226. Although this
devotion is essentially an interior one, this does not prevent it from having
exterior practices which should not be neglected. "These must be done but
those not omitted." If properly performed, exterior acts help to foster interior
ones. Man is always guided by his senses and such practices remind him of
what he has done or should do. Let no worldling or critic intervene to assert
that true devotion is essentially in the heart and therefore externals should
be avoided as inspiring vanity, or that real devotion should be hidden and
private. I answer in the words of our Lord, "Let men see your good works
that they may glorify your Father who is in heaven." As St. Gregory says,
this does not mean that they should perform external actions to please men
or seek praise; that certainly would be vanity. It simply means that we do
these things before men only to please and glorify God without worrying about
either the contempt or the approval of men.
I shall briefly mention some practices which I call exterior, not because
they are performed without inner attention but because they have an exterior
element as distinct from those which are purely interior.
1. Preparation and Consecration
227. Those who desire to take up this special devotion, (which has not been
erected into a confraternity, although this would be desirable), should spend
at least twelve days in emptying themselves of the spirit of the world, which
is opposed to the spirit of Jesus, as I have recommended in the first part
of this preparation for the reign of Jesus Christ. They should then spend
three weeks imbuing themselves with the spirit of Jesus through the most
Blessed Virgin. Here is a programme they might follow:
228. During the first week they should offer up all their prayers and acts
of devotion to acquire knowledge of themselves and sorrow for their sins.
Let them perform all their actions in a spirit of humility. With this end
in view they may, if they wish, meditate on what I have said concerning our
corrupted nature, and consider themselves during six days of the week as
nothing but sails, slugs, toads, swine, snakes and goats. Or else they may
meditate on the following three considerations of St. Bernard: "Remember
what you were - corrupted seed; what you are - a body destined for decay;
what you will be -food for worms."
They will ask our Lord and the Holy Spirit to enlighten them saying, "Lord,
that I may see," or "Lord, let me know myself," or the "Come, Holy Spirit".
Every day they should say the Litany of the Holy Spirit, with the prayer
that follows, as indicated in the first part of this work. They will turn
to our Blessed Lady and beg her to obtain for them that great grace which
is the foundation of all others, the grace of self-knowledge. For this intention
they will say each day the Ave Maris Stella and the Litany of the Blessed
229. Each day of the second week they should endeavour in all their prayers
and works to acquire an understanding of the Blessed Virgin and ask the Holy
Spirit for this grace. They may read and meditate upon what we have already
said about her. They should recite daily the Litany of the Holy Spirit and
the Ave Maris Stella as during the first week. In addition they will say
at least five decades of the Rosary for greater understanding of Mary.
230. During the third week they should seek to understand Jesus Christ better.
They may read and meditate on what we have already said about him. They may
say the prayer of St. Augustine which they will find at the beginning of
the second part of this book. Again with St. Augustine, they may pray repeatedly,
"Lord, that I may know you," or "Lord, that I may see." As during the previous
week, they should recite the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Ave Maris
Stella, adding every day the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus.
231. At the end of these three weeks they should go to confession and Holy
Communion with the intention of consecrating themselves to Jesus through
Mary as slaves of love. When receiving Holy Communion they could follow the
method given later on. They then recite the act of consecration which is
given at the end of this book. If they do not have a printed copy of the
act, they should write it out or have it copied and then sign it on the very
day they make it.
232. It would be very becoming if on that day they offered some tribute to
Jesus and his Mother, either as a penance for past unfaithfulness to the
promises made in baptism or as a sign of their submission to the sovereignty
of Jesus and Mary. Such a tribute would be in accordance with each one's
ability and fervour and may take the form of fasting, an act of self- denial,
the gift of an alms or the offering of a votive candle. If they gave only
a pin as a token of their homage, provided it were given with a good heart,
it would satisfy Jesus who considers only the good intention.
233. Every year at least, on the same date, they should renew the consecration
following the same exercises for three weeks. They might also renew it every
month or even every day by saying this short prayer: "I am all thine and
all I have is thine, O dear Jesus, through Mary, Thy holy Mother."
2. The Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin
234. If it is not too inconvenient, they should recite every day of their
lives the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, which is composed of three
Our Fathers and twelve Hail Marys in honour of the twelve glorious privileges
of Mary. This prayer is very old and is based on Holy Scripture. St. John
saw in a vision a woman crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun and
standing upon the moon. According to biblical commentators, this woman is
the Blessed Virgin.
