“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.)
The Nativity of the 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 on December 8. It’s a good time for us to prepare to renew – or initiate – our Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Additionally, this time includes the Pope’s visit to America, the final Synod and the institution of the Pope’s “Holy Year of Modernist Mercy”. So, it is a great time to bulk up our “spiritual muscles” with increased devotion to our Blessed Mother.
St. Louis Grignion de Montfort promoted a 33 day preparation for the Consecration and that is the one most people are familiar with. But this 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. Here is a link to an online version at Catholic Tradition.org. I have a link to this site in my sidebar. I haven’t checked out the link, but assume it works. My copy is from TAN. Additional readings are from St. Thomas a Kempis’ “The Imitation of Christ”, available as a Kindle edition and elsewhere.
Additionally, a very helpful little book, available on Kindle is KIC’s “Sins of the Tongue – The Backbiting Tongue” by Father Belet. This is a true gem of a book!
Readings for Part 3, Knowledge of Mary, are from St. Louis Grignion 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. Also, “Let yourself be led by the Immaculate” by St. Maximilian Kolbe, and “Who are you, O Immaculata?” by Father Karl Stehlin. Both are from Angelus.
Suggested readings for Part 4 are Blessed Claude de la Colombiere’s “Trustful surrender to Divine Providence”, Father de Caussade’s “Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence” and Sister Josefa Menendez’ “Way of Divine Love”.
In Part 1, 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. i am unable to do this, but this is the ideal. 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. If you choose to do this, please let me know how your plan worked out for you.
NOTE: This post belongs to evensong at Return to Fatima. I am not in any way associated with the person who takes my articles without permission.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!
~ posted by evensong ~