|| 213. My dear
friend, be sure that if you remain faithful to the interior and exterior
practices of this devotion which I will point out, the following effects
will be produced in your soul:
1. Knowledge of our unworthiness
By the light which the Holy Spirit will give you through Mary, his faithful
spouse, you will perceive the evil inclinations of your fallen nature and
how incapable you are of any good apart from that which God produces in you
as Author of nature and of grace. As a consequence of this knowledge you
will despise yourself and think of yourself only as an object of repugnance.
You will consider yourself as a snail that soils everything with its slime,
as a toad that poisons everything with its venom, as a malevolent serpent
seeking only to deceive. Finally, the humble Virgin Mary will share her humility
with you so that, although you regard yourself with distaste and desire to
be disregarded by others, you will not look down slightingly upon anyone.
2. A share in Mary's faith
214. Mary will share her faith with you. Her faith on earth was stronger
than that of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and saints. Now that
she is reigning in heaven she no longer has this faith, since she sees everything
clearly in God by the light of glory. However, with the consent of almighty
God she did not lose it when entering heaven. She has preserved it for her
faithful servants in the Church militant. Therefore the more you gain the
friendship of this noble Queen and faithful Virgin the more you will be inspired
by faith in your daily life. It will cause you to depend less upon sensible
and extraordinary feelings. For it is a lively faith animated by love enabling
you to do everything from no other motive than that of pure love. It is a
firm faith, unshakeable as a rock, prompting you to remain firm and steadfast
in the midst of storms and tempests. It is an active and probing faith which
like some mysterious pass-key admits you into the mysteries of Jesus Christ
and of man's final destiny and into the very heart of God himself. It is
a courageous faith which inspires you to undertake and carry out without
hesitation great things for God and the salvation of souls. Lastly, this
faith will be your flaming torch, your very life with God, your secret fund
of divine Wisdom, and an all-powerful weapon for you to enlighten those who
sit in darkness and the shadow of death. It inflames those who are lukewarm
and need the gold of fervent love. It restores life to those who are dead
through sin. It moves and transforms hearts of marble and cedars of Lebanon
by gentle and convincing argument. Finally, this faith will strengthen you
to resist the devil and the other enemies of salvation.
3. The gift of pure love
215. The Mother of fair love will rid your heart of all scruples and inordinate
servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to obey the commandments of her
Son with alacrity and with the holy freedom of the children of God. She will
fill your heart with pure love of which she is the treasury. You will then
cease to act as you did before, out of fear of the God who is love, but rather
out of pure love. You will look upon him as a loving Father and endeavour
to please him at all times. You will speak trustfully to him as a child does
to its father. If you should have the misfortune to offend him you will abase
yourself before him and humbly beg his pardon. You will offer your hand to
him with simplicity and lovingly rise from your sin. Then, peaceful and relaxed
and buoyed up with hope you will continue on your way to him.
4. Great confidence in God and in Mary
216. Our Blessed Lady will fill you with unbounded confidence in God and
1) Because you
will no longer approach Jesus by yourself but always through Mary, your loving
2) Since you have given her all your merits, graces and satisfactions to
dispose of as she pleases, she imparts to you her own virtues and clothes
you in her own merits. So you will be able to say confidently to God: "Behold
Mary, your handmaid, be it done unto me according to your word."
3) Since you have now given yourself completely to Mary, body and soul, she,
who is generous to the generous, and more generous than even the kindest
benefactor, will in return give herself to you in a marvellous but real manner.
Indeed you may without hesitation say to her, "I am yours, O Blessed Virgin,
obtain salvation for me," or with the beloved disciple, St. John, "I have
taken you, Blessed Mother, for my all." Or again you may say with St.
