|Devotion to Our Lady||
YOUR DAILY INSTRUCTIONS
❶ There will only one mystery offered for meditation each day. Do not be afraid to limit yourself to thinking about just one mystery. The Bishop of Leiria and Fatima even suggested that after consulting with Sr. Lucia of Fatima and receiving her approval. Otherwise, with just superficial, 'half-baked', two-minute meditations we risk becoming a "Jack of all trades, but the master of none." When St. Thomas Aquinas was asked how one becomes learned, he replied: "Master one book!" We could say the same for the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. As St. Francis de Sales says, on the subject of meditation, in his book, Introduction to the Devout Life: "If your mind finds sufficient matter, light and fruit wherein to rest in any one consideration, dwell upon it, even as the bee, which hovers over one flower so long as it affords honey. But if you do not find wherewith to feed your mind, after a certain reasonable effort, then go on to another consideration."
❷ Read the meditation at the start of your day and the ponder it frequently throughout the day. You could print it out, or access it from your mobile phone, or if possible, read on your computer more than once a day. Just like rainfall, a steady day-long drizzle irrigates better than a short thunderstorm, although equal amounts of water may fall in each. Let the Holy Ghost take you into the innumerable side-roads that can lead off the main train of thought. The meditation is only meant to spark a fire, the direction it will take after being lit, depends on the direction in which the winds of the Holy Ghost are blowing.
❸ If you are using the meditation as part of your actual daily five-decade Rosary, then divide it up into 5 separate parts. Read a section before reciting each decade. After the reading you could allocate a few moments for deeper reflection and seek possible applications to your life and predicament. If reciting the Rosary in a group, a momentary pause after the reading for brief discussion or comment or input, etc., could be allowed (if it helps, but if it is a distraction or causes friction in some way, then private reflection is the best course).
YOUR DAILY WARNING
An extract from The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort:
“Are you alone, having lost God’s protection? Pray to Mary and say, The Lord is with thee, in a nobler and more intimate way than He is with the saints and the just, because thou art one with Him. He is thy Son and His flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to Him and by your mutual love, for thou art His Mother. And then say to her, ‘The three persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the Blessed Trinity,’ and she will place you once more under the protection and care of God.
“Have you become an outcast and been accursed by God? Then say to Our Lady, ‘Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God’s maledictions into blessings for us.’ She will bless you.”
“Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the living Bread which came down from Heaven, and say to her, ‘Blessed be the fruit of thy womb, whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss to thy virginity, Whom thou didst carry without discomfort and brought forth without pain. Blessed be Jesus Who redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, Who has healed the world of its sickness, Who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to grace, and saved men from damnation!’ Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.”
(St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, §57).
SCRIPTURAL ROSARY VERSES
Some prefer to pray each decade using Holy Scripture, whereby a verse pertaining to the mystery being prayed, is inserted before each Hail Mary. This helps to focus the mind on the mystery. Below, you will find 10 verses from Holy Scripture that you can insert before each Hail Mary.
1. ”Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life” (Apocalypse 2:10).
2. ”When the Prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).
3. ”Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Apocalypse 3:11).
4. ”Thou shalt put her on as a robe of glory, and thou shalt set her upon thee as a crown of joy”(Ecclesiasticus 6:32).
5. ”God will clothe thee with the double garment of justice, and will set a crown on thy head of everlasting honor” (Baruch 5:2).
6. ”Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God”(Isaias 62:3).
7. ”That thou mayest receive a crown as an ornament of grace” (Ecclesiasticus 32:3).
8. ”And a great sign appeared in Heaven―a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Apocalypse 12:1).
9. ”With the crown set upon her head, to show her beauty to all … for she was exceeding beautiful”(Esther 1:11).
10. ”A jewel upon thy forehead and earrings in thy ears, and a beautiful crown upon thy head” (Ezechiel 16:12).
VERSES TO BE SAID DURING THE HAIL MARY, AFTER THE WORDS "Blessed is the Fruit of
thy womb, Jesus..."
1. Receiving His Holy Mother as Queen.
2. Crowning His Holy Mother as Queen of Heaven.
3. Crowning His Holy Mother as Queen of Earth.
4. Granting His Holy Mother power over all angels.
5. Granting His Holy Mother power over all the Earth.
6. Granting His Holy Mother power over all Hell and demons.
7. Granting His Holy Mother His treasury of all graces.
8. Seating His Holy Mother at His right hand.
9. Clothing His Holy Mother with a robe of glory.
10. Giving His Holy Mother the scepter of government.
YOUR DAILY MEDITATION
The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven
"Mary is the Way to Our Crown!"
““Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life”
The Crown of Glory Only For Saints
The road to Heaven is a road that leads us away from sin. It leads us away from worldliness and it leads us to virtue, which is a prerequisite for entrance to Heaven. There is no unrepentant sinner in Heaven; there is no former sinner with unpaid debts in Heaven; nor is there any lukewarm soul in Heaven—for only saints go to Heaven. We were all made to be saints! We were all made to be holy! God is uncompromising on that count. This was the message in the Old Testament and it is still the same message in the New Testament: “I am the Lord your God! Be holy, because I am holy! … You shall be holy, because I am holy!” (Leviticus 11:44-46). These words of God from the Old Testament are maintained in the New Testament, as St. Peter uses those very same words, quoting the Old Testament: “According to Him that hath called you―Who is holy―be you also in all manner of conversation holy: because it is written: ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy!’” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Our Lord says the same thing: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect!”(Matthew 5:48).
The Crown of Glory is Only Won by Battling!
Even though we all desire peace and quiet, our whole life is a battle—whether we like it or not, whether we choose to fight or not. Everyone in this life will end up either a winner or a loser—they will either fight and win the battle of life; fight and lose the battle of life; or refuse to fight and lose the battle of life. This is why the Book of Job warns us: “The life of man upon earth is a warfare!” (Job 7:1) and Our Lord adds: “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away” (Matthew 11:12)—which is why St, Paul enjoins us to “Fight the good fight of Faith! Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called!” (1 Timothy 6:12), encouraging us by his own example: “I have fought a good fight! I have finished my course! I have kept the Faith! As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me!”(2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Your Vocation in Life
St. Louis de Montfort puts it so succinctly when he writes: “God wants you to become holy like Him in this life, and glorious like Him in the next (Matthew 5:48). It is certain that growth in the holiness of God is your vocation. All your thoughts, words, actions, everything you suffer or undertake, must lead you towards that end. Otherwise you are resisting God, in not doing the work for which He created you and for which He is even now keeping you in being. What a marvelous transformation is possible! Dust into light, uncleanness into purity, sinfulness into holiness, creature into Creator, man into God! A marvelous work, I repeat, so difficult in itself, and even impossible for a mere creature to bring about, for only God can accomplish it by giving His grace abundantly and in an extraordinary manner. The very creation of the universe is not as great an achievement as this” (St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary).
Who Then Can Be Saved?
Most of us fail to see ourselves as saints—it is more of a “Hollywood spirituality”, a dreamland, a bout of mere wishful thinking, tempered by what we think is reality, telling us that it will never happen! We might be tempted to wonder with the Apostles as to possibility of being saved: “Then Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. And when they had heard this, the disciples wondered very much, saying: ‘Who then can be saved?’ And Jesus beholding, said to them: ‘With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible!’” (Matthew 19:23-26).
Take The Means!
St. Louis de Montfort, after pointing out our goal in life, then points out the means: “Chosen soul, how will you bring this about? What steps will you take to reach the high level to which God is calling you? The means of holiness and salvation are known to everybody, since they are found in the Gospel; the masters of the spiritual life have explained them; the saints have practiced them and shown how essential they are for those who wish to be saved and attain perfection. These means are: sincere humility, unceasing prayer, complete self-denial, abandonment to divine Providence, and obedience to the will of God.
“The grace and help of God are absolutely necessary for us to practice all these, but we are sure that grace will be given to all, though not in the same measure. I say ‘not in the same measure,’ because God does not give His graces in equal measure to everyone (Romans 12:6), although in His infinite goodness He always gives sufficient grace to each. A person who corresponds to great graces performs great works, and one who corresponds to lesser graces performs lesser works. The value and high standard of our actions corresponds to the value and perfection of the grace given by God and responded to by the faithful soul. No one can contest these principles” (St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary).
To Find the Grace of God, We Must Discover Mary
St. Louis then develops the idea why Mary is so essential for our path to holiness and Heaven: ”It all comes to this, then. We must discover a simple means to obtain from God the grace needed to become holy. It is precisely this I wish to teach you. My contention is that you must first discover Mary if you would obtain this grace from God. I explain:
(1) Mary alone found grace with God for herself and for every individual person (Luke 1:30). No patriarch nor prophet nor any other holy person of the Old Law could manage to find this grace;
(2) It was Mary who gave existence and life to the author of all grace and, because of this, she is called the “Mother of Grace.”
(3) God the Father, from Whom, as from its essential source, every perfect gift and every grace come down to us (James 1:17), gave her every grace when He gave her His Son. Thus, as St. Bernard says, the will of God is manifested to her in Jesus and with Jesus.
(4) God chose her to be the treasurer, the administrator and the dispenser of all His graces, so that all His graces and gifts pass through her hands. Such is the power that she has received from Him that, according to St. Bernardine, she gives the graces of the eternal Father, the virtues of Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost to whom she wills, as and when she wills, and as much as she wills.
