Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
12 Days of Preparation renouncing the spirit of the world
Day 8 of 33:
Meditate on Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 13
Of Resisting Temptations
“Man’s life on earth is a temptation.” Everyone therefore should be solicitous about his temptations and watch in
prayer lest the devil find an opportunity to catch him: who never sleeps, but goes about, seeking whom he can
devour. No one is so perfect and holy as sometimes not to have temptations and we can never be wholly free
from them. Nevertheless, temptations are very profitable to man, troublesome and grievous though they may be,
for in them, a man is humbled, purified and instructed. All the Saints passed through many tribulations and
temptations and were purified by them. And they that could not support temptations, became reprobate, and fell
Many seek to flee temptations, and fall worse into them. We cannot conquer by flight alone, but by patience and
true humility we become stronger than all our enemies. He who only declines them outwardly, and does not pluck
out their root, will profit little; nay, temptations will sooner return and he will find himself in a worse condition. By
degrees and by patience you will, by God’s grace, better overcome them than by harshness and your own
importunity. Take council the oftener in temptation, and do not deal harshly with one who is tempted; but pour in
consolation, as thou wouldst wish to be done unto yourself. Inconstancy of mind and little confidence in God, is
the beginning of all temptations. For as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so the man who
neglects and gives up his resolutions is tempted in many ways.
Listen, Sing and Watch or Pray just the words depending on your time constraints: Veni Creator, Ave Maris Stella, Magnificat, and Glory Be
And in our souls take up thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete! To Thee we cry,
O highest gift of God most high!
O font of life! O fire of love!
And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known,
The finger of God’s hand we own;
The promise of the Father, Thou!
Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses ‘from above,
And make our hearts o’erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee through endless times confessed
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death; the same to Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen.
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ.
The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary. It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life, and by disobedience to God’s laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.
St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary paragraphs 60-67
IN WHAT DEVOTION TO MARY CONSISTS
1. Basic principles of devotion to Mary
60. Having spoken briefly of the necessity of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I must now explain what
this devotion consists in. This I will do with God’s help after I have laid down certain basic truths which
throw light on the remarkable and sound devotion which I propose to unfold.
First principle: Christ must be the ultimate end of all devotions
61. Jesus, our Saviour, true God and true man must be the ultimate end of all our other devotions;
otherwise they would be false and misleading. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end of
everything. “We labour,” says St. Paul, “only to make all men perfect in Jesus Christ.”
and perfection. In him alone we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing; he is the only teacher from
whom we must learn; the only Lord on whom we should depend; the only Head to whom we should be
united and the only model that we should imitate. He is the only Physician that can heal us; the only
Shepherd that can feed us; the only Way that can lead us; the only Truth that we can believe; the only Life
that can animate us. He alone is everything to us and he alone can satisfy all our desires.
We are given no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. God has laid no other
foundation for our salvation, perfection and glory than Jesus. Every edifice which is not built on that firm
rock, is founded upon shifting sands and will certainly fall sooner or later. Every one of the faithful who is
not united to him is like a branch broken from the stem of the vine. It falls and withers and is fit only to be
burnt. If we live in Jesus and Jesus lives in us, we need not fear damnation. Neither angels in heaven nor
men on earth, nor devils in hell, no creature whatever can harm us, for no creature can separate us from the
love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Through him, with him and in him, we can do all things and render all
honour and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit; we can make ourselves perfect and be for our
neighbour a fragrance of eternal life.
62. If then we are establishing sound devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only in order to establish
devotion to our Lord more perfectly, by providing a smooth but certain way of reaching Jesus Christ. If
devotion to our Lady distracted us from our Lord, we would have to reject it as an illusion of the devil. But
this is far from being the case. As I have already shown and will show again later on, this devotion is
necessary, simply and solely because it is a way of reaching Jesus perfectly, loving him tenderly, and
serving him faithfully.
63. Here I turn to you for a moment, dear Jesus, to complain lovingly to your divine Majesty that the
majority of Christians, and even some of the most learned among them, do not recognise the necessary bond
that unites you and your Blessed Mother. Lord, you are always with Mary and Mary is always with you. She
can never be without you because then she would cease to be what she is. She is so completely transformed
into you by grace that she no longer lives, she no longer exists, because you alone, dear Jesus, live and reign
in her more perfectly than in all the angels and saints. If we only knew the glory and the love given to you
by this wonderful creature, our feelings for you and for her would be far different from those we have now.
