Monday, June 23, 2008

"...is it not astonishing and pitiful..."


In his classic work True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort writes, "...my dear Master, is it not astonishing and pitiful to see the ignorance and short-sightedness of men with regard to your holy Mother? I am not speaking so much of idolaters and pagans who do not know you and consequently have no knowledge of her. I am not even speaking of heretics and schismatics who have left you and your holy Church and therefore are not interested in your holy Mother. I am speaking of Catholics, and even of educated Catholics, who profess to teach the faith to others but do not know you or your Mother except speculatively, in a dry, cold and sterile way.

These people seldom speak of your Mother or devotion to her. They say they are afraid that devotion to her will be abused and that you will be offended by excessive honour paid to her. They protest loudly when they see or hear a devout servant of Mary speak frequently with feeling, conviction and vigour of devotion to her. When he speaks of devotion to her as a sure means of finding and loving you without fear or illusion, or when he says this devotion is a short road free from danger, or an immaculate way free from imperfection, or a wondrous secret of finding you, they put before him a thousand specious reasons to show him how wrong he is to speak so much of Mary. There are, they say, great abuses in this devotion which we should try to stamp out and we should refer people to you rather than exhort them to have devotion to your Mother, whom they already love adequately.

If they are sometimes heard speaking of devotion to your Mother, it is not for the purpose of promoting it or convincing people of it but only to destroy the abuses made of it. Yet all the while these persons are devoid of piety or genuine devotion to you, for they have no devotion to Mary. They consider the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions suitable only for simple women or ignorant people. After all, they say, we do not need them to be saved. If they come across one who loves our Lady, who says the rosary or shows any devotion towards her, they soon move him to a change of mind and heart. They advise him to say the seven penitential psalms instead of the Rosary, and to show devotion to Jesus instead of to Mary.

Dear Jesus, do these people possess your spirit? Do they please you by acting in this way? Would it please you if we were to make no effort to give pleasure to your Mother because we are afraid of offending you? Does devotion to your holy Mother hinder devotion to you? Does Mary keep for herself any honour we pay her? Is she a rival of yours? Is she a stranger having no kinship with you? Does pleasing her imply displeasing you? Does the gift of oneself to her constitute a deprivation for you? Is love for her a lessening of our love for you?

Nevertheless, my dear Master, the majority of learned scholars could not be further from devotion to your Mother, or show more indifference to it even if all I have just said were true. Keep me from their way of thinking and acting and let me share your feelings of gratitude, esteem, respect and love for your holy Mother. I can then love and glorify you all the more, because I will be imitating and following you more closely." (TD, 64, 65).

Not only devotion to Our Lady, but more specifically devotion to the Holy Rosary is often downplayed by those who, either consciously or unconsciously, have become instruments of the Evil One. The Devil knows full well that what St. Louis de Montfort says about the Holy Rosary is true: "I beg of you to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance - as do ignorant people, and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the Rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God. Almighty God has given it to you because he wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it." (Secret of the Rosary, White Rose).

The Devil frequently uses people (and this includes misguided Catholics) to frustrate or hinder the Confraternity of the Rosary. Why is this? Because, as St. Louis De Montfort explains: "Blessed Alan de la Roche, Fr. Jean Dumont, Fr. Thomas, the chronicles of St. Dominic and other writers who have seen these things with their own eyes [miracles of the Rosary] speak of the marvelous conversions that are brought about by this wonderful devotion. Great sinners, both men and women, have been converted after twenty, thirty or forty years of sin and unspeakable vice...I shall content myself with saying, in company with Blessed Alan de la Roche, that the Rosary is a source and a storehouse of countless blessings. 1. Sinners obtain pardon; 2. Those who thirst are refreshed; 3. Those who are fettered are set free; 4. Those who weep find joy; 5. Those who are tempted find peace; 6. Those in need find help; 7. Religious are reformed; 8. The ignorant are instructed; 9. The living learn to resist spiritual decline; 10. The dead have their pains eased by suffrages." (Secret of the Rosary, Fortieth Rose).

