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 12 of 33:
Meditate on Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 25., cont.
it, labor quickly to amend thyself. As thine eye observeth others, so art thou by others noted again.
How sweet and pleasant a thing it is, to see brethren fervent and devout, obedient and well-disciplined! How sad
and grievous a thing it is, to see them walk disorderly, not applying themselves to that for which they are called!
How hurtful a thing it is, when they neglect the purpose of their calling and busy themselves in things not
committed to their care!
Be mindful of the purpose thou hast embraced, and set always before thee the image of the Crucified. Good
cause thou hast to be ashamed in looking upon the life of Jesus Christ, seeing thou hast not as yet endeavored to
conform thyself more unto Him, though thou hast been a long time in the way of God. A religious person that
exercizeth himself seriously and devoutly in the most holy life and passion of our Lord, shall there abundantly find
whatsoever is profitable and necessary for him, neither shall he need to seek any better thing, besides Jesus. O if
Jesus crucified would come into our hearts, how quickly and fully should we be. A man fervent and diligent is
prepared for all things.
It is harder toil to resist vices and passions, than to sweat in bodily labors. He that avoideth not small faults, by
little and little falleth into greater. Thou wilt always rejoice in the evening, if thou spend the day profitably. Be
watchful over thyself, stir up thyself, warn thyself, and whatsoever becometh of others, neglect not thyself. The
more violent thou uses against thyself, the more shalt thou progress. Amen.
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 90-104.
90. Now that we have established these five basic truths, it is all the more necessary to make the right
choice of the true devotion to our Blessed Lady, for now more than ever there are false devotions to her
which can easily be mistaken for true ones. The devil, like a counterfeiter and crafty, experienced deceiver,
has already misled and ruined many Christians by means of fraudulent devotions to our Lady. Day by day
he uses his diabolical experience to lead many more to their doom, fooling them, lulling them to sleep in sin
and assuring them that a few prayers, even badly said, and a few exterior practices, inspired by himself, are
authentic devotions. A counterfeiter usually makes coins only of gold and silver, rarely of other metals,
because these latter would not be worth the trouble. Similarly, the devil leaves other devotions alone and
counterfeits mostly those directed to Jesus and Mary, for example, devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the
Blessed Virgin, because these are to other devotions what gold and silver are to other metals.
91. It is therefore very important, first, to recognise false devotions to our Blessed Lady so as to avoid
them, and to recognise true devotion in order to practise it. Second, among so many different forms of true
devotion to our Blessed Lady we should choose the one most perfect and the most pleasing to her, the one
that gives greater glory to God and is most sanctifying for us.
1. False devotion to our Lady
92. There are, I find, seven kinds of false devotion to Mary, namely, the devotion of (1) the critical, (2)
the scrupulous, (3) the superficial, (4) the presumptuous, (5) the inconstant, (6) the hypocritical, (7) the self-
93. Critical devotees are for the most part proud scholars, people of independent and self-satisfied
minds, who deep down in their hearts have a vague sort of devotion to Mary. However, they criticise nearly
all those forms of devotion to her which simple and pious people use to honour their good Mother just
because such practices do not appeal to them. They question all miracles and stories which testify to the
mercy and power of the Blessed Virgin, even those recorded by trustworthy authors or taken from the
chronicles of religious orders. They cannot bear to see simple and humble people on their knees before an
altar or statue of our Lady, or at prayer before some outdoor shrine. They even accuse them of idolatry as if
they were adoring the wood or the stone. They say that as far as they are concerned they do not care for
such outward display of devotion and that they are not so gullible as to believe all the fairy tales and stories
told of our Blessed Lady. When you tell them how admirably the Fathers of the Church praised our Lady,
they reply that the Fathers were exaggerating as orators do, or that their words are misrepresented. These
false devotees, these proud worldly people are greatly to be feared. They do untold harm to devotion to our
Lady. While pretending to correct abuses, they succeed only too well in turning people away from this
94. Scrupulous devotees are those who imagine they are slighting the Son by honouring the Mother.
They fear that by exalting Mary they are belittling Jesus. They cannot bear to see people giving to our Lady
the praises due to her and which the Fathers of the Church have lavished upon her. It annoys them to see
more people kneeling before Mary’s altar than before the Blessed Sacrament, as if these acts were at
variance with each other, or as if those who were praying to our Lady were not praying through her to Jesus.
They do not want us to speak too often of her or to pray so often to her.
Here are some of the things they say: “What is the good of all these rosaries, confraternities and
exterior devotions to our Lady? There is a great deal of ignorance in all this. It is making a mockery of
religion. Tell us about those who are devoted to Jesus (and they often pronounce his name without
uncovering their heads). We should go directly to Jesus, since he is our sole Mediator. We must preach
Jesus; that is sound devotion.” There is some truth in what they say, but the inference they draw to prevent
devotion to our Lady is very insidious. It is a subtle snare of the evil one under the pretext of promoting a
greater good. For we never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her
simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we
seek – Jesus, her Son.
women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” Not that Mary is greater than Jesus, or even equal to
him – that would be an intolerable heresy. But in order to bless Jesus more perfectly we should first bless
Mary. Let us say with all those truly devoted to her, despite these false and scrupulous devotees: “O Mary,
blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
96. Superficial devotees are people whose entire devotion to our Lady consists in exterior practices.
Only the externals of devotion appeal to them because they have no interior spirit. They say many rosaries
with great haste and assist at many Masses distractedly. They take part in processions of our Lady without
inner fervour. They join her confraternities without reforming their lives or restraining their passions or
imitating Mary’s virtues. All that appeals to them is the emotional aspect of this devotion, but the substance
of it has no appeal at all. If they do not feel a warmth in their devotions, they think they are doing nothing;
they become upset, and give up everything, or else do things only when they feel like it. The world is full of
these shallow devotees, and there are none more critical of men of prayer who regard the interior devotion
as the essential aspect and strive to acquire it without, however, neglecting a reasonable external expression
which always accompanies true devotion.
