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!
First 12 days: Reflection, Day 9
As we have said from our last session, the reading from our manual will continue the subject of temptation. For today’s ninth’s session, we will begin with this beautiful analogy; fire tries iron, and temptation a just man. Man is superior to any created things in this world, for he was created in the image and likeness of God, endowed with reason and has immortal soul destined for all eternity to be with God. That’s awesome! Iron, on the other hand, is superior when we speak of its strength and it can be formed according to its purpose without diminishing its strength. Iron has its strength and so with man, but man’s strength is different because its strength depends not of itself but in God.
This is very straightforward teaching from Imitation of Christ of renouncing the spirit of the world. We are given today the idea of how temptation works in us. It always begins in the mind with some simple thoughts, and then slowly entering the door of our imagination which somehow develops and produces delight. Little by little, it establishes dominion over our mind, and slowly removing from us the idea of guilt and shame and put it in Satan’s files. These files are very important for him because at the end of our life he will open these files and unload back to us all the shame and guilt causing us to despair.
During the Devils’ temptation, he also creates doubt in our minds making us desire to become like gods without God, creating doubt as to whether not, God’s divine laws provide true happiness for man and even creating doubt of God’s love for us. These are the works of Satan that we must renounce. If the soul listens to these diabolical insinuations it is lost. But there is still time to withdraw and renounce because the will has not given its consent, but if the soul does not terminate and renounce this tempter, it is in the proximate danger of falling. Its forces are gradually weakened and the sin presents itself more desirable. We see how important it is to practice the renouncement of the spirit of the world. We must also be vigilant most especially at the beginning of every temptation. When it happens we must divert our attention immediately toward good from this diabolical traps. Vigilance and prayer are so important, Our Lord says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” [Matt. 26:41]. By means of prayer, we will obtain from God through Our Lady the graces necessary to resist temptations and to be victorious over temptations. But Careful vigilance and the most earnest efforts would be totally not effective without the help of God’s grace. With God’s grace and with Our Lady victory is infallible.
So, let us renounce the spirit of the world, by not being slothful in resisting temptations because by doing so, it makes us weak and the enemy, even more, stronger than we are. Remember sloth is one of the seven capital sins.
God in His infinite wisdom and goodness knows our capacity. He will not give us temptations that we can not overcome, or crosses unbearably to carry. There is obviously a purpose why the Divine Master allows us to be tested in this life. This is a mystery of God’s providence on temptation and how he directs such situations for the good souls, only God can do this, but we should not play with temptation. Following the book Imitation of Christ here are a couple of recommendations: First is resistance; second is fervent prayer. St Alphonse de Liguori says: “he who prays will be saved and he does not will be condemned.” This is the reason why Christ taught us to ask God in the Our Father, “lead us not into temptation.”
It is also reasonable to invoke the Blessed Mother who crushed the head of the serpent and call our guardian angel whose principal duty is to defend us against the assaults of the devil. and lastly when God will allow a difficult situation to happen the best move is the humble submission to the will of God.
Readings and Prayers for Day 9 of 33
Spiritual Exercises: Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement, mortification, purity of heart; this purity is an indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith.
Imitation: Continued: Book 1, chapter 13
Fire tries iron and temptation a just man. we often do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are. Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.
Someone has said very aptly: “Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late when by long delay the evil has gained strength.” First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.
Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others toward the end, while some are troubled almost constantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted but lightly according to the wisdom and justice of Divine Providence Who weighs the status and merit of each and prepares all for the salvation of His elect.
We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make an issue with temptation that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for He will save and exalt the humble in spirit. In temptations and trials, the progress of a man is measured; in them, an opportunity for merit and virtue is made more manifest.
When a man is not troubled it is not hard for him to be fervent and devout, but if he bears up patiently in time of adversity, there is hope for great progress. Some, guarded against great temptations, are frequently overcome by small ones in order that humbled by their weakness in small trials, they may not presume on their own strength in great ones.
Veni, Creator Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest)
Come, O Creator Spirit blest!
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 overflow 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.
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,
Through the highest Heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
Magnificat – English
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
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.
Magnificat – Latin
Magnificat anima mea Dominum;
Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo,
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae; ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen ejus, Et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam brachio suo;
Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis, et divites dimisit inanes.
Sucepit Israel, puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae suae, Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semeni ejus in saecula.
Glory Be – English
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Glory Be – Latin
GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.