WEEK 2: Contemplate the Our Father as we take St. Maximilian Kolbe as our guide.
Resolve to pray a complete set of mysteries of the Rosary every day – as an act of love to God and in fulfillment of Mary’s requests to us.
Start by contemplating the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary – see day 8 for instructions/ guidance on how to fit this into your day.
Also, pray and contemplate the 1st Luminous Mystery – the Baptism of our Lord.
In the video, we contemplate not only the Baptism of Jesus, but also how to LIVE
fully our Baptisms, which is as an integral part of
this Call to Consecration.
In it, we also look at St. Peter to find encouragement in his
week we are asked to ponder the Our Father Prayer and the Mystery of the Father who loves us so deeply. (I shared Psalm 139 and St. Patrick’s Breastplate with those who came to the class last night to help us enter into this great love).
While contemplating this, it is providential that today we also are asked to consider the Baptism of Jesus, for God reveals Himself as Father reveals there. In fact, this is the first time in Scripture we are made aware that God is Trinity – He is three persons in one God –
Comprised of the Father – Who loves us so much that He sent His only Son and His Holy Spirit – not only to save us, but to fill our souls with His Divine Life (most especially at our Baptisms)!
Furthermore, it is providential that we are considering the Baptism of Jesus at the same time we take St. Maximilian Kolbe as our guide to help us ponder Mary, who was made Immaculate at her conception. For, while the Holy Trinity gave Mary this untold and unfathomable grace at her conception, we also must be aware that we, too, have been made immaculate in our Baptisms.
Not to the same extent – but, still it is the same gift – given to each to the extent that God wills.
For, while Mary is made Immaculate to the supreme extent – as she was not only freed from sin and death but also freed from all the effects of sin as well – in our Baptisms we are made immaculate to the extent that we are freed from sin, but still have the tendency toward sin through concupiscence.
At our baptisms we are given a foretaste of this supreme freedom from sin and its effects that Mary has been given. It is a foretaste because someday we will experience this fully in heaven.
Yet, we don’t have to wait for heaven to begin living this reality – because to the extent we enter into this Consecration, (to the extent that we die to ourselves to live in Mary and thus, LIVE the grace of our Baptism), is the same extent that we will be able to be filled with God’s Divine Love and Life here and now … and being so filled, the less will sin and its effects be able to rule us.
To begin to live this freedom, it is fitting, therefore, for us to renew and ratify the vows of our Baptism and to renounce sin and satan (these vows were often made by others who stood in our place in our infancy). Doing this is at the heart of St. Louis’ consecration prayer:
I, N_____, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever
Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross
after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all
the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy
slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past,
present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without
exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.
In Baptism, so many graces pour over and infuse our souls that we literally become a new creation – entirely recreated as a child of God through the infinite grace of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection! As we renew and ratify our baptism, we are called upon to personally choose to renounce sin and satan, his pomps and works – the lies which he weaves to entice us and convince us that sin is desirable – the very things that Jesus suffered and died so horribly to free us from. We renounce our enslavement of sin and satan and freely choose to love God wholeheartedly as He commands:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.
Take to heart these words which I command you today.
Keep repeating them to your
children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when
you lie down and when you get up. Bind them on your arm as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6: 4-7
I fell in love with the Sacrament of Baptism when I was asked to teach about it. I am convinced that as you find out more about it that it will enthrall you and inspire you too. It is such an inestimable, precious, divine gift! When we recognize it as such, and contemplate the price that was paid for us to be given such a gift, it compels us to want to renew and ratify the vows of it each day – to say “Yes! I want to live fully this unfathomable Divine life I’ve been given!!!”
It would be a wonderful thing when you have the time to spend time reading about the extraordinary gifts of our Baptisms that can be found in the Catechism.
In the meantime, here are some of the amazing gifts and effects of Baptism – with and in which we have been filled and transformed and made new!!!
May pondering them be a grace for you!
Grace (Divine supernatural life we were given)
unique – only you can fulfill
of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
to rise with Him
baptized you cannot enter my Kingdom
to live with Him
into Christ –
with Indelible Spiritual Mark sin cannot erase
1. Skim through the accompanying pictures and words below that highlight the extraordinary wisdom of St. Maximilian and St. Louis. Read them more thoroughly as the Holy Spirit inspires you and as time allows and when it is possible.
