THE LIFE OF UNION WITH MARY
The essence and excellence of S. Slavery consists in applying, as far as possible, at every moment of life, to living in union and dependence on Mary: Going to Jesus for Mary; Always work with Mària; Always dwell in Mary; Do everything to please Mary.
Don’t be scared or believe that impossible: try and see. True Devotion does not consist of many practices, but of a great generous love and unlimited abandonment in the arms of a so tender Mother. Now confidence and love are within everyone’s reach. From this root and from this trunk will necessarily spousal the pylts and pious practical leaves, which are not true devotion, but are its natural development and manifestation. It is not possible to have true love and not feel the need to express it. Pious practices in turn preserve, foment and increase love more and more, as the leaves allow the roots and trunk to live and develop. Roots without branches would be impossible. Then try to plant deeply in your soul the tree of Devotion to Our Lady, and produce it flowers of practical pious practices and fruits of good works. But just as the fruits suffer from the nature of the root so the thoughts, words and works, life in short all of a true Son and Slave of Mary, must suffer from Mary, have the imprint of the one who has become the soul of her soul.
Not all practices are to be adopted.
“In the Church, says Mons. Saint-Clair, there is a great deal of practical and pious formolo, introduced by the Saints and approved by her; it is a very rich and very varied pharmacy. There is no spiritual disease that cannot find its convenient remedy there. But is it necessary to overload yourself with a multitude of these practices? Tell me a little bit: going to a pharmacy buy all the medicines that are there? No, of course, but you’re content to choose the ones you need. Do the same thing about the different practices I present to you, all good and holy, but not all adapted to all kinds of people and at all times of life. Choose according to the recipe of your attending physician, that is, according to the advice of your Confessor or Spiritual Father”.
The important thing is not to add new practices, but to do better what you already do; give them the Marian intonation, making them in union with Mary, in her spirit, even without giving her the name.’ It is not necessary to always have the thought of Our Lady, but it is necessary that you habitually work for her, so it is enough that there you think only to do well what you do well, but at the bottom of your heart there must be love that pushes you precisely to do your duty well to please Mary. If you ask a mother, staring into her duties: What do you think? Respond. who thinks about doing what he does. But if you insist on asking her: “Why do you do your job with such diligence and joy, that you almost do not seem to feel the fatigue?” She will answer that it is the love of her son, the thought of benefiting him or giving him pleasure that drives her, and the memory of her son without wanting to return to her a thousand times at the thought, almost without noticing it and without preventing her work. So little by little, as he grows up in love, he will be of you about Mary.
Usefulness and need for a living regulation
especially for hey he wants to strive for perfection.
1) Having to do the will of your Mistress in all, you must not be guided by the whim, by the impression of the moment; the rule of your operation must no longer be your taste, but the pleasure of Mary expressed by your Rules of Procedure. If you live in the community your Rules our Lady gives you nice and done and you have nothing but to make very few additions. Even if you live in the world you can easily know Mary’s will. Because, when you have made yourself a good way of life, elastic enough to adapt to the most ordinary events of the day, when the confessor, who must be for you the spokesperson of Our Lady, will have approved it, you no longer have to concern it as your work, as a law that you have imposed on you, but as an expression of the will of Mary SS, even in the least circumstances of life.
You must not change your way of life, until superiors, necessity or charity advise you on that date to leave out or postpone that practical date. Never lack charity, obedience and nor reasonable condescension, when it comes only to the practices of the Rules of Procedure, which you have imposed on you, which for themselves do not oblige neppur under penalty of venial sin. Do not have a sad and rude holiness, but remember that you must spread around you the sweetness and amiability of Our Lady.
2) The way of life makes you sanctified even the most humble actions, such as eating and sleeping; all your actions will be like a continuous prayer, because in all of them you will seek only to serve and please your amiable Mistress.
3) The Regulation you will get used to a continuous and much-needed renunciation of your will to obey Our Lady will gradually empty them of yourself, make you die to yourself, to your tastes, to your judgment, to your will, what forms the first step on the path of holiness.
4) The Rules of Procedure will give you constancy for good, without letting yourself be guided by momentary fervour, which makes us embrace everything, and then abandon everything, just ceased that straw fire. Never abandon your practices because you feel arid, tasteless: remember that it is time then to show your fidelity and that the less taste you will try, the more taste Our Lady will try.
5) The observance of the method is a continuous renewal of your consecration, because since you have imposed it on you in order to really live the consecration, every effort you make to observe it is like a saying to Our Lady: I am all yours, to you alone I watch pleasure and not to myself. So without noticing:
6) You will get used to doing with perfection, even the smallest actions and, what is of the utmost importance,
7) To do everything for pure love. Therefore, decide to put your whole life at the service of Mary, to strive to follow mary’s greatest taste in all your actions. Study at Mary’s feet your rules of life and ask her for the constancy to observe it. You can also just mark with a pencil, among the practices that I will indicate later, those you want to adopt and write in a leaflet, those special resolutions adapted to the special needs of your soul and the conditions of your life.
The rise with Mary
The awakening. — You will never be holy if you do not know the sacrifice to get up at a fixed time and in time, From the rise depends all day. It’s about the voice of the bell, the alarm clock or the superiors, like the voice of Mary calling you to the church. Imagine hearing the guardian angel telling you, as at B. Labouré: Get up, Our Lady is waiting for you in the chapel !
Your first thought, your first look, your first word is addressed to Jesus and Mary, “As soon as you wake up, Jesus said to St. Matilda, greet my Heart and offer me yours”. “Since I wake up, said B. Susone, my soul turns to Mary” It is this initial act that gives as the tone, the dominant note of the day. How Maria is jealous of the first fruits! Next to your bed is Our Lady with the divine Son, who awaits your awakening, but there is also the devil who contests your first thought, your first throbbing of the heart. Who are you going to give it to?
After Our Lady has kept her protective gaze on you all night, and now at your first awakening, like a tender mother folded on the cradle of her baby, wait for your first look, your first smile, you will turn to the other side and you will not deworthy her with a greeting?
To immediately overcome laziness, which invites you to bask in that dangerous morning sleep, turn on the light, sit on the bed, make the Sign of Cross, receiving the blessing of Our Lady, print a beautiful kiss on your medal, and briefly renew your consecration by saying one of the following jaculatories:
Long live Jesus! Long live Mary!
I am all yours and everything I own, I offer it to you, lovable my Jesus, through Mary, your SS. Mother ! (ind. 300 g. o. v.)
I renounce myself and I turn to you, my dear Mother; Deh. ! pray, work, suffer and agiaci You in me!
St. Heart of Jesus I give myself to You through Mary. (ind. 300 g. o. v.)
O Holy Virgin, at my cheek to-night, loving, you have watched over me; Deh, protect me against all evil on this day that has just begun.
Examples. “Every morning I prostrated myself to the ground, I fell back and praised God for his Being and for the affected perfections, and for having created me out of nowhere. I put my soul in his hands, asking that he have me at his approval for that day and for life, and teach me what was most pleasing to him, to fulfill it. As my disciple, I want you to enter me in this exercise.” (Our Lady on Fri. Agreda)
S, Vincenzo jumped out of bed and prostrated himself and kissed the earth humbly worshipping the Holy Trinity and said: Benedìcta sit sanata et individua Trinitàs, nunc et semper et per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen. Sancta Dei Genitrix sit nobis auxiliatrix et protrerix. Then he kissed the earth again. Other Saints used to prostrate themselves to the nearest church or shrine and worship Jesus in the Sacrament and receive Our Lady’s blessing there.
S, Rosa Da Lima,still a girl, was very concerned to get up early in time to entertain herself with God in those early hours of the day. But since for the vigils continued in prayer she could hardly wake up, with childish simplicity begged Our Lady to want to be her mother and wake her up every morning when it was time to get up” Her prayer was answered and every morning, as if Our Lady came to call her, at the appointed time she woke up.
St. John Berkmans wrote: The way in which you spend the first moments that follow waking up largely depends on the success of morning meditation. Therefore at the first sign of the rise, he thinks that God himself calls you: he immediately makes the sign of the cross and stand up saying: What do you want me to do, O Lord? My heart is ready, my God, my heart is ready! I will be diligent in getting up promptly and, chasing every other thought, I will walk the points of meditation. Before wearing the dress I will kiss him gladly to bring one more day the livery of Jesus C. Every morning I will choose a saint who will protect me in a special way, on the day I am about to begin.
Blessed Simon Garzia used to say every time he woke up: I salt you, O Daughter of the Eternal Father; I greet you, O Mother of the divine Son; I greet you, O Bride of the Holy Spirit; I greet you, O August temple of the adorable Trinity.
1) Dress promptly: all the minutes you stay in bed after the set hour are given to the devil.
2) Dress modestly, in the presence of God, under the gaze of Mary and your Angel; especially if there are others sleeping in the same room. But with certain fashions of today.. with certain rooms covered with mirrors.. how is modesty possible? And to say that above the bed hangs the crucifix and the image of the Virgin.. oh, if they could, those paintings would run away..
