Monthly Archives: June 2013

Heaven in Her Heart (Part 20)

Mystical Union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary

            I need not go into great detail about it here, but it is true that some favored souls receive the grace of mystical union with Mary.  This is a most precious fruit of our total consecration, but it is sheer gift from God and cannot be obtained solely by our labors and prayers, although if we are to receive it our souls must be properly disposed.  Fr Chaminade, the founder of the Marianists, wrote: “There is a gift of the habitual presence of the Blessed Virgin even as there is a gift of the habitual presence of God—very rare, it is true, but obtainable through great fidelity.”  The great fidelity is what predisposes our soul, but he also makes it clear that it is a gift, and hence freely given as God and Our Lady choose.

            Such blessed souls who receive this gift of mystical union with Mary, writes Fr Garrigou-Lagrange in The Mother of the Saviour, “are conscious of the influence which Mary exercises on us continually by transmitting actual graces to our souls.”  Graces always come to us through Mary as the motherly Mediatrix, but those who are in personal union with her are consciously and sweetly aware of her gentle presence, and thus their hearts are habitually enkindled with an irrepressible love for her.

            I have quoted Venerable Marie Petyt of St Teresa several times already, but I’d like to conclude with a few more passages from her writings, which come directly from her personal experience.  I hope that her beautiful writings will encourage you to seek a deeper life in God through Our Lady.  Venerable Marie Petyt is one of those relatively rare souls who experienced a profound mystical union with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“It happens that my soul, turned completely towards God and adhering to Him in contemplation and fruition of his absolutely simple Being, invitationglorifyexperiences at the same time a like adherence to Mary, a like contemplation and enjoyment of Mary in so far as She is one with God and united to Him… God in His goodness has granted me also the grace of breathing gently, as it were, in Mary, of living in Her and experiencing a wonderful sweetness when I hear or pronounce Her dear name, and even when I merely think of it… She produces and nourishes the life of the soul in God by a perceptible influx of graces which go before the soul, arouse it to action, strengthen and accompany it in action, and allow it to persevere in this life in God with greater constancy and purity.  This influx of grace which gives life to the soul seems to proceed directly from the loving Heart and hands of Mary… in order to adorn our souls and render them beautiful in the sight of God…

“She remains constantly before me, leading and instructing me in the path of the spirit and in the perfect practice of the virtues, urging me on by Her sweet, motherly smile.  And thus not for a moment do I lose the feeling of Her presence and of the presence of God… I completely relinquished ownership of myself and gave that self entirely to Mary, so that it might be as property no longer belonging to me but to Her…  Since I made that offering, I can feel Her direction much more sensibly, much more clearly and certainly; She guides me in all that I must do or omit, as if She were leading me by the hand… She shows me how to correct myself… how to purify my soul in God… It seems that a ray comes forth from Her maternal Heart, giving me the light by which to perceive these things and the will to carry them out in practice…

“My desire is so intense to please my dearest Mother in all things, to do always what She likes best.  Within my soul there is the most devoted attention, in order that I might perceive the very slightest interior indication of Her preferences… How deeply do I feel enamored of Her when I think of Her great kindness and Her motherly love for us! … I am always conscious of the action of Mary’s spirit, inciting me, commanding me, directing me, in almost everything I do…

“I receive the powerful influence of Her spirit within my soul…  Sometimes God acts in different manners on the powers of my soul.  Then I remain passive, resolved to submit to the measureless grandeur of God.  Suddenly He fills me with a tender and childlike love for my dearest Mother, and He teaches me words of loving admiration… I felt that I received the supernatural life in my soul from God, through Mary, so that I seemed to live, to act, and to love through God and through Mary… The flames of love are springing forth again with great violence… Would that it might be given to me, and to all, to depart from life in this manner, out of love for God and for Mary…”

            Yes, would that we could all die with flames of love springing from our hearts for God and for Mary!  This is the precious fruit of our faith, our devotion, our consecration.  This is Heaven in her Heart: finding therein the Uncreated Light and Love which she bears with her as Tabernacle of the Divinity, which she gives us as Mediatrix of Grace.  As Mother, she ardently longs to enclose us within her Immaculate Heart and thus to bring us to Our Lord, exclaiming to the whole heavenly court: “Behold: I and the children God has given me!” (Heb. 2:13).

