And Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch (Ecclesiasticus. 48.1, DRV)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eighth Day of Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


Consideration: On the Characters of True and False Devotion to Our Blessed Mother
by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort

After having laid bare [what essentially consists true Christian devotion to our Blessed Mother], we must, in a few words, characterize the true and false devotion. True devotion must be (1) interior, (2) tender, (3) holy, (4) constant, and (5) disinterested.

1. True devotion to Our Blessed Mother is interior, that is to say, it comes from the spirit and the heart. It flows from the esteem we have of Her, the high idea we have formed of Her greatness, and the love which we have for Her.

2. It is tender, that is to say, full of confidence in Her, like a child's confidence in his loving mother. This confidence makes the soul have recourse to Her in all its bodily or mental necessities, with much simplicity, trust, and tenderness. It implores the aid of its good Mother, at all times, in all places, and about all things; in its doubts, that it may be enlightened; in its wanderings, that it may be brought into the right path; in its temptations, that it may be supported; in its weaknesses, that it may be strengthened; in its falls, that it may be lifted up; in its discouragements, that it may be cheered; in its scruples, that they may be taken away; in its crosses, toils, and disappointments of life, that it may be consoled under them. In a word, in all its evils of body and mind, the soul's ordinary refuge is in Mary, without fearing to be importunate to Her or to displease Our Lord.

3. True devotion to our Blessed Mother is holy, that is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin, and to imitate in the Blessed Virgin particularly Her profound humility, Her lively faith, Her ever ready and willing obedience to God's will - whatever it may be - Her continual prayer, Her universal mortification, Her divine purity, Her ardent charity, Her heroic patience, Her angelical sweetness, Her prudence and divine wisdom, [and Her modesty]

4. True devotion to our Blessed Mother is constant. It confirms the soul in good, and it does not let it easily abandon its spiritual exercises. It makes [the soul] courageous in opposing the the world and its fashions and maxims, the flesh in its weariness and passions, and the devil in his temptations. So that a person truly devout to our Blessed Mother is neither changeable, irritable, scrupulous, nor timid. It is not that such a person does not fall, or change sometimes in the sensible feeling of devotion, or in the amount of devotion itself, But when he falls, he rises again by stretching out his hand to his good Mother. If he loses the taste and relish of devotion, he does not disturb himself because of that; for the just and faithful client of Mary lives on the faith of Jesus and Mary, and not on sentiments and sensibilities.

5. Lastly, true devotion to our Blessed Mother, is disinterested. That is to say, it inspires the soul not to seek itself but God only, and God in His Holy Mother. A true client of Mary does not serve that august Queen from a spirit of lucre and interest, nor for its own good, whether temporal, corporal, or spiritual; but exclusively because She merits to be served, and God alone in Her. He does not love Mary precisely because She does him good, or because he hopes in Her; but because She is so worthy of love. It is on this account that he loves and serves Her faithfully in his disgusts and drynesses, as in his sweetness and sensible fervors. He loves Her as much as in Calvary, as at the marriage in Cana.

Now, there are seven kinds of false devotees and false devotions to Our Blessed Mother:

1. The critical devotees are, for the most part, proud Christian scholars, rash and self-sufficient spirits, who have at bottom some devotion to Our Blessed Mother, but who criticize nearly all the practices of devotion to Her, which simple people pay simply and holily to their Good Mother, because these practices do not fall in with their own humor and fancy. They call in doubt all the miracles and histories recorder by authors worthy of our faith, or drawn from the chronicles of religious orders; narratives which testify to us the mercies and the power of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary... These kind of false devotees and of proud and worldly people are greatly to be feared. They don an infinite wrong to the devotion to Our Blessed Mother; and they are but too successful in alienating people from it, under the pretext of destroying its abuses.

