Nov. 5 - "True Devotion" continued ..."several interior practices"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are coming close to the end of Chapter 2 in St. Louis de Montfort’s treatise on “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” where he explains in what True Devotion consists. Having distinguished the True from false devotion, he now lists some interior practices of devotion to Mary. Remember the first of the authenic marks of True Devotion is that it is Interior - as was pointed out in paragraph 106:

  1. First, true devotion to our Lady is interior, that is, it comes from within the mind and the heart and follows from the esteem in which we hold her, the high regard we have for her greatness, and the love we bear her.

Today we hear of some ways to practice interior devotion:

3. Principal practices of devotion to Mary

  1. There are several interior practices of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Here briefly are the main ones:

(1) Honouring her, as the worthy Mother of God, by the cult of hyperdulia, that is, esteeming and honouring her more than all the other saints as the masterpiece of grace and the foremost in holiness after Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

(2) Meditating on her virtues, her privileges and her actions.

(3) Contemplating her sublime dignity.

(4) Offering to her acts of love, praise and gratitude.

(5) Invoking her with a joyful heart.

(6) Offering ourselves to her and uniting ourselves to her.

(7) Doing everything to please her.

(8) Beginning, carrying out and completing our actions through her, in her, with her, and for her in order to do them through Jesus, in Jesus, with Jesus, and for Jesus, our last end. We shall explain this last practice later.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your Faithful. Kindle in us the Fire of Your Love! Jesus we trust in You! Mary our Mother, help us.

Pondering awhile this list of interior practices of devotion, it is clear how depended they all are on holy grace. Grace, being what is IS - (CCC 1997) “Grace is a participation in the life of God.” - is the needed Light to see all the supernatural realities that belong to Mary. All that is hers and in her, is beautiful and glorious because that all is of God, and from Him.

“Seeing” her rightly, in His Light of grace, is to behold a creature so beautiful that authentic, interior devotion springs immediately in that moment. And such devotion is intrinsically fruitful - whether interiorly in our own souls, or exteriorly in our actions and movements - or, of course, both interiorly and exteriorly. But the fruit begins, we must understand, within the seed where the Life is.

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Dear fide,

Thanks so much for your reply and for your insights. Yes, St. Louis de Montfort does help us in his Treatise on True Devotion to grow in our Baptismal Graces of Supernatural Faith, Hope and Charity. I would add to the CCC 1997 the next two paragraphs:

1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.

1998 This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.

1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:

Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.

God willing tomorrow I hope to post some of the exterior practices, St. Louis mentions also. When we come to the end of the Treatise on True Devotion, we are encouraged to Consecrate ourselves totally to Jesus through Mary and in so doing, St. Louis rites that we are we are renewing our Baptismal promises.

“Seeing” Mary rightly, by God’s Grace, is what I hear in Jesus’ words to John and to all of us, on Calvary:

“Behold your Mother”

St. Louis has helped me to listen to those words of Jesus and open myself more fully to God’s Grace. Thanks so much for the references to the CCC to make clearer the Supernatural Grace God gives us. Everything comes from Him! Without Him, we can do nothing. (Jn 15:5)

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