"Transformation into the likeness of Jesus"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday, I referenced paragraph numbers 218 - 221 from Chapter 6 - in St. Louis de Montfort’s "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin" .

Hopefully you’ll hear God’s Wisdom in these words:

6. Transformation into the likeness of Jesus

  1. If Mary, the Tree of Life, is well cultivated in our soul by fidelity to this devotion, she will in due time bring forth her fruit which is none other than Jesus. I have seen many devout souls searching for Jesus in one way or another, and so often when they have worked hard throughout the night, all they can say is, “Despite our having worked all night, we have caught nothing.” To them we can say, “You have worked hard and gained little; Jesus can only be recognised faintly in you.” But if we follow the immaculate path of Mary, living the devotion that I teach, we will always work in daylight, we will work in a holy place, and we will work but little. There is no darkness in Mary, not even the slightest shadow since there was never any sin in her. She is a holy place, a holy of holies, in which saints are formed and moulded.

  2. Please note that I say that saints are moulded in Mary. There is a vast difference between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by using a mould. Sculptors and statue-makers work hard and need plenty of time to make statues by the first method. … St. Augustine speaking to our Blessed Lady says, “You are worthy to be called the mould of God.” Mary is a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mould that fashioned a God-man.

  3. … some spiritual directors and devout persons who wish to produce Jesus in themselves and in others… rely on their own skill, ingenuity and art and chip away endlessly with mallet and chisel at hard stone or badly-prepared wood, in an effort to produce a likeness of our Lord. At times, they do not manage to produce a recognisable likeness either because they lack knowledge and experience of the person of Jesus or because a clumsy stroke has spoiled the whole work. But those who accept this little-known secret of grace which I offer them can rightly be compared to smelters and moulders who have discovered the beautiful mould of Mary where Jesus was so divinely and so naturally formed. They do not rely on their own skill but on the perfection of the mould. They cast and lose themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.

  4. You may think this a beautiful and convincing comparison. But how many understand it? I would like you, my dear friend, to understand it. But remember that only molten and liquefied substances may be poured into a mould. That means that you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you if you wish to acquire the likeness of the new Adam in Mary.

Come Holy Spirit!

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It is so beautiful and fits with my experience. I could make no spiritual progress and I found little consolation until I read True Devotion to Mary and the Glories of Mary, and began seeking Jesus through Mary.

How good the Lord is to give us His Mother!

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I was just meditating on this very thing as I said the fourth luminous mystery!

Peace

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Dear patricius,

Thanks so much for your “faithful” heart and love for Jesus through Mary. Our Mother Mary is Jesus’ gift to us, and how ungrateful we can be to Him, by neglecting Mary who loves us with her Son and by His Grace!

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Dear hazcompat,

Thanks for your reply. It is always good to hear from you.

The fourth mystery of the Rosary is – for anyone not familiar with the Rosary – The “Transfiguration of Jesus” before His Disciples. This scene is recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, 17:1-8, Mark.9:2, Luke 9:28–36 and the Second Epistle of Peter also refers to it in 2 Peter 1:16–1. The Lord gave this special experience of seeing Him transfigured in a miraculous way.

Your experience of pondering this mystery in relation to being “Transformed” as described by St. Louis de Montfor and also by St. Augustine by the experience of “casting oneself into the mould of Mary” and thus by God being “changed” by God in a far deeper way is reasonable.

The Transfiguration of Jesus was a temporary miracle – changing the exterior, ordinary appearance of Jesus into a glorious and luminous revelation of His Divine Nature shining through His Human nature.

Our “Transformation” is an interior one which begins with our receiving a share in His Divine Life at Baptism. but our Interior Life is intended to grow and not be a temporary miracle! By giving ourselves totally to Jesus through Mary is — as was expressed by St. Louis de Montfort in paragraph 220 of his treatise on “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” and by St. Augustine intended for eternity:

St. Augustine speaking to our Blessed Lady says, “You are worthy to be called the mould of God.” Mary is a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mould that fashioned a God-man.

No wonder Mary at Fatima told us to pray the Rosary daily! :slight_smile: Thanks again, hazcompat!

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I wanted to comment especially on #220, concerning spiritual directors. All spiritual directors are limited, fallible, imperfect persons, even in the best examples. The worst of directors can do real and long-term damage to the person directed, and the average director can be biased toward one school of spirituality or another - a bias that can result in errors of judgement and lost time for the person directed. Mary is without sin and imperfection.

Of course, to receive fruitfully her spiritual direction, one must seek it with faith - real, vital, supernatural faith. As St. James cautions, concerning even good things (such as wisdom) sought from God,

James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.

But if one does indeed turn to Mary, seeking in Jesus her direct guidance and direction in authentic and single-minded faith, one can have confident expectation of her potent intercession - which is good, and in the will and intention of God always.

Mary is more than a guide, or teacher, or director. She is spiritual mother - and thus formator (one who “forms” in the divine living Truth. Her maternity thus continues in the labor of bringing forth adopted children of the Father, worthy of being living members of the Body of His Son.

I don’t mean to discard all “other” spiritual directors - but only to say that we ought not absolutely entrust a fallible man or woman with our soul, no matter how credentialed they seem to be.

Tobit 4:18 Seek counsel from every wise person, and do not think lightly of any useful advice.

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Dear fide,

Thanks for your "heart’ letting us know you read and appreciated the words of St. Louis de Montfort, and for your reply, commenting especially on pararaph 220 from St. Louis de Montfort’s treatise on “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

Your words were very much in line with St. Louis de Montfort and also St. John of the Cross, when you wrote:

“…All spiritual directors are limited, fallible, imperfect persons, even in the best examples. The worst of directors can do real and long-term damage to the person directed, and the average director can be biased toward one school of spirituality or another - a bias that can result in errors of judgement and lost time for the person directed. Mary is without sin and imperfection…”

How I pray many more will do as you suggest: “…turn to Mary, seeking Jesus…”
Thank you for sharing especially this:

“…Mary is more than a guide, or teacher, or director. She is spiritual mother - and thus formator (one who “forms”) on the Divine Truth. Her maternity thus continues in the labor of bringing forth adopted children of the Father, worthy of being living members of the Body of His Son.”

May Mary be more known and loved in order that Jesus be more known and loved by all whom God has called to holiness. Thanks again, fide! :slight_smile:

Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men.

In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary (Cf. Prov 8:1-9:6; Sir 24). Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church #721

Read more on mariedenazareth.com:

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Dear hazcompat,

Thanks again for your additional comments today. Yes, Mary is surely the “Seat of Wisdom” upon whose lap Jesus sat as a child, willing to depend upon her even as He remained Wisdom Incarnate! What Humility!

Thanks also for the link. I hope those who have not visited that website will do so. I’ve visited there and be encouraged! As St. Bernard wrote: “De Maria numquam satis” ( Of Mary there is never enough!)

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