Daily Archives: May 31, 2010

Devotion to Mary is not about “Works” but Relationship with Mary–St. Louis de Montfort

From St. Louis de Montfort’s Secret of the Rosary:

Whatever you do, do not be like a certain pious but self-willed lady in Rome, so often referred to by speakers on the Rosary. She was so devout and fervent that she put to shame by her holy life even the strictest religious in the church.

Having decided to ask St. Dominic’s advice about her spiritual life, she made her confession to him. For penance he gave her one Rosary to say and advised her to say it every day. She excused herself, saying that she had her regular exercises, that she made the Stations of Rome every day, that she wore sackcloth as well as a hair-shirt, that she gave herself the discipline several times a week, that she often fasted and did other penances. Saint Dominic urged her over and over again to take his advice and say the Rosary, but she would not hear of it. She left the confessional, horrified at the methods of this new spiritual director who had tried so hard to persuade her to take up a devotion for which she had no taste.

Later on, when she was at prayer she fell into ecstasy and had a vision of her soul appearing before the Supreme Judge. Saint Michael put all her penances and to her prayers on one side of the scale and all her sins and imperfections on the other. The tray of her good works were greatly outweighed by that of her sins and imperfections.

Filled with alarm, she cried out for mercy, imploring the help of the Blessed Virgin, her gracious advocate, who took the one and only Rosary she had said for her penance and dropped it on the tray of her good works. This one Rosary was so heavy that it weighed more than all her sins as well as her good works. Our Lady then reproved her for having refused to follow the counsel of her servant Dominic and for not saying the Rosary every day.

As soon as she came to herself she rushed and threw herself at the feet of Saint Dominic and told him all that had happened, begged his forgiveness and promised to say the Rosary faithfully every day. By this means she rose to Christian perfection and finally to the glory of everlasting life.

You who are people of prayer, learn from this the power, the value and importance of this devotion of the holy Rosary when it is said with meditation on the mysteries.

Few saints have reached the same heights of prayer as Saint Mary Magdalen, who was lifted up to heaven by angels each day, and who had the privilege of learning at the feet of Jesus and his holy Mother. Yet one day, when she asked God to show her a sure way of advancing in his love and arriving at the heights of perfect, he sent the archangel St. Michael to tell her, on his behalf, that there was no other way to reach perfection than to meditate on our Lord’s passion. So he placed a cross in the front of her cave and told her to pray before it, contemplating the sorrowful mysteries which she had seen take place with her own eyes.

The example of Saint Francis de Sales, the great spiritual director of his time, should spur you on to join the holy confraternity of the Rosary, since, great saint though he was, he bound himself by vow to say the whole Rosary every day as long as he lived.

Saint Charles Borromeo also said it every day and strongly recommended this devotion to his priests and clerics in seminaries and to all his people.

Blessed Pius V, one of the greatest popes who have ever ruled the Church, used to say the Rosary every day. Saint Thomas of Villanova, Archbishop of Valencia, Saint Ignatius, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Francis Borgia, Saint Teresa, and Saint Philip Neri, as well as many other great men whom I do not mention, were greatly devoted to the Rosary.

Follow their example; your spiritual directors will be very pleased, and if they are aware of the benefits which you can derive from this devotion, they will be the first to urge you to adopt it.

Order The Secret of the Rosary from the Rosary Center

Advertisements

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins,
Mother of Mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy tender heart
whilst thine only Son,
Christ Jesus, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee,
grieving in thy grief,
whilst from His cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection
of His beloved disciple, St. John,
take pity,  I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me
in all my infirmities and miseries,
of what kind soever.

Thou art the Mother of Mercies,
the sweet comforter
and only refuge of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and afflicted.
Cast, therefore,
an eye of pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since,
in just punishment of my sins,
I find myself encompassed by a multitude of evils,
and oppressed with much anguish of spirit,
wither can I fly for more secure shelter,
O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than under the wings of thy maternal protection?

Attend, therefore,
I beseech thee,
with an ear of pity and compassion,
to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it,
through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son;
Through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and whom,
after the expiration of nine months
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit the world,
and bless it with His presence.

I ask it,
through that anguish of mind
wherewith thy beloved Son,
our dear Saviour,
was overwhelmed on the Mount of Olives,
when He besought His eternal Father
to remove from Him, if possible,
the bitter chalice of His future passion.

I ask it,
through the threefold repetition
of His prayers in the garden,
whence afterwards,
with dolorous steps and mournful tears,
thou didst accompany Him to the doleful theatre
of His death and sufferings.

I ask it,
through the welts and bruises of His virginal flesh,
occasioned by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged,
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it,
through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted;
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience. 

I ask it,
through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it,
through the blood which trickled
from His royal and Sacred Head,
when struck with the scepter of a reed
and pierced with His crown of thorns.

I ask it,
through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with gross nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it,
through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it,
through His dereliction on the cross
when He exclaimed,
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it,
through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending
His precious soul and spirit
into the hands of His eternal Father
before He expired, saying, “It is consummated.”

I ask it,
through the blood mixed with water,
which issued from His Sacred Side
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace
and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it,
through His immaculate life,
bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the Temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and moon. 

I ask it,
through His descent into hell,
where He confronted the Saints
of the old law with His presence,
and led the captivity captive.

I ask it,
through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and the rest of His Disciples;
when in thine and their presence
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it,
through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
infused into the hearts of His Disciples,
when