2. The scrupulous devotees are those who fear to dishonor the Son by honoring the Mother, to abase the one in elevating the other. They cannot bear that we should attribute to Our Blessed Mother the most just praise which the holy Fathers of the Church have given Her... They are unwilling that we should speak so often of Our Blessed Mother, and address ourselves so frequently to Her. These are the favorite sentences constantly in their mouths: "We must have recourse to Jesus Christ; He is our only Mediator. We must preach Jesus Christ; this is the solid devotion." What they say is true in a certain sense, but it is very dangerous, when, by application they make of it, they hinder devotion to Our Blessed Mother and it is, under the pretext of a greater good, a subtle snare of the devil. For never do we honor Our Lord more than when we are  most honoring His Blessed Mother. Indeed we only honor the Blessed Mother that we may the more perfectly honor Our Lord, inasmuch as we only go to Her as to the way in which we are to find the end or goal we are seeking, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church, with the Holy Ghost, blesses the Virgin Mary first, and Our Lord second: Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus (Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus). It is not that Our Blessed Mother is more than Our Lord, or even equal to Him. That would be an intolerable heresy; but it is that, in order to bless Our Lord more perfectly, we must begin by blessing the Blessed Virgin Mary.

3. External devotees are persons who make all devotion to Our Blessed Mother consist in outward practices. They have no taste except for the exterior of this devotion, because they have no interior spirit of their own. They will say quantities of Rosaries with the greatest speed or precipitation; they will assist at many Masses distractedly; they will go without devotion to processions; they will enroll themselves in all sorts of Confraternities, without amending their lives, without doing any violence to their passions, or without imitating the virtues of the Most Holy Virgin... If they have not sensible sweetness in their practices, they think they are doing nothing; they will get all out of joint, throw everything up, or do everything at random.

4. Presumptuous devotees are sinners abandoned to their passions and vices, or lovers of the world, who under their fair name of Christians and clients of the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceal pride, avarice, impurity, drunkenness, anger, swearing, detraction, injustice, or some other sin. They sleep in peace in the midst of their bad habits, without doing any violence to themselves to correct their faults, under the pretext that they are devout to the Blessed Mother. They promise themselves that God will pardon them; that they will not be allowed to die without confession and Viaticum; and that they will not be lost eternally because they say the Rosary, because they fast on Saturdays [which in the Liturgical calendar of the Church is the day dedicated to the commemoration of Our Blessed Mother], because they wear the Scapular [and enrolled in the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (the Brown Scapular Confraternity), or because they belong to the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, or are enrolled in other congregations.

They will not believe us when we tell them that their devotion is only an illusion of the devil, and a pernicious presumption likely to destroy their souls. They say that God is good and merciful, that He has not made us to condemn us everlastingly [the error now being inculcated by the "New 'Catholic' Theology" - which supplanted the traditional Catholic Theology according to the School of St. Thomas Aquinas - in the seminaries of the "New 'Catholic' Order" ("Novus Ordo" in Latin) since Vatican II and the same poisonous 'theology' being silently fed to the faithful through the "New Mass"]... Nothing in Christianity is more detestable than this diabolical presumption!

In order to be truly devout to Our Immaculate  Blessed Mother, it is not absolutely necessary to be so holy as to avoid every sin, though this were to be wished; but so much at least is necessary, and lay it well to heart: (a) to have a sincere resolution to avoid, at least, all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother as well as the Son; (b) and to do violence to ourselves to avoid sin, to enroll ourselves in Confraternities [especially the Scapular Confraternity] to [pray] the Rosary [and meditate on its mysteries], to fast on Saturdays [which is a request also of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima], and the like, is wonderfully useful to the conversion of a sinner, however hardened: and if my reader is such a one, even if he has his foot in the abyss, I would counsel these things to him. Nevertheless, it must be on the condition that he will only practice these good works with the intention of obtaining from God, by the intercession of [Our Immaculate Mother of Carmel] the grace of contrition and the pardon of his sins, to conquer his evil habits, and not to remain quietly in the state of sin, in spite of the remorse of his conscience, the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Saints, and the maxim of the Holy Gospel.

5. The inconstant devotees who are devout to the Blessed Mother by intervals and whims. Sometimes they are fervent and sometimes lukewarm... They begin by taking up all the devotions to Her, and enrolling themselves in the Confraternities, and then they do not practice the rules with fidelity. They change like the moon; and Our Blessed Mother puts them under Her feet with the crescent, because they are mutable, and unworthy to be reckoned among the servants of that faithful Virgin, whose clients have for their special graces fidelity and constancy. It were better for such persons to load themselves with fewer prayers and practices, and to fulfill them with faithfulness and love, in spite of the world, the devil, and the flesh.

6. The hypocritical devotees, who cloak their sins and sinful habits under Her mantle, in order to pass in the eyes of men for what they are not.

7. There are also the interested devotees who have recourse to Our Blessed Mother only to gain some lawsuit, or to avoid some danger, or to be cured of some illness, or for some other similar necessity, without which they would forget Her altogether.