Bonaventure, "Dear Mother of saving grace, I will do everything with confidence
and without fear because you are my strength and my boast in the Lord," or
in another place, "I am all yours and all that I have is yours, O glorious
Virgin, blessed above all created things. Let me place you as a seal upon
my heart, for your love is as strong as death." Or adopting the sentiments
of the prophet, "Lord, my heart has no reason to be exalted nor should my
looks be proud; I have not sought things of great moment nor wonders beyond
my reach; nevertheless, I am still not humble. But I have roused my soul
and taken courage. I am as a child, weaned from earthly pleasures and resting
on its mother's breast. It is upon this breast that all good things come
4) What will still further increase your confidence in her is that, after
having given her in trust all that you possess to use or keep as she pleases,
you will place less trust in yourself and much more in her whom you have
made your treasury. How comforting and how consoling when a person can say,
"The treasury of God, where he has placed all that he holds most precious,
is also my treasury." "She is," says a saintly man, "the treasury of the
of the spirit of Mary
217. The soul of Mary will be communicated to you to glorify the Lord. Her
spirit will take the place of yours to rejoice in God, her Saviour, but only
if you are faithful to the practices of this devotion. As St. Ambrose says,
"May the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the Lord! May the spirit
of Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God!" "When will that happy day
come," asks a saintly man of our own day whose life was completely wrapped
up in Mary, "when God's Mother is enthroned in men's hearts as Queen, subjecting
them to the dominion of her great and princely Son? When will souls breathe
Mary as the body breathes air?" When that time comes wonderful things will
happen on earth. The Holy Spirit, finding his dear Spouse present again in
souls, will come down into them with great power. He will fill them with
his gifts, especially wisdom, by which they will produce wonders of grace.
My dear friend, when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many
souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves
completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving
and glorifying Jesus? That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is
understood and put into practice. Ut adveniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum
Mariae: "Lord, that your kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come!"
6. Transformation into the likeness of Jesus
218. 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.
219. 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. But the second method
does not involve much work and takes very little time. 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.
220. I think I can very well compare some spiritual directors and devout
persons to sculptors who wish to produce Jesus in themselves and in others
by methods other than this. Many of them 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.
221. 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.
7. The greater glory of Christ
222. If you live this devotion sincerely, you will give more glory to Jesus
in a month than in many years of a more demanding devotion. Here are my reasons
for saying this:
1) Since you do everything through the Blessed Virgin as required by this
devotion, you naturally lay aside your own intentions no matter how good
they appear to you. You abandon yourself to our Lady's intentions even though
you do not know what they are. Thus you share in the high quality of her
intentions, which are so pure that she gave more glory to God by the smallest
of her actions, say, twirling her distaff, or making a stitch, than did St.
Laurence suffering his cruel martyrdom on the grid-iron, and even more than
all the saints together in all their most heroic deeds! Mary amassed such
a multitude of merits and graces during her sojourn on earth that it would
be easier to count the stars in heaven, the drops of water in the ocean or
the sands of the sea-shore than count her merits and graces. She thus gave
more glory to God than all the angels and saints have given or will ever
give him. Mary, wonder of God, when souls abandon themselves to you, you
cannot but work wonders in them!
223. 2) In this devotion we set no store on our own thoughts and actions
but are content to rely on Mary's dispositions when approaching and even
speaking to Jesus. We then act with far greater humility than others who
imperceptibly rely on their own dispositions and are self-satisfied about
them; and consequently we give greater glory to God, for perfect glory is
given to him only by the lowly and humble of heart.
224. 3) Our Blessed Lady, in her immense love for us, is eager to receive
into her virginal hands the gift of our actions, imparting to them a marvellous
beauty and splendour, and presenting them herself to Jesus most willingly.
More glory is given to our Lord in this way than when we make our offering
with our own guilty hands.
225. 4) Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for
you. You never praise or honour Mary without Mary joining you in praising
and honouring God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that
she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to
She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary"
she says "God". When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because
she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle,
"My soul glorifies the Lord." What Mary did on that day, she does every day.
When we praise her, when we love and honour her, when we present anything
to her, then God is praised, honoured and loved and receives our gift through
Mary and in Mary.