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Love for our Mother is necessary for salvation May 21, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Our Lady, priests, religious, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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I  must admit, coming into the Church as a former protestant, that I had certain reservations regarding some of the Church’s Dogmas regarding the Blessed Mother.  But, as I have grown in the Faith, I have grown closer to Mary (I pray), and have come to rely on her aid and help a great deal.  Even still, I have been taken aback at times due to statements, such as those made by St. Bernard (the Mellifluous Doctor) and St. Alphonsus Ligouri (the Moral Doctor), that not only is having a particular devotion to the Blessed Mother beneficial, it is even necessary for salvation.  St. Alphonsus, who I am coming to admire more and more, states that this devotion is not absolutely necessary, but practically so.  Because of the deep and mysterious nature of Mary, and her relationship with her son (especially her ability to intercede for us and the fact that she is the Mother of God, and our Savior’s willingness to accede to her requests), Mary is so efficacious for us, and so close to her Son, that devotion to her is indicative of a humility and charity towards God necessary for salvation.

The great St. Louis de Montfort believed the same.  In his book True Devotion to Mary, he outlines the following regarding our need for a great devotion to the Blessed Mother (Items 63 64):

I here turn for one moment to Thee, O sweet Jesus, to complain lovingly to Thy Divine Majesty that the greater part of Christians, even of the most learned, do not know the necessary union there is between Thee and Thy holy Mother. Thou, Lord, art always with Mary, and Mary is always with Thee, and she cannot be without Thee, else she would cease to be what she is.  It is Thou only, my Jesus, who livest and reignest in her more perfectly than in all the angels and the blessed.  Ah!  If we knew the glory and the love which Thou receivest in this admirable creature, we should have very different thoughts both of Thee and her from what we have now. She is so intimately united with Thee that it were easier to separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire; nay, it were easier to separate from Thee all the angels and saints than from Mary, for she loves Thee more ardently and glorifies Thee more perfectly than all the other creatures put together.

After that, my sweet Master, is it not an astonishingly pitiable thing to see the ignorance and the darkness of all men here below in regard to Thy holy Mother?  I speak not so much of idolaters and pagans, who, knowing Thee not, care not to know her.  I speak not even of heretics and schismatics, who care not to be devout to Thy holy Mother, being separated as they are from Thee and Thy holy Church; but I speak of Catholics, and even of doctors among Catholics [here de Montfort refers to the Jansenists, who were influenced by Calvin], who make profession of teaching truths to others, and yet know not Thee nor Thy holy Mother, except in a speculative, dry, barren, indifferent manner. These gentlemen speak but rarely of Thy holy Mother and of the devotion we ought to have to her, because they fear, so they say, lest we should abuse it, and do some injury to Thee in honoring Thy holy Mother too much. If they hear or see anyone devout to our Blessed Lady, speaking often of his devotion to that good Mother in a tender, strong and persuasive way……they cry out against him, and give him a thousand false reasons by way of “proving” to him that he ought not to talk so much of our Blessed Lady; that there are great abuses in that devotion; and that we must direct our energies to destroy these abuses, and to speak of Thee, rather than to incline the people to devotion to our Blessed Lady, whom they already love sufficiently. [to love “sufficiently…….” that’s an interesting way of looking at things.  You already love your wife enough! No more!]

We hear them sometimes speak of devotion to our Blessed Lady, not for the purpose of establishing it and persuading men to embrace it, but to destroy the “abuses” which are made of it; and all the while these teachers  are without piety or tender devotion toward Thyself, simply because they have none for Mary. [I recently read comments on another site about catechizing protestant converts, and how “embarrassing” the catechists found some Marian doctrine.  They regarded mention of Marian devotion as a hazard to be avoided in the process of conversion.  I believe St. Louis de Montfort would regard those fears as false, and perhaps indicative of a lack of devotion to our Blessed Mother on the part of the catechist] They regard the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions proper for weak and ignorant minds, without which men can save themselves; and if there falls into their hands any poor client of Our Lady who says his Rosary, or has any other practice of devotion toward her, they soon change his spirit and his heart.  Instead of devotion to the holy Virgin, they counsel him devotion to Jesus Christ. [But this is false: devotion to Mary is devotion to Jesus Christ]

Oh my sweet  Jesus, do these people have Thy Spirit?  Do they please Thee in acting thus? Does it please Thee when, for fear of displeasing Thee, we neglect devotion to Thy Mother?

Yet, my sweet Master, the greater part of the learned could not discourage devotion to Thy holy Mother more, and could not show more indifference to it, even if all that I have just said were true. [Good St. Louis de Montfort refers to the questions above] Thus, they have been punished for their pride!  Keep me, Lord, from their sentiments and their practices, and give me some share of the sentiments of gratitude, esteem, respect, and love which Thou hast in regard to Thy holy Mother, soe that eth more I imitate and follow her, the more I may love and glorify Thee!

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What I know, personally, is that devotion to Our Lady has increased my devotion to her Son tremendously. At one time, I would have been repulsed by St. Alphonsus’ claim, but now I believe it.  There is something about devotion to Mary that just seems necessary for transformation of a soul.  She is an example for all of us – a creature, yet pure from sin, the created forming in her body the Creator.  So much mystery, but more than that, so much love.  Thank you, my Blessed Mother, for your constant intercession for all of us, and for the many gifts of revelation you have made at Lourdes, Fatima, Akita, Quito, Walsingham, and so many other places. 

Comments

1. Jordan H - May 21, 2012

I like to keep in mind what St.. Maximilian Kolbe said regarding devotion to the Blessed Mother: “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” When I was in the process of converting, I too had trouble understanding the Marian doctrines. The turning point for me was realizing that the Blessed Mother is, by Divine decree and promise, at enmity with Satan, as well as her her seed. It then logically follows that she shall crush Satan’s head because of her most intimate bond with her Son. Knowing that James 5:16 states that “the continual prayer of a just man availeth much,” I realized how true this must be for Our Lady’s intercession, who is at enmity with Satan, and therefore perfect and free from any attachment to sin. Yes, her perfection allows her to be our greatest intercessor to Our Lord but another fact stems from this that I soon learned: in giving ourselves to Mary and doing everything through, for, with and in Mary, because of her most intimate union with Jesus, she will only do His will, which is also her will, and conform us to Him, just as she is to Him. St. Louis de Montfort succinctly sums it up in True Devotion to Mary: “As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites, and consecrates us most completely to Jesus. Now of all God’s creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus. That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin.”

2. Mary - May 22, 2012

I love to hear converts express their love for Mary. I’m a cradle Catholic and I know I take her love for me for granted far too often (and her ability to hand-deliver my intentions, so to speak).

…to Jesus through Mary…


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