Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
12 Days of Preparation renouncing the spirit of the world
Day 10 of 33:
Meditate on Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 3, Chapter 10
That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God
high: Oh, how great is the abundance of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for those that fear Thee!
But what art Thou, for those who love Thee? What, to those who serve Thee with their whole heart? Unspeakable
indeed is the sweetness of Thy contemplation, which Thou bestowest on those who love Thee. In this most of all
hast Thou showed me the sweetness of Thy love, that when I had no being, Thou didst make me; and when I was
straying far from Thee, Thou brought me back again, that I might serve Thee: and Thou hast commanded me to
serve Thee. O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of Thee? How can I forget Thee, Who hast
vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost? Beyond all hope Thou showest mercy to Thy
servant; and beyond all desert, hast Thou manifested Thy grace and friendship. What return shall I make to Thee
for this favor? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world, and to assume the monastic
life. Is it much that I should serve Thee, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve? It ought not to seem much to
me to serve Thee; but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that Thou vouchsafest to receive one
so wretched and unworthy as Thy servant. It is a great honor, a great glory, to serve Thee, and to despise all
things for Thee, for they who willingly subject themselves to Thy holy service, shall have great grace. They shall
experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of Thee, have cast aside all carnal
Listen, Sing and Watch or Pray just the words depending on your time constraints: Veni Creator, Ave Maris Stella, Magnificat, and Glory Be
And in our souls take up thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete! To Thee we cry,
O highest gift of God most high!
O font of life! O fire of love!
And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known,
The finger of God’s hand we own;
The promise of the Father, Thou!
Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses ‘from above,
And make our hearts o’erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee through endless times confessed
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death; the same to Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen.
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ.
The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.
It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life, and by disobedience to God’s laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.
St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary paragraphs 78-82
78. Our best actions are usually tainted and spoiled by the evil that is rooted in us. When pure, clear
water is poured into a foul-smelling jug, or wine into an unwashed cask that previously contained another
wine, the clear water and the good wine are tainted and readily acquire an unpleasant odour. In the same
way when God pours into our soul, infected by original and actual sin, the heavenly waters of his grace or
the delicious wines of his love, his gifts are usually spoiled and tainted by the evil sediment left in us by sin.
Our actions, even those of the highest virtue, show the effects of it. It is therefore of the utmost importance
that, in seeking the perfection that can be attained only by union with Jesus, we rid ourselves of all that is
evil in us. Otherwise our infinitely pure Lord, who has an infinite hatred for the slightest stain in our soul,
will refuse to unite us to himself and will drive us from his presence.
79. To rid ourselves of selfishness, we must first become thoroughly aware, by the light of the Holy
Spirit, of our tainted nature. Of ourselves we are unable to do anything conducive to our salvation. Our
human weakness is evident in everything we do and we are habitually unreliable. We do not deserve any
grace from God. Our tendency to sin is always present. The sin of Adam has almost entirely spoiled and
soured us, filling us with pride and corrupting every one of us, just as leaven sours, swells and corrupts the
dough in which it is placed. The actual sins we have committed, whether mortal or venial, even though
forgiven, have intensified our base desires, our weakness, our inconstancy and our evil tendencies, and have
left a sediment of evil in our soul.
Our bodies are so corrupt that they are referred to by the Holy Spirit as bodies of sin, as conceived
and nourished in sin, and capable of any kind of sin. They are subject to a thousand ills, deteriorating from
day to day and harbouring only disease, vermin and corruption.
Our soul, being united to our body, has become so carnal that it has been called flesh. “All flesh had
corrupted its way”. Pride and blindness of spirit, hardness of heart, weakness and inconstancy of soul, evil
inclinations, rebellious passions, ailments of the body, – these are all we can call our own. By nature we are
prouder than peacocks, we cling to the earth more than toads, we are more base than goats, more envious than serpents, greedier than pigs, fiercer than tigers, lazier than tortoises, weaker than reeds, and more
changeable than weather-cocks. We have in us nothing but sin, and deserve only the wrath of God and the
eternity of hell.
himself and hate his very life? He makes it clear that anyone who loves his life shall lose it and anyone who
hates his life shall save it. Now, our Lord, who is infinite Wisdom, and does not give commandments
without a reason, bids us hate ourselves only because we richly deserve to be hated. Nothing is more worthy
of love than God and nothing is more deserving of hatred than self.
81. Secondly, in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves our
renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we
did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what
St. Paul calls “dying daily”. Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single
grain and does not bear any good fruit. If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to
this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be
profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and
our best actions will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves
devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God
shares only with those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him.
82. Thirdly, we must choose among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin the one which will lead us
more surely to this dying to self. This devotion will be the best and the most sanctifying for us. For we must
not believe that all that glitters is gold, all that is sweet is honey, or all that is easy to do and is done by the
majority of people is the most sanctifying. Just as in nature there are secrets enabling us to do certain
natural things quickly, easily and at little cost, so in the spiritual life there are secrets which enable us to
perform works rapidly, smoothly and with facility. Such works are, for example, emptying ourselves of self-
love, filling ourselves with God, and attaining perfection.
The devotion that I propose to explain is one of these secrets of grace, for it is unknown to most
Christians. Only a few devout people know of it and it is practised and appreciated by fewer still. To begin
the explanation of this devotion here is a fourth truth which is a consequence of the third.