3) Dress with avotion thinking of the subject of meditation, or communion or praying to Mary to clothe you, like Rebecca, with the virtues of Jesus Christ and his. You can recite the following prayer: In two. me, Domina, novum hominem in qui secundum Deum creatus est in justitia et sanctitate veritatis. Amen
The toilet. — By washing you, pray to Our Lady to purify your soul and make it worthy of appearing to God in prayer and receiving it in S. Communion.
A slave of Mary will be dressed cleanly, conveniently to her condition, but she will avoid any vain refinement. Do not change in vanity the clothes that are witnesses of our shame. The necessity of clothing is a consequence of original sin. How can Our Lady welcome among her favorites those who so much disabey her in the modesty of dressing? How dare they call themselves slaves of Mary those who go procavely to show off their flesh of sin? Waste less time in front of the mirror and you’ll find enough to mirror yourself in Mary in Meditation. Also cover with cologne the bad smell that emanates from our miserable body, but remember that the best smell is not to have any. Instead of hanging your neighbour with certain too spicy and sensual smells, expand around you the good smell of the virtues of Christ and Mary.
Cleanliness adunque, property, even elegance, out of respect for ourselves, for others and especially for God; but mary cannot like those who seek pleasure in the world; it cannot be a slave of Our Lady who is a slave of fashion. How much money you’ll have left for good works if you don’t become a fickle and ridiculous fashion slave.
Examples. The Fri. Olier waited to cover the new clothes on Saturday and went to offer them to Our Lady begging her not to allow those clothes to be desecrated with sin. He confesses that Our Lady had to taste that act, because every time he omitted it soon or the clothes got dirty, or ripped or squandered; so even as an adult he had to continue this practice learned as a boy. , Even the B. Susone when he dressed a new white robe (Dominican) went to the chapel to thank the Virgin for giving that white livery to the Preachers Friars and ardently asked her for the purity of which that whiteness was a symbol. When the barber with the great Dominican tonsure seemed to place around his head a crown of hair that gave him a good look of fresh youth, he told Our Lady: Virgin Mary, if my face had the vermilion freshness of the rose, your servant would offer only this beauty to you.
Our Lady’s Blessing
At the end of your dressing room, recite morning prayers in front of your altar, and if you can’t go to church for mass, get at least a quarter of an hour of Meditation. Before leaving the chamber, however, do not forget to ask for the blessing of Our Lady, saying for example: Bless me, O Mary, with the hand of your Jesus: in the name of the Father, etc.
Examples. St. Liduina, St. John Eudes, St. John Berkmans, St. Philip Neri, and many other Saints did not leave the chamber without first asking for our Lady’s blessing. B. Cottolengo put an image of Mary at the door of the Little House, so that everyone entering or leaving greeted her and asked for her blessing.
Card II. Pie had. the same practice, and a priest tells that, having one day come out of his Palace, he immediately returned to it, as one who forgot something: he had failed to kiss the feet of his heavenly Mother.
To B. Angela da Foligno one day, after the elevation, the Virgin appeared and said to her: “My dear daughter, beloved of my Son, your Savior visited you and gave you his blessing. It is reasonable that he should also receive mine.’ Having said that, he blessed her by reminding her of her invaluable obligation to ardently love her heavenly Spouse, from whom she was so loved.
St. Stanislaus always asked her entering and leaving the chamber, as well as Sister Maria Vela, Cistercian, who one day felt answered by Our Lady “My blessing and that of my Son descend upon you”.
Blessed Mary of the Incarnation, Carmelite, never left the chamber without kissing the feet of her crucifix. Widespread practice in many religious orders. The Virgin often appeared to the Cardinal of Berulle and blessed him with the hand of Jesus that he held in his arms. The cardinal himself, when he had to bless, invited Our Lady to do so in his place and said: Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria; in patris appointments,etc.,
St Bernard affirms that he cannot doubt the blessing of God, who has been blessed by Mary; and that he can be sure that he will be counted in the final judgment among those to whom these sweet words will be addressed:Come or blessed by the Father, and by my Mother.
Our Lady and Prayer
Mary teacher and model of prayer. — It is especially in the practices of piety thatyou must bear Mary the Vas insigne devotionis,the Orante par excellence the most perfect model, the most. skilled teacher of the great art of praying. The B. of Montfort therefore rightly writes: “Be convinced that the more you look at Mary in your prayers, contemplation, actions and sufferings, if not with a distinct and clear view, at least with a general and imperceptible view, the more perfectly you will find Jesus Christ, who is always with her, powerful, great, operating and incomprehensible, more than in heaven and in any other creature of the universe”. (Treaty No 165).
Examples. Mary SS. in her many apparitions never tires of inculcating prayer or teaching new formulas. So it was she who brought us the Rosary, she who taught us the beautiful jaculatory: O Mary., conceived etc., she who in Lourdes and Fatima, shows herself with the Rosary in her hand and deigns to recommend it and teach us to recite it.
Appearing on Fri. Agreda was pleased to recommend the recitation of CREDO, telling her confidante that She herself often recited it on her knees, with the most respect. The words“Born of the VirginMary” were prostrated with such humility and gratitude to God that no creature can understand. “In doing so, I thought of all mortals, on whose behalf I was silent, also to make up for the irreverence with which they would speak yes venerable words. It is behind my prayer that God inspires the Church to repeat yes often in the divine office the Creed, the Pater and the Hail. My daughter, therefore, be well penetrated by the veneration with which you must give the Creed, the Pater and the Hail and be ware of falling into the gross irreverence in which so many faithful fall. The fact of repeating such prayers frequently is not a cause to lose the respect due to them. This reckless lack is due to the fact that they give their mouths down without thinking about what they mean and enclose. As for you I want to make it a continuous object of meditation: and it is something pleasing to God and to me to wear the written formolo and read it frequently. Recommend the same practice to your subjects.”
Blessed Veronica of Binasco had set out with great lena to learn to read in order to be admitted to the monastery of S. Marta in Milan. Since by day she was busy in the work of the countryside, she waited for you at night, ardently praying to the Virgin to deign to help her realize her dream. Then appeared to her the Virgin all brilliant with light, who said to her: “My daughter, do not rush to learn human letters, you need only to know three letters: one is white and means that you must preserve the pure heart from any affection that is not for my divine Son and for me; the second is black and warns you not to be scandalized or murmur about whatever your neighbor does, even against you; the third redhead expresses my desire that you meditate every day a part of the Passion of my Son. With the knowledge of these three letters you are taught enough; if you want, learn what you want but don’t give yourself too much solicitude». That said, he disappeared.
He tells the devout Caesarearium of a young Carthus called Christian, who having fallen asleep one night, after Mattutino, on the steps of the altar, Our Lady, of whom he was very devoted, shaking her gently said to him: “Christian, this is not the place to sleep, but to pray”. Waking up in a storm she still had the joy of seeing the back of Our Lady, as she walked away.
1) Pray with Mary. — Power of attorney to join your prayers with those that Our Lady made alive, to those she now continually makes for us in heaven. Imagine Mary SS. in prayer and join in the most perfect acts of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, reparation and demand that she raises to God for herself and for men. Who can imagine the complacency that God took at Mary’s prayers? All the praises, songs and angelic concenti were nothing compared to the loving sighs that came out of the heart of that virgin, hidden in the temple of Jerusalem and in the house of Nazareth, Well if bernardetta’s companions loved to pray so much beside her, confident that so their prayers would be more easily answered, with what faith you must join mary’s prayers , hide behind her, so that Jesus may not see your unworthyness, but the holiness of his Mother?
2) Respice in faciem Matris tuae,we can say to Jesus; listen to your Mother praying to you in my favour, and this is a Pray through Mary, that is, by taking Mary as Mediator to Jesus, “If you want your questions to be accepted at the throne of God, do not fail to offer them through the hands ofMary. (St. Bernard). Pray to your good heavenly Mother to do to you what your earthly mother did one day: Mater, doce nos orare: O Mother, teach me to pray, as you taught St. Bernardetta to make the sign of the cross, doing it for the first time, just as mom does with her baby. Teach me too, as you taught your moonly daughter, to say the rosary and pray with me, and in me how you prayed with your privileged daughter. Yes, O Mary, come and live in me and be the heart of my heart, the soul of my soul, so that every act I do is yours. May it be said of me what was said of your servant: He is a hypnotized, a possessed by Mary!
3) Pray in Mary. – Gathering your spirit in this sacred temple of the Trinity, in this oratory of the Incarnate Word. “Mary, says Montfort, is the Oratory in which she can do all her prayers without fear of being rejected by God. ” Praying in Mary means praying on the basis of her provisions and merits; it means ing to join his pure intentions, to forget your interests so as not to care about mary’s interests.
4) Pray Mary. — Not only pray with Mary, in Mary, but pray to Mary directly, also paying her your tribute of praise and thanksgiving. Recite with special fervour the Marian prayers, I take care that in this way you will praise and thank in the most perfect way and you will call god in the most effective way, being Mary, as Montfort says, the Echo of God.