Opening Prayer

Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy  faithful, and
kindle in them the fire of Thine love. Send forth Thy
Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shall renew the
face of the earth.

O God, you instructed the hearts of the faithful by the
light of the Holy Spirit. Grant us by the same Spirit to be
truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation, through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena Prayer
“Flos Carmeli” by St. Simon Stock

Flos Carmeli Flower of Carmel
Vitis florigera Vine blossom-laden
Splendor Coeli Splendor of Heaven
Virgo puerpera Child-bearing Virgin
Singularis! None equals thee

Mater mitis Mother benign
Sed viri nescia Who no man didst know
Carmelitis On Carmel’s children
Da privilegia Thy favors bestow
Stella Maris! Star of the Sea

(Mention your petitions here.)

Concluding Prayers

Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
Show me herein that you are my Mother.

Sweet Mother, I place this cause into you hands.
There are none that can withstand your power.

You give us hope, O Mother of Mercy, that through your Scapular promise we might quickly pass through the fires of purgatory to the Kingdom of your Son. Be our comfort and our hope, grant that our hope may not be in vain but that, ever faithful to your Son and to you, we may speedily enjoy after death the blessed company of Jesus and the saints.

O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Our Father..., Hail Mary..., Glory be...

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.

The Litany of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world...
God the Holy Ghost...
Holy Trinity, One God...

Holy Mary, pray for us sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Queen of heaven...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Vanquisher of Satan...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Dutiful Daughter...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Pure Virgin...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Devoted Spouse...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Tender Mother...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Perfect Model of Virtue...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sure Anchor of Hope...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Refuge in affliction...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Dispensatrix of God's gifts...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Tower of strength against our foes...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our aid in danger...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Road leading to Jesus...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our light in darkness...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our consolation at the hour of death...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Advocate of the most abandoned sinners...

For those hardened in vice,
with confidence we come to thee O Lady of Mount Carmel.
For those who grieve thy Son...
For those who neglect to pray...
For those who are in their agony...
For those who delay their conversion...
For those suffering in Purgatory...
For those who know thee not...

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Hope of the Despairing
Intercede for us with thy Divine Son.

(Let Us Pray)

O God, who has honored the Order of Carmel with the
special title of thy Blessed Mother Mary, ever Virgin,
grant in thy mercy that we who keep her memory this day
may be shielded by her protection and be found worthy
to attain unto joy eternal. Who livest and reignest with
God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
world without end. Amen.

Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our Mother, penetrated with the most lively
confidence in your all-powerful and never failing
intercession, manifested so often through the Scapular, we
your loving and trustful children implore you to obtain
for us the graces and favors we ask during this Novena, if
they be beneficial to our immortal soul, and the souls
which we pray.

You know, O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, our Immaculate Mother
and Queen of Carmel, how often our souls have been the
sanctuaries of your Son Who disdains iniquity. Obtain for
us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which
will attach us to God alone so that our every thought,
word, and deed, may tend to his greater glory.

Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we
may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at
length attain to that blessed abode where you are Queen of
angels and of people. Amen.

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Salvation is in the "Blood of the Lamb"

Apocalypse XIV now unfolding (cf., our posts "The Wine of the Wrath of God" and "After Pope Benedict XVI, the 'Last' Roman Pontiff?"). The divine chastisement of world-wide conflagration (Lk. 17.29-30, cf., our post "Our Lady, Vatican II Disorientation, and the Annihilation of Many Nations") to annihilate the 'super-power' and cities and nations drunk with the wine of its immodesty, impurity, fornication, homosexuality, and blasphemies (Apoc. 14.8) is imminent - the close of our end-times period (distinct from the consummation of the world, Mt. 28.20).

They... have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb
(Apoc. 7.14) ... All things... are cleansed with Blood: and without shedding of Blood there is no remission (Heb. 9.22).

The Blood of the [Divine] Lamb can be availed of in the traditional Rite of the Sacrament of Penance (cf., our post "On Concealing Sins in Confession") and of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the Traditional Latin Mass). Go to our traditional Catholic Mass Centers (links on the left-side bar of this site). Flee to the mountains... (Mt. 24.16).

See also the Messages and Appeals (on the upper right-side bar) of the Apocalyptic Woman in her title of Our Lady of Fatima.