To be continued…

Heaven in Her Heart (Part 19)

Reparation: An Important Practice of Our Consecration

            When we belong completely to Mary, she can offer us to Jesus as her own: this is why she draws us to herself.  Mary does not seek her own glory.  She already has endless glory in Heaven.  She is loved by God more than any other creature, and she enjoys the love and honor of countless angels and saints, whom she can command at will.  If she requires our homage, it is only because this consoles and delights the Heart of her Son, for whom she will do anything.

            Mary loves God so much that she does whatever it takes to bring souls to Him.  If that means first attracting us by her goodness, tender compassion, and motherly love, all well and good.   Once we are drawn irresistibly to her and surrender ourselves to her beautiful, loving Heart, and are thus willing to do anything to remain in her love, she is free to do with us as she pleases.  So what she does is offer us to God as living sacrifices for the salvation of souls!  For next to her love for God, the most important thing to our heavenly Mother is the salvation of her children.  Offering sacrifices and reparation are ways to win grace for souls and to help keep them out of Hell, so if we have lovingly placed ourselves at Mary’s service, she will ask us to share in the difficult work of helping to save souls.

            The offering of reparation is the fruit of our love.  Jesus loved us so much that He gave his life for us, suffering unspeakable pain in order to atone for our sins.  He said: “No one has greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn. 15:13).  To offer reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners is a way of “laying down our lives” for them, and for love of Jesus and Mary.  The following are some messages concerning reparation to the Heart of Mary, received by Lucia (later Sister Lucia) at Fatima and elsewhere, after she became a nun.

            Our Lady said at Fatima: “I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”

            On December 10, 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia at a convent in Pontevedra, Spain.  Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia’s shoulder, revealing her Heart encircled by thorns.  The Child Jesus said: “Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation…”

            Our Lady spoke next, saying: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

            Mary also told Sister Lucia: “There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask for reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray…”

            Why were five first Saturdays of reparation requested?  It was in order to help atone for the five ways in which people offend the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Attacks upon Mary’s Immaculate Conception, attacks against her Perpetual Virginity, attacks upon her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind, publicly implanting in children’s hearts indifference, contempt, and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother, and, finally, insulting her directly in her sacred images.

            Our Lady said that her Immaculate Heart was pierced as it were by thorns because of those who sin against her, especially through blasphemy and ingratitude, and that she wants us to console her for this pain in her Heart and thus to win grace for the sinners.

            We might ask at this point how anyone in Heaven can suffer and at the same time abide in eternal happiness.  This is a mystery, but it must be true, since Heaven has confirmed it, though it is still something we cannot easily comprehend.  Blaise Pascal famously wrote: “Christ is in agony until the end of the world,” because He is one with the members of his Body who suffer on earth.  Because He still relates to us in time, He experiences grief and pain over our sins, even though He once and for all nailed them to the Cross.  Raissa Maritain wrote that there is “an unnamed perfection” in God that is analogous to human suffering.  So this mysterious suffering out of love, even in Heaven, enhances the divine perfection rather than diminishing it.

            Since Our Lady suffered so intensely and lovingly in union with Jesus on Golgotha, we can be sure that He has united her to Himself in Heaven in a similar way. Mary shares in all the divine perfections in the fullest way possible for one who remains a creature.  She is, of course, supremely happy in Heaven in relation to God and all the angels and saints, but in relation to her sinful and suffering children, she will endure a mysterious kind of suffering until the last judgment and general resurrection.  So even if the thorns piercing her Heart are symbolic representations, the reality to which they refer is not at all symbolic, but one that draws tears from the heavenly Mother, which are sometimes even manifested in her sacred images in this world.