Do not neglect the usual practices. — Make, in agreement with your confessor, a prudent choice of practices, but then be faithful. Come back here by the way the maxim of that great servant of Mary, St. John Berkmans: Quidquid minimum, dummodo constans: Choose also a few short practices, but be faithful every day.
St. John of God one day he made a serious fall from his horse, which remained half dead, losing blood from his nose and mouth. But he had so much strength to invoke the Virgin. And this came to the aid under the appearance of a shepherdess, who handed him a toning drink. 16, he asked for the name of his benefactor. «I am the Virgin, she heard her answer, that you have called to your aid, but you have been very reckless in esportsto such danger without the help of prayer. And disparve. Including the saint the incident having occurred to him for not paying to the Virgin his daily tribute of prayers, and kneeling, with his eyes full of tears, he fulfilled his debt of gratitude.
Our Lady and Meditation
Persuade yourself that meditation is necessary to make progress in spiritual life, and especially to understand and practice S. Slavery; that meditation is easy and within everyone’s reach. You must therefore decide and choose a meditation book and starting tomorrow to find (those who seek to find) at least a quarter of an hour to consecrate to Meditation.
As with any other action, Mary must be a Model, Companion, and Supplement to you. This action too must be done through Mary, with Mary, in Martha; renouncing yourself, recognizing you incapable of approaching God from you to speak to him for you and thus feeling the need to be accompanied by Mary.
Meditate at Mary’s feet. — In her first appearance, the Virgin allowed her faithful servant Sister Catherine Labouré to kneel before her, put her hands on her knees, aim her beautiful face, and listen to her divine words. Why can’t we also place ourselves in the same humble and confident position and listen to Mary SS. talk to us about the topic we are about to meditate on? How many things will Our Lady tell us if we can listen to her by silently doing around us, that is, by disading all other worries!
Let us listen to Mary, let us speak to Mary: a conversation made in this way what fruitful meditation it will be! If you can’t rest on her maternal heart, mix your tears with hers. Mourn the life lived far from her; present to her your needs, the souls that are lost, Jesus outraged… I repeat: Put yourself well in the presence of Jesus and Mary and your meditation is done.
Example of meditation. — Meditation is reduced to four things: A thought of the mind: A word of the heart; A resolution of the will; A prayer of the soul.
a) A thought of the mind. Mary is my Mother and Queen, I am hers and She is mine. However miserable he will never abandon me, he will always love me and provide for all my needs… he will defend me., he will carry me in his arms by the way of heaven., as long as I always keep himself his slave of love, that is, he always remains his little child…
b) A word of the heart, O Jesus! thank you for giving me to Mary! O dear My Mother, how much I love you!… in you I have placed all my trust, in you I abandon myself entirely without reserve. Why didn’t I realize first how beautiful and sweet it is to love you and belong to you?
(c) A resolution of the will. I no longer want to look for my tastes, but yours; I want to act like a true slave of love to you, especially in that and that circumstance (point it out). I want to live like your true son: to live in your presence, with you, to please you.
d) A prayer of the soul. O Mary, come to the aid of my weakness and inconstancy. Crazy that I was for the past! I’ve wasted my time! From this moment I want to start a life that really realizes my consecration. I want you to be able to say tonight: Today I lived for you, today I worked for you. Let me say the same at the end of the day of my life.
Choose your spiritual bribe : a jaculatory, a maximum to repeat along the day. “Ecché? for Mary’s sake, do you not want to win on this occasion?”.
Example. St. John Berkmans wrote in his diary: “If I do my meditation well, I will not run any risk of abandoning my vocation and losing my soul. I therefore want to use every means to become a man of prayer, because it is the source of all goods. Those who do his prayer well have a paradise on earth for the abundance of divine consolation, and then he will have eternal happiness.
He stood up with great recollection thinking of the meditation that was about to begin and got excited with these questions he addressed to himself: — Where are you going? — From the Lord. — What is to be done? — To stay with him. He spent the whole hour of meditation kneeling without leaning anywhere and came to this degree of union with God, who no longer suffered from distractions or digressions. The violence of love, ripped from his heart sighs and groans. He often took in his hands the image of Our Lady that he used to hold in front of her, looked at her and kissed her with vehement affection, perhaps ten times in a row. At the end of his meditation he never lacked to notice the thoughts, which had struck him most and the practical resolutions he had made. Nothing extraordinary there was in all his inner life; of extraordinary and admirable there was only his constant – and tenacious desire to do everything well with the help of Our Lady.
The examination of conscience with Mary
Importance. — Is there perhaps no practice more useful for spiritual progress; yet unfortunately it does not practice more neglected than this, even in communities, where it easily becomes a mechanical thing without effectiveness. It is useless: nature has no interest in re-entering itself and seeing its misery, its inconstancy, its continuous fallout, and therefore it escapes from all those practices of piety that invite it to this necessary retreat into itself, not to be complacent or discouraged, but to be able to take off the most humble and confident flight to God. Among these practices one of the main ones is the examination, the central and regulating practice of all spiritual life. In order not to travel at random and waste time, we need to know: where we are — where we want to go — what direction to take — what dangers can be encountered — what means are there to avoid them. All this is taught to us by the examination of conscience, which, to say the least of St. Basil, must be like a sentry in the head of all our thoughts to restrain and direct them.
Your goal is to reach the usual Union with Mary, giving up on yourself; but to get there you have to set yourself some closer, more particular goal, that is, victory over the predominant vice, or the purchase of a virtue: it is what writers call practice par excellence. This is the aim of the examination. There are four exams:
1° The pension examination, which takes place in the morning after meditation, providing opportunities to practice in practice, or establishing a number of acts of the chosen virtue. It can be said, for example: O my tender Mother, today I want jesus to die at all costs. I therefore want to live with you so that you will show me the opportunities to imitate you and give up on myself. With your help I promise to do at least (you indicate the number) acts of the virtue of (indicate virtue). You purify them, add them to the most perfect acts that you practiced of this virtue and present them to your Jesus.
2° The usual exam consists in the provision to accept from Mary’s hands the different opportunities to practice our practice. You must be lurking in good opportunities to do acts of your virtue; I need to go looking for it. This exercise accustoms you to habitually seeking pleasure from Jesus for Mary, to live in their union, to put Mary in the middle, even in the smallest actions, to always work for supernatural reasons. This brief reminder of morning resolution, this brief inner gaze, to see if your soul did not deviate from the direction in which it was put, can be done especially to the sound of the clock. (See later Pie Pratiche to live with Mary.)
3° The particular examination is the union of the previous two and the finding of the result. It is done before lunch and before dinner: it consists of 3 acts:
- Put yourself in the presence of God and invoke the necessary light. All it takes is an act of faith, the sign of the cross, or the Veni Sancte that it is good to recite before the examination, or a look at the crucifix or our Lady: Mary, my light, help me.
- General look if you have kept your heart in place and search for the faults committed. “What had I proposed to me? How many acts of practice have I done? How many omissions or faults against the practice? Why?
- Contrition and resolution. “Forgiveness, O Jesus In penance of my negligence I will make such mortification. O Mary, help me do better tonight. I really want to start serving you.”
Later recites the De profundis which expresses very well the groan of the soul, conscious of its misery and full of confidence in the superabundant redemption of Christ. The thought of purgatory is also effective in exciting the repentance of venial sins. Then theAngelus places you in Mary’s disorders, to seek only God and his will, and it impes grace on you.
4th The general exam ,which is done during the evening prayers, completes the other three. It is no longer based on practice, but on all actions:
How did I do my piety practices? How did I behave with my neighbor? How did I fulfill my duties? Sins of thoughts, words, deeds and omissions… Did I really serve my mistress today? Did I strive to live in his union?
The general examination is an integral part of the evening prayers, which constitute the preparatory acts: Presence of God — Thanksgiving of the benefits received on the day — Invocation of the help of God and Mary. After the examination of conscience, recite the Act of Pain and place yourself in those provisions in which you would like to be at the point of death. Never fall asleep, I say never, with mortal sin on the soul: confessed or sincerely excited to contrition.
Spiritual reading with Mary
Utility. — There is nothing more indispensable than spiritual reading for those who want to make progress in spiritual life (St. Athanasius). It is the nourishment of the soul, it makes it intrepid and strong against temptations, it inspires holy thoughts, an ardent love of heaven; illuminates intelligence, warms the will; consolation in the sorrows and is the source of that spiritual joy, which is the only true and according to the heart of God (St. Ambrose). Good books are like letters that come to us from heaven (St. Augustine); when we pray we speak to God, when we read it is God who speaks to us
Those who owe their conversion and holiness to a good reading, like St. Augustine, a St. Ignatius. But those who owe their ruin to a perverse book. Do not delude yourself, it is not possible to put together S. Slavery, frequency of sacraments and pornographic readings, magazines and newspapers worse than worldly. Of these slaves who no longer blush at certain readings, at certain illustrations, Our Lady really does not know what to do with it. A devourer of novels will never be able to taste True Devotion, pity for it will be an emotion like any other, but without influence on life.