So intimately is she united to you that it would be easier to separate light from the sun, and heat from the
fire. I go further, it would even be easier to separate all the angels and saints from you than Mary; for she
loves you ardently, and glorifies you more perfectly than all your other creatures put together.
64. In view of this, my dear Master, is it not astonishing and pitiful to see the ignorance and short-
sightedness of men with regard to your holy Mother? I am not speaking so much of idolaters and pagans
who do not know you and consequently have no knowledge of her. I am not even speaking of heretics and
schismatics who have left you and your holy Church and therefore are not interested in your holy Mother. I
am speaking of Catholics, and even of educated Catholics, who profess to teach the faith to others but do
not know you or your Mother except speculatively, in a dry, cold and sterile way.
These people seldom speak of your Mother or devotion to her. They say they are afraid that
devotion to her will be abused and that you will be offended by excessive honour paid to her. They protest
loudly when they see or hear a devout servant of Mary speak frequently with feeling, conviction and vigour
of devotion to her. When he speaks of devotion to her as a sure means of finding and loving you without
fear or illusion, or when he says this devotion is a short road free from danger, or an immaculate way free
from imperfection, or a wondrous secret of finding you, they put before him a thousand specious reasons to
show him how wrong he is to speak so much of Mary. There are, they say, great abuses in this devotion
which we should try to stamp out and we should refer people to you rather than exhort them to have
devotion to your Mother, whom they already love adequately.
If they are sometimes heard speaking of devotion to your Mother, it is not for the purpose of
promoting it or convincing people of it but only to destroy the abuses made of it. Yet all the while these
persons are devoid of piety or genuine devotion to you, for they have no devotion to Mary. They consider
the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions suitable only for simple women or ignorant people. After all, they
say, we do not need them to be saved. If they come across one who loves our Lady, who says the rosary or
the seven penitential psalms instead of the Rosary, and to show devotion to Jesus instead of to Mary.
Dear Jesus, do these people possess your spirit? Do they please you by acting in this way? Would it
please you if we were to make no effort to give pleasure to your Mother because we are afraid of offending
you? Does devotion to your holy Mother hinder devotion to you? Does Mary keep for herself any honour
we pay her? Is she a rival of yours? Is she a stranger having no kinship with you? Does pleasing her imply
displeasing you? Does the gift of oneself to her constitute a deprivation for you? Is love for her a lessening
of our love for you?
65. Nevertheless, my dear Master, the majority of learned scholars could not be further from devotion
to your Mother, or show more indifference to it even if all I have just said were true. Keep me from their
way of thinking and acting and let me share your feelings of gratitude, esteem, respect and love for your
holy Mother. I can then love and glorify you all the more, because I will be imitating and following you
66. As though I had said nothing so far to further her honour, grant me now the grace to praise her more
worthily, in spite of all her enemies who are also yours. I can then say to them boldly with the saints, “Let
no one presume to expect mercy from God, who offends his holy Mother.”
67. So that I may obtain from your mercy a genuine devotion to your blessed Mother and spread it
throughout the whole world, help me to love you wholeheartedly, and for this intention accept the earnest
prayer I offer with St. Augustine and all who truly love you.
Prayer of Saint Augustine
O Jesus Christ, you are my Father, my merciful God, my great King, my good Shepherd, my only
Master, my best helper, my beloved friend of overwhelming beauty, my living Bread, my eternal priest. You
are my guide to my heavenly home, my one true light, my holy joy, my true way, my shining wisdom, my
unfeigned simplicity, the peace and harmony of my soul, my perfect safeguard, my bounteous inheritance,
my everlasting salvation.
My loving Lord, Jesus Christ, why have I ever loved or desired anything else in my life but you, my
God? Where was I when I was not in communion with you? From now on, I direct all my desires to be
inspired by you and centred on you. I direct them to press forward for they have tarried long enough, to
hasten towards their goal, to seek the one they yearn for.
O Jesus, let him who does not love you be accursed, and filled with bitterness. O gentle Jesus, let
every worthy feeling of mine show you love, take delight in you and admire you. O God of my heart and my
inheritance, Christ Jesus, may my heart mellow before the influence of your spirit and may you live in me.
May the flame of your love burn in my soul. May it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart. May it glow in
my innermost being. May it spread its heat into the hidden recesses of my soul and on the day of my
consummation may I appear before you consumed in your love. Amen.
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