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OUR DAILY APOSTOLIC WORK AND PRAYER-LIFE

OUR DAILY APOSTOLIC WORK AND PRAYER-LIFE

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: TAKING ON BOARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS PARALYSES THE POWERS OF ACTION

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Courage is shown not only in the performance of the Child of Mary’s apostolic work but also in his prayer-life. His devotion to the means of grace appointed by the Church and fidelity to prayer have a quality of heroism and are models and inspirations to the rest of the faithful. Only thus will he attain the degree of courage expected of him in his work for souls.

Courage

Natural timidity and fear, false or well-grounded, must be overcome. Every member amongst the most wretched and dejected of the population must not only be visited but known personally and intimately. This is the goal, and his courage must rise to attain it. He always remembers that his search for each individual member of the degraded classes may be their only chance of eternal life. How intense, how earnest, how courageous must that search be!

Natural philanthropy is not love and requires no courage

Natural philanthropy serves humanity for humanity’s sake; but that is not love and it requires no courage. The apostolate sets itself to devoted and universal attention to the “down-and-out,” the hopeless, the impossible, the unlovely, the repulsive elements of the population that those who see it at work are amazed at the courage of such love and recognise in it a confounding of the materialistic systems which offer but a counterfeit of Christian charity. The effect is electrifying; even the irreligious are startled into a new seriousness towards religion; modes of thought are changed, and new and nobler ways of living begin to show themselves.

Beyond the prudence of the flesh

Through the strictly disciplined system of the apostolate, the member is thoroughly trained in the spirit and practice of prudence. He is warned against a common fallacy of the present day which confounds the Christian virtue of prudence with what is merely natural – the prudence of the flesh.

The Gospel must be preached to every creature

In the first place, exercise of prudence demands a mature deliberation of which the best means to attain the end in view may be discovered, and a wise judgment as to the means likely to be most effectual. Secondly, it requires that the plan adopted be executed without delay, but with foresight, discretion and necessary caution. The Gospel must be preached to every creature. That supreme wish must swallow up every difficulty and overcome every obstacle.

Apostolic outlook

The Child of Mary is trained in such a way that his outlook will invariably be apostolic. The apostolic spirit enters his soul and reigns there as master. By a judicious mixture of prudence and courage, he sets himself against the spirit of cowardliness which seems to prevail even amongst the good. His training fits him to undertake difficult work and the system reduces the possibilities of harm to the absolute minimum. When it is known that a work is difficult and dangerous, but yet it is necessary if certain souls are to be saved, everything possible is done in the interest of safety and the attack goes on with appropriate materials. He does not stand by and look on while souls are being plunged into hell.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1).

 

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TAKING ON BOARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS PARALYSES THE POWERS OF ACTION

TAKING ON BOARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS PARALYSES THE POWERS OF ACTION

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: THE QUICKEST METHOD OF EMPTYING ONESELF OF “SELF”

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Human respect, often called common prudence, respect for the opinions of others, and the like, paralyses the powers of action of those who are called to be apostles and reduces works for souls to triviality.

Living in the midst of great communities of pagans or non-Catholics or the lapsed, the faithful make little or no effort to convert them and the graces God offers are returned unused.

Aware of this, the Army of Mary sets itself to a deliberate campaign against the operation of the spirit of human approval in its members. The principal means employed are insistence upon sound and strict discipline and constant indoctrination of the fact that human respect in a Child of Mary is comparable to cowardice in a soldier. Love, loyalty and discipline, if they are genuine, will certainly result in sacrifice and courage. “What a shame to be the delicate member of a Thorn-crowned Head!”  … words of St Bernard which the member must constantly apply to himself.

“If you fought only when you felt ready for the fray, where would be your merit?” asks St Therese of Lisieux.

“What does it matter even if you have no courage, provided you behave as though you were really brave? If you feel too lazy to pick up a bit of thread, and yet do so for the love of Jesus, you gain more merit than for a much nobler action done on an impulse of fervour. Instead of grieving, be glad that, by allowing you to feel your own weakness, Our Lord is furnishing you with an occasion of saving a greater number of souls.”

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1)

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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WITHOUT HUMILITY, LIKENESS TO MARY IS IMPOSSIBLE

WITHOUT HUMILITY, LIKENESS TO MARY IS IMPOSSIBLE

He hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Lk1:48)

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: OUR WARFARE IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Humility is necessary for that union with Mary upon which the apostolate relies for its supernatural efficacy. It is more essential in Mary’s soldiers than are courage, intelligence and physical fitness in the soldier of worldly armies.

A man may be determined to be a good soldier, to play a worthy part in the battles in which his country’s forces are engaged and, yet, through the absence of the necessary qualities, be unable to do so. A paralysed man may long to walk, but even the most vehement longings will not give him the capacity he does not physically possess.

So it is, the Children of Mary are bound to be rendered ineffective unless they are rooted in true humility. Without this virtue HOLINESS, the source of all apostolic action is impossible. Without it, there can be no real likeness to Mary.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1).

 

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OUR WARFARE IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

OUR WARFARE IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: TOWARDS THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH, WE SHOW ALWAYS THAT LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE WHICH SPRING FROM GENUINE CHARITY

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

If personal holiness, the perfection of charity, is the object of the Child of Mary, humility is the root and instrument of his apostolic action. The Children of Mary are an army and speak to their members in terms of battles and warfare; they are dedicated to Her who is terrible as an army set in battle array.

