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Monthly Archives: September 2019

TRUE DEVOTION – THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN A CHEST

TRUE DEVOTION – THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN A CHEST

In 1842, a priest was looking through an old chest in a house in Saint Laurent-sur-Sevre, in France. The priest was a member of the Fathers of the Company of Mary, today commonly called the Montfort Fathers, and the house belonged to the community.

At the bottom of the chest, the priest found a stack of old handwritten pages, yellow with age. The priest took the sheets to his superiors. There were many consultations, many readings, much comparing of handwriting. Finally it was announced that these were two manuscripts which had undoubtedly been written by Father Louis Marie de Montfort, the founder of the community.

A STACK OF OLD HANDWRITTEN PAGES, YELLOW WITH AGE

The Bishop of Lucon authorised the publication of the work, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has since gone through 130 editions and has played a tremendous part in increasing devotion to the Blessed Mother. The other manuscript, The Secret of Mary, is a summary of the True Devotion. 

“YOU ATTACK ME IN VAIN; I STAND BETWEEN JESUS AND MARY.”

Louis Marie de Montfort was born in a little town in Brittany in 1673, the eldest of seventeen children. He was ordained a priest in 1700. Most of his priestly career was devoted to preaching against the heresy of Jansenism which had taken a strong hold in France. In his preaching he constantly taught devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He stressed the fact that she is Mediatrix. In 1716, worn out by his constant labour, he was struck by a fatal illness. Just before he died, he cried out: “You attack me in vain; I stand between Jesus and Mary. I have finished my course. I shall sin no more.”

“THE DEVIL WOULD ENVELOP IT IN THE SILENCE OF A COFFER”

For a long time after his death, De Montfort was almost forgotten. Then, about a century later, discussion of his virtues began. In 1853, Rome decreed his writings to be exempt from all error that could be a bar to his canonisation. He was beatified in 1888 and canonised on July 20, 1947.

Sometime between his ordination in 1700 and his death in 1716, De Montfort wrote True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Secret of Mary. As he wrote he said, “If I thought that my poor blood could help to carry the truths that I write in my dear Mother’s honour to the hearts of men, I would use it instead of ink to form the letters.”

But he foretold that the little book would not come to light for a long time. He said that the devil would “envelop it in the silence of a coffer, in order that it might not appear.” He went on to prophesy that eventually it would appear and that it would be successful. We have seen that these prophecies were fully realised. The manuscript was lost for 126 years, but the book is now widely circulated.

THE BOOK IS NOW WIDELY CIRCULATED

Although St Louis Marie lived and died long before the period covered by this book, he belongs in any study of the Blessed Mother in the modern world.

The True Devotion preached by St Louis Marie was total consecration to the Blessed Virgin. We give her all our earthly possessions, all our thoughts, words, and deeds. Mary exists only to honour God and to serve Him, so when we offer these things to Mary we really offer them to God through Mary. St Louis Marie says that we should make ourselves slaves of Mary. He calls his devotion “the slavery of Jesus in Mary.”

The devotion did not originate with St Louis Marie, but to him must go most of the credit for making it widely known and widely practised. The devotion will be discussed more fully in a later chapter. For the present, we shall confine ourselves to that section of True Devotion which concerns the role of the Blessed Virgin in the modern world. In writing this section, the saint-author seems to have been inspired from heaven, because he looks into the future and tells what is going to happen. Many of the events that are taking place in the world today are more understandable when considered in the light of De Montfort’s words.

“MORE  KNOWN, MORE LOVED AND MORE HONOURED THAN SHE HAS EVER BEEN”

“God wishes that His Holy Mother should be at the present time more known, more loved and more honoured than she has ever been,” St Louis Marie tells us.

This statement helps explain the many manifestations of the Blessed Virgin in the last [centuries] and the great increase in devotion to her. The manuscript of True Devotion was found in 1842. In the twelve years preceding its finding, there had been manifestations of the Blessed Mother at the convent of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, at Blangy, and at the shrine of Our Lady of Victories in Paris. Four years later, our Lady was to appear to children at La Salette. Twelve years later the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception was to be defined. Three years after that our Lady was to appear to Bernadette of Lourdes. And this was only the beginning! Truly, it would seem that God wants his mother more known, more loved, and more honoured than ever before. – Why does God wish this?

“IN MERCY, IN MIGHT, AND IN GRACE”

“It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun and it is through Mary that it must be consummated. Mary hardly appeared at all in the first coming of Jesus Christ. But in the second coming… Mary has to be made known and revealed by the Holy Ghost, in order that through her, Jesus Christ may be known, loved and served…”

It was through Mary that our Lord came into the world the first time. It is through her that he will come back to the world. In order to accomplish this, Mary herself must become better known and better loved.

St Louis Marie then elaborates on why God “wishes to reveal and make known the masterpiece of His hands in these latter times:

“It is by her that the souls who are to shine forth especially in sanctity have to find Our Lord. He who shall find Mary shall find life, that is Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. But no one can find Mary who does not seek her, who does not know her… It is necessary, then, for the greater knowledge and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, that Mary should be more than ever known.