Mother of our Peace

            Even if we are called to suffer in order to join our heavenly Mother in sharing Jesus’ work of saving souls, we can remain in peace if we are united to her Heart.  This mystery is beautifully explained in the following reflection by Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB:

“There was never moment when the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary was not established in peace. Her Immaculate Heart is a haven of peace for poor sinners, a refuge from the attacks of the enemy who seeks to destroy all peace in our souls and on the face of the earth… The closer we are to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the closer we are to peace, that is, the absence of sin. Sin is what disturbs true peace; sin is what destroys peace. If you would have peace, avoid sin, and should you fall into sin, confess it without delay, so that peace may be restored to your soul. Mary, being sinless from the first instant of her conception, is, of all creatures, the most peaceful. She is utterly tranquil and perfectly serene.

“God created the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be the single most peaceful place in the universe. Mary is the living temple prepared by God for God; her Heart is a sanctuary untouched by the violence and wickedness of a world seduced by Satan. Even when, as a mother full of pity for her wayward children, Mary presses sinners to her Heart, nothing of sin’s contagion taints her. The Immaculate is not soiled by the filth of her fallen children, even as she stoops to lift us out of the mire of our miseries.

“If you would be apt for the advent of the Lord, seek peace where it is to be found: in the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God. The closer you are to Mary, the more will you experience a peace that the world cannot give. Mary will teach you to discern the things that make for peace and avoid those that threaten to destroy it.

Pax inter spinas“The peace of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not diminished by suffering; it flourishes in the midst of thorns. The old Benedictine motif depicting the word PAX surrounded by a crown of thorns—pax inter spinas—is a kind of monogram of the Heart of the Mother of God. Did she not appear at Fatima with her Immaculate Heart surrounded by thorns?

“The inviolable peace of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was purchased at a great price, that is, with the Precious Blood of her Son, the immolated Lamb. If, in making our way to the sanctuary of the maternal Heart of Mary, we must pass through the thorns that encircle it, it is so that we might be associated with the redeeming Passion of her Son, and so that a few drops of our blood might be mingled with the torrent of that flood so copiously from His head, His hands, His feet, and His side.

Those of you who have come to love the rosary know that it produces peace in the soul of one who perseveres in praying it. The rosary leads one directly into the refuge of Mary’s sinless heart, into a sanctuary of peace that cannot be threatened, troubled, or assailed by powers visible or invisible. Peace, being the absence of sin, is rightly in the giving of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. If you pray her rosary, she will give you her peace.” (http://vultus.stblogs.org/2013/01/mary-is-the-mother-of-our-peac.html)

To be continued…

Heaven in Her Heart (Part 18)

Mother and Mistress

            In describing certain dimensions of our consecration, there are two terms we ought to try to recover for spiritual use.  The meanings of these terms have been altered over the centuries or have acquired undesirable connotations.  One beautiful title for Mary, which many saints of old have used, is “Mistress.”  This is simply the feminine form of the word “Master,” as “Lady” is of “Lord.” The word “Lady” also needs to be rehabilitated, for its common usage makes it apply to almost any woman and not specifically to a noble woman who holds great authority and power.

            Nowadays, the English word “mistress” is mostly used to describe a woman with whom a married man is having an affair.  Thus many would perhaps not wish to use the term for the all-pure Virgin Mother and Queen!  Personally, however, I have gotten used to calling Mary my heavenly Mistress, for it is another way to call her my Queen or my Lady, but perhaps it is even a stronger term than those, for it implies a kind of “ownership.”  This sort of relationship is developed at length by St Louis de Montfort in his classic book, True Devotion to Mary.

            If Mary is my Mistress, then I am necessarily her slave, though in a special and beautiful sense. This word, “slave,” is another term with Our Lady's slavewhich many people are uncomfortable.  But let’s at least try to understand its meaning in the writings of the saints.  We may adopt or reject any such term for use in our spiritual lives—though we are not free to dismiss dogmatic titles like Mother of God, Ever-virgin, Immaculate Conception, etc—but we ought at least to have some understanding before we make any decisions.

