lady (From ‘The Revelations of St. Bridget’ as quoted in ‘The Glories of Mary’)

-3- Mary’s Intercession is All-Powerful with God

‘To Mary, His faithful Spouse, God the Holy Ghost has communicated His unspeakable gifts; and He has chosen her to be the dispensatrix of all He possesses, in such sort that she distributes to whom she wills, as much as she wills, as she wills, and when she wills, all His gifts and graces.’

“To increase my confidence, my Divine Spouse made me aware most convincingly of the great power over His Heart which He has given to His mother holy Mother; and He assured me that in her intercession she is all–powerful with Him.” – Ven. Maria Dominica Clara Moes

-4- Jesus is Perfectly Obedient to His Blessed Mother

‘Inasmuch as grace perfects nature, and glory perfects grace, it is certain that Our Lord is still, in Heaven, as much the Son of Mary as He was on earth; and that, consequently, He has preserved the most perfect obedience and submission of all children towards the best of all mothers.’

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‘And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them.’ (Lk. 3:51)

-5- Jesus Willed to Begin His Miracles by Mary

‘He sanctified St. John in the womb of St. Elizabeth his mother; but it was by Mary’s word. No sooner had she spoken than John was sanctified; and this was His first and greatest miracle of grace. At the marriage at Cana He changed the water into wine; but it was at Mary’s humble prayer; and this was His first miracle of nature.’

‘And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.’ (Jn. 2:3)

-6- Jesus Wills to Continue His Miracles by Mary

‘He has begun and continued His miracles by Mary, and He will continue them to the end of ages by Mary also… Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been, or ever will be, which is a God-Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest things that there will be in the latter times. The formation and education of the great Saints, who shall come at the end of the world, are reserved for her. For it is only that singular and miraculous Virgin who can produce, in union with the Holy Ghost, singular and extraordinary things.’

‘He that shall find me, shall find Life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.’ (Prov. 8:35)

 -7- Mary is the Forma Dei, the “Mould of God”

‘He who is cast in this mould is presently formed and moulded in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in him. At a slight expense and in a short time he will become God [in a manner of speaking], because he has been cast in the same mould which has formed a God.’

“This tender Mother has a particular care for souls who abandon themselves to divine Providence; she exhorts me to give myself up to her Son, to keep myself, by fidelity to the presence of God, susceptible to the touches of grace;

‘and then,’ she adds, ‘all will be easy to thee, and the Will of God will be the desire of thy heart’;

she will have me free from fear and under the reign of pure love. Once, though I saw her not, I heard her sweet voice say to me:

‘My daughter, thou shalt participate in some of my loving sufferings; but I promise thee my assistance.’” – Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

WEEK 2

-8- To be Moulded in Mary is the Shortest Path to Sanctity

‘Mary is a holy place, and the holy of holies where Saints are formed and moulded. Take notice, if you please, that I say the Saints are moulded in Mary. There is a great difference between making a figure in relief by blows of hammer and chisel, and making a figure by throwing it into a mould. Statuaries and sculptors labour much to make figures in the first manner; but to make them in the second manner, they work little, and do their work quickly.’

“One day the saint [St. Francis of Assisi] saw his sons trying to reach our Lord by a ladder that was red and very steep; after climbing a few rungs, they would fall back. Our Lord then showed St. Francis another ladder, white and much less steep, at whose summit appeared the Blessed Virgin, and He said to Francis:

‘Advise your sons to go by the ladder of My Mother.’” – Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange

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-9- The Path of Mary is Short, Sweet, Secure, Meritorious

‘… doing your actions by our Blessed Lady, as this practice teaches you, you abandon your own intentions and operations, although good and known, to lose yourself, so to speak, in the intentions of the Blessed Virgin, although they are unknown*. Thus you enter by participation into the sublimity of her intentions, which are so pure, that she gives more glory to God by the least of her actions — for example, in twirling her distaff or pointing her needle – than St. Lawrence by his cruel martyrdom on his gridiron, or even all the Saints by all their heroic actions put together. It was thus that, during her sojourn here below, she acquired such an unspeakable aggregate of graces and merits, that it were easier to count the stars of the firmament, the drops of water in the sea, or the grains of sand upon its shore, than her merits and graces. Thus it was that she gave more glory to God than all the Angels and Saints have given Him, or ever will give Him. O prodigy of a Mary! thou canst not help but do prodigies of grace in souls that wish to lose themselves altogether in thee!’

*An act which can easily be renewed, e.g. by the simple prayer: “I renounce myself; I give myself to you, my Blessed Mother!”

“By way of Mary the road is easier because the Blessed Virgin supports us by her gentleness; nevertheless, it is a more meritorious road because Mary obtains for us a greater charity, which is the principle of merit. The difficulties to be overcome are certainly an occasion of merit, but the principle of merit is charity, the love of God, by which we triumph over these difficulties. We should remember that Mary merited more by her easiest acts, such as a simple prayer, than did the martyrs in their torments, for she put more love of God into these easy acts than the saints did in heroic acts. Since the road by way of Mary is easier and more meritorious, it is shorter, surer, and more perfect; more easily travelled, progress on it is more rapid. By submission to the Mother of God, a person makes greater progress in a short time than he would make in many years relying excessively on his own personal prudence. Under the direction of her whom the Incarnate Word obeyed, he walks with giant steps.” – Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange

-10- With Mary’s Intercession, We Need Not Fear the Enemy

‘… God has given Mary such a great power against the devils, that, as they have often been obliged to confess, in spite of themselves, by the mouths of the possessed, they fear one of her sighs for a soul more than the prayers of all the Saints, and one of her menaces against them more than all other torments.’

“In the instruction of the beatification of St. Francis de Sales, one of the witnesses was a female religious who knew him in the first monastery of the Visitation in Annecy. She referred that on one occasion a young man, who had been possessed by the devil for the last five years, was brought before the Bishop of Genevre (Msgr. Charles Auguste de Sales, St. Francis’ nephew and successor in the bishop’s seat) to be exorcized. The interrogations of the devil were carried out next to the mortal remains of St. Francis. During one of these sessions, the devil cried out, full of fury:

‘Why should I have to leave?’

A religious of the Sisters of the Visitation was present, who, when she heard this, invoked the Blessed Virgin: ‘Holy Mother of God, pray for…’. When the devil heard these words – as the nun explained in her declaration – the devil cried out even louder:

‘Mary, Mary! For me there is no Mary! Don’t pronounce that name, which makes me shudder! If there were a Mary for me, like there is for you, I would not be what I am! But there is no Mary for me.’

Shaken by this scene, some of the people present began to cry. The devil continued:

‘If I had just an instant of the many that you people lose…! One lone instant and one Mary, I would not be a devil!’

-11- Satan is Supremely Humiliated by Our Lady

‘… Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being beaten and punished by a little and humble handmaid of God, and her humility humbles him more than the Divine power…’

“… I am more humiliated to be defeated by a human creature than being defeated by Him.” – Satan (during an exorcism performed by Fr. Gabriele Amorth, d. 2016)

-12- Mary is The Treasury of God

‘God the Father made an assemblage of all the waters, and He named it the sea (mare). He has made an assemblage of all His graces, and He has called it Mary (Maria). This great God has a most rich treasury in which He has laid up all that He has of beauty, of splendour, of rarity, and of preciousness, even to His Own Son; and this immense treasury is none other than Mary, whom the Saints have named the Treasure of the Lord, out of whose plenitude all men are made rich.’