That is a further possible explanation for the many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin that have been taking place since 1830.

FOR THE GREATER KNOWLEDGE AND GLORY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

St Louis Marie continues: “Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might, and in grace in these latter times.” In mercy, he says, to bring back the strayed sinner. In might, against the enemies of God who shall rise in terrible revolt against Him. In grace, to sustain the soldiers and servants of Christ who shall battle in His service.

He concludes the list of reasons with the following words which seem to have special bearing on the present world situation:

“And lastly Mary must be terrible to the devil and his crew, as an army ranged in battle, principally in these latter times, because the devil, knowing he has but little time, and now less than ever, to destroy souls, will every day redouble his efforts and his combats. He will presently raise up cruel persecutions, and will put terrible snares before the faithful servants and true children of Mary, whom it gives him more trouble to conquer than it does to conquer others.”

One has but to think of the events of the past two centuries and of conditions in our modern world to realise that the devil has indeed been raising up cruel persecutions of the Church and that they have been increasing in intensity. St Louis Marie tells us that these last and cruel persecutions “shall go on increasing daily till the reign of Antichrist.”

With such a powerful enemy ranged against us, the situation would be hopeless if we did not have an even more powerful friend and protector. After the fall of our first parents God said to the serpent: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

On this point St Louis Marie says: “God has formed… but one enmity, but it is an irreconcilable one, which shall endure and grow even to the end. It is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil – between the children and servants of the Blessed Virgin, and the children and tools of Lucifer.” God has given His Mother such power over the devil, De Montfort tells us, that Satan “fears her not only more than all the angels and men, but in a sense more than God Himself. Not that the anger, the hatred and the power of God are not infinitely greater than those of the Blessed Virgin, for the perfections of Mary are limited, but Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being beaten and punished by a little handmaid of God, and her humility humbles him more than the divine power.

The devils, we are told, fear one of Mary’s sighs for a soul, “more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats against them more than all other torments.”

THE BATTLE HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR CENTURIES 

The battle between the devil and our Blessed Mother has been going on for centuries. It is a battle for souls. The devil is trying to lure all of us into the lowest depths of hell. Mary is trying to lead us to heaven. Today, according to De Montfort, the devil is more active than ever before because he has little time left. As a consequence the Blessed Virgin is making herself better known to us, so that we might resist the devil and enrol on her side. The battle seems to be approaching a great climax.

The saint’s words about Mary’s power over the devil are consoling ones for these trying days. Satan may rage and roar at us. He may persecute us openly or subtly, but he cannot harm us do long as we stay by Mary’s side.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

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RULER OF THE DREAD IMMENSE (HYMN)

RULER OF THE DREAD IMMENSE (HYMN)

Ruler of the dread immense!

Maker of this mighty frame!

Whose eternal providence

Guides it, as from thee it came;

 

Low before thy throne we bend;

Hear our supplicating cries;

And thy light celestial send

With the freshly dawning skies.

 

King of kings, and Lord most High!

This of thy dear love we pray:

May the Guardian Angel nigh,

Keep us from all sin this day.

 

May he crush the deadly wiles

Of the envious serpent’s art,

Ever spreading cunning toils

Round about the thoughtless heart.

 

May he scatter ruthless war

Ere to this our land it come;

Plague and famine drive away,

Fix securely peace at home.

 

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

One eternal Trinity!

Guard by thy Angelic host

Us who put our trust in thee.

Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2019 in Inspirational Hymns

 

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REPARATION PRAYER TO JESUS IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

REPARATION PRAYER TO JESUS IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

REPARATION PRAYER TO JESUS IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT 

Jesus, my God, my Saviour, with that lowly homage with which Faith inspires me, I worship thee, true God and true Man; with my whole heart I love thee, enclosed in this most august Sacrament of the Altar, in reparation for all the acts of irreverence, profanation, and sacrilege, which, to my shame, I may ever have committed, as well as for all those which have ever been committed, or ever may be committed in ages yet to come.

I adore thee, my God, not indeed as much as thou deserves to, nor as much as I ought, but according to the little strength I have; and fain would I adore thee with all the perfection of every rational creature. Meantime, I purpose, now and forever, to adore thee, not only for those Catholics who adore thee not and love thee not, but also for the conversion of all heretics, schismatics, mahometans, jews, idolators, and wicked Christians. Ah! my Jesus, may all men ever know, adore, love, and praise thee, every moment, in the Most Holy and Most Divine Sacrament. Amen.

[Partial Indulgence of 200 days, each time, to everyone who, with contrite heart, devoutly recites this reparation to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, together with the ejaculatory prayers that follow. – Pius VII, Jan. 21st, 1815]

Ejaculations.

I adore thee every moment, O living Bread of Heaven, Great Sacrament.

