Examples inviting Repentance
And there were
present, at that very time, some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood
Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answering, said to them:
Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee,
because they suffered such things? No, I say to you: but unless you shall
do penance, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the
tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you, that they also were debtors
above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem? No, I say to you; but except you
do penance, you shall all likewise perish.
True Devotion to
the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nos. 81 and 82
We Need Mary in order to Die to Ourselves
Secondly, in order
to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves
our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline
us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and
use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what St.
Paul calls "dying daily". Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and
dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit. If
we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this
necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our
devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted
by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions
will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find
ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess
even one spark of that pure love which God shares only with those who have
died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him.
Thirdly, we must choose among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin the
one which will lead us more surely to this dying to self. This devotion will
be the best and the most sanctifying for us.
for the First Week