2. Continue to choose to enter more deeply into the daily prayer program (below) at least in this way:
Ponder and pray the Our Father today and the entire Joyful Mysteries as well as the 1st Luminous Mystery – while praying for the grace to listen, to hear and respond to God as Mary does.
also for the grace to surrender whatever is keeping me from responding
fully – in and through and with Mary’s love and help.
Daily Prayer Program for these 33 Days:
is important to make a commitment to strive to pray more deeply, more
intensely and with more of your heart during these days of preparation.
Here are some guidelines and suggestions for how to live these days.
Pray about how you can grow in each of these areas listed below and
while living out this prayer program it is especially important to
• To Jelena: “I’m going to reveal a spiritual secret to you:
if you want to be stronger than evil, make yourself a plan of personal
prayer. Take a certain time in the morning, read a text from Holy
Scripture, anchor the Divine word in your heart, and strive to live it
during the day, particularly during the moment of trials. In this way,
you will be stronger than evil.” (Our Lady of Medjugorje, April 19,
• St. Louis de Montfort – Mary will form the greatest saints
who ever lived – easiest shortest most sure way to sanctity
PART 2: The Militia Immaculata Begins in Sickness and Failure: Day 2 in the
Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Maximilian Kolbe
we read yesterday, as the young Maximilian saw the Freemasons
celebrating their 200th Anniversary by parading throughout Rome, he
understood “the destructive effects of atheistic secularism” that it
represented. He saw, already in 1917, “the spreading of dangerous
religious indifferentism and various antireligious theories, as well as
of the subtle decline of morality. He suffer[ed] in witnessing a certain
quietism [a failure to act – passivity] among Catholics, despite the
persecution [of] the Church … and the popes’ unrelenting appeals to
live out the missionary dimension of the Christian calling.”
response, because he “knows that Jesus is the Lord of history, the
Prince of peace. He understands that the Immaculate Virgin is the new
Woman, called by Jesus Himself to be the model, guide and Mother of
grace for all men of every time and place…”
So it is precising in and through Jesus and becoming like him in every way – even to beholding Mary as our mother, that evil will be defeated within us and in the world.
Thus, the Militia Immaculata, the vast army of souls of souls completely conformed to Christ – is envisioned and formed.
Yet, again, just as with Christ, victory only comes through the Cross…
and so it was with Maximilian and the Militia Immaculata.
as he was beginning his priestly life, he developed tuberculosis and
was hospitalized for months. This is how he wrote of this time:
When everything seems to fail…
more than a year … the MI made no progress. In fact, all kinds of
setbacks piled up, to the point that members were uncomfortable even
mentioning it among themselves. One of them even tried to convince the
others that the MI was something useless.“It
was then that, with wonderful signs of election, the Immaculata
summoned to her side Fr. Antoni Głowiński, and ten days later, Br.
Antonio Mansi, both victims of the Spanish flu. As for me, the condition
of my lungs got worse: every time I coughed, I spat blood. That is when
it all started to change. Having been excused from school, I took the
opportunity to copy out the ‘Program of MI’ and gave it to the Most Rev.
Fr. General, in order to obtain his blessing in writing. ‘If there were
at least 12 of you…,’ said the Most Rev. Fr. General. He wrote his
blessing and voiced his desire (I believe on that very occasion) that
the MI should be propagated among our youth. Membership started to
increase, and has increased more and more ever since.” (KW1278)
Maximilian himself continued to recall the first steps of the Movement
that later would spread rapidly throughout Poland and in other nations.
But now he speaks of the time of gestation, the time during which the
grain of wheat has to die in order to become a full kernel and
eventually bread (cf. Jn 12:12-26). Maximilian helps us to recognize the
Gospel logic at work. For more than one year the MI had not seen any
progress, while difficulties and setbacks attempted to extinguish
enthusiasm. Everything seemed to fail. The death of two of the young
co-founders and the worsening of Maximilian’s TB, however, marked the
beginning of change.
