JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

O, my most Precious and Adorable Jesus, how deeply You suffered to redeem us from ourselves yet how little we wretched and ungrateful sinners are willing to endure in order to keep ourselves from succumbing to even the littlest of temptations. Indeed, without Your willing it to be we terrible souls cannot but help falling into sin, yet we – who are powerless to save ourselves – seem so often to refuse the great Grace of Salvation You have died to give we unworthy servants of Yours. Why do we turn away from Your infinite Mercy to gain some fleeting worldly fancy? Why do we, the most miserable of Your creatures, run not into your loving embrace but towards the cold snares of the devil with such unceasing frequency? Why do we foul and sinful souls choose so often to cause You greater suffering through our endless and ever-increasing depravity? O Lord, if You would keep us from falling into the greatest of sins, we would still reject You and Your promise of salvation for nothing more than a morsel of material gain or carnal pleasure. Therefore, I beg You my Lord, my God, through the intercession and prayers of Your Most Holy and Blessed Mother who never fails to come to the aid of Your servants when we earnestly cry out to Her, take from us, Your pitiful, weak, and most undeserving servants, all great temptations. We are but little souls incapable of resisting those great temptations and vices with which You forge Your most celebrated and holy Saints through their resiting and persevering, by Your Grace, against the attacks of the Devil which You allow for their spiritual benefit. Instead, I beg You profusely my Lord, send us who know ourselves to be but weak and feeble souls only the littlest and most straightforward of trials as these will be all that we can bear. Keep us from wishing for that which is for those greater souls so that we, who unlike Your Saints, are most inept at keeping ourselves pure and sinless when put to even the mildest of trials may exercise our faith against that which we miserable, and most ungrateful slaves can hope – with the aid of Your Grace – to remain vigilant against and withstand. Through these little trials at which greater and more holy souls than ourselves would merely scoff yet which pose for us little souls, such insurmountable obstacles guide us so that we may be made more pure and holy growing in our faith and ability to serve You in more meaningful and sacred ways. Until then, my Most Holy Love, keep us safe from these greater temptations, I pray, and may our struggle against these often forgotten and seemingly insignificant trials, by our uniting them with Your most Perfect Sacrifice and after the hands of our Blessed Mother embellish them, be made fruitful offerings unto You, Our God. Against the smallest temptations keep us constantly vigilant, my Most Blessed Lord, so that we may grow – if it be Your Will – into servants capable of suffering yet greater trials for Your Glory. And if it be not Your Will for us that we should take upon ourselves these feats fitting only to Your spiritual giants, and if You deem it better for our spiritual progress that we should wrestle merely against these smaller temptations all our days, accept our lowly sacrifice and pitiful efforts and bless us, I beg You, with the prudence to seek out no greater trials than those which You have deemed us worthy to battle against, and keep us, my Lord, I pray, satisfied with the lot You had cast for us in Your infinite wisdom when You created us. Keep us from trying to soar with the Saints when we yet but struggle to writhe with the worms. May You keep us ever humble and devoted to You alone, My God, and satisfied by all which You deem us worthy to receive and against which You have found it just for us to struggle. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My God, I pray that you bestow upon me as I, a most unworthy and faithless servant, write this letter the inspiration to convey appropriately and with adequate emphasis the importance of prudence when stepping into the castle that is the interior life of prayer and recollection. Allow the wisdom of Your Saints whom You chose to inspire with the knowledge to compose, and through whose hands You decided to write, the priceless manuals of prayer and meditation which are the treasure of Your Church and by which I have learned all that You have taught me concerning the prayerful life. Allow their words, O Lord I pray, to overshadow mine and shine gloriously so others may come to know the most beneficial teachings which Your Saints have left as guides for Your faithful as we struggle in this Valley of Tears. Protect us little and humble souls, I pray my God, who, although trembling from knowing our own inability to accomplish any good whatsoever by our own actions, step forward and grasp Your outstretched hand with the loving trust of a child as we follow Your call to a life of prayer and fasting beyond that which we little souls could ever hope to endure if left to ourselves, and which, through Your grace, will guide us towards and strengthen us to live a life far higher than we writhing and most wretched creatures deserve. Keep us humble, my Lord I pray, and safe from the countless pitfalls which we, who are so weak, fragile, and meek will, unaided by Your Infinite Mercy and Grace, fall so readily into and from which we have no hope of escape without Your willing us to be free. Amen.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as I was praying about which topic I would address in this weeks letter my eyes happened upon a book which has been my constant companion since well before I came into full communion with the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. This profound piece of spiritual writing has inspired countless Saints, numerous Popes, and has enriched the spiritual lives of the faithful for centuries since it was first written. Once entirely lost, as predicted by its author, this masterpiece of St. Louis de Montfort was, by the Grace of God alone, rediscovered and made available to the lay faithful, the Clergy, and Religious alike. “True Devotion to Mary” is most certainly one of the most cherished — if, indeed, not the most cherished — work regarding Marian spirituality ever produced. In this text St. de Montfort outlines not only the complex topic of devotion to our Lord through His Blessed Mother, but he lays out an easy to follow, but no less rigorous, method of consecration to our Lord through His Blessed Mother. However, as valuable as the entirety of St. de Montfort’s work may, indeed, be to anyone who desires to grow closer to our Lord, I wish to focus on only a small part of his masterpiece. In particular, I would like to discuss how St. de Montfort’s description of True Devotion can help us wretched and minuscule souls, those of us who in our weakness struggle daily against even the smallest temptation and know ourselves to be genuinely incapable of exercising any devotion near perfect enough to be worthy of reception by Our Lord Jesus Christ, to, by the Grace of God, move closer to the holy life our Lord and Savior wishes us to lead while we are exiled here in this garden of sorrows.

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