Total Consecration: Day 30 – St. Louis Marie de Montfort – Daily Reflection

May 7, 2019

What is Total Consecration?

Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary is a 33-day course that builds on True Devotion to Mary according to St. Louis Marie de Montfort. It’s an amazing way to grow deeper in your faith and draw closer to Jesus through Mary. Each of the 33 days includes a short video, some written reflections, and prayer time. Join us!

Part IV: Knowledge of Jesus, Day 4

We are now on the fourth day of Part IV, Knowledge of Jesus. We begin today by reflecting on one of the most striking events in the life of Our Lord, the Crucifixion of Jesus. Last time we talked about the mysteries of the Rosary, our simple way of knowing Our Lord. This time we are going to see with the eyes of faith what is being displayed in the Crucifixion. The human nature of Christ is clear for He suffered shame, rejection, humiliation, abandonment, pain–both physical and spiritual, and all the sufferings we could imagine; everything Our Lord endured until the moment He breathed His last.

In the Crucifixion, God’s infinite goodness, love, and mercy, unknown to many people present there was also exhibited. From the letter to the Romans, it says, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). There is a great need for the Son of man to suffer and to die for our sins for no human being can fully pay back to God so grave an offense committed against Him. The Catechism says, “Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death,” so that by sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of fallen humanity, on account of sin, God, “made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (CCC # 602).

St. Thomas Aquinas says, “It is a remedy, for, in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the passion of Christ”. The crucifixion also gives a sublime lesson of Christ’s virtues. It is on the cross that our Savior exemplifies every virtue that everyone should practice, especially when we call ourselves Christians. Think for example, the love of God, He laid down His life on the cross for us and called us friends. It’s a mystery of God’s love for the Catechism says, “sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the suffering that the divine Redeemer endured,” (CCC # 598) and yet He calls us His friends. Now, let’s talk about patience, if we want to seek and learn patience, look on Christ crucified, and we will find no better example than Our Lord on the Cross. St Thomas Aquinas says, “Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid.”

Our Lord endured all the horrible torments on the cross, and He did it so patiently that when He suffered He did not threaten those people who caused Him to suffer, to the contrary, He prayed for their forgiveness, telling His Father that they do not know what they do. Therefore, Christ’s patience on the cross was so great. If we want to learn the virtue and seek an example of humility, look upon Our Lord Crucified. To die between two criminals, on the Cross is the most humiliating death. From the book of Deuteronomy, it is written, “For a hanged man is accursed by God.” Also, the letter to the Galatians says, “Cursed be anyone who hangs on the tree”(Gal. 3:13). In His humility, He allowed himself to be judged by Pilate and to die crucified. Now, If you seek an example of obedience, follow Him who became obedient to the Father, obedient to Mary Most Holy, St. Joseph, and even to His enemies. He was obedient to carry His cross and to stretch out His hands to be crucified. If you seek an example of despising earthly things, follow Him who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Upon the cross, He was stripped, mocked, spat upon, struck, crowned with thorns, and given only vinegar and gall to drink. We must gaze upon Jesus crucified, so that we will learn straight from the Divine Master His virtues and the acts of the Sacred Heart.

Readings and Prayers for Day 30 of 33

Spiritual Exercises: Acts of love of God, Thanksgiving for the blessings of Jesus, contrition and resolution

Matthew 27: 36-44 & Imitation: Book 2, chapter 12

Matthew 27: 36-44

The Crucifixion.
36 then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
37 And over his head, they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”
38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads
40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now if he desires him; for he said, `I am the Son of God.'”
44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Imitation: Book 2, chapter 12

The Royal Road of the Holy Cross
To many the saying, “Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me,”20 seems hard, but it will be much harder to hear that final word: “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.”21 Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the day of judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the Crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge.

Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.

Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself opened the way before you in carrying His cross, and upon it He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.

Behold, in the cross is everything, and upon your dying on the cross everything depends. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace than the way of the holy cross and daily mortification. Go where you will, seek what you will, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the holy cross. Arrange and order everything to suit your will and judgment, and still you will find that some suffering must always be borne, willingly or unwillingly, and thus you will always find the cross.

Either you will experience bodily pain or you will undergo tribulation of spirit in your soul. At times you will be forsaken by God, at times troubled by those about you and, what is worse, you will often grow weary of yourself. You cannot escape, you cannot be relieved by any remedy or comfort but must bear with it as long as God wills. For He wishes you to learn to bear trial without consolation, to submit yourself wholly to Him that you may become more humble through suffering. No one understands the passion of Christ so thoroughly or heartily as the man whose lot it is to suffer the like himself.