O Divine Jesus, Heart of Mary, vouchsafe to bless me.

Holiest Jesus! loving Saviour! I give thee all my heart.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

 

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ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: SEPTEMBER 30

Jerome was born in Strido in Dalmatia. As a youth, he was baptised at Rome and was educated in the liberal arts by Donatus and other very learned men. From a religious motive he travelled through all of Palestine. Then he retired into the vast desert of Syria. There he spent four years reading the divinely inspired books and meditating upon the blessedness of heavenly things.

HE MEDITATED UPON THE BLESSEDNESS OF HEAVENLY THINGS

After being ordained a priest by Paulinus, Bishop of Antioch, he returned to Palestine, to Bethlehem, to be close by the Crib of Christ the Lord. Here he drew up for himself a holy rule and overcame the snares of the devil by pious works and constant reading and writing. From all over the world he was called upon as an inspired authority to settle questions about the interpretation of Sacred Scripture.

AN EXPERT IN THE INTERPRETATION OF SACRED SCRIPTURE 

Pope Damasus and St Augustine consulted him often about very difficult passages of Scripture because of his singular knowledge and understanding not only of the Latin and Greek languages, but also of Hebrew and Chaldaic. He translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew. At the command of Pope Damasus, he made a faithful translation of the New Testament from the Greek and also wrote commentaries on many parts of Scripture. In his extremely old age, he passed [A. D. 420]. He was buried in Bethlehem, and was later transferred to Rome and entombed in the basilica of St Mary Major.

PRAYER:

O God, who graciously gave your Church blessed Jerome, your Confessor and peerless teacher, to explain the Holy Scriptures, grant, we beseech you, that, with the help of his merits and by your assistance, we may be able to put into practice what he has taught us by his life and works. Through our Lord.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold headings added]

 

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GOD, OMNIPOTENT AND MERCIFUL (HOMILY BY ST LEO, POPE)

GOD, OMNIPOTENT AND MERCIFUL (HOMILY BY ST LEO, POPE)

God, omnipotent and merciful, whose nature is goodness, whose will is power, whose work is mercy, foretold at the very beginning of the world, as soon as the devil’s malice had poisoned us with the venom of his envy, what were the remedies his compassion had foreordained for our healing. He bade the serpent know that there was to be a Child of the Woman, who should effectually crush the pride of his injurious head, signifying Christ to come in the flesh, that is, God and man, born of the Virgin, who should condemn by his undefiled birth the seducer of the human race.

CHRIST IN THE FLESH; GOD AND MAN, BORN OF THE VIRGIN 

The devil rejoiced that he had so deceived man by his artifices as to make him lose the gifts of God, that he had stripped him of the privilege of immortality, had brought him under the hard sentence of death, and that he himself had found some sort of solace in his unhappiness, in that he had found a comrade in guilt. He thought also to bring it to pass that God, by a justly earned severity, should change his feelings towards man whom he had created in such honour. There was need, beloved brethren, that God who is unchangeable, whose will and loving-kindness are inseparable, should fulfil his original purpose of goodness by a mysterious dispensation, so that man, driven into crime by the wicked craft of the devil, should not perish and frustrate the plan of God.

MAN, DRIVEN INTO CRIME BY THE DEVIL, SHOULD NOT PERISH

When, therefore, beloved brethren, the fulness of time appointed for man’s redemption was come, our Lord Jesus Christ entered this lower world. He came down from his throne in heaven without withdrawing from the glory which he has equal with the Father, and was born by a new order, by a new birth: a new order because he who is invisible in his own nature became visible in ours; he who is incomprehensible, willed to be comprehended; he who existed before all time, began to live in time; the Lord of the universe veiled the dignity of his majesty, and assumed the form of a servant; the impassible God did not disdain to become man capable of suffering, nor the immortal God to lay himself under the laws of death.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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PRAYER TO ARCHANGEL GABRIEL

PRAYER TO ARCHANGEL GABRIEL

O God, who, out of all the Angels, chose the Archangel Gabriel to announce the mystery of your Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who keep his feast on earth, may have him as our patron in heaven. Who live…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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CHRIST, OF THE ANGELS PRAISE AND ADORATION (HYMN)

CHRIST, OF THE ANGELS PRAISE AND ADORATION (HYMN)

Christ, of the Angels praise and adoration.

Father and Saviour thou, of every nation,

Graciously grant us all to gain a station,

Where thou art reigning.

 

Angel Physician, health on man bestowing,

Raphael send us from the skies all glowing,

All sickness curing, wisest counsel showing

In doubt and danger.

 

May the fair Mother of the Light be o’er us,

Virgin of peace, with all the Angel chorus,

And may the heavenly army go before us,

Guiding and guarding.

 

O may the Godhead, endless bliss possessing,

Father, Son, Spirit, grant to us this blessing;

All his creation joins his praise confessing,

Now and forever.

Amen.

 

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2019 in More Inspirational Hymns

 

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