Find a half hour or at least a quarter of an hour each day for reading. Is it to read the newspaper, to talk a thousand futilities, to listen to the gossip large and small, and will it not be found to listen to the voice of God? Have the book ready to avoid wasting time on research.
What to read: Read the Gospel, the book of books, the imitation of Christ, the Treatise and the Secret of Mary of Montfort; read the lives of the Saints; nothing is more an act than to infer us, said St. Philip. But choose those saints who are not too extraordinary, those who possibly lived in your condition: you will avoid many illusions. Don’t look for books that are too sublime or sentimental: recommended with a good director. Not wanting to read all the new books that come out, but combine a few, well-chosen, and read them without tiring, St. Francis of Sales brought with him for more than twenty years the Spiritual Combat of the Scupoli. Just as it is not good to change the confessor often, so it is not good to change too often those fundamental books that have become the guide of our souls. It is like a schoolboy who suddenly wanted to change grammar; would be disoriented and waste his time.
How to read.
a) Before reading, invoke the Holy Spirit or recite a Hail Mary.
b) During the reading imagine that it is Jesus or Mary or that holy fact that speak to you. And then read with faith, with devotion, applying everything to yourself. Read adage and question drawn to yourself: Do you believe this? do you do that? How do you want to do for the future? Or repeat as St. Augustine: “If these and those have managed to become saints, why will I not succeed too?” It procures to make a meditated reading: interspersed with pauses, reflections, affections, resolutions, as in meditation, albeit more briefly. If you can do it in church, in front of Jesus. Avoid the haste that prevents you from listening to God’s voice and makes you lose much of the fruit of reading. Your thoughts and gaze frequently pass from the book to the crucifix and statue of Our Lady. Think like Mary light during her life: what recollection, what composure, what fervour!
c) In order to formulate some resolution that concretises the fruit of reading and offer it to Mary by asking with a Hail the grace to put it into practice.
I REMEMBER. Read, pray, work. May reading feed thepre-evening : may prayer penetrate your work.
Spiritual exercises with Mary
The war school. — So the P.Kécheur, a redeemer, called in his book the houses for closed rites. As in the school of war, the General Staff of our armies is formed, so in these pious houses the chosen troops, the assault battalions of christ’s army, the leaders of the Catholic apostolate, are formed. Now Mary, being the general-in-chief of this army, must have a predominant part in the formation of her soldiers and officers, that is, the apostles and saints
“Do you want to become saints? Go and lock yourself in prison in some house of exercise; make yourselves prisoners of Mary. Surrender yourselves completely to her without reservation, for a few days; spend this time honoring her, praying to her, loving her, and thinking with her about the great truths of faith, your great duties, asking her for the plan of your spiritual battle against your passions and against the enemies of Christ and Mary, and I assure you that you will be the object of one of those divine operations entrusted by God to the Virgin, an operation and transformation that will mark a decisive date in your life”.
Happy who can do, at least once in a lifetime, the closed exercises! However, everyone can find during the year a period of time to be dedicated only to the soul. There is good time to take your holidays to rest your body… Because you too will not be able, perhaps under the pretext of holidays, to spend a few days in a religious house or in the shadow of a romito sanctuary of Mary, to re-enter the spirit?
The exercises and Our Lady. — Why are so many exercises fruitless? Because those who do them and often also those who preach them, leave Mary in a song. You enter the Upper Room, like the Apostles, when they made the first closed retreat, but you do not enter, like them with Mary, Mother of Jesus. Without thinking about it; nor say it, you act a little as if you did not believe Mary is necessary, to obtain the success of the exercises. He expects success, from the celebrity of the preacher, from the skill of the leaders, from the goodwill of the participants, from everything, except from the inte event of the one to whom, according to all the Saints, the extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. Our Lady makes her appearance as a parade, more or not solemn, in a sermon of exercises, as the Bishop makes an appearance, or a big piece of the Executives. It is not thought that if Mary is Queen, she is more than anything Mother and Teacher, and she is especially so during the exercises, which are decisive times for our spiritual life. Not that in every sermon you! must speak of Mary, though many saints did, but Mary must enter with us, and we must feel her present throughout the time of our retreat.
Is it not Mary who inspired and I would say dictated the first exercises to St. Ignatius, so rightly you can call her the instituter? So the best exercises are those that most participate in the origin, that is, the Marian exercises, even just in the sense indicated above. It is Mary who must make us understand and penetrate eternal truths; it is she who must do us good to read at the bottom of the soul, to discover what is there gives us good; It is you who must inspire us with good resolutions; It is at his feet that we must lay them down in order to have some hope of being able to put them into practice.
For the Monthly Retreat, as well as for Mass, Confession, Communion and other Practices of Piety see the index.
The Office with Mary
Taking the Breviary. – Mary before me has recited these same psalms many times and they still retain the scent they have drawn from the contact of her virginal lips; they are like a relic of his heart. Oh I could approach even remotely his faith, his fervour, his love! I’m at least ing my play with yours.
These psalms were for Mary SS. source, of profound meditations, of ineffable consolation and, passing through her heart, the sighs of David, who are the sighs of decayed humanity that invokes the Redeemer rise like an odorful incense before God; and I recite them with such coldness and indifference!
Maria Corredentrice recited these psalms on behalf of humanity, invoking relief for her innumerable needs. Like Christ and Mary, you must gather in your hearts all human miseries and give to prayer, which you recite in the name of the Church, this universality that belongs to her.
Think of the war that moves to God from Freemasonry; to the de-Christianization of Russia, to the horrible persecutions of Mexico and Spain, to the countless number of souls that are also lost in our homeland, and you will then feel the need to pray to God to have mercy on his Church, and you will feel the need to praise and love God for so many who hate and fight him.
Before the office penetrate deeply the thought that you go before God to represent the whole Church to praise him in his name and to plead for all his needs. What holiness, what fervour would be needed! Convinced of your unworthyness, humiliate yourself deeply, give up on yourself and join Mary. Imagine seeing her prostrated before God, in the attitude of the Prayerful in which she is represented in the Catacombs, or in the attitude of Mediator, in which she is manifested in the 2nd the appearance of the Miraculous Medal, as he prays for the whole world he holds in his hands. Hide behind her and ask her to pass through her heart and lips every syllable in your office.
During the Office, keep an image of Mary under your control and suddenly stop your gaze on her to gather you, ignite your fervour and renew your union with her. The office and its every hour opens with an invocation to the Virgin through the Hail Mary. May this Hail be another opportunity to recall the thought of Our Lady. The praises and accomplishment always close with a Marian antiphon, which you have to recite with special devotion. How many verses of psalms can be wonderfully applied to Our Lady and her slaves! Do not fail to taste them with special spiritual taste. Some are shown to say the office by doing choir with our Lady. Oh what a beautiful company!
At the end of the Office, humbly prostrated before God, he recites the Sacrosanctaeadage, asking God for forgiveness of negligence, and praying to Mary to make up for your deficiencies, offering on the other hand all the praises she has given to God during her life. These same considerations serve for the recitation of the Little Office of Our Lady.
St. Vincent said that we must love God with the sweat of our forehead. The same can be said of Our Lady: a servant and a son must show their love and fidelity by working very well, without sparing themselves, doing what their Mother and Mistress wants, in the time and in the way that she wants, and doing so not out of cowardly interest, not out of genius, but because she wants it to please her. Work is the operation that occupies most of our day and our life: it is therefore of the utmost importance to sanctify and marialize it,that is, to carry it out as true slaves of Mary.
Get the job from Maria : it is Mary who wants me to do this job. She manifests to you her will through the superiors, the duties of your state; and it would be a great mistake to neglect one’s duties to give one another prayer or other brilliant work. This work and Mary who wants it: how this thought makes it beautiful and light! Even by carrying out the humblest office I can please Mary! How good Mary is by contenting herself with yes little!
He works with Mary: that is, in his company at HIS PRESENCE. It procures to have an image of Mary in the working chamber and to cheer her up with jaculatorie, amorous looks, song of praise. You will thus verify the word of the Psalm: The slave’s eyes are always attentive to the slightest nods of her Mistress Working so with Maria you get less tired, you work better, you deserve more.
She works like Mary,that is, you also take Mary as your model. Maria was a perfect model of worker. Daughter of workers, Bride of a worker, Mother of a worker, authentic worker herself all her life, she did all those house jobs, which suit a good house. How consoling to think that those same works that you are doing were done by Mary SS. with such perfection and purity of intention that, to say the B. of Montfort, gave greater glory to God with the minimum of his actions, for example by spinning his fortress, giving a point of aug, of St. Lawrence above his rack, indeed of all the Saints with their most heroic virtues. (Tratt. 222).
Work with Maria, not trusting your capa quoted, but in his help. Power of attorney that your work is always closed between two Hail Marys.
She works in Mary, that is, trying to appropriate the feelings with which she worked. For her the work was obedience, it was the love of God and also the love of her children, her work was redemption. For us, work must also be atonement. All, even the rich must work, if they do not need it for themselves, work for the poor, for missions, for poor churches: so did Mary, especially after the Ascension of Jesus.