(5) As in the natural life a child must have a father and a mother, so in the supernatural life of grace a true child of the Church must have God for his Father and Mary for his mother. If he prides himself on having God for his Father, but does not give Mary the tender affection of a true child, he is an imposter and his father is the devil.
(6) Since Mary produced the head of the elect, Jesus Christ, she must also produce the members of that head, that is, all true Christians. A mother does not conceive a head without members, nor members without a head. If anyone, then, wishes to become a member of Jesus Christ, and consequently be filled with grace and truth, (John 1:14), he must be formed in Mary through the grace of Jesus Christ, which she possesses with a fullness enabling her to communicate it abundantly to true members of Jesus Christ, her true children.
(7) The Holy Ghost espoused Mary and produced His greatest work, the incarnate Word, in her, by her and through her. He has never disowned her and so He continues to produce every day, in a mysterious but very real manner, the souls of the elect in her and through her.
(8) Mary received, from God, a unique dominion over souls, enabling her to nourish them and make them more and more godlike. St. Augustine went so far as to say that, even in this world, all the elect are enclosed in the womb of Mary, and that their real birthday is when this good mother brings them forth to eternal life. Consequently, just as an infant draws all its nourishment from its mother, who gives according to its needs, so the elect draw all their spiritual nourishment and all their strength from Mary. (St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary).
The Devil Wants Us To Lay Down Arms!
Preferably, if at all possible, the devil would prefer that we surrender our weapons, cease fighting, and plunge ourselves unreservedly into the world of which he is the prince. He wants to neutralize our spiritual powers, weaken our will, cloud our mind, and inflame our passions. For the most part, he is very successful—since most souls are lost, rather than saved. Most end up with an eternal crown of shame, rather than an eternal crown of glory. Yet God does make the fight impossible for anyone—everyone can be saved, IF they take and use the means that God has offered for that salvation.
Why The Devils Want Us To Neglect Mary
Of all things that the devil fears, in his battle for our souls, it is the fear of Mary that plagues him the most. St. Louis de Montfort speaks of this on many occasions. Here are just a few quotes that illustrate this.
“The very devils in Hell respect her while they fear her” (True Devotion to Mary §9) … ”it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin; while on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her … Even the devil and his crew, constrained by the force of truth, have often been obliged to avow it in spite of themselves” (True Devotion to Mary §40-§41) … ”Mary must be terrible to the devil and his crew, as an army ranged in battle, principally in these latter times,16 because the devil, knowing that 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” (True Devotion to Mary §50).
“God has not only set an enmity, but enmities, not simply between Mary and the devil, but between the race of the holy Virgin and the race of the devil; that is to say, God has set enmities, antipathies and secret hatreds between the true children and servants of Mary and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love for each other. They have no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world (for it is the same thing) have always up to this time persecuted those who belong to our Blessed Lady, and will in the future persecute them more than ever; just as Cain, of old, persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob, who are the figures of the reprobate and the predestined. But the humble Mary will always have the victory over that proud spirit, and so great a victory that she will go so far as to crush his head, where his pride dwells. She will always discover the malice of the serpent. She will always lay bare his infernal plots and dissipate his diabolical councils, and even to the end of time will guard her faithful servants from his cruel claw” (True Devotion to Mary §54).
“But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel: that is to say, her humble slaves and her poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem, and abased before all like the heel, trodden underfoot and persecuted as the heel is by the other members of the body. But in return for this they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall be great and exalted before God in sanctity, superior to all other creatures by their lively zeal, and so well sustained with God’s assistance that, with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil and cause Jesus Christ to triumph” (True Devotion to Mary §54).
Cling To Mary to Win Your Crown
In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates the astounding confession made by devils during an exorcism by St. Dominic. Here is what they were forced to reluctantly admit:
“This Mother of Jesus is most powerful in saving her servants from falling into Hell. She is like the sun which destroys the darkness of our wiles and subtlety. It is she who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares, and makes our temptations useless and ineffective.
“We have to say, however, reluctantly, that no soul who has really persevered in her service has ever been damned with us; one single sigh that she offers to the Blessed Trinity is worth far more than all the prayers, desires, and aspirations of all the saints. We fear her more than all the other saints in Heaven together, and we have no success with her faithful servants.
“Many Christians who call on her at the hour of death and who really ought to be damned according to our ordinary standards are saved by her intercession. And if that Marietta (it is thus in their fury they called her) did not counter our plans and our efforts, we should have overcome the Church and destroyed it long before this, and caused all the Orders in the Church to fall into error and infidelity.
“Now that we are forced to speak, we must also tell you that nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because she obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins by which they obtain pardon and mercy” (St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, “Thirty-Third Rose”).