The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will–above, below, without, or within–you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.

If you carry the cross willingly, it will carry and lead you to the desired goal where indeed there shall be no more suffering, but here there shall be. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you cast away one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one. Do you expect to escape what no mortal man can ever avoid? Which of the saints was without a cross or trial on this earth? Not even Jesus Christ, our Lord, Whose every hour on earth knew the pain of His passion. “It behooveth Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, . . . and so enter into his glory.”22 How is it that you look for another way than this, the royal way of the holy cross?

The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom, and do you seek rest and enjoyment for yourself? You deceive yourself, you are mistaken if you seek anything but to suffer, for this mortal life is full of miseries and marked with crosses on all sides. Indeed, the more spiritual progress a person makes, so much heavier will he frequently find the cross, because as his love increases, the pain of his exile also increases.

Yet such a man, though afflicted in many ways, is not without hope of consolation, because he knows that great reward is coming to him for bearing his cross. And when he carries it willingly, every pang of tribulation is changed into hope of solace from God. Besides, the more the flesh is distressed by affliction, so much the more is the spirit strengthened by inward grace. Not infrequently a man is so strengthened by his love of trials and hardship in his desire to conform to the cross of Christ, that he does not wish to be without sorrow or pain, since he believes he will be the more acceptable to God if he is able to endure more and more grievous things for His sake.

It is the grace of Christ, and not the virtue of man, which can and does bring it about that through fervor of spirit frail flesh learns to love and to gain what it naturally hates and shuns.

To carry the cross, to love the cross, to chastise the body and bring it to subjection, to flee honors, to endure contempt gladly, to despise self and wish to be despised, to suffer any adversity and loss, to desire no prosperous days on earth–this is not man’s way. If you rely upon yourself, you can do none of these things, but if you trust in the Lord, strength will be given you from heaven and the world and the flesh will be made subject to your word. You will not even fear your enemy, the devil, if you are armed with faith and signed with the cross of Christ.

Set yourself, then, like a good and faithful servant of Christ, to bear bravely the cross of your Lord, Who out of love was crucified for you. Be ready to suffer many adversities and many kinds of trouble in this miserable life, for troublesome and miserable life will always be, no matter where you are; and so you will find it wherever you may hide. Thus it must be; and there is no way to evade the trials and sorrows of life but to bear them.

Drink the chalice of the Lord with affection it you wish to be His friend and to have part with Him. Leave consolation to God; let Him do as most pleases Him. On your part, be ready to bear sufferings and consider them the greatest consolation, for even though you alone were to undergo them all, the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.

When you shall have come to the point where suffering is sweet and acceptable for the sake of Christ, then consider yourself fortunate, for you have found paradise on earth. But as long as suffering irks you and you seek to escape, so long will you be unfortunate, and the tribulation you seek to evade will follow you everywhere. If you put your mind to the things you ought to consider, that is, to suffering and death, you would soon be in a better state and would find peace.

Although you were taken to the third heaven with Paul, you were not thereby insured against suffering. Jesus said: “I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”23 To suffer, then, remains your lot, if you mean to love Jesus and serve Him forever.

If you were but worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus, what great glory would be in store for you, what great joy to all the saints of God, what great edification to those about you! For all men praise patience though there are few who wish to practice it.

With good reason, then, ought you to be willing to suffer a little for Christ since many suffer much more for the world.

Realize that you must lead a dying life; the more a man dies to himself, the more he begins to live unto God.

No man is fit to enjoy heaven unless he has resigned himself to suffer hardship for Christ. Nothing is more acceptable to God, nothing more helpful for you on this earth than to suffer willingly for Christ. If you had to make a choice, you ought to wish rather to suffer for Christ than to enjoy many consolations, for thus you would be more like Christ and more like all the saints. Our merit and progress consist not in many pleasures and comforts but rather in enduring great afflictions and sufferings.

If, indeed, there were anything better or more useful for man’s salvation than suffering, Christ would have shown it by word and example. But He clearly exhorts the disciples who follow Him and all who wish to follow Him to carry the cross, saying: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”24

When, therefore, we have read and searched all that has been written, let this be the final conclusion–that through much suffering we must enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Splendor of the Father,
Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light,
Jesus, King of Glory,
Jesus, Sun of Justice,
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary,
Jesus, most amiable,
Jesus, most admirable,
Jesus, the mighty God,
Jesus, Father of the world to come,
Jesus, Angel of great counsel,
Jesus, most powerful,
Jesus, most patient,
Jesus, most obedient,
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Jesus, Lover of Chastity,
Jesus, our Lover,
Jesus, God of Peace,
Jesus, Author of Life,
Jesus, Model of Virtues,
Jesus, zealous for souls,
Jesus, our God,
Jesus, our Refuge,
Jesus, Father of the Poor,
Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful,
Jesus, good Shepherd,
Jesus, true Light,
Jesus, eternal Wisdom,
Jesus, infinite Goodness,
Jesus, our Way and our Life,
Jesus, joy of the Angels,
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs,
Jesus, Master of the Apostles,
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists,
Jesus, Strength of Martyrs,
Jesus, Light of Confessors,
Jesus, Purity of Virgins,
Jesus, Crown of all Saints,

Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!