‘Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.’ (Ecclesiasticus 24: 26-27)

-13- Mary Presents Us to Jesus

‘The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear.’

“If you are willing to be my daughter, pupil, and handmaid, I shall be your mother, mistress, and teacher. And when you have been sufficiently instructed and educated by me, I shall lead you to your dear spouse, my Son, who will receive you into His Hands, as I have just now received you.” – Our Lady to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (d. 1231)

-14- Mary, by God’s Design, Presents Our Gifts to God

‘Mary presents our good works to Jesus. She does not keep anything we offer for herself, as if she were our last end, but unfailingly gives everything to Jesus. So by the very fact we give anything to her, we are giving it to Jesus. Whenever we praise and glorify her, she sings today as she did on the day Elizabeth praised her, “My soul glorifies the Lord.”’

“During this beautiful month [May, the Month of Mary] live as closely united in spirit with your celestial Mother as possible, and give her all that you do, so that she can present it to Me. This divine Mother will sweetly take your part, and before consigning to Me what you have offered her, she will give it a finishing touch. This ought to inspire you to place your filial confidence in her…” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

WEEK 3

-15- Mary Makes of Us and Our Gifts a Pleasing Offering to God

‘Rebecca made Jacob approach the bed of his father. His father touched him, embraced him and even joyfully kissed him after having satisfied his hunger with the well-prepared dishes which Jacob had brought him. Then inhaling most joyfully the exquisite perfume of his garments, he cried: “Behold the fragrance of my son is as the fragrance of a field of plenty which the Lord has blessed.” The fragrance of this rich field which so captivated the heart of the father, is none other than the fragrance of the merits and virtues of Mary who is the plentiful field of grace in which God the Father has sown the grain of wheat of the elect, his only Son. How welcome to Jesus Christ, the Father of the world to come, is a child perfumed with the fragrance of Mary! How readily and how intimately does he unite himself to that child!’

“Our Lady offers our prayers to God; she beautifies them; she makes them pleasing in His sight.” – Père Lamy

-16- Submission to Mary Brings Great Glory to God

‘He gave more glory to God, His Father, during all those years of submission and dependence than he would have given by spending them working miracles, preaching far and wide, and converting all mankind. Otherwise he would have done all these things.’

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“Blessed are they who serve her, who love and imitate her.”

– Jesus to Bl. Agnes de Langeac

-17- Mary Obtains Liberty of Spirit for Her Children

‘One day the Blessed Virgin appeared to Mother Agnes and put a gold chain around her neck to show her how happy she was that Mother Agnes had become the slave of both her and her Son. And St. Cecilia, who accompanied our Lady, said to her, “Happy are the faithful slaves of the Queen of heaven, for they will enjoy true freedom.” Tibi servire libertas.’

‘I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope… He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.’ (Ecclesiasticus 24: 24, 30)

-18- Mary Delivers her Children from Scruples and Fear

‘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.’

“I am the Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of hope; I will always remain your Mother.” – Our Lady to St. Crescentia

-19- Mary is Our Mother of Perpetual Help

‘It is true that on our way we have hard battles to fight and serious obstacles to overcome, but Mary, our Mother and Queen, stays close to her faithful servants. She is always at hand to brighten their darkness, clear away their doubts, strengthen them in their fears, sustain them in their combats and trials. Truly, in comparison with other ways, this virgin road to Jesus is a path of roses and sweet delights. There have been some saints, not very many, such as St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure, and St. Francis de Sales, who have taken this smooth path to Jesus Christ, because the Holy Spirit, the faithful Spouse of Mary, made it known to them by a special grace. The other saints, who are the greater number, while having a devotion to Mary, either did not enter or did not go very far along this path. That is why they had to undergo harder and more dangerous trials.’

“My daughter, be submissive to my Son, and I will ever be thy Mother.” – Our Lady to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

-20- Mary is our Mother of Mercy

‘She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.’

“No one is so cold in his love of God (unless he is damned) that he will not experience the devil releasing him from his habitual sins if only he invokes my name with the true intention of never returning to his evil deeds… And there is none who is so great a sinner, but I am ready to help him; and my Son to give him grace, if he ask mercy with charity.” – Our Lady to St. Bridget (Bk 6, Ch 52; Bk 1, Chapter 9)

-21- Mary is “More Mother than Queen”

‘She is kind, she is tender, and there is nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception.’

“… when I was seeking how best to invoke and honour her, my good Angel said to me:

‘She will be pleased if thou salutest her in these few words: Ave Mater Dei carissima, dulcissima, refugium meum, ora pro me’ [Hail dearest, most sweet Mother of God – my refuge; pray for me].” – Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

WEEK 4

-22- Mary Clothes Us with Her Own Merits and Virtues

‘She imparts new perfume and fresh grace to those garments and adornments [of her children] by adding to them the garments of her own wardrobe of merits and virtues. She bequeathed these to them before her departure for Heaven, as was revealed by a holy nun of the last century, who died a holy death. Thus all her domestics, that is, all her servants and slaves, are clothed with double garments (cf. Prov. 31:21), her own and those of her Son. Now they have nothing to fear from that cold which sinners, naked and stripped as they are of the merits of Jesus and Mary, will be unable to endure.’

“It was also in her Communions that our Benigne learnt to deck herself, so to speak, with the virtues of her beloved Mother, praying her to purify her by her purity, to sanctify her by her sanctity, and to make her perfect by her perfection. ‘Remember, O Mother of God,’ she said, ‘that thy Divine Son has committed to thee the care of making me agreeable in His eyes.’” (p. 374 ‘The Life of Sister Jeanne Benigne Gojos: Lay–Sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary,’ 1878)

-23- Submission to Mary is the Shortcut to Perfection

‘We advance more in a brief period of submission to Mary and dependence on her than in whole years of self-will and self- reliance. A man who is obedient and submissive to Mary will sing of glorious victories over his enemies. It is true, his enemies will try to impede his progress, force him to retreat or try to make him fall. But with Mary’s help, support and guidance, he will go forward towards our Lord. Without falling, retreating and even without being delayed, he will advance with giant strides towards Jesus along the same road which, as it is written, Jesus took to come to us with giant strides and in a short time…

Why do you think our Lord spent only a few years here on earth and nearly all of them in submission and obedience to his Mother? The reason is that ‘attaining perfection in a short time, he lived a long time,’ even longer than Adam, whose losses he had come to make good. Yet Adam lived more than nine hundred years!

Jesus lived a long time, because he lived in complete submission to his Mother and in union with her, which obedience to his Father required. The Holy Spirit tells us that the man who honours his mother is like a man who stores up a treasure. In other words, the man who honours Mary, his Mother, to the extent of subjecting himself to her and obeying her in all things will soon become very rich, because he is amassing riches every day through Mary who has become his secret philosopher’s stone.’