97. Presumptuous devotees are sinners who give full rein to their passions or their love of the world,
and who, under the fair name of Christian and servant of our Lady, conceal pride, avarice, lust,
drunkenness, anger, swearing, slandering, injustice and other vices. They sleep peacefully in their wicked
habits, without making any great effort to correct them, believing that their devotion to our Lady gives them
this sort of liberty. They convince themselves that God will forgive them, that they will not die without
confession, that they will not be lost for all eternity. They take all this for granted because they say the
Rosary, fast on Saturdays, are enrolled in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary or the Scapular, or a sodality
of our Lady, wear the medal or the little chain of our Lady.
When you tell them that such a devotion is only an illusion of the devil and a dangerous
presumption which may well ruin them, they refuse to believe you. God is good and merciful, they reply,
and he has not made us to damn us. No man is without sin. We will not die without confession, and a good
act of contrition at death is all that is needed. Moreover, they say they have devotion to our Lady; that they
wear the scapular; that they recite faithfully and humbly every day the seven Our Fathers and seven Hail
Marys in her honour; that sometimes they even say the Rosary and the Office of our Lady, as well as fasting
and performing other good works.
Blinding themselves still more, they quote stories they have heard or read – whether true or false
does not bother them – which relate how people who had died in mortal sin were brought back to life again
to go to confession, or how their soul was miraculously retained in their bodies until confession, because in
their lifetime they said a few prayers or performed a few pious acts, in honour of our Lady. Others are
supposed to have obtained from God at the moment of death, through the merciful intercession of the
Blessed Virgin, sorrow and pardon for their sins, and so were saved. Accordingly, these people expect the
same thing to happen to them.
98. Nothing in our Christian religion is so deserving of condemnation as this diabolical presumption.
How can we truthfully claim to love and honour the Blessed Virgin when by our sins we pitilessly wound, pierce, crucify and outrage her Son? If Mary made it a rule to save by her mercy this sort of person, she
would be condoning wickedness and helping to outrage and crucify her Son. Who would even dare to think
of such a thing?
Communion, is the greatest and the least pardonable sin, because devotion to our Lady is the holiest and
best after devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
I admit that to be truly devoted to our Lady, it is not absolutely necessary to be so holy as to avoid
all sin, although this is desirable. But at least it is necessary (note what I am going to say), (1) to be
genuinely determined to avoid at least all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother as well as the Son; (2) to
practise self-restraint in order to avoid sin; (3) to join her confraternities, say the Rosary and other prayers,
fast on Saturdays, and so on.
100. Such means are surprisingly effective in converting even the hardened sinner. Should you be such a
sinner, with one foot in the abyss, I advise you to do as I have said. But there is an essential condition. You
must perform these good works solely to obtain from God, through the intercession of our Lady, the grace
to regret your sins, obtain pardon for them and overcome your evil habits, and not to live complacently in
the state of sin, disregarding the warning voice of conscience, the example of our Lord and the saints, and
the teaching of the holy gospel.
101. Inconstant devotees are those whose devotion to our Lady is practised in fits and starts. Sometimes
they are fervent and sometimes they are lukewarm. Sometimes they appear ready to do anything to please
our Lady, and then shortly afterwards they have completely changed. They start by embracing every
devotion to our Lady. They join her confraternities, but they do not faithfully observe the rules. They are as
changeable as the moon, and like the moon Mary puts them under her feet. Because of their fickleness they
are unworthy to be included among the servants of the Virgin most faithful, because faithfulness and
constancy are the hallmarks of Mary’s servants. It is better not to burden ourselves with a multitude of
prayers and pious practices but rather adopt only a few and perform them with love and perseverance in
spite of opposition from the devil the world and the flesh.
102. There is another category of false devotees of our Lady, – hypocritical ones. These hide their sins
and evil habits under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin so as to appear to their fellow-men different from
what they are.
103. Then there are the self-interested devotees who turn to her only to win a court-case, to escape some
danger, to be cured of some ailment, or have some similar need satisfied. Except when in need they never
think of her. Such people are acceptable neither to God nor to his Mother.
104. We must, then, carefully avoid joining the critical devotees, who believe nothing and find fault with
everything; the scrupulous ones who, out of respect for our Lord, are afraid of having too much devotion to
his Mother; the exterior devotees whose devotion consists entirely in outward practices; the presumptuous
devotees who under cover of a fictitious devotion to our Lady wallow in their sins; the inconstant devotees
who, being unstable, change their devotional practices or abandon them altogether at the slightest
temptation; the hypocritical ones who join confraternities and wear emblems of our Lady only to be thought
of as good people; finally, the self-interested devotees who pray to our Lady only to be rid of bodily ills or
to obtain material benefits.
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