He works for Maria. She has always worked for you, as a mother works for children, and we enjoy the fruit of her sweats, that is, her merits, that all our wealth in our extreme misery. We have to work for her because we are hers, because our body is hers, because our time is hers. All that is not done for her is lost, it is time stolen from Mary. Note, however, how Maria is satisfied with the intention, while the material fruit of the work leaves it to us. Oh, not to have lived in the times of Our Lady! jesus and St. Joseph who always worked with her and for her, lucky her neighbors who could provide her directly with some service!
Let us be comforted, however, mary wants to give us this consolation too. Like Jesus, she also tells us: “What you will do to the last of your neighbors, you will have done to me.” Do you want to work directly for Maria? She works for the poor, works for her altars and you will have worked for Mary, and Mary, as a good Mistress, will mark everything in the book of your credits for paradise.
Examples. It is told of the S. Curato d’Ars who, as a child, going to hoe, carried seco his inseparable statuette of our Lady and coliocava three or four meters away and then set out to hoe with lena always looking at his Madonna to reach her early and, after kissing her, relocate her a little further and so all day. Our Lady liked this innocent osseque so much that she also gave him the material strength to go hand in hand in his work with his much older brother than he did.
The B. Gerarchino, when he could not do the job that was imposed on him by his superior, went to have him taught by Mary with a naïve and fervent prayer and the Virgin with no less goodness and condescension made her teacher.
The study with Maria
Mary had from God an infused science superior to that of innocent Adam, King Solomon and all the men who were, are and will be; the Church greets her as the Seat of Wisdom and invokes her Our Lady of Good Studies. You students who have chosen Mary at the Guide, Teacher and Model in all the actions of your life, it is right that you invoke her as such in a special way in your studies Before study invokes Mary. The Ven.Olier could learn nothing but by force of Hail Mary. You also recite a short prayer, offering you your study. (See Study Index).
During the study have before you the image of the Virgin or an image as a bookmark, and often turn your eyes and affections, especially in difficulties Remember that she participates strongly in your most childish concerns. Go at her feet to console you in defeats, go also to rejoice with her in triumphs, giving her all the credit. What a good Teacher Mary is! She doesn’t need many words: She not only teaches science, but does what no professor can do, infuses it.
He studied withMary, but also studied Mary in meditation and spiritual reading, and also knew from secular studies that he became Mary. Especially reading in literary works the crazy loves for miserable creatures, be ashamed to love little the Lady of your heart, to know how to do little to win her affection, to be so un generous to her. Those phrases, which are often real blasphemies and at least real nonsense, turn them with more reason to Mary the most beautiful, the most amiable and the most lover of all creatures; the most faithful in his love, the most generous in rewarding his lovers. If you have any artistic ability, use it to glorify the one who’s called the Heart Abductor.
Humility in the study. — As much as plus et melius scis, tanto gravius inde judicaberis. Noli ergo extolli de ulla arte vel scientia, sed potius time de data tibi no- titia. (Imit. of Christ).
Woe betide sterile science that does not lead to God’s love. Mr Bossuet.
Scientia inflat, charitas vero aedificat. (St. Paul 1 Cor. VIII).
Sunt qui scire volunt eo fine tantum ut sciant (science for science) et turpis curiositas est.
Sunt qui scire volunt ut sciantur ipsi (to be seen) et turpis vanitas est.
Sunt qui scire volunt ut scientiam vendant, verbi gratia pro pecunia et honoribus et turpis questus est (vile market).
Sed sunt qui etiam scire volunt ut aedificentur et prudentia est.
Item qui scire volunt ut aedificent et charitas est.
Horum omnium solimi last duo non inveniuntur in abusione scientiae, quippe qui ad hoc volunt intelligere ut bene agant. (St. Bernard).
1) I will apply myself seriously and constantly to the study (St. John Berkmans); because God wants it, because this is the work that Mary wants from me.
2) I will procure to know a lot, but not to show it (S. Filippo Neri).
- In the difficulties I will resort to Mary, See of Wisdom.
- I will study not only to have a position, but to make myself useful to society and the church.
- About a cleric: I will image myself having around my table the thousands of souls that God has destined for me and that await from me the bread of truth. They shout at me: Study, study! It’s early, because we perches. Come and save us!
Examples. B. Labouré in her brief conversation with Our Lady learned more things she would not learn over many years from her directors. Fr. Alfonso Regensburg was converted and educated in the faith by Mary in a few moments, without speaking. “Our Lady did not tell me anything, confessed the convert, but I understood everything”.
St. Edmondo said that, looking at mary’s image, not only did her mind remain enlightened, but also her eyes rested. One night studying he fell asleep and the candle fell on the open Bible. Waking up he believed he saw his book ruined, instead, having with a breath off the bush, he found that the fire and wax had done no harm to it. It was the Virgin who thus showed him the pleasure that he gave her, always studying as he did, in his presence.
The great theologian Suarez attributed all his science to Our Lady, and in his doubts he did not fail to recommend himself to her. The famous historian Cesare Baronio did not dare to go on his colossal work, only when the favor of the Queen of Sciences was hoarded. The initials of his signature mean: Caesar, servant of Mary.
St. Catherine of Siena, just seven years old, wanted to be able to read in order to recite the Office. He fervently prayed to Our Lady and felt fulfilled: she took a book and read it flun, without having learned the alphabet. The fact is narrated by Blessed Raymond who witnessed it. Does St. Albert the Great not owe Mary his wonderful and universal science? And does Blessed Herman not owe you the miraculous healing from his stuttering and his great eloquence?
The famous Abbot Rupert (sec. XII), Dun Scotus, the thin doctor, were miraculously endowed with science, which comforted them to continue the study, in which they previously felt so difficult.
The servant of God Giovanni Fori, had a so tender devotion to the Virgin that she visited him every day treating him with the greatest family, freeing him from the assaults of the devil and filling him with delights. One day Jesus said to him: If I knew what my Mother is keeping in store for you! another time Our Lady in one of her visits greets him with these words: – Hello my brother! – Be welcome or my sweet Queen, she replies. – I called you brother, the Virgin takes back, so that you may speak to me like a heavenly sister. – You are a closed vegetable garden, john dared to answer, or my sister: Hortus conclusus, soror mea. Then, while he was at his study table, Our Lady came to sit to his right, flooding his soul with an unspeakable sweetness.
Prayer. – O Mary, allow this cowardly sinner to call you sister too and invite you to come and at least spiritually listen to my right; to inspire my works to enlighten my mind, to direct my pen, to suggest to me the truths you want me to write in glory of God and yours!
The study awards and our Lady. In some colleges after the distribution of the prizes, the winners go to the altar of the Virgin to offer her the laurels that they recognize to have achieved with her help.
The Register of Honor. Among other industries, the names of those who excel at conduct and study are used in various colleges to stimulate the emulation of young people. In the Small Seminary of St. Charles of Vernoux (France) he wanted to give this use a sympathetic sacred character, allowing it to the character of the institute, dedicating the Register to the Virgin, with a graceful dedication.
Our Lady and correspondence
- Receiving the Mail. Letters can bring joy or sadness : you receive one and the other from Mary’s hands. Delay reading the correspondence a little to mortify curiosity; if you fear bad news, go to read it at the feet of Jesus sacramented, as St. Vincent did, or at the feet of Mary.
- Before writing, he asks Our Lady for permission; ask yourself: Will you be glad that I write this letter?
- As you write. Write under Mary’s gaze and beg her to suggest to you what you need to write, to give your hand. Avoid unnecessary matches.
- Instead of having paper scented with worldliness, use paper with some sacred symbol, or at least place a cross on your head, or Long live Jesus – Long live Mary, or the initials of the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (G.M. G.) or: Praise be to Jesus Christ or to come to the kingdom of Jesus through Mary.
- Do not forget, depending on the recipient, to introduce some good thoughts or recommend you to his prayers. Before sending a letter, especially if it matters, take it to the foot of your altar, leave it under the feet of Our Lady, so that the Virgin may bless your words.
Our Lady and the Apostolate
Always the Apostolate was a duty and a need for true Catholics; but it is so in a special way in our times when society is increasingly moving away from God, excluding Christ from political life; now that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the clergy to bring the people closer together. The re-emergence of Catholic Action ( not the rise, because it has always existed) is the expression of this intensified need and this increasingly urgent duty.
Framed or not in the ranks of the different branches of the Catholic organization, we cannot witness indifferent to the ruin of so many souls, and stand inerti spectators of the terrible struggles that the Church fights for the triumph of Christ. This duty is more serious for hey you glory as you to belong by virtue of your consecration in a special way to Mary SS., the great Captain of Christ’s army and has thus made a closer commitment to serve her and make her interests her own.
Well by the way Holy Mary was formed Patroness of Catholic Action, and model of every soul that wants to dedicate to the apostolate; because it was she who attracted on the first members of the Catholic laity gathered around her and the Apostles in the Upper Room the abundance of the Holy Spirit. It was Holy Mary who in those years who survived the Ascension of Jesus was the Guide, the Teacher, the Counsellor, not only of the Apostles, but of that secular apostolate movement, especially female, promoted by the Pious Women and which was the head of the Queen of the Apostles. Apostolate of prayer, apostolate of example, apostolate of charity and in private apostolate environments of the word, continuing and completing apostolic preaching.