V0035640 Christ appears to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“I then confided thee to the care of My Holy Mother, that she might fashion thee according to My designs.”

– Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

-24- He Who Seeks Jesus, Must Love Mary

‘He who wishes to have the fruit well ripened and well-formed must have the tree that produces it; he who wishes to have the fruit of life, Jesus Christ, must have the tree of life, which is Mary; he who wishes to have in himself the operation of the Holy Ghost must have His faithful and indissoluble Spouse…’

“For anyone who wants to follow me and yield to my advice will find grace at my hands and salvation. And you should know for certain, daughter, that anyone who does not love me will not be able to find grace from my Son or, consequently, from the Holy Spirit.” – Our Lady to St. Elizabeth of Hungary

-25- Mary is Queen of Hearts

‘Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth by grace, as Jesus is the King of them by nature and by conquest. Now, as the kingdom of Jesus Christ consists principally in the heart and interior of a man – according to that word, ‘The kingdom of God is within you,’ – in like manner the kingdom of our Blessed Lady is principally in the interior of a man, that is to say, his soul; and it is principally in souls that she is more glorified with her Son than in all visible creatures, and that we can call her, as the Saints do, the Queen of hearts.’

“Through the love which you have for my blessed Mother, tell your spiritual director that as I asked Margaret Mary for devotion to my divine Heart, so I ask you to urge the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of my Mother…” – Our Lord to Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (d. October 13, 1955)

-26- Mary Glorifies God in Us

‘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… ‘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?’

‘O magnify the Lord with me; and let us extol His name together.’ (Ps. 33:4)

-27- The Immense Value of Consecrating Oneself to Mary

‘Other congregations, associations, and confraternities set up in honour of our Lord and our Blessed Lady, which do so much good in the Church, do not require their members to give up absolutely everything… But this devotion makes us give Jesus and Mary all our thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings and every moment of our lives without exception. Thus, whatever we do, whether we are awake or asleep, whether we eat or drink, whether we do important or unimportant work, it will always be true to say that everything is done for Jesus and Mary. Our offering always holds good, whether we think of it or not, unless we explicitly retract it.  How consoling this is!’

Josefa_Menendez

“If only you knew how many souls can be saved by those little acts!”

– Our Lady to Sr. Josefa Menendez

-28- The Holy Spirit Bears Fruit in Mary

‘God the Holy Ghost being barren in God — that is to say, not producing another Divine Person — is become fruitful by Mary, whom He has espoused. It is with her, in her, and of her, that He has produced His Masterpiece, which is a God made Man, and whom He goes on producing in the persons of His members daily to the end of the world.’

“… And this explains what is said of Mary in the holy Canticles: ‘Thy belly is as a heap of wheat, set about with lilies (Cant. of Cant. 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. Hence, William the Abbot wrote: Mary, in bringing forth Jesus, who is our Saviour and our life, brought forth all of us to life and salvation.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori

WEEK 5 (5 days)

-29- Mary a Right and Power Over the Souls of the Elect

‘… Mary has received from God a great domination over the souls of the elect; for she cannot make her residence in them, as God the Father ordered her to do (c.f. Ecclus. 24:13), and form them in Jesus Christ, or Jesus Christ in them, and strike the roots of her virtues in their hearts, and be the indissoluble companion of the Holy Ghost in all His works of grace—she cannot, I say, do all these things unless she has a right and domination over their souls by a singular grace of the Most High, who, having given her power over His only and Natural Son, has given it also to her over His adopted children, not only as to their bodies, which would be but little matter, but also as to their souls.’

‘Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place: Thou and the ark, which Thou hast sanctified.’ (Ps. 131:8) [‘resting place’ – i.e. Heaven/the soul; ‘the ark’ – i.e. Our Lady, the New Ark of the Covenant]

-30- Devotion to Mary is a Sign of Predestination

‘God the Father wishes to have children by Mary till the consummation of the world; and He has said to her these words: In Jacob inhabita — “Dwell in Jacob,” — that is to say, Make your dwelling and residence in My predestinated children, figured by Jacob, and not in the reprobate children of the devil, figured by Esau.’

“Christ in His agony on the Cross had said to her: ‘Behold thy son.’ For centuries now she has been faithful to this commission, never allowing anyone finally to perish—provided he also has been mindful of those other words spoken to him by the Saviour: ‘Behold thy Mother.’” – St. Robert Bellarmine (‘De Gemitu Columae,’ lib. 2, cap. 9.)

-31- Mary is the Way unto The Way

‘The Church, with the Holy Ghost, blesses our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus. It is not that Mary is more than Jesus, or even equal to Him – that would be an intolerable heresy; but it is that, in order to bless Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing Mary. Let us, then, say with all the true clients of our Lady against these false scrupulous devotees: Mary, thou art blessed amongst all women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus… Indeed we only honour Mary that we may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch as we only go to her as to the way in which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus.’

‘In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.’ (Ecclus. 24:25)

-32- Love of Mary Cannot but Lead to Love of Jesus

‘It would be easier to separate light from the sun than Mary from Jesus. So united are they that our Lord may be called, “Jesus of Mary”, and his Mother “Mary of Jesus.”’

“The souls who love her most and who are most like to her, are the souls who are most like to Me most perfectly.” – Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (Diary, Feb. 18, 1917)

-33- The Purpose of Devotion to Our Blessed Mother is to Adore the Fruit of Her Womb 

‘In Fr. Boudon’s book [‘The Holy Slavery of the Admirable Mother of God’] we read of different popes who gave their approval to this devotion, the theologians who examined it, the hostility it encountered and overcame, the thousands who made it their own without censure from any pope. Indeed it could not be condemned without overthrowing the foundations of Christianity. It is obvious then that this devotion is not new. If it is not commonly practised, the reason is that it is too sublime to be appreciated and undertaken by everyone… If, then, we are establishing sound devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only in order to establish devotion to our Lord more perfectly, by providing a smooth but certain way of reaching Jesus Christ. If devotion to our Lady distracted us from our Lord, we would have to reject it as an illusion of the devil. But this is far from being the case.’

“You must be devoted above all to doing His Will…” – Our Lady to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi

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Act of Consecration to the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin

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“O most sweet and amiable Virgin Mary, most beloved Daughter of the Eternal Divine Father, most tender Mother of the Eternal Divine Son, most holy Spouse of the Eternal Divine Spirit, I come to thee, O most loving Mother, to consecrate myself entirely to thee.

Thou art all pure, all beautiful; thou art the Immaculate, and I, O most benign Mother, am only misery, only sin, only prone to evil. Thou, O Mary, art the Immaculate, and hast always been the delight of the most Holy Trinity; thou hast ravished the Heart of God thy Father, thy Son, thy Spouse, with the immaculate whiteness of thy holy Soul.

O most compassionate Mother, cast a glance of pity on this poor soul, made the target of so many fierce temptations; and by thy power, put to flight the infernal enemy. In these tremendous assaults, O most pitiful Mother, I come to take refuge in thy Immaculate Heart; and do thou, O most merciful Queen of Virgins, preserve my Lily pure and present it thyself to Jesus.