            First of all, “slave” is a biblical term that often is not translated accurately.  In English bibles, it is usually translated “servant,” perhaps because the translators think we cannot tolerate the word of God in full strength.  When you read “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:1), you should know that it really says “Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ.”  Likewise, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”(James 1:1), is really “James, a slave of God…”  St Paul also goes on at length in Romans (6:15-23) about how we are no longer slaves of sin but “slaves of God” (6:22).  He sums it up clearly when he writes: “You are not your own; you were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  So when St Louis de Montfort invites us to become slaves of Christ by giving ourselves as such to Mary, he is affirming with St Paul that we are not our own, and thus his background is biblical.

            St Paul also said to St Timothy: “Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor” (1 Tim. 6:1).  If the Bible says that earthly masters are to be considered “worthy of all honor,” we ought all the more to honor Mary, who is our heavenly Mistress!  Of course, St Louis’ idea of slavery also has nothing to do with a cruel and inhuman institution.   St Louis is thinking more of the European monarchies of his day, and according to his cultural background he would have us be devoted slaves of a benevolent King and Queen.

            There’s another point that we should consider.  “Slave” is, in a practical sense, closer in meaning to “son” or “daughter” than it is to “servant.”  We all know Mary as our Mother, and that is the primary way to approach her.  But if we wish to consecrate our lives to her, she acquires an additional sort of authority over us, which merits the title “Mistress” (or Queen or Lady, if you prefer).  A servant is basically a hireling who works for pay and has little relation to those who hire him apart from his work.  A servant still belongs to himself.  A slave, however, belongs to his master (or his mistress), but so does a young child belong to his mother and father!  The child is not independent of them, he needs and depends on them for everything, and obedience is expected from him.  He does not merely perform a series of tasks and then do whatever he wishes when his service is done.  So both a little child and a slave are under the absolute authority of the one(s) to whom they belong, unlike a servant.

            The point is this: we ought to consider it an honor to be slaves of our heavenly Mistress, because we should desire to belong to her.  Sift out the negative connotations and think of it as total belonging.  By our consecration to Mary, we belong to her, and in belonging to her, we belong to the Lord, for, as you recall, whatever we offer to Mary, she offers to God as her own, for his good pleasure and greater glory.

            A few more texts from St Louis de Montfort will help us understand this:

“It is the most decided wish of the Son that we should come to Him through His Blessed Mother.  We honor and please Him by doing so, just as a subject would please and honor his King by making himself a slave of the Queen… A king will glory in the fact that the queen, his companion, has slaves… since the honor paid to her and the power she exercises is honor done to him and is his power; and can it be credited that Our Lord—Who, as the best of all sons, has shared His entire power with His Blessed Mother—should take it amiss that she has her slaves?” (True Devotion, #76).

“Since we lower ourselves willingly to a state of slavery out of love for Mary, our dear Mother, she out of gratitude opens wide our hearts enabling us to walk with giant strides in the way of God’s commandments.  She delivers our souls from weariness, sadness and scruples.  It was this devotion that our Lord taught to Mother Agnes de Langeac, a religious who died in the odor of sanctity, as a sure way of being freed from the severe suffering and confusion of mind which afflicted her. ‘Make yourself,’ He said, ‘my Mother’s slave, and wear her little chain.’  She did so, and from that time onwards her troubles ceased” (The Secret of Mary #41).

“One day, the Blessed Virgin appeared to [Mother Agnes], and placed a golden chain about her neck to show her how pleased this good Mother had been when she made herself the slave of Jesus and of Mary; and Saint Cecilia, who accompanied the Blessed Virgin in this vision, said to Mother Agnes: ‘Blessed are the faithful slaves of the Queen of Heaven, because they shall enjoy true liberty…’” (True Devotion, #170).

            If you still have some difficulty with the word “slave,” yet you understand and accept the concept of total belonging and perpetual service, there is another term that can be used: “bond-servant.”  I have seen this in at least one biblical translation.  It is a synonym for “slave,” meaning literally one who is bound to serve another without any wages.  Yet this term is also open to the spiritual understanding of a personal “bonding” with the Heart of Mary.  As such it has nothing to do with the “bondage” of one who is a slave against his will.

