Mar. 13 - Wk 2 - Day 3 - "Seeking understanding of Mary, and asking the Holy Spirit for this grace."


#1

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday pondering the 10 principle virtues of Mary, listed by St. Louis de Monfort, we emphasized her deep humility. Today, we continue in Chapter two of True Devotion:

  1. Fourth, true devotion to our Lady is constant. It strengthens us in our desire to do good and prevents us from giving up our devotional practices too easily. It gives us the courage to oppose the fashions and maxims of the world, the vexations and unruly inclinations of the flesh and the temptations of the devil. Thus a person truly devoted to our Blessed Lady is not changeable, fretful, scrupulous or timid. We do not say however that such a person never sins or that his sensible feelings of devotion never change. When he has fallen, he stretches out his hand to his Blessed Mother and rises again. If he loses all taste and feeling for devotion, he is not at all upset because a good and faithful servant of Mary is guided in his life by faith in Jesus and Mary, and not by feelings.

Mary’s second virtue, St. Louis listed was her lively faith.

In the Old Testament, Abraham, willing to sacrifice his son Issac, is called the “father of faith”, while Mary in the New Testament is the “Mother of our faith”. Immaculately conceived, Mary was given Supernatural Faith, as we are given Supernatural Faith in our Baptism. How important it is for us to ask the Holy Spirit to increase our Faith, enabling us to “Behold” the wonderful work of God in Mary, that beholding her may lead us to ask for more and more grace to live by Faith as Mary did!

God permits trials as we read in James 1: 3-8:

the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways…

We cannot serve two masters – Mary served God and so must we. Our faith is from God and toward God and is not placed in ourselves. We believe Him as Mary did; we do not put our faith in the world’s way of thinking nor in our own selfish way of thinking, but we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us, increasing in us Supernatural Faith Hope and Divine Charity, and the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit – all given in Baptism. We must ask to be delivered from “double-mindedness” in order to have the Mind of Christ to seek only God’s Will. May we say our “yes” daily with Mary, in Faith with no doubting.

Litany of the Holy Spirit: HERE
Ave Maris Stella HERE
Five decades of the Holy Rosary – praying with Faith, each “Our Father” slowly to listen , as Mary does with a humble heart.


#2

Blessed John Ruysbroeck

The Sparkling Stone

CHAPTER I

THROUGH THREE THINGS A MAN BECOMES GOOD

Hear now three things which constitute a good man. The first, which a good man must have, is a clean conscience without reproach of mortal sin. The second thing which pertains to a good man is that he must in all things be obedient to God, and to Holy Church, and to his own proper convictions. The third thing which behooves every good man is that in all his deeds he should have in mind, above all else, the glory of God.

CHAPTER II

THROUGH THREE THINGS A MAN BECOMES INWARD

If, further, this good man would become an inward and ghostly man, he needs must have three further things. The first is a heart unencumbered with images; the second is spiritual freedom in his desires, the third is the feeling of inward union with God.

CHAPTER III

THROUGH THREE THINGS A MAN BECOMES GOD-SEEING

Further, you must know that if this ghostly man would now become a God-seeing man, he needs must have three other things. The first is the feeling that the foundation of his being is abysmal, and he should possess it in this manner; the second is that his inward exercise should be wayless; the third is that his indwelling should be a divine fruition.

Divine Maternity, help increase the light of faith.

Peace


#3

Truly, the Savior of the world placed gentleness and humility at the foundation of virtues. Abstinence, fasting, austerity, inner or outer poverty, good works, miracles, all is nothing without the humility of the heart. But all these things come to life and receive his blessing, if humility lies underneath.

Humility of the heart is the generative force of all virtues. The stem and the branches proceed only from the root. Because its price is infinite, and because it is the foundation on which all spiritual perfection rises, the Lord only wished to reserve for Himself the care of saying to us: “Be humble.”

Because humility is the universal guardian, the Virgin Mary, as if she had forgotten all the other virtues of her soul and body, admired only one thing in herself and gave a reason for the incarnation of the Son of God in her: “Because He has looked upon the humility of his servant.”

Saint Angela of Foligno, an Italian mystic favored with many visions (d. 1309)

Read more on mariedenazareth.com:

Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)


#4

Dear Hazcompat,

Thanks so much for your two replies here today. I spent some time on each of the links. I had heard of but had not read much previously about Blessed John Ruysbroeck, and so I was glad to “taste” some of his writing in your first reply. His writing did remind me of St. John of the Cross who came after him.

All the saints have a similar “Journey” into their union with God, yet each one is unique and beautiful. “Star differs from Star” as God is so prolific in His creation.

St. Angela of Foligno I was familiar with and had read some of her writings but this quote was truly one I needed to hear with the ears of my heart for it struck a familiar chord:

And now, on her mystical path, Angela deeply understood the central reality: what would save her from her “unworthiness” and the “hell she deserved” was not her “union with God” and possessing the “truth,” but Jesus crucified, “his crucifixion for me,” his love [1]. In other words, at the end of her life, what she gave to God was really what God himself gave to her.

In a word, “in the spiritual journey of Angela, the passage from conversion to mystical experience, from what can be expressed to the unspeakable, takes place through the Crucifix.” [2] She therefore has a very modern message to convey in our day when many are attracted by Muslim mystics (sufis) or Eastern religions, and tempted to seek a union with God or the divine without Christ.

I had visited mariedenazareth.com before but I was grateful to visit the site again. It is good that persons are pointing to Mary, studying her, yet I hope in so doing they do not become so “academic” they lose the sense of the Mystics who simply open wide their hearts to Christ Crucified and stand with Mary to receive His Love.

In His Light, we see light, in any darkness He permits. Our Lady of Light, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.
holy-spirit-and-mary


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