My most tender Mother, I expect thee at the hour of my death; and until that hour I shall thank thee and implore thee to watch over me that I may please Jesus in all things. Grazie, O Maria!”

++ References ++

A list of some the works quoted in this article:

  • True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,’ by St. Louis de Montfort
  • ‘The Life of Sister Jeanne Benigne Gojos: Lay–Sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary,’ by Mother Marie Geltrude Provane de Leyni
  • ‘The Three Ages of the Interior Life,’ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, TAN Books
  • ‘The Revelations of St. Birgitta of Sweden’
  • ‘The Revelations of St. Elizabeth’
  • ‘The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ,’ Federico Suárez
  • ‘Vademecum Proposed to Religious Soul,’ by “A Pious Author” (i.e. Our Lord)
  • ‘The Life of Ven. Maria Crescentia Hoess,’ New York, Cincinnati, and St. Louis: Benziger Brothers
  • ‘Divine Communications (vol. I and II),’ by Rev. Auguste Saudreau
  • ‘Wife, Mother and Mystic,’ TAN Books
  • ‘Conchita: A Mother’s Spiritual Diary,’ by Marie-Michel Philipon
  • ‘The Glories of Mary,’ by St. Alphonsus Liguori
  • ‘The Way of Divine Love,’ TAN Books
  • ‘The Agony and The Glory,’ TAN Books
  • ‘The Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary,’ TAN Books
  • ‘Père Lamy,’ by Biver

Galg_gem

“You love to call me Mamma, but I love to call thee child.”

– Our Lady to St. Gemma Galgani (‘Blessed Gemma Galgani,’ by Father Amedeo, C.P.)

Words from Jesus for the New Year

From ‘The Life of Ven. Mary Crescentia Hoss’:

“On New Year’s day, [Saint] Crescentia had, according to her wont, made a New Year’s gift of herself to the Lord, offering herself with extraordinary fervor as a holocaust, to be immolated according to the divine will, and consumed in the holy fire of suffering, of crosses, and of love. She fell into an ecstasy, and heard from the lips of Christ these words:

“This thine offering pleases Me; but thou must know that

I do not allow Myself to be surpassed in love.”

Then showing her His opened heart, He said:

“Behold My heart, laid open by love;

I give it thee as a habitation, a security,and an asylum against all thine enemies.”

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Happy New Year, dear reader! And happy 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearance at FATIMA!

Pray much for the Church and the world. The message of Fatima has not been heeded.

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Update: I am currently working on an article about consecration to Our Lady. Due to a want of time, this might take a while to complete.

For now, let these words suffice:

“How can the world be saved, from the disaster that is about to crash down upon the misleading nations, if man does not repent of his errors and failings? The only salvation is a complete repentance and return to God, and a true devotion to my Immaculate Heart, particularly in the daily recitation of my Rosary.”

– Our Lady to Bl. Elena Aiello (d. 1961)

‘Devotion for the Dying’: The Most Pleasing Devotion to Jesus and Mary

‘He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:20)

In her absolutely remarkable work, ‘Devotion for the Dying: Mary’s Call to Her Loving Children,’ Ven. Mother Mary Potter (d. April 9, 1913) demonstrates, beyond question, that we can and must pray for the salvation of dying sinners. (*Chapter 10 alone is worth the price of the book*).

How pleasing this devotion is to Our Lord, Who is Love Incarnate, and to Our Lady, who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit! The Saints tell us that we can do nothing more charitable than pray and offer sacrifices for the dying. Who are in greater need than the dying? They are on the threshold of eternity; the state in which they die will determine their eternity; for ‘in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.’ (Eccles. 11:3)

An All-Important Task

Make no mistake: if we neglect this all-important work, many unfortunate souls, who need our prayers, will be damned. “Francisco,” said Bl. Jacinta Marto to her older brother; “are you praying with me? We must pray very much to save souls from hell, so many go there. So many!” This need not be the case!

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”

– Our Lady of Fatima

‘Do unto others…’

Put yourself in the place of the dying sinner, and ask yourself this simple question: “If we traded places, would I hope that they would pray and make sacrifices for my eternal salvation?” If your answer is “yes”, as I’m sure it is, then you are bound to do the same for dying sinners. ‘All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them.’ (Mt. 7:12)

The Smallest Acts Suffice to Save Souls

We must not underestimate God’s mercy. Even the smallest acts, offered with a pure intention to Love, can be of great benefit to souls. “To pick up a pin for love,” exclaims St. Therese, “can convert a soul.” Glorious words.

“We of ourselves, it is true,” writes Ven. Mother Mary Potter, “could not by the offering of our whole lives make satisfaction to God for even one of the venial sins we think so lightly of when we commit them, but God views our good actions as the fruit of the Passion of His Beloved Son; and thus it is that a good action is more pleasing, necessarily so, to Him than a bad action is displeasing.” (p. 157–158)

“This is the consideration of God’s fairness, for, though my justice is so great that I leave nothing unexamined or unpunished, yet I am also so merciful and fair that I demand nothing beyond what nature can bear. Moreover, I forgive great punishment for the sake of a good intention and great sin in return for a little reparation.”

– Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Book 4, Ch 89)

Some Sage Advice from Ven. Mother Mary Potter

Each day, offer everything you do in reparation for dying sinners. If you read the Bible, for example, offer it for those who have spent their time reading ungodly literature; if you eat, offer this act for those who have been given in to sins of gluttony; and so on. Renew this intention frequently; you will save many souls thereby. This is an extremely powerful means of sanctifying our every act. The treasury of merits and graces that we amass by acting thus is incomprehensible. ‘And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.’ (Mt. 10:42)

The Two Thieves

Jesus, King of Love, was crucified between two thieves. One, it seems, was damned; the other responded to God’s call and was saved. He is now known as St. Dismas.

Perhaps we have not considered this before – but the thieves represent us. How often have we robbed God of glory by squandering the unfathomable gift of Divine Grace, which He purchased with the price of His Precious Blood? How often have we proudly attributed to ourselves the good that is within us? How often have we, like Judas, delivered Jesus over to the hands of His crucifiers, so that we might indulge in some carnal sin? Alas, I am guilty of this myself! “My Jesus, mercy! The sins of my youth and my ignorances do not remember. According to thy mercy remember thou me: for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.” (Ps. 25:7)

Ultimately, our death will resemble one of the two thieves. It is for us to ensure that we die like St. Dismas. Furthermore, we must do what we can do ensure that others are converted, especially those “in most need of [God’s] mercy,” namely, dying sinners. St. Dismas, pray for us!

An Invitation from Jesus and Mary

Jesus tells us: ‘love one another, as I have loved you.’ (Jn. 13:34) These are the words of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, ‘Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present wicked world, according to the will of God and our Father.’ (Gal. 1:4) In imitation of our Lord, we too must lay down our lives for our brethren – especially our dying brethren.

Look at our sweet Mother, Mary, at the foot of the Cross; look at her whose soul was pierced with a sword for the sake of her Son, and for that great multitude who will be forever separated from His loving embrace (Lk. 2:35). What a perfect example she is for us all! There she prayers for her Son’s crucifiers, for us; there she offers her own sufferings for the salvation of a prodigious number of sinners. If thousands were saved by Bl. Alexandrina’s sufferings (united to the sufferings and merits of Jesus) – as Our Lord confided to her – then think of how many souls were, and are, saved through the prayers and sufferings of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God!