Soul you read, not envy our Lady’s disciples, Jesus wants you to be an apostle too and to work for the kingdom of God. But your program, like theirs, like that of the Blessed of Montfort, must be: Come the Kingdom of Christ through Mary! With Mary, in Mary and for Mary! What have you done so far? What are you going to do for the future?
The Miraculous Medal and the Apostolate. —
- This, after its sanctification, is the main purpose of the great army of apostles who gathered under the insignia of Mary Immaculate.
- Is not the purpose of Catholic Action to realize the 2nd appearance of the Medal, that is, that Christ’s cross should dominate over the world? But for this to happen, the world in general and every soul in particular must be in the hands of Mary, consecrate themselves to her.
- Mary teaches us the apostolate of prayer (in the2nd apparition she shows in the act of praying for the world); the apostolate of suffering (the“M” surmounted by the cross and the Pierced Heart); the apostolate of the example (modesty of his robes); apostolate of charity (rays of grace that brings down into the world, consoling the afflicted, healing the sick and raising all good to bodies and souls); apostolate of action (he comes from heaven and bears his medal promising that he will convert sinners and produce in all a awakening of faith; it arouses the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary who will be the apostoles of his medal and the announcers of his wills).
Mary and our crosses
It is certain in the sufferings, physical and spiritual, that the need for the presence and assistance of the mother is felt the most and it is then that we must be more united to the Consolation of the afflicted, to the Help of Christians, to the Hope of the desperate, to Our Lady of Patience.
1) The slaves of Mary and the crosses “Even walking to heaven on the beautiful, short, perfect and easy way of Mary there is no lack of bitter struggles to sustain and great difficulties to overcome, but this good Mother and Mistress becomes close and present to her faithful servants, to illuminate them in their darkness, to enlighten them in their doubts, to reassure them in their fears, to support them in their fights and in their difficulties , which really this virginal way to find Jesus Christ, is, compared to any other, a way of roses and honey.
“So it comes that the faithful servants of this good Mother have so many opportunities to suffer, and more than those who are not equally devoted to her? They are in fact contradicted, persecuted, slandered, they cannot be suffered, that is, they walk among inte- riori darkness and for deserts where the slightest drip of celestial dew does not fall… If this devotion to Mary makes the way to find Jesus easier, why are they more despised than any other?
2) Mary sweetens our crosses. “It is very true that the most faithful servants of the Virgin Mary, being her best favorites, receive from her the most marked graces and heavenly favors, such as crosses; but I maintain that it is also the servants of Mary who carry these crosses with greater ease, merit and glory, and that what would arrest a thousand times another or make him fall, never arrests them, not even once, indeed advances them, because this good Mother, all full of graces and the aonization of the Holy Spirit, sings all these crosses that they procure , with the sugar of her maternal sweetness and with the aonation of pure love: so that they cheerfully swallow them as if they were candied nuts, although in reality they are bitter. And I believe that one who wants to be devoted and live piously in Jesus Christ and therefore suffer persecution and carry his own cross every day, will never bring great crosses, or he will not be able to carry them either cheerfully, nor to the end, without a tender devotion to Our Lady, which is the jam of crosses”. (Treaty No 152).
3) Tender confidence in Mary. “Mary’s true servant resorts to Mary in all her needs of body and spirit, with great simplicity, trust and tenderness, and to her she turns for help, as to her true good Mother, in every time, in every place and in everything: in her doubts, to be risked; in its tramways, to be straightened; in its temptations, to be sustained; in its weaknesses, to be fortified; in her falls, to be raised; in its discouragements, to be revived; in her scruples, to be freed; in her crosses, works and opposition of life, to be comforted. In short, Mary’s true devotee, in all her bodily and spiritual ills, habitually addresses her without any fear of bothering this good Mother and of displeasing Jesus (Tratt. n. 107).
Mary and meals
Holy Slavery will help you sanctify this action in itself so material and earthly. You must strive to ennoble this act, to which we should submit, as a humiliating necessity and which for many is the dominant thought of life. How many pious souls, and even religious, who have been able to give up everything, are then slaves of the throat! A spiritual soul, created for heaven, nourished by the bread of angels, then lowers itself to seek with unregulated greed a beloved that we have shared with the beasts! We learn to eat from men, from Christians, from slaves of Mary.
1) EAT, BY MEN. WE EAT FOR A LIVING AND WE DON’T LIVE TO EAT. What a painful need to interrupt study, prayer, works of charity in order to think about eating and then digesting… Therefore subject yourself as a necessity: and not be of those who cannot talk about anything other than what they have eaten or what they will eat,.. Don’t be of those unhappy people who always complain. Learn, for when health (and not sanitary scruples) allows you, learn to eat everything and find everything good.
2) EAT FROM CHRISTIANS. May you season your meals with prayer and mortification. Try to feed your soul during meals with some good thought: Not only does man live bread. Think of so many who are without bread… think of the atrocious punishments with which the smallest acts of throat are found in Purgatory… to the eternal rewards with which one day God will remunerate the smallest mortifications: God will make the chosen ones sit at the banquet of eternal happiness and He himself, by his hand, will serve them!
When Jesus ate he could not but think of the last supper in which he would transform that bread and wine into his body and blood for food of our soul… At the table he tries to think more about others than about yourself, procuring to render a thousand small services in imitation of Jesus who said he had come to serve and not to be served.
– According to Salvatore’s own advice, he seeks the last place, but does not exaggerate in ceremonies.
– Don’t flaunt, but cover up your mortifications.
3) EAT AS A SLAVE OF MARY. How divinely beautiful it is to think of Our Lady who serves Jesus at the table, who eats beside him. Oh, the poor Mother did not think at all about food, but she thought of her Jesus, of how to treat him as best as possible, as far as his poverty allowed him… May you also eat in the presence of Jesus and Mary. Mary gave the best bites to Jesus, the Saints did the same by giving the best to the poor or abstaining from a few more gluttonous morsels to offer it to Jesus.
Mary drank the words that came down from The Lip of Jesus, may you also introduce some good conversation, effortlessly cultivate some good thoughts,
4) GET USED TO SEEING OUR LADY AT THE TABLE AND you will be easy to eat with humility: I who am the servant to be served! Did I deserve this food I eat? Oh how Our Lady treats her servants well! You will eat with mortification: How dare you complain about what Our Lady gives you? And this is not a fantasy: there Madonna really wants me to accept in her name what they bring you without complaining, thanking the Lord.
Recite, like St. John Berkmans, a Hail Mary before every meal and do not fail to fast or make a special mortification every Saturday and eve of the feasts of Our Lady.
5) AFTER MEALS recites the usual prayer with another Hail Mary, resolving to begin to serve with more fervour a so good Mistress.
EXAMPLE. Mother Matilde of SS. Sacramento had adopted for her monasteries the practice that twice a day the first and the best portion was brought to the feet of the Virgin (such as Abba- dessa of the monastery) and then distributed to the poor.
Our Lady and our entertainments
Christianity and joy. — Those who represent Catholicism to us as the religion of sadness, melancholy and weeping do them a very bad service. Those who cannot conceive of holiness if not dressed in a saio, with scourges in their hands, and a skull in front of their eyes, play into the hands of their enemies. One day Frederick II, King of Prussia, with sagacious, however diabolical intuition, said to one of his confidants: “Do you know what needs to be done to end Catholicism? You have to make it an owl”, that is, make it believe the religion of darkness and solitary sadness represented in that rebuttering night bird.
But no, a thousand times not, Catholicism instead is the religion of beauty and joy, and it has made beautiful and tolerable even what has most rebuttering and unbearable in nature and life. Since its first appearance it has been presented as the religion of joy: Nolite timer and, annuntio vobis gaudium magnum,tell the angels to the shepherds. And Christianity will be the Gospel in the etymological sense of the word, that is, the Good News.
Above the wretched greppia, in which the divine Child rests, the Angels take up the theme of joy, it is in two words they proclaim its eternal formola: Glory to God in the high heavens and peace on earth to people of good will. Joy and peace will be two fruits of the descent and the dwelling in us, of the Comforting Spirit. And Paul will become the auctioneer of joy, and he will character christianity with those words: Gaudete, iterum dico gaudete.
If Christianity is the religion of joy, because it is the religion of redemption, rehabilitation, eternal hopes, it is in particular, because it is the religion of the Virgin, of the one we enjoy called Our Cause and laetitiae; sweetness and our hope.
Christianity does not, however, forbid us to rejoice and all its manifestations, as long as it is honest. This is the only limit that religion places on the manifestations of our joy. It is the limit beyond which there can be no real joy, because the realm of disorder and remorse begins. Be cheerful, but do not sin, this is how a great saint summed up the law of Christian joy, a law already forged by St Paul in his “Gaudete in Domino semper.”