MI began to flourish precisely thanks to this paschal journey of
suffering and death, which gave rise to an increasingly numerous
response from people who chose to embrace its ideal of total dedication
to Our Lady as instruments of love in her immaculate hands…
“Nothing great comes without pain in God’s works. And
could there ever be too great a sacrifice, when it comes to the
Immaculata? We are consecrated to her not only in theory, but actually,
and in practice. And until we grow tired in our fight to conquer the
world for the Immaculata, suffering will not cease to come upon us. And
the more strenuously we struggle, the heavier and more numerous will be
the suffering that befalls us. But only until our death. Then there will
be the resurrection. And even if (but that is impossible) the
Immaculata were to give us no reward for this, yet we would still
consecrate ourselves to her with fervor and enthusiasm throughout our
entire lives. For we do not consecrate ourselves in view of a reward,
but solely for her.”(KW 631).”
is with this supernatural perspective and in the power of the Holy
Spirit, that we pray and ponder Mary’s role within the plan of the Most Holy Trinity
in order to understand more fully how our consecration to her is
ordered to lead us into ever deeper union with God as Trinity – Father,
Son and Holy Spirit:
to Mary has the Trinity as its goal and as its ultimate reference,
because the whole Christian life is related to the Trinity. Mary herself
is entirely related to the Trinity: “She is the Mother of the Son of God, beloved daughter of the Father, the Temple of the Holy Spirit” (LG53).
Maximilian cared very much about the Trinitarian dimension of
consecration to Mary, because everything that happened to Mary is a work
of the Holy Trinity. Mary lived a unique experience of the action of
the Most Holy Trinity in her life at the moment of the Annunciation:
One and Triune God looked upon the low estate of his handmaiden and ‘He
who is mighty’ works in her ‘great things’. God the Father entrusts to
her, as a son, His own Son, God the Son enters into her womb, while the
Holy Spirit molds the Body of Christ in the womb of the most pure
Virgin. ‘And the Word was made flesh’ (Jn 1:14). The Immaculata becomes
Mother of God. Christ, God-Man, is the fruit of the love of the One and
Triune God and of Mary Immaculate”(KW1295).
It is important to
understand that, in the light of Father Kolbe’s considerations, the
profound relationship between Mary and the Trinity is the reason why our
consecration to her implies to begin an itinerary that leads us to the
encounter with the Most Holy Trinity.
Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit and in her life she was always docile to the action of the Spirit. Consecration
/ entrustment to Mary, therefore, becomes trusting in the divine
Presence. In the Holy Spirit Mary takes care of me, of us, the world. My
life and that of the world are in good hands. In the hands of the
Spirit, first of all, and of this Mother, who exercises her motherhood
by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who associates Mary to Himself in
the work of sanctification of men. The “motherhood in the order of grace”
(LG61) that Mary exercises in the Church is in the Holy Spirit. Even
today, like that day at the foot of the Cross, we receive the gift of
this motherhood thanks to the Holy Spirit…
Mary, for her part, from
the moment of the Annunciation, was always docile to the action of the
Spirit. St. Luke emphasizes a usual attitude of Mary who “treasured all these things in her heart…”(Lk 2:19, 51). Mary accomplished it in the Holy Spirit, in Whom the Word is alive. The
first attitude in living out our consecration to Mary is precisely to
listen to the Word in total availability, trust, surrender to the
“Let yourself be led … by the Holy Spirit. Let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit through the Immaculata” (KW987
C), as St. Maximilian reminded himself, in a text that speaks of
consecration to Mary as surrender into the hands of Mary and docility to
the work that the Spirit accomplishes in us through her.
Mary is the beloved daughter of the Father, as
it was written in the text of the Second Vatican Council. We see in her
the fully realized plan of God for His creatures: “Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… He has chosen us in Him before
the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame
before Him in love, having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to Himself,”as Paul writes in the epistle to
the Ephesians (1:3-5). In this sense, Mary
is the beloved daughter of the Father, because He accomplished first of
all in her the dream that He had for all of us, making her holy and
immaculate in love. Contemplating this mystery St. Maximilian wrote that: “The
Immaculata is … the ultimate limit between God and creation. She is a
faithful image of God’s perfection, of His sanctity”(KW1232).
Mary’s life is under the sign of the gratuitous love of the Father from
the beginning of her existence. Mary feels all its intensity when with
grateful astonishment and singing to her God she exclaims: “He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant” (Lk
1:48). This ocean of love that inundates her from the first instant of
her conception, becomes a river of love that grows in the following of
her own Son, and which will reach its climax under the Cross. There, at
the foot of the Cross and conformed to her Son in love (Phil 2:5), she
received every man for whom He offered Himself and whom He was asking
her to embrace as a child.
From this attitude of love and acceptance
of Mary’s motherhood, arises another fundamental attitude in living our
consecration to the Immaculata: love. It is love that conforms us, as it
did her, to her Son.