“Our Blessed Lady told me that many souls escape Hell through her intercession. She often obtains the grace of repentance for a soul when it is just leaving the body. In that moment of extremity she obtains for the soul a feeling of love of God, a feeling of repentance.”

-SG. Père Lamy (p. 141 of his biography)

In thanksgiving to Jesus and Mary, let us firmly resolve, from this day forward, to cultivate a tender devotion to the dying; let us entrust this intention to our Blessed Mother, to our patrons Saints, and to our Guardian Angel. Let us have recourse to Mary, the Mother of Mercy; let us pray her Rosary; let us offer her our indulgences at the beginning of each day; let us offer her our merits, and she will see to it that we stay close to her Son; she will see to it that our prayers and sufferings are not wasted; she herself will offer them to God, bathed in the Precious Blood of Jesus, and united to her own merits. Do this and many, very many souls will be saved!

“Our Lady offers our prayers to God; she beautifies them; she makes them [more] pleasing in His sight… The recitation of the Rosary – that is what Lucifer hates.”

– SG. Père Lamy (p. 140, p. 157)

“… the imitation of both of our lives [Jesus and Mary] must be simultaneous on earth; Mary’s life was modeled on Mine… The souls who love her most and who are most like to her, are the souls who are most like to Me most perfectly. You must imitate her in the practice of virtues, I always told you, especially in her humility and her purity of heart. Observe the virtues she practiced in her solitude, in the last stage of her life, her outlook, and her soul wholly turned toward heaven, and her self effacement, glorifying Me on earth.”

(Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, Diary, Feb. 18, 1917 – a few months before Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima)

The Power of Prayer

The following anecdote beautifully captures the essence of this “devotion for the dying.” It is taken from p. 294 of ‘St. Vincent Ferrer, His Life, Spiritual Teaching, and Practical Devotion.’

“The Saint passing to Pampeluna, and his sanctity being well known to all the inhabitants, they besought him to interest himself in behalf of the spiritual needs and conversion of a person of notoriously bad character, who would continue impenitent to the last day of her life. The charity of St. Vincent, which desired nothing so much as the salvation of souls, drew him promptly and with joy into the presence of this poor sinner. He unhappily found her completely hardened. She was obstinate and so despairing of her salvation that she exclaimed, blaspheming:

“It is impossible for me to be saved; God cannot pardon either the multitude or the enormity of my sins.”

The Saint began, then, with all the energy of his soul to offer her powerful reasons which might encourage her to hope for a generous pardon from God. But it was useless, that soul was hardened in evil. Seeing this, St. Vincent raised up his heart to God, made a short prayer, and led by a divine inspiration, he promised the sinner that her absolution should come in writing from heaven, if she would promise to make her confession. The wretched woman began to ridicule a pledge so extraordinary and which appeared to her impossible; yet she said to the Saint:

“If it be so, I am very willing to (p. 293) confess.”

Then, the Saint procured pen and paper, and wrote these words:

“Brother Vincent Ferrer beseeches the most Holy Trinity to grant the sinner here present the absolution of her sins.”

He then folded the paper, and cast it into the air; the document flew out of the house; but some minutes afterwards it returned folded and closed. Wonderful to relate, on opening it, St. Vincent found the following promise written in letters of gold:

“We, the most Holy Trinity, at the request of our Vincent, grant the sinner of whom he speaks, the pardon of her faults; We dispense her from all the punishment which she ought to undergo; and if she confesses, she shall be carried to heaven in half an hour, where she shall reign eternally with us… From heaven… We, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

St. Vincent read the answer, and without delay the happy woman made her confession; in half an hour afterwards her soul took its flight to heaven. Oh! happy sinner! If so extraordinary a favour was obtained for this great sinner at the prayer of our Saint, while he was yet living, what ought not we to expect from him – great sinners as we are, but who are devoted to him – now that, consumed with charity, he rejoices in God Whom he beholds face to face, and who being near to Him, continually intercedes for those who have recourse to his prayers!” (p. 294)

‘God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.’

(Ps. 69:35)

My Own Experience of Fatima

On May 13, 2012, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (and the anniversary of the First Apparition), I received a strong inspiration to start this blog. It was only after I started writing that I realised it was May 13.

This, I believe, was no coincidence. I believe Our Lord was effectively telling me this: “My son, I have suffered much on your account; so, too, has my Mother. But do not despair. I have given her to be your Mother, a most merciful Mother. In gratitude for so much love, of which you have been the object, entrust yourself to her, love her; rest in her arms like a little child, and teach others to do the same.”

I am not claiming that I had a locution or anything of the kind. I did not. But I did receive an impression that, in response to so much love from Jesus and Mary, I must share at least a little of that immeasurable love with others – many, if not all, of whom have abused fewer graces than I have.

Over the years, the truth of Mary’s love for me has only increased, and she has helped me on countless occasions to renew my trust in the infinite love of her Divine Son. On one such occasion, I was in Church, praying, but with great difficulty (I think it was the year 2013). I was quite discouraged at the time. As I had my head down, a young man came up to me. I had never seen him before; I have never seen him since. “Here,” he said, handing me some Rosary beads; “these are for you.” How kind, I thought! I looked carefully at these beautiful Rosary beads, which were marked with a single word: FATIMA.

Our Lady has been very good to me.

On December 3, 2015, I had an opportunity to visit Fatima. It was incredible. I cannot attempt to describe it. One truly feels her presence there, just like at Lourdes.

Please join me, dear friend, in honouring Jesus and Mary by making our lives a constant sacrifice of praise and love.

“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners? … Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”

– Our Lady of Fatima (May 13, 1917)

“Do not be afraid to love the Immaculata (Mary) too much because we could never equal the love that Jesus has for Her, and His imitation is our sanctification.”

– St. Maximilian Kolbe

A Final Word

Stay close to Mary, Help of Christians, and you will be saved; not only that: you will become a Saint; you will save many souls, and your death will be a most glorious one, a cause of delight to the Courts of Heaven!

‘… precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’

(Ps. 116:15)

Our Lady Comforts Her Children at the Moment of Death

The Necessity of Devotion to Our Lady

The more one reads about what the Church has to say about Our Lady, the harder it is to disagree with the consensus of the Saints, namely, that a tender love of Mary is a true indication that one loves and is loved by God.

“Many have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers – among others: St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas, and St. Bonaventure – that devotion to Our Most Blessed Virgin is necessary for salvation [true devotion consists in charity], and that it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem or love for the Holy Virgin while, on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her. The figures and words of the Old and New Testaments prove this. The sentiments and examples of the Saints confirm it. Reason and experience teach and demonstrate it. Even the Devil and his crew, constrained by the force of truth, have often been obliged to avow it in spite of themselves.”

St. Louis de Montfort

Mary Protects the Mystical Body of her Son

Many perish because they are led into heresy. Devotion to Mary is a safeguard against heresy. Our Lady protected Our Lord, so you can be certain that she will not abandon His Mystical Body, the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

“Follow her and you cannot go wrong, says St. Bernard. There is no danger of a true child of Mary being led astray by the devil and falling into heresy.”