235. There are several ways of saying the Little Crown but it would take
too long to explain them here. The Holy Spirit will teach them to those who
live this devotion conscientiously. However, here is a simple way to recite
it. As an introduction say:" Virgin most holy, accept my praise; give me
strength to fight your foes", then say the Creed. Next, say the following
sequence of prayers three times: one Our Father, four Hail Marys and one
Glory be to the Father. In conclusion say the prayer Sub tuum - "We fly to
3. The Wearing of Little Chains
236. It is very praiseworthy and helpful for those who have become slaves
of Jesus in Mary to wear, in token of their slavery of love, a little chain
blessed with a special blessing.
It is perfectly true, these external tokens are not essential and may very
well be dispensed with by those who have made this consecration. Nevertheless,
I cannot help but give the warmest approval to those who wear them. They
show they have shaken off the shameful chains of the slavery of the devil,
in which original sin and perhaps actual sin had bound them, and have willingly
taken upon themselves the glorious slavery of Jesus Christ. Like St. Paul,
they glory in the chains they wear for Christ. For though these chains are
made only of iron they are far more glorious and precious than all the gold
ornaments worn by monarchs.
237. At one time, nothing was considered more contemptible than the Cross.
Now this sacred wood has become the most glorious symbol of the Christian
faith. Similarly, nothing was more ignoble in the sight of the ancients,
and even today nothing is more degrading among unbelievers than the chains
of Jesus Christ. But among Christians nothing is more glorious than these
chains, because by them Christians are liberated and kept free from the ignoble
shackles of sin and the devil. Thus set free, we are bound to Jesus and Mary
not by compulsion and force like galley-slaves, but by charity and love as
children are to their parents. "I shall draw them to me by chains of love"
said God Most High speaking through the prophet. Consequently, these chains
are as strong as death, and in a way stronger than death, for those who wear
them faithfully till the end of their life. For though death destroys and
corrupts their body, it will not destroy the chains of their slavery, since
these, being of metal, will not easily corrupt. It may be that on the day
of their resurrection, that momentous day of final judgement, these chains,
still clinging to their bones, will contribute to their glorification and
be transformed into chains of light and splendour. Happy then, a thousand
times happy, are the illustrious slaves of Jesus in Mary who bear their chains
even to the grave.
238. Here are the reasons for wearing these chains:
a) They remind a Christian of the promises of his baptism and the perfect
renewal of these commitments made in his consecration. They remind him of
his strict obligation to adhere faithfully to them. A man's actions are prompted
more frequently by his senses than by pure faith and so he can easily forget
his duties towards God if he has no external reminder of them. These little
chains are a wonderful aid in recalling the bonds of sin and the slavery
of the devil from which baptism has freed him. At the same time, they remind
him of the dependence on Jesus promised at baptism and ratified when by
consecration he renewed these promises. Why is it that so many Christians
do not think of their baptismal vows and behave with as much licence as
unbelievers who have promised nothing to God? One explanation is that they
do not wear external sign to remind them of these vows.
239. b) These chains prove they are not ashamed of being the servants and
slaves of Jesus and that they reject the deadly bondage of the world, of
sin and of the devil.
c) They are a guarantee and protection against enslavement by sin and the
devil. For we must of necessity choose to wear either the chains of sin and
damnation or the chains of love and salvation.
240. Dear friend, break the chains of sin and of sinners, of the world and
the worldly, of the devil and his satellites. "Cast their yoke of death far
from us." To use the words of the Holy Spirit, let us put our feet into his
glorious shackles and our neck into his chains. Let us bow down our shoulders
in submission to the yoke of Wisdom incarnate, Jesus Christ, and let us not
be upset by the burden of his chains. Notice how before saying these words
the Holy Spirit prepares us to accept his serious advice, "Hearken, my son,"
he says, "receive a counsel of understanding and do not spurn this counsel
241. Allow me here, my dear friend, to join the Holy Spirit in giving you
the same counsel, "These chains are the chains of salvation". As our Lord
on the cross draws all men to himself, whether they will it or not, he will
draw sinners by the fetters of their sins and submit them like galley-slaves
and devils to his eternal anger and avenging justice. But he will draw the
just, especially in these latter days, by the chains of love.