With Our Gaze Fixed on Christ
is especially the Mother of God, and then in this
entrustment/consecration to her the relationship with Christ is
essential. We already saw it in the previous reflection, but now we come
back to it, because it is very important. The goal of consecration to
Mary is the growth in the faith in Christ the Lord.
Mary is entirely
relative to Christ. The words that Mary said to the servants at Cana,
are the words that she repeats to each of us: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:1-12).
Mary did first what Jesus said. In her life we find the accomplished model of the disciple of the Lord: “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Lk
8:21). Jesus points to the life of Mary as a life fully conformed to
His Word. Mary, for this intimate union with the entire life of the Son,
in obedience to the will of the Father, invites us to turn our gaze to
Him. She reminds us that He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6). That “Do whatever He tells you”
is her own sharing of a life experience that takes place in the service
of love for Christ; of a life that finds its sense in conformity to Him
and that experiences existentially the union of branch to the vine (Jn
Consecration to Mary
therefore is not just a devotion, an idea, but a path of conformity to
Christ. It means to walk with Mary toward Christ, centering more and
more our life in Him. From that arises a life commitment: the communion
with Christ and the conformity to Him up to the gift of ourselves, as
St. Maximilian did. In him the most challenging words of the Gospel
became reality: love for enemies and, above all, the greatest love: “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13), which is exactly what Jesus did for us on the Cross.
to Mary as taught by St. Maximilian Kolbe is a Christ-centered
experience. It is not centered on Mary, but on Christ, as Paul VI
emphasized in the homily for Fr. Kolbe’s beatification, on October 17,
Kolbe was an apostle of the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, seen in
her first, original privileged splendor, as she defined herself at
Lourdes: the Immaculate Conception. It is impossible to separate the
name, the activity and the mission of Blessed Kolbe from that of Mary
Immaculate. It was he who instituted the Militia of the Immaculata here
in Rome, even before he was ordained a priest, on October 16, 1917.
is well known how the humble and meek Franciscan with incredible
audacity and extraordinary organizational genius developed the
initiative and spread devotion to the Mother of Christ, contemplated as
‘clothed with the sun’ (cf. Rev. 12:1). This devotion was the focal
point of his spirituality, his apostolate and his theology.
no hesitation restrain our admiration and commitment to all that our
new Blessed had left us as a heritage and an example, as if we too were
distrustful of such and exaltation of Mary in view of two other
theological movements, the Christological and ecclesiological, which
seem to compete today with the Mariological. On the contrary, there is
no competition, for in Father Kolbe’s Mariology, Christ holds not only
the first place but the only necessary and sufficient place in the
economy of salvation. His love of the Church and its salvific mission
was never forgotten either in his doctrinal outlook or in his apostolic
aim. On the contrary, it is precisely from our Lady’s complementary,
subordinate role in regard to Christ’s universal, saving design for man
that she derives all of her prerogatives and greatness.
well we know it! And Kolbe, in accord with the whole of Catholic
doctrine, the whole liturgy and the entire theology of the interior
life, sees Mary included in God’s plan of salvation as the ‘term fixed
by eternal counsel,’ as the woman filled with grace, as the Seat of
Wisdom, as the woman destined from eternity to be the Mother of Christ,
as the Queen of the Messianic Kingdom, and at the same time as the
Handmaid of the Lord, chosen to participate in the Redemptive Act as
Mother of the God Man, our Savior. ‘Mary is the one through whose intercession men reach Jesus and the one through whom Jesus reaches men’ (L. Bouver:Le trone de la Sagesse, p. 69).
our Blessed is not to be reproved, nor the Church with him, because of
their enthusiasm for the formal religious veneration of the Mother of
God. This veneration with its rites and practices will never fully
achieve the level it merits, nor the benefits it can bring precisely
because of the mystery that unites her to Christ, and which finds
fascinating documentation in the New Testament. The result will never be
a ‘Mariolatry,’ just as the sun will never be darkened by the moon; nor
will the mission of salvation specifically entrusted to the ministry of
the Church ever be distorted if the latter honors in Mary an
exceptional Daughter and a Spiritual Mother. The characteristic aspect,
if you like, and the original quality of Blessed Kolbe’s devotion, of
his ‘hyperdulia’ to Mary, is the importance he attributes to it with
regard to the present needs of the Church, the efficacy of her prophecy
about the glory of the Lord and the vindication of the humble, the power
of her intercession, the splendor of her exemplariness, the presence of
her maternal charity. The Council confirmed us in these certainties,
and now from heaven Father Kolbe is teaching us and helping us to
meditate upon them and live them. This Marian profile of our new Blessed
places him among the great saints and seers who have understood,
venerated and sung the mystery of Mary.” (Homily by St. Paul VI on the
Beatification of Maximilian Kolbe)”
Come Holy Spirit, living in Mary, help us to prepare well for the Total Consecration.