I too have experienced many miracles through the recitation of the Rosary. It would require a full-length book to document them all. But here is one: In the 1990's, I was opposing the column of dissident theologian Rev. Richard P. McBrien which appeared every week in The Catholic Free Press. I was praying all three mysteries for the intention that his column would be removed by the Lord Jesus. One night, as I was on the Glorious mysteries, the hairs on my arm stood up on end and I felt what may only be described as an electricity passing around me as the scent of roses began to fill first the hallway leading to my bedroom and then my room. I could actually feel Our Lady's presence so I said out loud, "Hail Mary"! And at that precise moment, the scent of Roses exploded to such an extent that I could barely breathe. Those who have been overwhelmed in Church by the beautiful scent of incense will have some small idea of what I am talking about.

Not long afterward, perhaps a few days, I heard the Lord Jesus (not audibly but in what I take as some sort of interior locution) tell me that Fr. McBrien's column would be removed from The Catholic Free Press. And so it was.

This is why the Devil hates the Rosary and those children of Mary who pray it fervently.
“One Hail Mary well said makes hell tremble.” - St. John Vianney
"The rosary is the scourge of the devil." - Pope Adrian VI
"The rosary is THE WEAPON." - St. Padre Pio

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I wonder if this is why Margaret Russell over at the CFP wrote you such an angry and accusatory letter? You may be right. Maybe your questions hit a nerve. The fact that your questions, which were charitably asked, would produce such a violent response, is rather chilling.

Anonymous said...

This is why some parishes, like St. Joseph's in Cleghorn, do not welcome the MMP. Because the MMP prays the Rosary and members pray a daily consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

William said...

Paul, I like this "Great sinners, both men and women, have been converted after twenty, thirty or forty years of sin and unspeakable vice..."

We should, therefore, offer many rosaries for John Hosty - and all those who are blinded by sin to choose intrinsically evil acts and to reject Jesus' Law of Love.

Storm Heaven with your rosaries. Everyone who is reading this, pray for the conversion of homosexual activist John Hosty.

Alzina said...

One of the signs of the times pointing to a loss of faith is that many if not most Catholics believe they can accomplis things under their own power alone and without the help of Jesus and His Mother. This arrogance has led to an unprecedented disaster and crisis of faith. We've tried things our way and the result? Sex abuse scandals and apostasy. More people shop the malls than attend Holy Mass now. Let's have recourse to Jesus, Mary and the Saints. Their way is better.

Michael Cole said...

Speaking of PFLAG/FFLAG, St. Camillus de Lellis Parish in Fitchburg has really promoted these groups in the past. Read here:
www.pflagworcester.org/
recommededresources.htm

And The Catolic Free Press published the meetings in the calendar. Meanwhile, an MMP Cenacle which Paul attends will not be listed in the CFP.

How is that for bizarre?

Sanctus Belle said...

Many protestant heresies seem to have found a home in Catholic parishes. I've been to masses which are barely discernable as Catholic. I tremble with the thought of how many souls in these times are lost to the fire. The devil rages against us without ceasing. The rosary is the best, surest and safest remedy for it all.

I felt drawn to the rosary years ago. At first I only held onto it, then I started watching the rosary recited on EWTN. Then I started praying along - and within no less than a week, I was in a terrific state of repentance, practically driven to confession and rapidly knew Jesus and ceased all my prideful rebellious thoughts about the Catholic church - all that "take what I like and leave the rest" stuff.

Thank you God for the rosary and I pray keep me and mine from leaving the heart of Your holy mother.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your great words and comments on the Rosary. I believe it is the real secret weapon against all sin, vice and the rage of evil in the world. Pray and make known Our wonderful Lady of La Salette, wear the Scapular of Carmel and persevere.

Site Meter