12 Days of Preparation renouncing the spirit of the world
Day 7 of 33:
Meditate on Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 18
to the world; they seemed as nothing and the world despised them; but they were precious and beloved in the
sight of God. They persevered in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and
patience, and so every day they advanced in spirit and gained great favor with God. They were given for example
grow remiss. Oh! how great was the fervor of all religious in the beginning of their holy institute! Oh, how great
was their devotion in prayer, how great was their zeal for virtue! How vigorous the discipline that was kept up,
what reverence and obedience, under the rule of the superior, flourished in all! Their traces that remain still bear
witness, that they were truly holy and perfect men who did battle so stoutly, and trampled the world under their
feet. Now, he is thought great who is not a transgressor; and who can, with patience, endure what he has
undertaken. Ah, the lukewarmness and negligence of our state! that we soon fall away from our first fervor, and
are even now tired with life, from slothfulness and tepidity. Oh that advancement in virtue be not quite asleep in
thee, who has so often seen the manifold examples of the devout!
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 17-24.
4. Mary’s part in the latter times
advent of the reign of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse
of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of
the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil. “I will place enmities
between you and the woman, between your race and her race; she will crush your head and you will lie in
wait for her heel” (Gen. 3:15).
52. God has established only one enmity – but it is an irreconcilable one – which will last and even go
on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between
the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.
Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From
the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his
accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat,
overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a
certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not
infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin’s, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being
so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God,
for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great
power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of
possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one
of her threats more than all their other torments.
53. What Lucifer lost by pride Mary won by humility. What Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary
saved by obedience. By obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them
up to him. Mary by her perfect fidelity to God saved her children with herself and consecrated them to his
54. God has established not just one enmity but “enmities”, and not only between Mary and Satan but
between her race and his race. That is, God has put enmities, antipathies and hatreds between the true
children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love and
no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world, – for they
are all one and the same – have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who
belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob.
These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the
proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will
unmask his serpent’s cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans
and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws.
But Mary’s power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will
lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight
against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all,
down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they
will be rich in God’s graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and
exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will
they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their
heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.
2) Devotion to Mary is especially necessary in the latter times.
55. Finally, God in these times wishes his Blessed Mother to be more known, loved and honoured than
she has ever been. This will certainly come about if the elect, by the grace and light of the Holy Spirit, adopt
the interior and perfect practice of the devotion which I shall later unfold. Then they will clearly see that
beautiful Star of the Sea, as much as faith allows. Under her guidance they will perceive the splendours of
this Queen and will consecrate themselves entirely to her service as subjects and slaves of love. They will
experience her motherly kindness and affection for her children. They will love her tenderly and will appreciate how full of compassion she is and how much they stand in need of her help. In all circumstances
they will have recourse to her as their advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will see clearly that
she is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus and will surrender themselves
to her, body and soul, without reserve in order to belong entirely to Jesus.
They will be ministers of the Lord who, like a flaming fire, will enkindle everywhere the fires of
divine love. They will become, in Mary’s powerful hands, like sharp arrows, with which she will transfix
They will be as the children of Levi, thoroughly purified by the fire of great tribulations and closely
joined to God. They will carry the gold of love in their heart, the frankincense of prayer in their mind and
the myrrh of mortification in their body. They will bring to the poor and lowly everywhere the sweet
fragrance of Jesus, but they will bring the odour of death to the great, the rich and the proud of this world.
57. They will be like thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit.
Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word
and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the
devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged
sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.
58. They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and
strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from his enemies. They will sleep without gold or
silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet
they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as
they are with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they
will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfilment of the whole law.
59. Lastly, we know they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his
contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to
the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will
they show favour to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be.
They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of
the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and
the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected
in their whole behaviour.
Such are the great men who are to come. By the will of God Mary is to prepare them to extend his
rule over the impious and unbelievers. But when and how will this come about? Only God knows. For our
part we must yearn and wait for it in silence and in prayer: “I have waited and waited.”
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