Maximilian, pray for us and help us live out the wisdom you express.
Especially when we are going through great suffering, help us remember
that “Nothing great comes without pain in God’s works” as your
life so profoundly attests. Be with us and help us understand Mary’s
place in the Holy Trinity’s plan of salvation and give ourselves
entirely and without reserve to Our Blessed Mother, so that she, in
turn, can draw us ever closer to Jesus and make of us great saints! We
ask this in Jesus’s Name, Amen.
PART 3: Day 9 Readings and Prayers for St. Louis de Montfort’s 33 Day of Consecration to Jesus through Mary – An Online Guide
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 9 of 33:
Meditate on Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 13, cont.
what we are. Still, we must watch, especially in the beginning of temptation; for then the enemy is more easily
overcome, if he be not suffered to enter the door of the mind, but is withstood upon the threshold the very moment
he knocks. Whence a certain one has said “Resist beginnings; all too late the cure.” When ills have gathered
strength, by long delay, first there comes from the mind a simple thought; then a strong imagination, afterwards
delight, and the evil motion and consent and so, little by little the fiend does gain entrance, when he is not resisted
in the beginning. The longer anyone has been slothful in resisting, so much the weaker he becomes, daily in
himself, and the enemy, so much the stronger in him. Some suffer grievous temptations in the beginning of their
conversion, others in the end and others are troubled nearly their whole life. Some are very lightly tempted,
according to the wisdom and the equity of the ordinance of God who weighs man’s condition and merits, and pre-
ordaineth all things for the salvation of His elect. We must not, therefore, despair when we are tempted, but the
more fervently pray to God to help us in every tribulation: Who, of a truth, according to the sayings of St. Paul, will
make such issue with the temptation, that we are able to sustain it.
He will save and exalt. In temptation and tribulations, it is proved what progress man has made; and there also is
great merit, and virtue is made more manifest.
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.
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 68-77
68. From what Jesus Christ is in regard to us we must conclude, as St. Paul says, that we belong not to
ourselves but entirely to him as his members and his slaves, for he bought us at an infinite price – the
shedding of his Precious Blood. Before baptism, we belonged to the devil as slaves, but baptism made us in
very truth slaves of Jesus.
We must therefore live, work and die for the sole purpose of bringing forth fruit for him, glorifying
him in our body and letting him reign in our soul. We are his conquest, the people he has won, his heritage.
It is for this reason that the Holy Spirit compares us:
1) to trees that are planted along the waters of
grace in the field of the Church and which must bear their fruit when the time comes;
2) to branches of the
vine of which Jesus is the stem, which must yield good grapes;
3) to a flock of sheep of which Jesus is the
Shepherd, which must increase and give milk;
4) to good soil cultivated by God, where the seed will spread and produce crops up to thirty-fold, sixty-fold, or a hundred-fold. Our Lord cursed the barren fig-tree and
condemned the slothful servant who wasted his talent.
works, which by right belong to him alone, “created in Jesus Christ for good works”. These words of the
Holy Spirit show that Jesus is the sole source and must be the sole end of all our good works, and that we
must serve him not just as paid servants but as slaves of love. Let me explain what I mean.
69. There are two ways of belonging to another person and being subject to his authority. One is by
ordinary service and the other is by slavery. And so we must use the terms “servant” and “slave”. Ordinary
service in Christian countries is when a man is employed to serve another for a certain length of time at a
wage which is fixed or agreed upon. When a man is totally dependent on another for life, and must serve his
master without expecting any wages or recompense, when he is treated just like a beast of the field over
which the owner has the right of life and death, then it is slavery.
70. Now there are three kinds of slavery; natural slavery, enforced slavery, and voluntary slavery. All
creatures are slaves of God in the first sense, for “the earth and its fullness belong to the Lord”. The devils
and the damned are slaves in the second sense. The saints in heaven and the just on earth are slaves in the
third sense. Voluntary slavery is the most perfect of all three states, for by it we give the greatest glory to
God, who looks into the heart and wants it to be given to him. Is he not indeed called the God of the heart or
of the loving will? For by this slavery we freely choose God and his service before all things, even if we
were not by our very nature obliged to do so.