– St. Louis de Montfort

Like us, Mary is an instrument of God’s Blessings

Jesus uses the members of His Mystical Body, the Church, as channels for His grace. This should be obvious enough; look at the Saints. Mary is simply the channel of grace par excellence. To draw near to Mary, therefore, is to draw near to her Son, her All. He lives in and through her without restraint; she offers her Son no resistance; she is perfectly docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. “Fiat voluntas tua!” (“Thy Will be done” – Mt. 6:10).

Mary leads us to her Son

All those who love Mary come to love her Son. This is because Mary’s will is God’s will; her entire life and being is fixed on God, her All. “Where Mary is, there is the Son!” (St. Paul of the Cross). She cannot fail to lead us to Him. If you think the Saints led many souls to God, look at Mary and what the Saints say about her!

“She is the mediator between us and Christ, just as Christ is the mediator between us and God.”

– St. Bonaventure

Our Lady appears to her children at the hour of death

When death comes, God will judge us as He finds us. If we stay close to Mary, she will take special care of us; she will do everything in her power to ensure that we are led safely to Jesus.

Our Lady has appeared to many Saints and holy souls throughout the centuries – and even to great sinners. And her message is always the same. She reminds us that there is an abyss of love and mercy for us if we will take her hand and approach God with confidence. In her great love for us, her children, she has promised to protect us, or even appear to us at the moment of death if only we serve her faithfully (cf. the Three Hail Marys devotion). And how do we serve her? “Stay close to my Son,” she said to one Saint. In a word, we must love Jesus and let Him act in and through us. “Fiat voluntas tua!”

“I will, as a most loving mother, without fail be present at the death of all those who piously and holily serve me, and will console and protect them.”

– Our Lady to St. Mechtilde

You can be sure that Jesus will be there with her!

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#3)

 “I showed you all the love I could in order to make you turn to me. However, since you have turned away from me, you deserve to be sentenced, because you scorned mercy. However, I am still so merciful that, if it were possible for me to die again, for your sake I would again endure the same torment I once endured on the cross rather than see you sentenced to such a sentence. Justice, however, says that it is impossible for me to die again, even if mercy tells me to want to die for your sake again, if it were possible.

– Jesus to St. Bridget (addressing a self–condemned soul)

God’s love cannot coexist with mortal sin, but He still loves sinners. He thirsts for souls. If you combine the love of all the Saints throughout the ages, this is still but a drop in the ocean compared to the limitless love of God. Since the beginning of time, every conversion has been owing to the love and mercy of God.

If we did not water down the malice of sin, we would have a greater appreciation of how great and pure God’s love is. “Then they crucify his right hand when they hold justice to be as injustice, saying: ‘Sin is not so heavy and abominable to God as it is said. God does not punish anyone for all eternity; he only threatens us with these hard things to scare us. Why else would he redeem man if he wanted us to perish?’ (Our Lady to St. Bridget) “He wished all of them to be saved (I Tim. 2: 4), and if not all of them attained this salvation, no one can justly complain of his superabundant kindness.” (Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda)

Mary’s Appeal to the Worst of Sinners

Our Lady spoke these words to St. Bridget of Sweden:

“I tell you so now: Nobody in the world is so great a sinner – provided he says in his heart that my Son is the Creator and Redeemer of the universe and dear to him in his inmost heart – that I am not prepared to come to him immediately, like a loving mother to her son, and hug him and say: ‘What would you like, my son?’ Even if he had deserved the lowest punishment in Hell, nevertheless, if only he has the intention of not caring for worldly honours or greed or carnal lust, such as the church condemns, and desires nothing but his own sustenance, then he and I will right away get along quite well together.” (Bk IV, Ch 32)

Sadly, this appeal of Our Lady will not be heeded by many. The atheist will deny it; the agnostic will view it with a pitiable indifference and skepticism; and the sinner and lukewarm Christian alike will scarcely perceive that it is addressed to him just as much – if not more – than it is addressed to other ‘greater’ sinners, who have perhaps received far fewer graces.

Please pray, dear reader, that neither you nor I will be lukewarm; pray, rather, that we might become Saints. This is the surest way to please, to console, and to thank Our Lady and Our Lord for all they have done for us, and for all they desire to do for us!

A Prayer EVERY Christian Should Know and Love…

(Every person, actually – we are all impoverished without prayer – but we’ll let that pass for now.)

This prayer has been called “a priceless treasure inspired by God” (St. Louis de Montfort), “the storehouse of countless blessings,” (Bl. Alan de la Roche), “the greatest method of praying” (St. Francis de Sales), “the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life… the remedy for all our evils…” (Pope Leo XIII); for centuries it has been the source of countless miracles; St. Padre Pio held it very dear, and it was never far from his lips or his thoughts; by it, Bl. John Massias released thousands upon thousands of souls in Purgatory; for the saints it was a powerful weapon to convert even the most hardened and despairing sinners; it is a perpetual source of light to the blind, strength to the weak, hope to the despairing, and joy to the sorrowful; and in recent times, Mary, the Theotokos herself, has encouraged us to pray this prayer EVERY DAY.

What is this powerful prayer, of which the Saints speak with so much respect, love and admiration? My friends, it is none other than the Holy Rosary!

Greatly detested by the Serpent, but loved by all the Elect, the Rosary is a compendium of the Gospel: it is a meditation on the mysteries of Our Saviour’s life, death and resurrection. In a word, it is a meditation on Divine Love: ‘and in my meditation a fire shall flame out.’ (Ps. 39:3).

Properly said – i.e. attentively, reverently, confidently and humbly [thus forming the unintentional acronym ARCH] – the Rosary is extremely pleasing to Our Lord and Our Lady.

The arguments in favour of praying the daily Rosary (i.e. at least 5 decades) are innumerable. For those of you who have doubts about the orthodoxy or efficacy of the Rosary, you might consider asking Our Lord for light (as we all must), then make a resolution – perhaps for one month – to pray and reflect daily upon the following words of Scripture:

‘Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Lk. 1:28)
‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb [Jesus].’ (Lk. 1:42)

Surely no harm can come from this practice. In fact, nothing but good will come from this. Our Lord encouraged St. Francis of Assisi to seek perfection under the guidance of Mary. Should we not do the same? Can we possibly be led astray by one who seeks only to unite us to her Son, saying: ‘Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye’? (Jn. 2:5) Can we possibly be led astray if we follow the same path that the Saints (who are now in Heaven) have always taken?

One day St. Francis of Assisi had a vision in which his fellow religious were trying to reach Jesus by a very steep, red ladder; but after ascending a few of its rungs, they would lose their ground. Our Lord then revealed to Francis a different ladder; this ladder was white, it was much less steep than the previous ladder, and at the summit was the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus then said to Francis: “Advise your sons to go by the ladder of My Mother.”

As Mary’s spiritual children we ought to love her, to trust in her, and seek to please her. She has an ardent desire to help us! She is more than able to help us! We need her help!