242. These loving slaves of Christ may wear their chains around the neck,
on their arms, round the waist or round the ankles. Fr. Vincent Caraffa,
seventh General of the Society of Jesus, who died a holy death in 1643, carried
an iron band round his ankles as a symbol of his holy servitude and he used
to say that his greatest regret was that he could not drag a chain around
in public. Mother Agnes of Jesus, of whom we have already spoken, wore a
chain around her waist. Others have worn it round the neck, in atonement
for the pearl necklaces they wore in the world. Others have worn chains round
their arms to remind them, as they worked with their hands, that they are
the slaves of Jesus.
4. Honouring the mystery of the Incarnation
243. Loving slaves of Jesus in Mary should hold in high esteem devotion to
Jesus, the Word of God, in the great mystery of the Incarnation, March 25th,
which is the mystery proper to this devotion, because it was inspired by
the Holy Spirit for the following reasons:
a) That we might honour and imitate the wondrous dependence which God the
Son chose to have on Mary, for the glory of his Father and for the redemption
of man. This dependence is revealed especially in this mystery where Jesus
becomes a captive and slave in the womb of his Blessed Mother, depending
on her for everything.
b) That we might thank God for the incomparable graces he has conferred upon
Mary and especially that of choosing her to be his most worthy Mother. This
choice was made in the mystery of the Incarnation. These are the two principal
ends of the slavery of Jesus in Mary.
244. Please note that I usually say "slave of Jesus in Mary", "slavery of
Jesus in Mary". We might indeed say, as some have already been saying, "slave
of Mary", "slavery of Mary". But I think it preferable to say, "slave of
Jesus in Mary". This is the opinion of Fr. Tronson, Superior General of the
Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, a man renowned for his exceptional prudence and
remarkable holiness. He gave this advice when consulted upon this subject
by a priest.
Here are the reasons for it:
245. a) Since we live in an age of pride when a great number of haughty scholars,
with proud and critical minds, find fault even with long-established and
sound devotions, it is better to speak of "slavery of Jesus in Mary" and
to call oneself "slave of Jesus" rather than "slave of Mary". We then avoid
giving any pretext for criticism. In this way, we name this devotion after
its ultimate end which is Jesus, rather than after the way and the means
to arrive there, which is Mary. However, we can very well use either term
without any scruple, as I myself do. If a man goes from Orléans to
Tours, by way of Amboise, he can quite truthfully say that he is going to
Amboise and equally truthfully say that he is going to Tours. The only difference
is that Amboise is simply a place on the direct road to Tours, and Tours
alone is his final destination.
246. b) Since the principal mystery celebrated and honoured in this devotion
is the mystery of the Incarnation where we find Jesus only in Mary, having
become incarnate in her womb, it is appropriate for us to say, "slavery of
Jesus in Mary", of Jesus dwelling enthroned in Mary, according to the beautiful
prayer, recited by so many great souls, "O Jesus living in Mary".
247. c) These expressions show more clearly the intimate union existing between
Jesus and Mary. So closely are they united that one is wholly the other.
Jesus is all in Mary and Mary is all in Jesus. Or rather, it is no longer
she who lives, but Jesus alone who lives in her. 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".
248. Time does not permit me to linger here and elaborate on the perfections
and wonders of the mystery of Jesus living and reigning in Mary, or the
Incarnation of the Word. I shall confine myself to the following brief remarks.
The Incarnation is the first mystery of Jesus Christ; it is the most hidden;
and it is the most exalted and the least known.
It was in this mystery that Jesus, in the womb of Mary and with her co-operation,
chose all the elect. For this reason the saints called her womb, the throne-room
of God's mysteries.
It was in this mystery that Jesus anticipated all subsequent mysteries of
his life by his willing acceptance of them. Consequently, this mystery is
a summary of all his mysteries since it contains the intention and the grace
of them all.
Lastly, this mystery is the seat of the mercy, the liberality, and the glory
of God. It is the seat of his mercy for us, since we can approach and speak
to Jesus through Mary. We need her intervention to see or speak to him. Here,
ever responsive to the prayer of his Mother, Jesus unfailingly grants grace
and mercy to all poor sinners. "Let us come boldly before the throne of grace."
It is the seat of liberality for Mary, because while the new Adam dwelt in
this truly earthly paradise God performed there so many hidden marvels beyond
the understanding of men and angels. For this reason, the saints call Mary
"the magnificence of God", as if God showed his magnificence only in Mary.
It is the seat of glory for his Father, because it was in Mary that Jesus
perfectly atoned to his Father on behalf of mankind. It was here that he
perfectly restored the glory that sin had taken from his Father. It was here
again that our Lord, by the sacrifice of himself and of his will, gave more
glory to God than he would have given had he offered all the sacrifices of
the Old Law. Finally, in Mary he gave his Father infinite glory, such as
his Father had never received from man.
