Today, we have the second in the series from Father Garrigou-Lagrange, thanks to a reader.
FRUITS OF THIS CONSECRATION
“This devotion,” St. Grignon de Montfort tells us, “gives us up altogether to the service of God, and makes us imitate the example of Our Blessed Lord, who willed to be ‘subject’ in regard to His Blessed Mother. (Luke 2:51). It obtains for us the special protection of Mary, who purifies our good works and adorns them when she offers them to her Divine Son. It leads us to union with Our Blessed Lord; it is an easy, short, perfect and safe way. It confers great interior freedom, procures great benefits for our neighbor, and is an excellent means of assuring our perseverance.”
The saint develops each of these points in a most practical way. He speaks of the easiness of the way: “It is an easy way, one followed and prepared for us by Our Blessed Lord in His own coming, one where there are no obstacles in reaching Him. It is true that one can arrive at union with God by following other roads; but there will be many more crosses and trials, and many more difficulties which it will not be easy to surmount—there will be combats and strange agonies, steep mountains, sharp thorns, fearful deserts. But the way of Mary is sweeter and more peaceful.
“Even along the way of Mary there are stern battles and great difficulties; but our good Mother makes herself so near and present to her faithful servants to enlighten them in their doubts, to strengthen them in their fears, and to sustain them in their battles, that in truth the Virgin’s way to Jesus is a way of roses and honey compared with all others.” The saint adds that the truth of this can be seen from the lives of the saints who have followed this way most particularly: St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Francis de Sales.
A little further on in the same chapter, the saint states that Mary’s servants “receive from her Heaven’s greatest graces and favors which are crosses; but it is the servants of Mary who bear the crosses with most ease, merit and glory; and what would hold back another makes them advance,” for they are more aided by the Mother of God, who obtains for them the unction of love in their trials. It is wonderful how Mary makes the cross at the same time easier to bear and more meritorious: easier to bear because she helps us, and more meritorious because she obtains for us greater charity, which is the principle of greater merit.
“It is a short way . . . one advances more in a little while of submission to and dependence on Mary than in many years of self-will and self-reliance. . . . We can advance with giant strides along the path by which Jesus came to us. . . . In a few years we shall arrive at the fulness of the perfect age.” “It is a perfect way, chosen by God Himself . . . The Most High descended to us by way of the humble Mary without losing anything of His divinity; it is by Mary that little ones can rise perfectly and divinely to the Most High without fear.” It is finally a safe way, for the Blessed Virgin preserves us from the illusions of the devil and our imagination. She preserves us from sentiment as well, calming and ruling our sensibility, giving it a pure and holy object, and subordinating it to the rule of the will vivified by charity.
In consecration to Mary, we find great interior liberty: this is the reward of putting ourselves in such complete dependence on Mary. Scruples are banished; the heart dilates with confidence and love. The saint confirms this point by referring to what he read in the life of the Dominican, Mother Agnes de Langeac, “who, suffering great anguish of soul, heard a voice which said to her that if she wished to be delivered and to be protected from her enemies, she should make herself at once the slave of Jesus and His Holy Mother. . . . When she had done so all her anguish and scruples ceased, and she found herself in a state of great peace, as a result of which she determined to teach the devotion to others . . . among whom was M. Olier, the founder of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice, and many other priests of the same seminary.” It was in the same seminary that St. Grignon de Montfort received his priestly formation.
“Finally, this devotion is one which procures the good of our neighbor and it is for those who live by it an admirable means of persevering in grace . . . for by it one gives to Mary, who is faithful, all that one has. . . . It is on her fidelity that reliance is placed . . . that she may preserve and increase our merits in spite of all that could make us lose them. . . . Do not commit the gold of your charity, the silver of your purity, the waters of heavenly graces, or the wine of your merits and virtues . . . to broken vessels such as you yourselves are; else you will be despoiled by robbers, that is by the demons, who watch day and night for a favorable opportunity. . . .
“Souls who are not born of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God and of Mary, understand and relish what I say; and it is for them that I write. . . . If a soul gives itself to Mary without reserve, she gives herself to it without reserve” and helps it to find the road which leads to the eternal goal. Such are the fruits of this consecration: Mary loves those who commit themselves to her fully; she guides, directs, defends, protects, supports and intercedes for them. It is good to offer ourselves to her so that she may offer us to her Son according to the fulness of her prudence and her zeal. There are also fruits of a higher order which this devotion produces, fruits which are strictly mystical, as we shall explain in the next section.(Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., “The Mother of the Saviour: and Our Interior Life”) Available through Abebooks.com or TAN Publishing.
Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey: First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.