True Devotion to Mary, which forms a fragrant flower bed in the church garden, is more rich than ever in the flower so rare of true joy. Our sweet servitude is a servitude of love and therefore of joy. Our good Mistress, she is not a good capitalist who wants to exploit her subjects to her advantage. She allows us and indeed commands us, in time and place, law lysed amusements and happy recreations, making sure that even having fun we can love and serve her.
SANCTIFY YOUR RECREATIONS. Receiving them from Mary and doing them with Mary, that is, so that she can participate in your recreations and find herself well there. Mary, if possible, presides over you from her throne in the workshops, from her niche in courtyards and speakers. Take part in your recreations: Think of Mary — Speak to Mary — Speak of Mary — Smile at Mary — Sing Mary — Speak and have fun in the presence of Mary, and so you will avoid murmuring and malignantness. You will not always talk about yourself, you will be benevolent with everyone, you will not be selfish, you will take a pleasure to please others, to provide them with a thousand small services.
Recreation is a gym of virtue: it is in coexistence, it is in contact and friction with others that we know true piety, that we manifest if our virtue is firm, if in short we are true slaves of Mary.
The holidays and Our Lady. — We must be Mary’s, totally, always, in every place, and therefore also and I would say in a special way on holidays, when it is more difficult to be, and where we have greater opportunities to show our fidelity to our Consecration. So our holidays must also be Marian. How so?
1) Receiving them with gratitude from the hands ofOur Lady, admiring the generosity and goodness with which our Mistress treats her servants. Accepting them with the intentions with which you grant them to us, that is, to replenish our strength, in order to continue more and more alacrity in your service. Before leaving for the holidays, she goes to the feet of the Virgin to thank her and offer her the rest time she gives you, begging her to allow you to spend them without danger. If you are in boarding school, arrived at home, go as soon as possible to renew your offer in some sanctuary or chapel of Mary.
2) Doing them with Mary. See what I told you about recreation. Make Mary participate in your holidays by taking care of her: adorning her altars, visiting her shrines, reading Marian books more comfortably. Do not participate in entertainment or conversations where Mary cannot follow you! May Mary not blush of you and be ashamed of her son and slave. Spend your holidays with Mary that is, taking Mary as a Model. Model in the purity of intention, model in the flight of idleness, in the flight of silly and worldly conversations, model in the modesty of dressing, model in goodness and spirit of sacrifice, trying to make you useful to everyone, to spread around you that innocent joy, which is a continuous and effective preaching.
3) Your holidays must be Marian,especially for the intensified Marian apostolate. Example apostolate, word apostolate, print apostolate.
- Example apostolate. Do not neglect your practices of piety, but multiply them and procure to associate your friends in your devotions. How many who in boarding school or in the city made frequent communion, went to the countryside is a lot if they listen to Sunday mass ! May your pity be cheerful, sociable.
- Apostolate of the word. Do not preach, but in time and place, a good word, a humble exhortation, accompanied by some service, an affectionate smile. Tell it to so many souls who go in search of a faithful heart, who thirst for peace, that there is a heart that understands them, that loves them more than any creature can ever do. Tell them about the happiness you enjoy in loving Mary, in belonging to her. They are often good souls, made for the Lord that only education, the environment and ignorance keep away from Him.
- Book apostolate. Everyone has now understood the power of the press. Know how to sacrifice some fun, some useless delicacy, and buy Marian books, sow them around you, forget them in homes, be it your tip, your memory. Oh, if God gives you the grace to conquer even a single soul to a more intense love for his Mother, how could you be lucky! Remember that your consecration is a formal commitment to work for the spread of True Devotion. It is not possible to have understood true devotion and not to make apostles of it.
The holiday. — If you can then afford the luxury of going on holiday to the sea or the mountains, you must doubly thank Our Lady and recognize that a poor slave would not deserve so much regard. And gratitude be united with a holy fear of those words of the Gospel: Woe to you, o rich, who have in this world all you want. Therefore, avoid squandering to help the poor: woe betide us, if while we give ourselves to the good life there is Lazarus who unnecessarily leaves a bread to feed himself. Woe betide us, because his voice would rise before God and draw his curse on our heads.
He goes on holiday with humble gratitude and if you can’t go there for your chores or poverty, praise God equally. You will be more like Our Lady, who certainly did not go to the sea or the mountains.
But be careful where and with whom you go. Those who have returned from vacation not only with skin, but with a blackened soul.
He makes your holiday with Maria, as I said for the holidays in general. If you go to the mountains he thinks that Mary is the mountain of God, and also our mountain that brings us closer to heaven, where we can breathe a spiritually purer atmosphere, so that we can better see the lowness and smallness of the things of the earth.
Traveling with Maria. (V. Blessing of Mary). Entrust to her who is your Way, which is invoked N. Signora del Buon Viaggio (Sanctuary at the entrance of the Bay of the Amazons), Our Lady of the Road, St. Mary in Via (Rome) the outcome of your journey. Pray her by reciting or singing theHail, Maris Stella… ‘procedurepara tutum:grant us a quiet journey’.
Travel with Maria carrying her medal, the crown. Travel with Maria carrying teco medals, leaflets and booklets to spread and looking for every opportunity to talk about her. It is Our Lady who sends you that neighbor and travel companion so that she may do him good.
Travel with Mary thinking about her travels (Visit to St. Elizabeth – Escape and Return from Egypt – Gone to Jerusalem, etc.), and getting to conform to her feelings.
Think of the great journey of life, for whose success you need Mary more than ever. Think of the last journey from earth to heaven, in which he prays to N. Signora della Buona Morte to be your guide and companion. — Thank God for the advances in science which have made travel comfortable.
Our Lady (Madonna) and the sea. — In Istria there is a sanctuary of Our Lady of the Sea, to which those who rely on the liquid element are recommended, which so many hundreds of victims every year buries in her bosom. Why won’t you also put your bathrooms under the protection of the Sea Star? How many victims of bodies does the beach every year! but especially how many shipwrecks and victims of soul! He is well united with Our Lady, his medal, which you must never lay down, whether your life jacket, the chains of your slavery are your rope of salvation..
Know how to isolate yourself a little from the environment of beach life, so material, so banal and unfortunately so sensual. In front of the majestic aspect of the sea that preaches so eloquently to you the infinite greatness of God in which we live, we move and stand, know how to rise a little higher than life yes silly of the beach. Meditate on the foolishness of the man who does so much work and expense, for having a little corporal well-being in the summer months and does nothing to obtain the eternal well-being of heaven.
Have the good practice, which many use without shame, to make you the Sign of the Cross before throwing yourself into the sea and, when you see yourself immersed in the water, think that the sea is a symbol of Mary, the reservoir of all god’s graces. She remembers the words of Montfort who says that we must live in Mary, abandon ourselves and lose ourselves in her like a stone thrown into the sea.
Prayer. – O Mary, live you in me, and let me live in you. Be my element as water is the vital element of fish, be my atmosphere, be my breath, be my life. May I do an intensified care of true devotion, and while the water of the sea and the rays of the. sun purify and fortify my body, the water of your grace, the heat of your love, purify and fortify the weakened and anaemic soul of mine, so that I can, after having laid down not only the skin of the body, but also the skin of the two mystical goats skinned by Jacob on Rebecca’s orders, that is, after stripping myself of the old man with his passions , clothe myself with your innocence and virtues. So be it.
Mary and charity for the poor
1) Exercise your charity like Mary, that is, taking as a model the One who is the Mother of Mercy; She who after Jesus has the most compassionate heart that ever existed. Oh, who will reveal to us the depths of charity of Mary’s heart?
Examples. St. Thomas of Villanova made this original observation one day: “Notice that Jesus was a stranger and as an exile on earth, and Mary welcomed him and gave him hospitality. He was hungry and she fed him. He was naked and Ella dressed him. Later he was languishing and geefully on the bed of the cross and Mary went to visit him and collected his last breath and after death buried him. So Mary carried out all the works of mercy towards Jesus: well you too can carry out the same offices with Jesus in the person of the poor. May the Virgin grant you to do them with the same faith as hers, with the same love as her.
He goes to the poor with Mary like Ven. Olier who had attached to the bag of alms for the poor an image of Our Lady, who had constituted a lawyer and guardian of their treasure; and more than once it had to be admired that that bag, which he emptied so often, seemed really inexhaustible. When he thought less of it, here some person brought him to fill it again. “Behold, said one day the venerable, behold, the one on whom I rest, for all the needs of my poor. I explain to you their needs and She has the goodness to do so. There is nothing but to be left to her in everything”.
2) Do the works of charity for Mary’s sake, happy to please her. Mary’s love for all her needy and suffering children is such that you cannot do her what is more grateful than coming to their rescue. What would Mary do if she were still on this earth? What she cannot do without miracle, she wants you to do for her, in her name, in her place. How grateful would it have been for a mother who had seen us from afar during the war to help, care for and console her son, to whom nothing she could do! Well Mary is a thousand times more grateful to you and really concerns how you do to herself what you do for her children. I only know the heart of my Mother! Oh, how this thought must make every work of charity easy for you, even the most burdensome!