5. Saying the Hail Mary and the Rosary
249. Those who accept this devotion should have a great love for the Hail
Mary, or, as it is called, the Angelic Salutation.
Few Christians, however enlightened, understand the value, merit, excellence
and necessity of the Hail Mary. Our Blessed Lady herself had to appear on
several occasions to men of great holiness and insight, such as St. Dominic,
St. John Capistran and Blessed Alan de Rupe, to convince them of the richness
of this prayer.
They composed whole books on the wonders it had worked and its efficacy in
converting sinners. They earnestly proclaimed and publicly preached that
just as the salvation of the world began with the Hail Mary, so the salvation
of each individual is bound up with it. This prayer, they said, brought to
a dry and barren world the Fruit of Life, and if well said, will cause the
Word of God to take root in the soul and bring forth Jesus, the Fruit of
Life. They also tell us that the Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which waters
the earth of our soul and makes it bear fruit in due season. The soul which
is not watered by this heavenly dew bears no fruit but only thorns and briars,
and merits only God's condemnation.
250. Here is what our Blessed Lady revealed to Blessed Alan de Rupe as recorded
in his book, The Dignity of the Rosary, and as told again by Cartagena: "Know,
my son, and make it known to all, that lukewarmness or negligence in saying
the Hail Mary, or a distaste for it, is a probable and proximate sign of
eternal damnation, for by this prayer the whole world was restored."
These are terrible words but at the same time they are consoling. We should
find it hard to believe them, were we not assured of their truth by Blessed
Alan and by St. Dominic before him, and by so many great men since his time.
The experience of many centuries is there to prove it, for it has always
been common knowledge that those who bear the sign of reprobation, as all
formal heretics, evil-doers, the proud and the worldly, hate and spurn the
Hail Mary and the Rosary. True, heretics learn to say the Our Father but
they will not countenance the Hail Mary and the Rosary and they would rather
carry a snake around with them than a rosary. And there are even Catholics
who, sharing the proud tendencies of their father Lucifer, despise the Hail
Mary or look upon it with indifference. The Rosary, they say, is a devotion
suitable only for ignorant and illiterate people.
On the other hand, we know from experience that those who show positive signs
of being among the elect, appreciate and love the Hail Mary and are always
glad to say it. The closer they are to God, the more they love this prayer,
as our Blessed Lady went on to tell Blessed Alan.
251. I do not know how this should be, but it is perfectly true; and I know
no surer way of discovering whether a person belongs to God than by finding
out if he loves the Hail Mary and the Rosary. I say, "if he loves", for it
can happen that a person for some reason may be unable to say the Rosary,
but this does not prevent him from loving it and inspiring others to say
252. Chosen souls, slaves of Jesus in Mary, understand that after the Our
Father, the Hail Mary is the most beautiful of all prayers. It is the perfect
compliment the most High God paid to Mary through his archangel in order
to win her heart. So powerful was the effect of this greeting upon her, on
account of its hidden delights, that despite her great humility, she gave
her consent to the incarnation of the Word. If you say the Hail Mary properly,
this compliment will infallibly earn you Mary's good will.
253. When the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention, devotion and
humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan, putting him
to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him, a source of holiness for souls,
a joy to the angels and a sweet melody for the devout. It is the Canticle
of the New Testament, a delight for Mary and glory for the most Blessed Trinity.
The Hail Mary is dew falling from heaven to make the soul fruitful. It is
a pure kiss of love we give to Mary. It is a crimson rose, a precious pearl
that we offer to her. It is a cup of ambrosia, a divine nectar that we offer
her. These are comparisons made by the saints.
254. I earnestly beg of you, then, by the love I bear you in Jesus and Mary,
not to be content with saying the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, but
say the Rosary too, and if time permits, all its fifteen decades, every day.
Then when death draws near, you will bless the day and hour when you took
to heart what I told you, for having sown the blessings of Jesus and Mary,
you will reap the eternal blessings in heaven.
6. Praying the Magnificat
255. To thank God for the graces he has given to our Lady, her consecrated
ones will frequently say the Magnificat, following the example of Blessed
Marie d'Oignies and several other saints. The Magnificat is the only prayer
we have which was composed by our Lady, or rather, composed by Jesus in her,
for it was he who spoke through her lips. It is the greatest offering of
praise that God ever received under the law of grace. On the one hand, it
is the most humble hymn of thanksgiving and, on the other, it is the most
sublime and exalted. Contained in it are mysteries so great and so hidden
that even the angels do not understand them.
