Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, Nov. 5, we begin (or begin again) our 33 Day Preparation if we intend to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on Dec. 8. St. Louis de Montfort wrote in his [True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary]("http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm"):
- As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites, and consecrates us most completely to Jesus. Now of all God’s creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.
That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin, which is the devotion I teach; or in other words, it is the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy baptism.
It is a beautiful invitation which the saint offers, and I hope that many will at least begin to "try" following his words during these 33 days. Please feel free to post any questions or comments as we proceed. I'll try to post a new thread for each day, God willing. The saint outlines for us in Chapter 7 of his treatise, how we may prepare for this consecration:
- Those who desire to take up this special devotion… should spend at least twelve days in emptying themselves of the spirit of the world, which is opposed to the spirit of Jesus, …They should then spend three weeks imbuing themselves with the spirit of Jesus through the most Blessed Virgin.
The treatise itself does not specify particular prayers for these first 12 days, as it does for the three weeks, but there are "suggestions" offered in supplementary material and in small books written to aid in this preparation. Over the years I have offered some of these suggestions, which are included in my copy of True Devotion as a supplement. The most important thing I think is to begin with the desire to love God more, and simply to receive one grace, one day at a time. : Prayers: Veni Creator and Ave Maris Stella (see below) Suitable Reading for these 12 days:Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, 7. Spiritual Exercises: Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement, mortification, purity of heart; this purity of heart is the indispensible condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth, and to know Him by the light of faith. **Veni Creator** Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up Thy rest; come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid, To fill the hearts which Thou hast made. O Comforter, to Thee we cry, Thou heav'nly gift of God most high, Thou Fount of life, and Fire of love, and sweet anointing from above. O Finger of the hand divine, the sevenfold gifts of grace are thine; true promise of the Father thou, who dost the tongue with power endow. Thy light to every sense impart, and shed thy love in every heart; thine own unfailing might supply to strengthen our infirmity. Drive far away our ghostly foe, and thine abiding peace bestow; if thou be our preventing Guide, no evil can our steps betide. Praise we the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit with them One; and may the Son on us bestow the gifts that from the Spirit flow. V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created. R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Let us Pray O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost: give to us, in the same Spirit, to know what is right, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee livest and reignest in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God. World without end. Amen.
** Ave Maris Stella**
Hail, bright star of ocean, God's own Mother blest, Ever sinless Virgin, Gate of heavenly rest. Taking that sweet Ave Which from Gabriel came, Peace confirm within us, Changing Eva's name. Break the captives' fetters, Light on blindness pour, All our ills expelling, Every bliss implore. Show thyself a Mother; May the Word Divine, Born for us thy Infant, Hear our prayers through thine. Virgin all excelling, Mildest of the mild, Freed from guilt, preserve us, Pure and undefiled. Keep our life all spotless, Make our way secure, Till we find in Jesus, Joy forevermore. Through the highest heaven To the Almighty Three, Father, Son and Spirit, One same glory be. Amen.