            So as bond-servants of the Queen, we bind ourselves to Mary’s service, without expecting any “wage” in return, yet still full of confidence that this service will incline the loving Heart of Jesus to freely grant us his overflowing grace and mercy.  The very word “religion” is derived from a Latin term meaning “to bind,” so the Christian faith is essentially a binding of ourselves to Christ in loving service for the fulfillment of his will, in the hope of receiving the gift of eternal life.  To bind ourselves to Christ by becoming bond-servants of his holy Mother is a particularly blessed and fruitful way of living our life in Him.

            Finally, let us remember these words of St Louis de Montfort, to encourage us in our faithful service of the Queen, which is ultimately service of the King: “Whenever you turn your thoughts to Mary, Mary refers your thoughts to God in her own personal worship, so that you cannot praise or honor Mary without Mary immediately praising and honoring God in your name… When she is praised, when she is loved, when she is honored or when any gift is made to her, it is God Who is praised, loved and glorified, and it is God Who receives the gift through Mary and in Mary” (True Devotion, #225).  Everything finds its goal and fulfillment in God, and therefore all we do must be ultimately intended to glorify Him.  By giving ourselves over to our beloved Mistress, we know that the best possible worship, prayer, sacrifice, and service will be offered to the Lord, for she will make it as perfect as her own.  Blessed are the faithful slaves of the Queen of Heaven!

To be continued…

Heaven in Her Heart (Part 17)

Mother of Our Divine Life

            When preaching the word of God to his people, Jesus solemnly declared this holy and saving truth: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world… He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day… He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him… As I live because of the Father, so he who eats of me will live because of me…” (Jn. 6:51, 54, 56-57).

            We see from Jesus’ words that whoever receives his Body and Blood in Holy Communion (worthily, that is; see 1 Cor. 11:27-30) will live forever.  Yet such a person already has eternal life, says the Lord.  This life is “in you” (6:53).  What we usually think of as “eternal life” is the “live forever” part, which is, of course, true.  But this doesn’t express the whole truth.  To say that eternal life is in us when we eat and drink the Flesh and Blood of Christ, is to say that eternal life is divine life, the life of God, of Christ, in us.  God is eternal and therefore the life He gives is eternal—beginning now and lasting forever in Heaven.

            Our divine (eternal) life begins at baptism and is strengthened by faith and prayer, but primarily by the Holy Eucharist.  Jesus’ Flesh and Blood were given to us as food, “for the life of the world.”  We have this life of Christ in us; it is given as a gift.  It is for us to do our utmost to help maintain and preserve it so that we may be “raised up on the last day.”  But because of our weakness and inborn inclination to sin this is extremely difficult, and we risk losing our eternal life and happiness.

            This is where Our Lady comes in.  Mary is Mother of God the Son incarnate; she carried Him in her womb, gave birth to Him, nursed Him,Bavarian Madonna 3 resize raised Him, and took care of him.  What she does in our souls is analogous to what she did for Jesus on earth.  She nurtures his presence within us, from the moment of baptism to the hour of our death.  Mary is the universal Mother, given to us as such on Calvary.  She is now glorified in Heaven and exercises all the power God grants to her as Mother and Mediatrix of Grace.  It is her task to preserve and bring to full maturity the divine and eternal life in us, to keep it safe for the Kingdom of Heaven.

            We ought to be more consciously aware, then, of the presence of the Mother in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist at every offering of the Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy.  We may not always reflect on the fact that, as the mystery of Our Lord’s death and resurrection is sacramentally re-presented on every Catholic altar, the whole redemptive event—including the presence of Mary at the foot of the Cross—is likewise made present.  Blessed John Paul writes of this in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (Church of the Eucharist):

“In the memorial of Calvary [which is the Eucharistic Sacrifice], all that Christ accomplished by his passion and his death is present.  Consequently all that Christ did with regard to his Mother for our sake is also present.  To her he gave the beloved disciple and, in him, each of us…  To each of us he also says: ‘Behold your mother!’ (cf. Jn. 19: 26-27).  Experiencing the memorial of Christ’s death in the Eucharist also means continually receiving this gift.  It means accepting—like John—the one who is given to us anew as our Mother.  It also means taking on a commitment to be conformed to Christ, putting ourselves at the school of his Mother and allowing her to accompany us.  Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist.  If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist” (#57).