Gerson, a pious and learned scholar, spent the greater part of his life writing
tracts full of erudition and love on the most profound subjects. Even so,
it was with apprehension that he undertook towards the end of his life to
write a commentary on the Magnificat which was the crowning point of all
his works. In a large volume on the subject he says many wonderful things
about this beautiful and divine canticle. Among other things he tells us
that Mary herself frequently recited it, especially at thanksgiving after
Holy Communion. The learned Benzonius, in his commentary on the Magnificat,
cites several miracles worked through the power of this prayer. The devils,
he declare, take to flight when they hear these words, "He puts forth his
arm in strength and scatters the proud-hearted".
7. Contempt of the world
256. Mary's faithful servants despise this corrupted world. They should hate
and shun its allurements, and follow the exercises of the contempt of the
world which we have given in the first part of this treatise.
2. Special interior practices for those who wish to be perfect
257. The exterior
practices of this devotion which I have just dealt with should be observed
as far as one's circumstances and state of life permit. They should not be
omitted through negligence or deliberate disregard. In addition to them,
here are some very sanctifying interior practices for those souls who feel
called by the Holy Spirit to a high degree of perfection. They may be expressed
in four words, doing everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for
Mary, in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus,
and for Jesus.
258. We must do everything through Mary, that is, we must obey her always
and be led in all things by her spirit, which is the Holy Spirit of God.
"Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God," says St. Paul.
Those who are led by the spirit of Mary are children of Mary, and, consequently
children of God, as we have already shown. Among the many servants of Mary
only those who are truly and faithfully devoted to her are led by her spirit.
I have said that the spirit of Mary is the spirit of God because she was
never led by her own spirit,, but always by the spirit of God, who made himself
master of her to such an extent that he became her very spirit. That is why
St. Ambrose says, "May the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the
Lord. May the spirit of Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God." Happy
is the man who follows the example of the good Jesuit Brother Rodriguez,
who died a holy death, because he will be completely possessed and governed
by the spirit of Mary, a spirit which is gentle yet strong, zealous yet prudent,
humble yet courageous, pure yet fruitful.
259. The person who wishes to be led by this spirit of Mary:
1) Should renounce
his own spirit, his own views and his own will before doing anything, for
example, before making meditation, celebrating or attending Mass, before
Communion. For the darkness of our own spirit and the evil tendencies of
our own will and actions, good as they may seem to us, would hinder the holy
spirit of Mary were we to follow them.
2) We should give ourselves up to the spirit of Mary to be moved and directed
as she wishes. We should place and leave ourselves in her virginal hands,
like a tool in the hands of a craftsman or a lute in the hands of a good
musician. We should cast ourselves into her like a stone thrown into the
sea. This is done easily and quickly by a mere thought, a slight movement
of the will or just a few words as, "I renounce myself and give myself to
you, my dear Mother." And even if we do not experience any emotional fervour
in this spiritual encounter it is none the less real. It is just as if a
person with equal sincerity were to say - which God forbid! - "I give myself
to the devil." Even though this were said without feeling any emotion, he
would no less really belong to the devil.
3) From time to time during an action and after it, we should renew this
same act of offering and of union. The more we do so, the quicker we shall
grow in holiness and the sooner we shall reach union with Christ, which
necessarily follows upon union with Mary, since the spirit of Mary is the
spirit of Jesus.
260. We must do everything with Mary, that is to say, in all our actions
we must look upon Mary, although a simple human being, as the perfect model
of every virtue and perfection, fashioned by the Holy Spirit for us to imitate,
as far as our limited capacity allows. In every action then we should consider
how Mary performed it or how she would perform it if she were in our place.
For this reason, we must examine and meditate on the great virtues she practised
during her life, especially:
1) Her lively faith,
by which she believed the angel's word without the least hesitation, and
believed faithfully and constantly even to the foot of the Cross on Calvary.
2) Her deep humility, which made her prefer seclusion, maintain silence,
submit to every eventuality and put herself in the last place.
3) Her truly divine purity, which never had and never will have its equal
on this side of heaven.
And so on for her
Remember what I told you before, that Mary is the great, unique mould of
God, designed to make living images of God at little expense and in a short
time. Anyone who finds this mould and casts himself into it, is soon transformed
into our Lord because it is the true likeness of him.
