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St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
On The Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”, we learn a little from St Louis.
How do I find the Grace of God?
TO FIND THE GRACE OF GOD, WE MUST DISCOVER MARY
(Excerpt from The Secret of Mary by St Louis Marie de Montfort)
The difficulty, then, is how to arrive at the true knowledge of the most holy Virgin and so find grace in abundance through her. God, as the absolute Master, can give directly Hhat he ordinarily dispenses only through Mary and it would be rash to deny that He sometimes does so. However, St Thomas assures us that, following the order established by His divine Wisdom, God ordinarily imparts His graces to men through Mary . Therefore, if we wish to go to Him, seeking union with Him, we must use the same means which He used in coming down from heaven to assume our human nature and to impart His graces to us. That means was a complete dependence on Mary His Mother, which is true devotion to her.
28. Chosen soul, this devotion consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary and to Jesus through her and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary and for Mary. Let me explain this statement further.
29. We should choose a special feast day on which to give ourselves. Then, willingly and lovingly and under no constraint, we consecrate and sacrifice to her unreservedly our body and soul. We give to her our material possessions, such as house, family, income, and even the inner possessions of our soul, namely, our merits, graces, virtues and atonements. Notice that in this devotion we sacrifice to Jesus through Mary all that is most dear to us, that is, the right to dispose of ourselves, of the value of our prayers and alms, of our acts of self- denial and atonements. This is a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members. We leave everything to the free disposal of our Lady, for her to use as she wills for the greater glory of God, of which she alone is perfectly aware.
30. We leave to her the right to dispose of all the satisfactory and prayer value of our good deeds, so that, after having done so and without going so far as making a vow, we cease to be master over any good we do. Our Lady may use our good deeds either to bring relief or deliverance to a soul in purgatory, or perhaps to bring a change of heart to a poor sinner.
31. By this devotion we place our merits in the hands of our Lady but only that she may preserve, increase and embellish them, since merit for increase of grace and glory cannot be handed over to any other person. But we give to her all our prayers and good works, inasmuch as they have intercessory and atonement value, for her to distribute and apply to whom she pleases. If, after having thus consecrated ourselves to our Lady, we wish to help a soul in purgatory, rescue a sinner, or assist a friend by a prayer, an alms, an act of self-denial or an act of self-sacrifice, we must humbly request it of our Lady, abiding always by her decision, which of course remains unknown to us. We can be fully convinced that the value of our actions, being dispensed by that same hand which God himself uses to distribute His gifts and graces to us, cannot fail to be applied for His greatest glory.
Act of Consecration to Mary
By St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
I, N…., a faithless sinner-
renew and ratify today in thy hands,
Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism;
I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works,
and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom,
to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life
and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
In the presence of all the heavenly court,
I choose thee this day, for my Mother and Mistress.
I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave,
my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior
and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future,
leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me
and all that belongs to me, without exception,
according to thy good pleasure,
for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.
“One cannot contemplate Mary
without being attracted by Christ
and one cannot look at Christ
without immediately perceiving
the presence of Mary.”
Pope Benedict XVI
“Those who would receive Christ and bring Him forth must become like her . . .
her soul was virginal, so well cut loose from everything of earth,
so humble before God, that He could wholly fill her.”
(D Aemiliana Löhr, The Mass Through the Year)