Today, September 8 is the day we honor the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“At the time of Mary’s birth the whole world was plunged in darkness. The heathen nations were steeped in vice and pride. The Jews too had corrupted their ways and departed from God. Everywhere there was sin and gloom, no bright spot on the face of the earth. But when Mary was born a light arose in the darkness: the dawn of the glorious day that was to usher in the Redeemer. So too, the darkness of the sinner’s soul is dispersed by Mary’s holy influence. Where the love of her is born in the soul, all becomes full of light and Jesus comes to make His habitation there. Mary in the first hour of her life, brought more glory to God than all the saints of the Old Testament. In her were made perfect the obedience of Abraham, the chastity of Joseph, the patience of Job, the meekness of Moses, the prudence of Josue. It is because she is the model and pattern of these and all other virtues that she can communicate them to us.” (Roman Catholic Missal, Angelus Press. Notes for Mass of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary.)
Although that was a description of the state of the world at the time of Our Lady’s birth, it sounds a lot like the state of our present world, referring to “nations steeped in sin and pride”, and the Chosen People “corrupted in their ways and departed from God”. Now is a perfect time to renew and confirm our devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There are 12 weeks between today’s feast day and the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s a good time for us to prepare to renew – or initiate – our Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.
St. Louis Grignon de Montfort promoted a 33 day preparation for the Consecration and that is the one most people are familiar with. But a 12 week one is a bit more forgiving. Because it is longer, it is not as intensive each day and there is plenty of room to accomplish it all; room for errors and omissions, so to speak.
This plan is divided into 4 parts of 3 weeks each. Each of the four parts consists of daily readings, prayers and especially the rosary.
- Part 1. The focus is recognizing the Spirit of the World and the hold it has over our lives in order to properly repent.
- Part 2. The focus is knowledge of self and during this period, we earnestly petition our Queen for light to know ourselves and for contrition for our sins.
- Part 3. The emphasis is on Knowledge of Mary, our Queen and Mediatrix, the celestial gate through whom salvation entered and the way which will lead us, her children, to Christ.
- Part 4 The theme is Knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ who alone is Our Savior, the goal of our existence.
Suggested readings for Part 1 and 2 are from Dom Lorenzo Scupoli’s “The Spiritual Combat” which is available in both Kindle edition and as a paperback from Amazon. If you do not use Kindle, The Spiritual Combat is available online at: Copiosa.org. My copy is from TAN. Additional readings are from St. Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ, which also available as a Kindle edition and is widely available elsewhere. Readings for Part 3, Knowledge of Mary, are from St. Louis Grignon de Montfort’s “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary“, which can be downloaded free from several sites on the web or from www.archive.org. It is also available on Kindle.
In Part 1, our readings should concentrate on the power that the spirit of the world has over our lives and our culture. As St. John tells us, “For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John, 2, 16) Indeed lust and greed and pride are become the very fabric of civilization today. We cannot but be permeated with it ourselves; and yet our very survival in these times depends on our rejecting this tide of sin and error that is sweeping souls to destruction.
Ideally, preparation for the Consecration should begin on a day of Mass, Communion and of course, confession. Suggested prayers are Our Lady’s Litany of Loretto and the Litany of the Holy Spirit. In Part 4, include the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus and the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The readings can be as short as 15 minutes, followed by another 15 minutes of mental prayer. Of course, the Rosary daily. I have always benefitted most from modifying the program to suit my needs at the time. I
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!
~ posted by evensong ~