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:
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.
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.