From all evil, R. Jesus deliver us.
From all sin,
From Thy wrath,
From the snares of the devil,
From the spirit of fornication,
From everlasting death,
From the neglect of Thine inspirations,
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
Through Thine Nativity,
Through Thy Infancy,
Through Thy most Divine Life,
Through your Labors,
Through Thine Agony and Passion,
Through Thine Cross and Dereliction,
Through Thine Sufferings,
Through Thy Death and Burial,
Through Thine Resurrection,
Through Thine Ascension,
Through Thine Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist,
Through Thy Joys,
Through Thy Glory,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
R. Have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou has said, “Ask and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the grace of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart, and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Give us, O Lord, a perpetual fear and love of Thy Holy Name; for Thou never failest to govern those whom Thou solidly establish in Thy love. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Prayer to Jesus
O most loving Jesus, deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before Thee, for the grace Thou hast bestowed upon me in giving me to Thy holy Mother through the devotion of Holy Bondage, that she may be my advocate in the presence of Thy majesty and my support in my extreme misery. Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother I should be certainly lost. Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Thy side and everywhere that she may appease Thy just wrath, because I have so often offended Thee; that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Thy justice, which I deserve; that she may contemplate Thee, speak to Thee, pray to Thee, approach Thee and please Thee; that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others; in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Thy holy will and seek Thy greater glory in all things. Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world the mercy that Thou hast shown to me! Would that everyone might know I should be already damned, were it not for Mary! Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing! Mary is in me. Oh, what a treasure! Oh, what a consolation! And shall I not be entirely hers? Oh, what ingratitude! My dear Savior, send me death rather than such a calamity, for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary. With St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her a thousand times for my own and as many times have given myself to her; but if I have not yet done it as Thou, dear Jesus, dost wish, I now renew this offering as Thou dost desire me to renew it. And if Thou seest in my soul or my body anything that does not belong to this august princess, I pray Thee to take it and cast it far from me, for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of Thee.

O Holy Spirit, grant me all these graces. Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life, which is Mary; cultivate it and tend it so that it may grow and blossom and bring forth the fruit of life in abundance. O Holy Spirit, give me great devotion to Mary, Thy faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her Thou mayest truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen.

O Jesus living in Mary
O Jesus living in Mary,
come and live in Thy servants.
In the spirit of Thy holiness,
in the fullness of Thy might,
in the truth of Thy virtues,
in the perfection of Thy ways,
in the communion of Thy mysteries.
Subdue every hostile power in Thy spirit,
for the glory of the Father. Amen

Litany of the Holy Ghost

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Father all powerful, have mercy on us
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us

Holy Ghost, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Ghost, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.

Promise of God the Father, R. have mercy on us
Ray of heavenly light,
Author of all good,
Source of heavenly water,
Consuming fire,
Ardent charity,
Spiritual unction,
Spirit of love and truth,
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
Spirit of counsel and fortitude,
Spirit of knowledge and piety,
Spirit of the fear of the Lord,
Spirit of grace and prayer,
Spirit of peace and meekness,
Spirit of modesty and innocence,
Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier,
Holy Ghost, Who governest the Church,
Gift of God, the Most High,
Spirit Who fillest the universe,
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God,

Holy Ghost, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Ghost, come and renew the face of the earth.
Holy Ghost, shed Thy light in our souls.
Holy Ghost, engrave Thy law in our hearts
Holy Ghost, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.
Holy Ghost, open to us the treasures of Thy graces
Holy Ghost, teach us to pray well.
Holy Ghost, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.
Holy Ghost, lead us in the way of salvation
Holy Ghost, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Ghost, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Ghost, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Ghost, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Ghost, be Thou our everlasting reward.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Send us Thy Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.

V. Come, Holy Ghost! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Let Us Pray
Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and
purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us
fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with
Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth forever and
ever. Amen.

Ave Maris Stella

Hail, bright star of ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.

Break the captives’ fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
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,
Joy forevermore.

Through the highest Heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.

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