"...anyone who loves his life shall lose it and anyone who hates his life shall save it."

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In listening to St. Louis de Montfort’s “True devotion to the Blessed Virgin” yesterday, we may have been “surprised” by the way he described our fallen human nature, but we need to remember that even after Baptism which cleansed our souls of Original sin, the consequences of our darkened intellects and weakened wills remain. By God’s grace we need willingly to cooperate with Grace and choose God as the One Master we love and serve, and not our self-love, or the spirit of the world or the evil spirit who tempts us.

By God’s Grace let us listen as Mary listened to all Jesus said and did, and ponder in our hearts, the wisdom God shared with St. Louis when he wrote:

  1. Is it any wonder then that our Lord laid down that anyone who aspires to be his follower must deny himself and hate his very life? He makes it clear that anyone who loves his life shall lose it and anyone who hates his life shall save it. Now, our Lord, who is infinite Wisdom, and does not give commandments without a reason, bids us hate ourselves only because we richly deserve to be hated. Nothing is more worthy of love than God and nothing is more deserving of hatred than self.

  2. Secondly, in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what St. Paul calls “dying daily”. Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit. If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares only with those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in Him.

“Hard” words, yet God’s Word brings LIFE! Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your Faithful; kindle in us the Fire of Your Love. Jesus, we trust in You! Mary, Mother of Mercy pray for us.

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The older I get the more I realize—as I “let go”, I gain more.
When I stop grasping and controlling, it makes me more free.
It’s hard to explain.
Or the more I follow Jesus, the less I care what the trends and fashions are and I’m more “me” than when I was following the crowd.

It’s weird, but true.

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Mary will help us to die to ourselves if we ask her, and she will make this death very sweet, if we continually call upon her.

St. Bonaventure:

I trust in our Lady; because of the sweetness of the mercy of her name.
Her eyes look upon the poor: and her hands are stretched out to the orphan and the
widow.
Seek after her from your youth: she will glorify you before the face of the peoples.
Her mercy will deliver us from the multitude of our sins: and will bestow on us fruitfulness
of merits.
Stretch out to us thy arm, O glorious Virgin: and do not turn away from us thy glorious
face.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
https://d2wldr9tsuuj1b.cloudfront.net/15471/documents/2016/10/St.%20Bonaventure-The%20Psalter%20of%20the%20Blessed%20Virgin%20Mary.pdf

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My experience mirrors Scarletts. As Maria mentions, cooperating with grace is necessary. Dying to ourselves and allowing that grace to more readily enter actually makes us freer.

Both odd and wonderful.

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I’m consecrated to the Immaculate Heart and I’ve powerfully felt the movements of the Most Sacred Heart in me ever since. So, I’m letting go and letting His Heart rule and guide me.

I’m a lot happier when I do that than when I’m trying to be in control.

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Dear OScarlett,

Thanks for your reply. Spiritual realities are often hard to put into words, it seems to me.
Nevertheless, what you have written of your experience finds resonance with many of us who know following Jesus, i.e. doing as He tells us in the Scriptures, gives us freedom.

He tells us in Jn 8:31:

If you remain in My word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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Dear patricius,

Thanks again for your devotion to Mary and your faithful defense of her honor. :slight_smile: Yes, Our Mother Mary is the sweetest of all Mothers for God made her so, to be the living tabernacle of Jesus, and after His Birth to remain one with Him in her heart.

Mary takes her Motherhood very seriously, for she received us with John on Calvary, when Jesus said to Mary, “Woman, behold your son”, and to John, “Behold your Mother.”

Saints like St. Louis de Montfort and St. Bonaventure, whom you quoted, saw in faith how she looked upon the poor and stretched out her hands to the needy orphan and widows. Trusting in Mary brings untold blessings!

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Yesterday, on Our Mother’s birthday, I had a wonderful long meditation on this very subject.

Today’s office of readings…

Psalm-prayer

Father, accept us as a sacrifice of praise, so that we may go through life unburdened by sin, walking in the way of salvation, and always giving thanks to you.

The world, the self, and the enemy. Grace can unburden us and free us to offer a pure sacrifice of praise.

Hail Mary full of grace!

Peace

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Dear Stephie,

Mary is both our Mother and our Model on this earth, for she is purely human and shows us what God enables all of us to become – “Holy as He is Holy”. God filled her with grace from the beginning of her existence and so she shines for us as His Star to guide us to her Son, Who takes us to the Father.

In Mary we see one who was always free to do His Will and like her Son, did always what pleased the Father. Thanks for your reply! :slight_smile:

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Dear hazcompat,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, as St. Therese of Lisieux is quoted as saying: “Everything is Grace”!

PS - This reply really is for you, hazcompat, but I clicked on Michael16’s reply by mistake. Sorry about that. Trying to go too fast – one of my many faults! :slight_smile:

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Dear Michael,

Thanks for your reply. Perhaps you are familiar with this prayer of Fr. Olier – it’s one of my favorites:

“O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in Your servants, in the spirit of Your holiness, in the fullness of Your power, in the perfection of Your ways, in the truth of Your virtues, in the communion of Your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in Your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen.” – Fr. Jean Jacques Olier, S.S. (1608-1657)

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Thank you so much! It’s quite an honor to be consecrated to Our Lady’s service. I feel like a knight of old chivalry in her service. :blush:

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Dear Michael,

Yes, indeed it is an honor to be consecrated to Our Lady’s service – a pure Grace from God given to us, whether our parents consecrated us or we chose to consecrate ourselves to Mary, and consequently to Jesus. I try to repeat often this “short form” of St. Louis de Montfort’s Act of Total Consecration:

My Queen and My Mother I am all yours. Keep me; guard me as your property and possession.

Pope St. John Paul II took as his Papal Motto, “Totus Tuus” (Latin for “All Yours”). Of course we know Mary never keeps anything for herself but gives us all to Jesus! :slight_smile:

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