            Therefore we continually receive the gift of Mary as Mother every time we participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.  This makes it all the more clear that she is the Mother of our Divine Life, which is in our souls as Christ’s abiding presence given to us in Holy Communion.

            Concerning Mary as Mother of Christ’s life in us, Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe, OP, writes: “Mary is eternally the Mother of the members of Christ: Mother of their divine life, a mother who never ceases to beget them to this divine life; a mother who never ceases to watch over them, carry them, feed them, sustain them, educate them and direct them toward the Heart of Jesus and toward the Father while teaching them to be completely docile to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…

            “In His wisdom, God willed to fully establish Mary as Mother of His Son so that she might fully be Mother of [Christ’s] members, in order that she might eternally play this role as Mother of our divine life.  That is why the gift of this divine life which she gives to her children is realized in this particular modality of maternity.  She is the vital milieu where their divine life can blossom.  She is the one who carries and envelops their Christian life, who disposes their souls to the action of the Holy Spirit… Mary’s maternal rule over us primarily concerns the blossoming of our Christian life, the perfection of our life of faith, hope, and love…”  (from The Mystery of Mary; see his fuller treatment of this insight in Appendix C).

            The whole of our life is held in her motherly arms, wrapped in her mantle of holy protection, watched over carefully to preserve the Divine Life within us.  This is her main concern and is also the concern of our guardian angels and patron saints and whoever we call upon in Heaven for help.  Nothing is more important to them (and nothing should be more important to us) than allowing this Divine Life—Christ abiding in us and we in Him—to flourish in us.

            It is almost as if our souls are like Mary’s womb, for we carry the life of Christ delicately within us, waiting for the full revelation of his Mystery when all is finally manifest.  The Divine Life in us seems as fragile and vulnerable as an unborn child, because with the terrible gift of our free will we are able to cast it from us by turning away from the Lord in a deliberate or even definitive manner.  So all of Heaven is praying for us, that the Divine Life in us will “come to term,” will grow and become ever stronger, sanctifying us and preparing us for an eternity of irrepressible life and joy in the Kingdom of Heaven.

            So in a spiritual sense Our Lady brings to birth countless children of God, nourishes and cares for their Divine Life as the heavenly Mother.  She sees and loves Jesus in us and takes care of us with the love with which God enabled her to love Jesus in such a surpassing manner, like no other. The Infant or Child Jesus in Mary’s arms can be for us a symbol of our Divine Life that she holds and draws to her Heart and loves and cares for. We are reflections of Him for her: the brothers and sisters of her Only-begotten.

            In the measure we give ourselves to her, she can embrace and protect our lives and insure that the Divine Life will grow in us in ways we could not accomplish on our own, even with the ordinary help of grace.  For if Mary, the all-holy, all-pure one, is leading and guiding us, and if we have placed everything in her hands, the life of Christ will come to perfection in us.  She can do this by the will of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, with whom she constantly and intimately works.  This is the main reason we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

            Heaven weeps if we disregard or reject the gift of divine and eternal life, offered through baptism and Holy Communion.  The saints and angels do all in their power to help us restore it if we have foolishly lost it or thrown it away.  The meaning of our life is simply to cherish this inner Divine Life and make it bear fruit through whatever mission the Lord gives us.  For once we have the Divine Life in us, we are called to help others to open themselves to receive it, according to our particular vocations.

            Make sure, then, that you receive and live from the Divine, Eternal Life that is in you, especially through the Sacraments, through worthy and devout reception of Holy Communion.  Then allow the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of your Divine Life, to see to it that this Life grows and matures and is kept safe for the Kingdom of Heaven.  The Divine Life is everything.  There is no other reason we are in this world—except to share the knowledge of this precious gift with others, so that all the children of God can come Home to eternal happiness.

To be continued…