Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Very rich in grace and virtues"

I wrote a while back about one of the best Marian devotions that I have found, “Total Consecration” by St. Louis de Montfort. Pope John Paul II once called this devotion “ a turning point in my life”. I would echo that sentiment! “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary” is a 33 day prayer that is renewed each year. I began my consecration in 1999 and am now renewing it for the 10th year. God has given me so many amazing graces in being able to answer His Call to be a faithful priest during these years; I am convinced that the consecration has played a huge role in obtaining these graces. Just as there are so many graces when Jesus comes to us through Mary (e.g., Incarnation), so there are many graces when we go to Jesus through Mary (e.g., Consecration).

The first days of the consecration begin with a reading, either from the Gospel or from “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A Kempis (great book!). Here is the reading from the sixth day which really struck me as powerful and profound. Also, it dovetails my homily from the Sunday before last.

Sixth Day

Imitation: Book 1, Chapter 18

On the example of the Holy Fathers

Look upon the lively examples of the holy Fathers in whom shone real perfection and the religious life, and you will see how little it is, and almost nothing that we do. Alas, what is our life when we compare it with theirs? Saints and friends of Christ, they served our Lord in hunger and in thirst, in cold, in nakedness, in labor and in weariness, in watching, in fasting, prayers and holy meditations, and in frequent persecutions and reproaches. Oh, how many grievous tribulations did the Apostles suffer and the Martyrs and Confessors and Virgins, and all the rest who resolved to follow the steps of Christ! For they hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them in life everlasting. Oh, what a strict and self-renouncing life the holy Fathers of the desert led! What long and grievous temptations did they bear! How often were they harassed by the enemy, what frequent and fervent prayers did they offer up to God, what rigorous abstinence did they practice!

What a valiant contest waged they to subdue their imperfections! What purity and straight forwardness of purpose kept them towards God! By day they labored, and much of the night they spent in prayer; though while they labored, they were far from leaving off mental prayer. They spent all their time profitably. Every hour seemed short to spend with God; and even their necessary bodily refreshment was forgotten in the great sweetness of contemplation. They renounced all riches, dignities, honors, and kindred; they hardly took what was necessary for life. It grieved them to serve the body even in its necessity. Accordingly, they were poor in earthly things, but very rich in grace and virtues.


Anonymous said...


I know its summer, and the campus has a quiet temper, but……I thought for sure that by now you'd have at least one fish (pulled in from a basketball court) that responds to your blog's postings. Where are the young, spirited thoughts that college kids are known for? Is it really that quiet over there?

If the kids you've met haven't been told, or have been told but didn't hear, that this blog site will tweak their brain, they need to know that they'll learn a lot from the questions and responses posted here. So…..from one reader to another, "C'mon guys – post your intellectual curiosities, questions and responses – we all learn from each other." I know I'm looking forward to your perspective, interpretation and advice on issues. You have a lot to offer. Take a few minutes and share your thoughts with others. We are all teachers.

Btw, The Imitation of Christ is an awesome book, one you will reference over and over (and that's coming from a "regular" mind, not a "priest's mind!") Alas, I knew nothing (proof of a regular mind, no…. in this case, proof of an ignorant mind) about the The Total Consecration to Mary that was popularized by St. Louis de Montfort. I found the following site simple and helpful. Perhaps it will help others. http://www.memorare.com/mary/totalcons.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the heads up Father Greg; I would like to commit to this 33 day prayer. The Secret of the Rosary by St. L. DeMontfort is also very good. You can still order it from tan books on 800-437-5876; i a going to call to see if they can send me 'Total Consecration'. Thanks again, i feel syked. have a great holiday!

Oh, you know this site was hard for me to find through the gw web page; to be honest i cant remember how i fell upon it but glad i did. maybe a line about it in the bulletin will help others come across it and/or if the school has a global email that could invite students/staff/parents to check out. i am going to pray about it and i know by mid September this q/a will be flooded with all sorts of wonderful insight.