We are truly Mary’s children, and as her children, we require nourishment. And with what, we might ask, does Our Lady nourish us? With the fruit of her womb: with Jesus!

‘I am the mother of fair love… Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.’ (Ecclus. 24:24, 26)

To illustrate this point, we have a story from the life of Bl. Benvenuta Bojani. One day while she was praying in church, “she beheld a poor child of exquisite beauty, and, calling him to her, she inquired if he could say the Hail Mary.”
“Can you say it?” asked the child.
Benvenuta immediately began to recite it; and, when she came to the words: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb,” the Child said: “And I am He,” and then disappeared.” (Words taken from ‘Dominican Saints’)

A similar event occurred in the life of St. Crescentia (one of my favourite Saints!). One day as she was praying thus: “Praised and blessed be thy noble treasure, Mary, which thou didst receive from the Holy Ghost! and praised be the blessed Fruit of thy womb,” Our Lady appeared to her with the Divine Child, saying: “This is the blessed Fruit of my womb.”

We must not think that honour given to Our Lady detracts from God’s glory. On the contrary, we love Mary because God loved her first; we honour her because He honoured her first; we ask for her prayers because He gave her to us to be our mother; and what mother is not eager to help her children? Can anyone truly doubt that Mary loves us as her most dear children, when we even find the prophet David dedicating himself to Mary as her son, despite the fact that she had not yet been born? ‘Save the son of thy handmaid,’ he said. (Ps. 86:16) “Whose handmaid? She who says: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” (St. Augustine)

“My mother Mary,” said Our Lord to St. Bridget, “on account of her compassion and charity, was made mother of all in heaven and on earth.” “I have become mother of all of you,” said Our Lady to St. Gertrude, “in the womb of my charity, and you have become my children, the brethren of Jesus.” (cf. Luke 2:7).

Now, Almighty God has commanded us to honour our parents. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother.’ (Eph. 6:2) Nothing could be clearer. Well, if Mary is our mother, then we have the duty to honour her and to obey her as we would our biological mother.

With this in mind, let us all take seriously the words of Our Lady in some of her recent apparitions, which simply confirm the constant teaching of the Church and her Saints. Here are some of her words to us, her dear children:

1. “I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.” – Our Lady of Fatima (in Portugal), October 13, 1917

2. “Pray and do penance. Pray the Rosary frequently. It is the only powerful weapon to attract the blessings from Heaven.” – Our Lady to Servant of God, Edvige Carboni (of Italy), March 1942

3. “Spread the devotion to my Immaculate Heart, in order that many souls maybe conquered by my love and that many sinners may return to my Maternal Heart. Do not fear, for I will accompany with my maternal protection my faithful ones, and all those who accept my urgent warnings, and they — especially by the recitations of my Rosary — will be saved.” – Our Lady to Bl. Elena Aiello (d. 1961)

4. “Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary… Pray the Rosary often.” – Our Lady of Akita (in Japan), October 13, 1973

5. “Pray the Rosary. Meditate on the mysteries. Listen to the Word of God spoken in them.” – Our Lady of Cuapa (in Nicaragua), 1980

+ “My daughter, do not be afraid of me. I am your loving Mother whom you praise so faithfully every day. Be steadfast and persevere; I want you to know that the Angelic Salutation gives me so much joy that no man could ever really explain it.” – Our Lady to a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary

+ “Never has any man composed anything more beautiful than the Hail Mary. No salutation could be dearer to my heart than those beautiful and dignified words that God the Father addressed to me Himself.” – Our Lady to St. Gertrude

Some final words:

“Mary has recommended the Rosary at Lourdes and Fatima because of its exceptional value for us and our times.” – St. Padre Pio
“The power of the rosary is beyond description.” – Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“NOBODY WHO PERSEVERES IN THE ROSARY WILL BE DAMNED, BECAUSE SHE (MARY) OBTAINS FOR HER SERVANTS THE GRACE OF TRUE CONTRITION FOR THEIR SINS AND BY MEANS OF THIS THEY OBTAIN GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND MERCY.” – A revelation to St. Dominic

7 Signs of The Holy Spirit: A Revelation to St. Bridget

Docility to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit is the only means to sanctity and salvation. The following words of Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden will help us to discern the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, Who always produces peace, clarity and obedience.

“My daughter, you can recognize both the Holy Spirit and the unclean spirit through seven signs:

7 Signs of the Holy Spirit

First, the Spirit of God makes a man deem the world worthless and consider in his heart all worldly honor as mere air.

Second, it endears God to the soul, and all delight in the flesh grows cold.

Third, it inspires him to patience and to glorying only in God.

Fourth, it stimulates the mind to be loving and compassionate with one’s neighbor and even with one’s enemies.

Fifth, it inspires him to all kinds of abstinence, even from licit things.

Sixth, it makes him trust in God in the midst of hardships and even to glory in hardships.

Seventh, it gives him the desire of wanting to depart and to be with Christ, rather than to prosper in the world and become soiled.

7 Signs of the Evil Spirit

The evil spirit has seven effects to the contrary.

First, it makes the world seem sweet, and heaven distasteful.

Second, it makes a man seek honors and forget about the meaning of his life.

Third, it arouses hatred and impatience in the heart.

Fourth, it makes him bold toward God and obstinate in his own plans.

Fifth, it leads him to make light of his sins and to make excuses for them.

Sixth, it inspires in him frivolity of mind and every carnal impurity.

Seventh, it inspires in him the hope of a long life and a feeling a shame about going to confession.

Guard your thoughts carefully, then, so that you do not get deceived by this spirit.”

(Taken from ‘The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden’, Book 4, Ch 23)

A Book Recommendation

Firstly, an exhortation to read (from St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church):

“St. Jerome says that when we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us… In prayer, God hears our petitions, but in reading we listen to his voice… Good books supply the place of sermons. St. Augustine writes that good books are, as it were, so many letters of love the Lord sends us; in them he warns us of our dangers, teaches us the way of salvation, animates us to suffer adversity, enlightens us, and inflames us with divine love. Whoever, then, desires to be saved and to acquire divine love, should often read these letters of paradise.”

The book is, ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois.’ It can be read here (free and legally): https://archive.org/stream/workslouisofbloi00bloiuoft#page/n9/mode/2up

Venerable Louis of Blois (Blosius), a holy and learned Benedictine, was often praised by St. Alphonsus. His writings are among my favourite spiritual works. They are very inspiring, concise, practical and balanced.

+ Pax +

15 Reasons To Suffer With LOVE.

“Embrace the cross lovingly, whenever it comes, as the most precious token of love I can give you in this life.”
– Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

If we were more humble, we would never complain of suffering (except in the sense in which Our Lord complained in the Garden of Gethsemane). “Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord have happened for our amendment and not for our destruction.” Furthermore, let us consider that God also uses our sufferings – if only we bear them with love – to bring down an abundance of graces for others!

Suffering is a small price to pay considering that one serious sin merits eternal suffering. “They do not consider,” said Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden, “that the least little sin a man finds delight in is enough to damn him to an eternal torment [if he does not repent].” (We must not forget that Hell is only for those who die in unrepented mortal sin.) This consideration is mentioned so that we may humbly thank God in particular for the priceless grace of repentance, and for the grace of knowing the value – at least to a greater degree than many others – of suffering. God desires that we be happy with Him both here and hereafter. The cross is the means by which God purifies souls and leads them to Himself.