261. We must do everything in Mary. To understand this we must realise that
the Blessed Virgin is the true earthly paradise of the new Adam and that
the ancient paradise was only a symbol of her. There are in this earthly
paradise untold riches, beauties, rarities and delights, which the new Adam,
Jesus Christ, has left there. It is in this paradise that he "took his delights"
for nine months, worked his wonders and displayed his riches with the
magnificence of God himself. This most holy place consists of only virgin
and immaculate soil from which the new Adam was formed with neither spot
nor stain by the operation of the Holy Spirit who dwells there. In this earthly
paradise grows the real Tree of Life which bore our Lord, the fruit of Life,
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which bore the Light of the world.
In this divine place there are trees planted by the hand of God and watered
by his divine unction which have borne and continue to bear fruit that is
pleasing to him. There are flower-beds studded with a variety of beautiful
flowers of virtue, diffusing a fragrance which delights even the angels.
Here there are meadows verdant with hope, impregnable towers of fortitude,
enchanting mansions of confidence and many other delights.
Only the Holy Spirit can teach us the truths that these material objects
symbolise. In this place the air is perfectly pure. There is no night but
only the brilliant day of the sacred humanity, the resplendent, spotless
sun of the Divinity, the blazing furnace of love, melting all the base metal
thrown into it and changing it into gold. There the river of humility gushes
forth from the soil, divides into four branches and irrigates the whole of
this enchanted place. These branches are the four cardinal virtues.
262. The Holy Spirit speaking through the Fathers of the Church, also calls
our Lady the Eastern Gate, through which the High Priest, Jesus Christ, enters
and goes out into the world. Through this gate he entered the world the first
time and through this same gate he will come the second time.
The Holy Spirit also calls her the Sanctuary of the Divinity, the Resting-Place
of the Holy Spirit, the Throne of God, the City of God, the Altar of God,
the Temple of God, the World of God. All these titles and expressions of
praise are very real when related to the different wonders the Almighty worked
in her and the graces which he bestowed on her. What wealth and what glory!
What a joy and a privilege for us to enter and dwell in Mary, in whom almighty
God has set up the throne of his supreme glory!
263. But how difficult it is for us to have the freedom, the ability and
the light to enter such an exalted and holy place. This place is guarded
not by a cherub, like the first earthly paradise, but by the Holy Spirit
himself who has become its absolute Master. Referring to her, he says: "You
are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride, an enclosed garden and a sealed
fountain." Mary is enclosed. Mary is sealed. The unfortunate children of
Adam and Eve driven from the earthly paradise, can enter this new paradise
only by a special grace of the Holy Spirit which they have to merit.
264. When we have obtained this remarkable grace by our fidelity, we should
be delighted to remain in Mary. We should rest there peacefully, rely on
her confidently, hide ourselves there with safety, and abandon ourselves
unconditionally to her, so that within her virginal bosom:
1) We may be nourished with the milk of her grace and her motherly compassion.
2) We may be delivered from all anxiety, fear and scruples.
3) We may be safeguarded from all our enemies, the devil, the world and sin
which have never gained admittance there. That is why our Lady says that
those who work in her will not sin, that is, those who dwell spiritually
in our Lady will never commit serious sin.
4) We may be formed in our Lord and our Lord formed in us, because her womb
is, as the early Fathers call it, the house of the divine secrets where Jesus
and all the elect have been conceived. "This one and that one were born in
265. Finally, we must do everything for Mary. Since we have given ourselves
completely to her service, it is only right that we should do everything
for her as if we were her personal servant and slave. This does not mean
that we take her for the ultimate end of our service for Jesus alone is our
ultimate end. But we take Mary for our proximate end, our mysterious intermediary
and the easiest way of reaching him.
Like every good servant and slave we must not remain idle, but, relying on
her protection, we should undertake and carry out great things for our noble
Queen. We must defend her privileges when they are questioned and uphold
her good name when it is under attack. We must attract everyone, if possible,
to her service and to this true and sound devotion. We must speak up and
denounce those who distort devotion to her by outraging her Son, and at the
same time we must apply ourselves to spreading this true devotion. As a reward
for these little services, we should expect nothing in return save the honour
of belonging to such a loveable Queen and the joy of being united through
her to Jesus, her Son, by a bond that is indissoluble in time and in eternity.
Glory to Jesus in Mary! Glory to Mary in Jesus! Glory to God alone!