The Gift of Oneself to Our Lady
“PRAY, Pray very much, make sacrifices for sinners. Remember that many souls are lost because there is nobody to pray and to make sacrifices for them.” Words of Our Lady of Fatima
May the lowly Handmaid of the Lord guide us in the little path of self-forgetfulness! May countless souls learn to address her with the author’s prayer!
“O Blessed Mother, teach us simplicity! Help us to become children in thy school. Let us know nothing else than this entire surrender of ourselves to God; this simple and spontaneous act of the heart, as we cast ourselves into the Arms of Jesus, and promise Him our fidelity: To love Jesus, to do His Will, to accept all from His Hands – ¬this, good Mother, shall be our secret as it was thine.”
Our Divine Master takes the faithful servant into His employ and raises him to the status of a domestic servitor. He confides to him the interests of His glory, and the defense of His Church. The Almighty God charges him with combating error and with spreading the truth. He must stigmatize vice and encourage virtue. The loyal servant is known by his indefatigable zeal, upright bearing, noble disinterestedness and impeccable fidelity. With him, there is no compromise. There is no truce. How well the enemy knows this – ¬and fears this valiant soldier of Jesus Christ!
The simple soul, being nothing in her own eyes, is like this good and faithful servant. Having forgotten herself, she is not liable to surprise when attack or hardship comes her way. Other more self-proclaiming souls attempt to ensnare and entangle the Almighty in the schemes of their own making, seeking to force the Will of God into submission to their own stubborn willfulness, but the eyes of the simple soul remain attentively upon the Face of God, and she is conformed to His Will.
Simplicity and unselfishness often cause astonishment in our world so fraught with duplicity and egoism. Worldly creatures attempt to exploit the innocence and uprightness of the simple soul for their own profit. They lay snares for her, and try to deceive her good faith. But the childlike soul is not concerned – she knows well that the Holy Ghost will put into her mouth the words she is to speak for, not only does Jesus think for her, He also repairs the errors she inadvertently commits through her ignorance and improvidence.
Love and devotion are charming virtues which schism, heresy and “free thought” have striven to reproduce, but in vain! Any attempt to do the work of love, without actually having love in the soul, produces emptiness, and the heart is torn with grief.
Is not the number of ardent souls growing less every day? Is there not a thinning of the ranks in the army of Jesus? Selfishness has presumed and resumed the direction of this world. The poison of self-centeredness has infected homes, convents and the whole of society. Subtly, at first, it has now invaded and penetrated into the core of family life – yes, even into the very Church Herself! No longer is it Jesus Who reigns as the Eternal King of the earth – it is Satan.
Jesus, shoved aside by prideful souls, has taken His leave … and He has taken His Love and Light with Him. Darkness is gathering around us; the cold is growing more intense. Frightful paganism and schism is returning like a hideous specter, threatening to envelop us all in its immense and foreboding shroud.
The soul, entirely surrendered to Jesus, is Hell’s most redoubtable foe! Devotion and Selfless Love are the only and ever victorious weapons. They are supernatural arms, requiring a saint to wield them constantly and unfailingly. Forget thyself … always shower benefits upon those around thee, always seek to render good for evil, without expecting acknowledgement or esteem. Is this not beautiful? Is this not the Divine way?
“O Mary, Consecrated Bride! Mystic Dove! Ask Jesus to teach me His Divine secret! My Jesus, establish Thy sovereign reign within me! Drive from my heart these strangers, these vendors, these money-changers who make of Thy Sanctuary a public market – picking and choosing that which they imagine to be Thy rule. Let not human respect influence me; let approbation or criticism find me insensible; let not the multiplicity of my duties, and discourse with others distract me from Thee!”
Our vanity deludes us; we are not indispensable upon earth. God is surely able to govern His universe without us. Our place here below is restricted, and our influence limited … unless we belong body and soul to God; unless, by the renunciation of our own will, we are absolutely docile instruments in His Hands. Then, and only then, will the Holy Will of God be accomplished.
“O Jesus! How great is the subversion of the established order! A creature, endowed with reason, seeks to substitute himself for God in order to make himself the measure of truth. Human Reason has styled herself a goddess; she has overturned the Altar of God and offers herself for adoration. Even in God’s presence, she proclaims her rights, and dictates to Him His duties toward her. Pretending to give truth to men, Reason chains them as Satan’s slaves. What man’s pride has done! Forgetting that he is nothing, man settles himself in his dignity, constitutes himself as an independent sovereign, and extends his dominion over all his surroundings. To God, the Eternal Creator and Lawgiver Who asks of him the tribute of submission, man responds by insolent defiance.”
United to the Cross, earthly ties are broken, and we are sanctified. The gentle fire of suffering, emptying the soul of self, will make of her a sweet smelling holocaust. Surrendered to Jesus Christ, she offers the sacrifice of herself as a perpetual Mass, which will be completed at the hour of her death. Our soul, as both victim and consecrating priest, unites us totally to Christ. Let us allow ourselves to be immolated – for from this slow and painful death will come life – for ourselves and for others! With Jesus Christ, we shall save the world; with Him, we shall expiate the faults of men. With Him, we shall participate in the sanctification of souls!
Our Holy Mother of Dolores, most sorely-tried of creatures, is for us a perfect model of self-abandonment. Her sanctity, Her selfless gift of abnegation to God, Her total trust in His Divine Will – these are the SECRETS OF HER SANCTITY!
Deo Gratias et Maria!