They are stimulated to carry out all their work with the seriousness of trained and faithful soldiers. Nevertheless, the warfare in which they engage is not of this world; it must be waged according to the tactics of Heaven. The whole system of this army is designed to implant in hearts lowly and unworldly qualities, the chief of which is true humility. Rightly understood, it confers a strange nobility and unique strength upon all who join it.

A strange nobility and unique strength

Only from true humility of heart does the Child of Mary derive the gentle, unassuming manners upon which he relies for the effecting and developing of the personal approach to souls that is such an essential factor in his work.

True humility of heart

In humility, he sees a virtue from which all others derive their value. One and all, they depend on grace and grace will not be given to the proud. When virtue is claimed as the result of one’s own efforts unaided by grace, it ceases to be virtue. Just as Mary’s lowliness brought the Saviour into Her womb, so the humility of Her children brings His Spirit and His Graces into their souls. The holier they are, the more they acknowledge their dependence on God; the more they receive, the greater is their debt to the Almighty. Gradually, the apostolate drives home even into the heart that is naturally proudest the hard lesson that only one’s worthlessness is one’s own. Everything else is God’s free gift. He gives it freely; He can increase it or diminish it or withdraw it entirely just as He wishes. The recognition of what one really is before God is the essence of true humility. “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.” Humble and little-sought tasks are preferred; contempt and rebuffs are readily borne and God’s holy Will is generously accepted, especially when compliance means rigorous suppression of self.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1).

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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TOWARDS THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH, WE SHOW ALWAYS THAT LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE WHICH SPRING FROM GENUINE CHARITY

TOWARDS THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH, WE SHOW ALWAYS THAT LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE WHICH SPRING FROM GENUINE CHARITY

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: THE SUPERNATURAL SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS MANIFEST ITSELF AND ACT AS A PROTECTION

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Towards the pastors of the Church, one and all, the Child of Mary shows always that unreserved loyalty and exact obedience which spring from genuine charity. In his mission, as a member of Mary’s Army, he aspires to supplement the priestly ministry; as She delighted to be the Handmaid or slave of the Lord, he desires to the honour of being the slave of the ministers of the Lord. By an apostolate of Love, he makes every effort to render fertile all the ground into which the seed of God is cast, that it will bear fruit a hundred-fold; he strives to remove all the thorns and briars by applying his charity to worldly minds; he essays to deepen the soil by strengthening religious convictions and encouraging the weak and despairing; he aims at softening the hard ground by the dew of prayer and self-sacrifice. He becomes a link between the shepherd and the flock, rendering easier the work of the pastors. By exercising his love in its highest form, so to speak, he multiplies the priest; he casts abroad his zeal, personality, and every word, representing him everywhere and to everyone.

The Child of Mary is anxious to build up and strengthen every Society that is really worthy of the name Catholic.

The love of the Child of Mary for the Church shows itself also in his attitude towards other organisations. He desires the good of souls and to any agency for good, he is pledged to render unstinted co-operation and assistance. He is anxious to build up and strengthen every Society that is really worthy of the name Catholic. He knows that not all can be brought into the ranks of his active members; but love for souls compels him to induce all to enlist themselves in something Catholic that they will be caught firmly in the arms of Mother Church and pressed closely to Her life-giving bosom. He yearns to see the day when the apostolate of the laity is really a vital force, a glorious thing, the safeguard of the individual and the mainstay of the Church.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1).

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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THE SUPERNATURAL SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS MANIFEST ITSELF AND ACT AS A PROTECTION

THE SUPERNATURAL SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS MANIFEST ITSELF AND ACT AS A PROTECTION

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: THE SPIRIT OF ENVY CANNOT CO-EXIST WITH TRUE APOSTLESHIP

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

The Child of Mary finds his charity put to the test. Even though he may feel no temptation when alone to self-will, pride, passion or unbelief; when he assembles together with others, those evil things which have lain dormant tend to burst into flame. The innate debility of human nature shows itself: Christian simplicity and straightforwardness are strangely forgotten. The larger the numbers grow, the more scope there is for criticisms and disagreements. But, in the Child of Mary, the torch of faith is lighted by the fire of charity. If the flame be strong, the supernatural spirit will always manifest itself and act as a protection of the whole body against the fatal spirit of worldly jealousies and ambitions. Words, attitudes and conduct which are in any way hostile to charity will be completely banished and the spirit of prayer will reign triumphant.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part I).

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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CONFER, O LORD, ON US WHO SERVE BENEATH THE STANDARD OF MARY THAT FULLNESS OF FAITH IN THEE..

CONFER, O LORD, ON US WHO SERVE BENEATH THE STANDARD OF MARY THAT FULLNESS OF FAITH IN THEE..

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: INTENSITY OF PURPOSE, UNRELAXED EFFORT… COME ONLY FROM A TRUE SPIRIT OF FAITH

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Confer, O Lord, on us who serve beneath the standard of Mary that fullness of faith in Thee and trust in Her to which is given to conquer the world. Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity, which will enable us to perform all our actions from the motive of pure love of Thee, and ever to see Thee and serve Thee in our neighbour; a faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which we shall rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses, toils and disappointments of this life; a courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for God and the salvation of souls; a faith which will be our apostolate’s Pillar of Fire – to lead us forth united – to kindle everywhere the fires of Divine Love – to enlighten those who are in darkness and in the shadow of death – to inflame those who are lukewarm – to bring back life to those who are dead in sin; and which will guide our feet in the Way of Peace.”

– Concluding Prayer in the Legion of Mary Tessera, from excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part I).

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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