Dear Brothers and Sisters,
After the 12 preliminary days of seeking to rid ourselves of the spirit of the world, St. Louis de Montfort invites us to go deeper into God’s Plan for us:
- 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 Virgin.
At first, we may be repulsed by thinking of ourselves as “nothing but snails, slugs, toads, swine, snakes and goats” – that is pretty strong language in our age of so called “self-esteem” taken to the max! Yet, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we begin to see by God’s Grace, how our sins have disfigured the beauty of God’s Image in which we were created by Him.