71. There is a world of difference between a servant and a slave.
1) A servant does not give his
employer all he is, all he has, and all he can acquire by himself or through others. A slave, however, gives
himself to his master completely and exclusively with all he has and all he can acquire.
2) A servant
demands wages for the services rendered to his employer. A slave, on the other hand, can expect nothing, no
matter what skill, attention or energy he may have put into his work.
3) A servant can leave his employer
whenever he pleases, or at least when the term of his service expires, whereas the slave has no such right.
An employer has no right of life and death over a servant. Were he to kill him as he would a beast of
burden, he would commit murder. But the master of a slave has by law the right of life and death over him,
so that he can sell him to anyone he chooses or – if you will pardon the comparison – kill him as he would
kill his horse.
5) Finally, a servant is in his employer’s service only for a time; a slave for always.
72. No other human state involves belonging more completely to another than slavery. Among
Christian peoples, nothing makes a person belong more completely to Jesus and his holy Mother than
voluntary slavery. Our Lord himself gave us the example of this when out of love for us he “took the form
of a slave”. Our Lady gave us the same example when she called herself the handmaid or slave of the Lord.
The Apostle considered it an honour to be called “slave of Christ”. Several times in Holy Scripture,
Christians are referred to as “slaves of Christ”.
The Latin word “servus” at one time signified only a slave because servants as we know them did
not exist. Masters were served either by slaves or by freedmen. The Catechism of the Council of Trent
leaves no doubt about our being slaves of Jesus Christ, using the unequivocal term “Mancipia Christi”,
which plainly means: slaves of Christ.
73. Granting this, I say that we must belong to Jesus and serve him not just as hired servants but as
willing slaves who, moved by generous love, commit themselves to his service after the manner of slaves
for the honour of belonging to him. Before we were baptised we were the slaves of the devil, but baptism
made us the slaves of Jesus. Christians can only be slaves of the devil or slaves of Christ.
74. What I say in an absolute sense of our Lord, I say in a relative sense of our Blessed Lady. Jesus, in
choosing her as his inseparable associate in his life, glory and power in heaven and on earth, has given her
by grace in his kingdom all the same rights and privileges that he possesses by nature. “All that belongs to
God by nature belongs to Mary by grace”, say the saints, and, according to them, just as Jesus and Mary
have the same will and the same power, they have also the same subjects, servants and slaves.
become, the loving slaves of our Blessed Lady in order to become more perfect slaves of Jesus. Mary is the
means our Lord chose to come to us and she is also the means we should choose to go to him, for she is not
like other creatures who tend rather to lead us away from God than towards him, if we are over-attached to
them. Mary’s strongest inclination is to unite us to Jesus, her Son, and her Son’s strongest wish is that we
come to him through his Blessed Mother. He is pleased and honoured just as a king would be pleased and
honoured if a citizen, wanting to become a better subject and slave of the king, made himself the slave of
the queen. That is why the Fathers of the Church, and St. Bonaventure after them, assert that the Blessed
Virgin is the way which leads to our Lord.
does she not then have as many subjects and slaves as there are creatures? “All things, including Mary
herself, are subject to the power of God. All things, God included, are subject to the Virgin’s power”, so we
are told by St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine and St. Bonaventure. Is it not reasonable to find that
among so many slaves there should be some slaves of love, who freely choose Mary as their Queen? Should
men and demons have willing slaves, and Mary have none? A king makes it a point of honour that the
queen, his consort, should have her own slaves, over whom she has right of life and death, for honour and
power given to the queen is honour and power given to the king. Could we possibly believe that Jesus, the
best of all sons, who shared his power with his Blessed Mother, would resent her having her own slaves?
Has he less esteem and love for his Mother than Ahasuerus had for Esther, or Solomon for Bathsheba? Who
could say or even think such a thing?
77. But where is my pen leading me? Why am I wasting my time proving something so obvious? If
people are unwilling to call themselves slaves of Mary, what does it matter? Let them become and call
themselves slaves of Jesus Christ, for this is the same as being slaves of Mary, since Jesus is the fruit and
glory of Mary. This is what we do perfectly in the devotion we shall discuss later.
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