It is a great act of charity to console the suffering. Perhaps the following words will be of profit to someone you know who is suffering:

1. “When suffering is accepted with love, it is no longer suffering, but it is changed into joy.” – St. Therese

2. “… when suffering is joined to love, the proofs of love given through suffering are a true reparation [i.e. for sin] offered to God.” – Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity

3. “Whenever a soul receives with faith and love any occasion of suffering, it is as if she received Me in her arms when taken down from the Cross.” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

4. “Be not afflicted if I begin to abandon thee. Do not think it chastisement. It is truly My own Will in order to detach thee from
creatures and unite thee to Myself.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

5. “No sin of yours will come under my judgment if it has been expiated in this life through your penance.” – Jesus to St. Bridget

6. “The best penance is to have patience with the sorrows God permits.” – St. Peter Damian

7. “The Cross is the way to Paradise, but only when it is borne willingly.” – St. Paul of the Cross

8. “You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

9.  “Affliction is always accompanied by Grace; Grace is proportionate to Suffering. The measure of My gifts is increased with the measure of trials.” – Jesus to St. Rose of Lima

10. ”O My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me if they had not been crucified.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

11. “Let us tell ourselves that every day, every hour, every instant of suffering borne with Jesus and for love of Him will be a new heaven [reward in Heaven] for all eternity, and a new glory given God for ever.” – Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

12. “My child, you canst do nothing more gratifying to Me than to submit patiently to all the tribulations that befall you.” – Jesus to St. Gertrude

13. “The cross is a gift too precious, and from it come many virtues.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

14. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.” – 1 Peter 4:12-13

15. “O what inspiration there is in the Crucifix! … God … never commands us to do anything which he has not first practiced Himself…” – St. John Vianney

+++

… should I then have deserved to go to hell in punishment of my sins, I entreat you, O my Lord to pardon me, and to be pleased to lead me to enjoy you eternally in heaven.”

– Venerable Fabrizio Dall’ Aste

Some Beautiful Words About HEAVEN.

(Words taken from Martin Von Cochem’s ‘The Four Last Things’)

The more good a saint has done on earth, the grander is the residence assigned him in heaven. These palaces and mansions are transparent as crystal and built of precious stones of the costliest kind. And we may add on the authority of a learned theologian, that the blessed hold intercourse with one another, and meet together to laud and magnify the omnipotence of the Most High, who prepared for them such glorious abodes, and join in extolling His wisdom and His love…

St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and many other saints do not hesitate to maintain that there are in heaven real trees, real fruits, and real flowers, indescribably attractive and delightful to the sight, taste, smell, and touch, different from anything we can imagine. In the revelations of the saints mention is made of the gardens in heaven, and the flowers that blossom there; and we know it is recorded in the legend of St. Dorothea, that she sent to Theophilus by the hands of an angel a basket of flowers culled in the gardens of the celestial paradise, of such surpassing beauty that the sight of them led him to become a Christian, and lay down his life for the faith of Christ.

We also read in the life of St. Didacus, that on coming to himself after a trance into which he fell shortly before his death, he cried aloud: “O what flowers there are in paradise! what flowers there are in paradise!” Similar incidents are frequently to be met with in the legends of the saints. 

Consider how delightful it will be for the happy ones who are saved to wander in the celestial gardens, and contemplate those fair flowers. How pleasing the lovely blossoms are to the eye, how delicious is the fragrance they exhale! Of a truth, if a man were to obtain possession of a single one of these heavenly flowers, it would produce on him the same effect as on Theophilus. He would be spoiled for all the beauty of earth, and would strive with his whole soul after the perfect beauty of heaven… 

In her revelations to St. Bridget, the Blessed Mother of God once said:

“The saints stand around my Son like countless stars, whose glory is not to be compared with any temporal light. Believe me, if the saints could be seen shining with the glory they now possess, no human eye could endure their light; all would turn away, dazzled and blinded.”

The glorified body will be able to traverse the greatest distance with the speed of thought. In one moment it can come down from heaven to earth; in one moment it can pass from one end of the heavens to the other, without labor, without fatigue, without difficulty. We often wish that we could fly like the birds, that we could speed on our way like clouds on the wings of the wind, that we could follow thought in its rapid flight. If it were possible to purchase this power, every one would part with all his worldly wealth for it, if only to obtain it for one single year… 

It would be unwise were we to attempt to describe the gratification it will be to the ear to hear the canticles of the angels, and the soft music of their harps. The nine choirs of angels will sing the praise of God, and the blessed will join them not only in heart, for they will mingle their voices also in the sweet harmony. Thus the powers of both soul and body will be exercised, and the praises of God will ascend in melodious hymns and celestial songs. For if we mortals are impelled by fervent love and heartfelt joy to lift our voice in song, how much more will the holy angels and blessed saints do so, who are all aflame with the love of God, and filled with joy unspeakable. Their hymns of praise will resound without ceasing through the courts of heaven. In a prophetic spirit the elder Tobias says: “The gates of Jerusalem shall be built of sapphire and of emerald, and all the walls thereof round about with precious stones, all its streets shall be paved with white and clean stones, and alleluia shall be sung in its streets” (Tob. xiii. 21, 22)… 

The delicious odors of paradise surpass anything that man can imagine. The fairest lilies, roses, violets, carnations, and other rare and lovely flowers grow in the gardens of the heavenly paradise, and their fragrance is so delightful, that if a man had but a petal of one of those flowers, he would be overcome by the sweetness of the perfume. “Israel [that is the company of the redeemed] shall spring as the lily, and his smell shall be that of Libanus” (Osee xiv. 6). 

Experience has abundantly shown that the bodies of the saints whilst in their graves already emit a fragrant smell; how much more powerful will that fragrance be when they are again raised to life and glorified. Above all the bodies of Christ and of His Blessed Mother will exhale so sweet a perfume that all heaven will be pervaded by it… 

Even the sense of taste will be gratified in heaven, not, it is true, by the consumption of ordinary food, but in a manner whereof we can as yet form no conjecture. The blessed will taste a sweet sustenance which will satisfy them, as we learn from the words of the Royal Psalmist: “They shall be inebriated with the plenty of Thy house, Thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of Thy pleasure” (Ps. xxxv. 9).

The sense of touch will have its own peculiar enjoyment. The more one has mortified himself here on earth, the greater will be his bodily wellbeing hereafter. St. Anselm says: “In the future life the saints will experience a feeling of untold comfort and ease. This pleasurable sensation will pervade every member, producing a wondrous sense of peace and contentment.” 

Finally, the redeemed will take very great pleasure in beholding one another, in conversing with one another, in kindly intercourse and friendly communication. Think how beautiful a sight it will be to see hundreds of thousands of beings in all the splendor of their glorified state. If on earth we esteem it a pleasure to look upon a handsome face, we can appreciate in some slight degree what it will be in heaven, the lowliest of whose inhabitants is possessed of a beauty far exceeding the personal attractions of any mortal man.