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.
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 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.