Example. It was especially on Saturday and on the feasts of Our Lady that the Saints loved to exercise their charity. St. Louis, King of France to honor and imitate the Holy Mary had a multitude of poor people gather in her palaceevery Saturday. He washed their feet, dried them and kissed them; then he made them put at the table and served them with his royal hands, more satisfied with glorifying his holy Mother in this way, than with all the tributes he could receive from his court. Our Lady allowed him to die, according to his desire, on a Saturday, thus crowning with his last sighs all the tributes he had given her on that day, throughout her holy life.
3) You have to accustom the poor again to ask for God’s sake and remember to ask for the alms of their prayers as a reward for your charity. Powerful is the prayer of the poor before God and Our Lady cannot but grant the prayers of her poor.
Example. St. Elizabeth of Hungary in her childhood had no great goods to bestowed on the poor, but her love for Our Lady made her find a thousand means to lift them up in their miseries. But since it was for the sake of a good Mother who made alms, she always asked for a Hail Mary inreturn.
4) Finally, bring Mary to the poor. May she be their great wealth, their treasure and all their good. Inspire them a great trust in this good Mother; to abandon them unreservedly to her maternal care. Delicate thought was that of the Damines of Charity of our the city of consecrating the families of their poor to Our Lady by giving them the image for enthroneing. I hope that their example will be largely imitated.
Prayer. – O Virgin SS., who lately wanted to be called Our Lady of the Poor, reign over the poor of Jesus. Be the light, the heat, the sun of those hearths where misery has sned. Comfort them, bless them, warm them up with your love. Let them know the tenderness of your heart and the fruits of your powerful intercession.
Pious practices for living with Mary
- Devotion to the Name, Feasts and Marian Months;
- Bring his livery and join his Brotherhoods;
- Divotion of the Little Office of Our Lady and of the Immaculate;
- Saturday’s devotion, especially on the 1st of the month;
- Fast or at least make some mortification on Saturdays and in the Marian Holiday Watches;
- Divotion to the images of Mary. — (a) Greet them in avouttive way, such as B. of Montfort, the Fri. Olier and especially St. Bernard who was one day lucky enough to be answered to his “Hello, O Mary ! ” with a “Hello, O Bernard ! “. Mary certainly does not commit the indelicy not to reciprocate the greeting. Mary always responds, if not sensibly, certainly invisibly with a blessing, with some spiritual grace. S. Alfonso Rodriguez said when he encountered an image of Mary: O Jesus, O Mary, my sweetest loves, that for you I suffer, that for you I die, that I am all yours and no longer mine. You can also adopt this other invocation: I greet you, O Mary, greet Jesus for my part.
(b) Ornarle. — B. Enrico Susone took care to offer Mary the first rose that bloomed in the spring. Later he weaves a crown and went to place it on the head of the Virgin, proclaiming it the most beautiful and the most subsid of all flowers. One day the Virgin wanted to testify to him how much she liked that homage; it seemed that abandoned the altar he approached the Blessed asking him to sing this verse of the medieval liturgy: O vernalis rosula, or small spring rose. Henry obeyed and at the same time the voice of the Angels of Heaven came to join that of their brother of the earth, to celebrate their common Queen, the Rose of Eternal Spring.
- To the sound of the hours. — St. Francis Xavier, hearing the clock ring, said: Mother of God, remember me! S. Alfonso interrupted the conversation or his occupations to recite a Hail Mary. St. Vincent discovered the head and said: Deus in adjutorium, etc. Others gathered and made spiritual communion and said a Glory by striving to do everything for the greater glory of God. – S. Alfonso Rodriguez recited anHail the sound of the hours and Our Lady liked this osseque so much, that even at night she sent an angel to wake him up at all hours so as not to remain deprived of neppur at that time.
Another thought: The fleetingness and preciousness of time. The hours, the days, the years pass and they will never come back, never again. — We live only once: what madness to lose even one hour of this time that God has given me to make me holy, to conquer heaven. Time is worth as much as heaven, as much as God! What are you doing right now? Remember that time is no longer yours, but of Our Lady; you have to use it all for her… Orsù, shake and renew your donation: Sacred Heart of Jesus, I give everything to You through Mary! – and start taking up your time right away.
- Lamps to Mary. — Already the ancient Romans had near the door, above a protruding brick, a lamp to the penates; and will we honor less our Mistress and the Angel protect our homes? Our old ones had less expensive and useless trinkets, they adorned less their rooms of furniture and furnishings that are only to be seen and serve no purpose, but they found the money to enthrone Our Lady in the place of honor in the house or on the façade and in front of it never lacked the symbolic lamp. Symbol of Mary, our light, symbol of our hearts that we would like to be consumed perpetually before her.
- The Pylons and Tabernacles of Mary. — Once upon a time he met everywhere, an expressive symbol of Mary’s presence among us, of her universal mastery and protection over us and our goods. How sweet it was to the tired pilgrim to rest in the shadow of a Tabernacle of Mary! How well mary’s office expressed about men all pilgrims along the way of life!
How nice it was tosee the farmer discover himself and greet Maria by coming or going from work with her work tools in hispalla ! See mothers go and vent their pains at Mary’s feet, young women to lay down their hopes, the children to bring you flowers, the old questioner now pro nobis… in hora mortìs nostrae! How many tears they consoled, how many sins prevented, how many transpassed were brought back to the right path by those Tabernacles! Those poor Pylons made up for the lack of a Sanctuary and had a very important part on the moral and religious formation of the people.
Who can tell the spiritual influence of that bunch of agresti flowers infit on the grate of that rustic pylon; of that daily greeting, of that frequent and almost involuntary remembrance of Mary; of those rosaries recited on the beautiful evenings of May or October, between the scent of flowers or musts and the singing of crickets? That song of litany, which resounded on the nearby hills and descended like balm to the soul, transporting it to a higher world, is no longer forgotten. Nor does Mary forget that, content to see herself surrounded by her children in the midst of those fields witnessing their labors and hopes, she has often rewarded with graces and wonders the trust and love of those simple and good souls. How many famous shrines owe their origin to wonders worked by Mary at some of her poor pylons! Oh, who can, restore or edifice those dear Pylons; could not do something more pleasing to Our Lady and more useful to souls.
Evening prayers with Mary
With Mary you have begun your day, with Mary you must end it; to Mary you must consecrate her last moments, and then find in her your rest. If you live in the family, it procures to introduce the beautiful practice of prayers and, better still, of the Rosary in common in front of the altar, which must be the sanctuary of the family. To avoid saying your prayers mechanically procures you to put yourself well in the presence of God and fill you with one of these three feelings:
- Feeling of gratitude. God kept me alive while 50,000 men died today. God kept me safe and sound while so many misfortunes and illnesses affected others. God has given me a thousand temporal and spiritual gifts today. How good the Lord was with me!
- Repentance. Oh wretched! Was God so good to me and what did I do for Him? What good have I done? How did I do that little bit of good? And that would be the least: how many faults I have committed today! If I were to die tonight, would I be willing? And yet tonight maybe… Mercy, O Jesus, I want to change my life… Forgive me…
- Question. Night is scary, sleep is too similar to death. Darkness is conducive to the devil. O Blessed Virgin, put me under your manto; protect me tonight, keep the enemy away, free me from sudden death.
After the prayers, read the subjectand a few lines of the metazionethe next day and then set up the Practice of the Three Hail Marys and, havingreceived Mary’s blessing, go to rest.
Rest with Mary
GOING TO BED. Undress with great modesty, at the present of Our Lady, reciting some prayers or thinking of tomorrow’s meditation. Procure to have next to the bed the holy water, aspergi your bed of holy water and mark yourself saying : Jesus in my mind – Jesus in my mouth – Jesus in my heart.
Soggiungi the triple jaculatory : Jesus, Joseph and Mary, etc., receive one last blessing of Our Lady, kiss the Crucifix and the Medal, and, holding your crown, cobbled, grateful that Our Lady has prepared you a so soft bed. Lucky you, if at the end of your day, you can say: Today I worked for Mary and with Mary; mine was a truly Marian day.
In the beautiful Heart of Jesus, who redeemed me,
With the Virgin Mother, I fall asleep!
THOUGHTS GOING TO REST: Everything passes! After all the feasts, the pleasures, the triumphs appear bleak death: And then? You must die and appear before God! — Would you be ready if God called you tonight? And yet tonight you can die, no one can promise you tomorrow.,. If you’re not ready what are you waiting for?
Today it has passed and forever and I will never be able to do the good that I neglected to do today. How is it possible to fall asleep without having a quiet soul thinking that we can awaken in eternity? — Can you say you really served your mistress? — Oh when, O Lord, will I rest in You, my only and eternal peace?
THOUGHTS STAYING IN BED: Jesus did not have a stone to lay his head in, and he had a cross for his deathbed and I had a bed… Many poor people are homeless, without coltri, and I’m here in the heat. What do I ritual have more than them? And I dare to complain and always look for new comforts? Didn’t the Saints sleep voluntarily on the ground or on hard wood? – For my sins I deserve to be in hell on a bed of flames… Forever… and instead I am still here and I can hope to go eternally to heaven!— Think that one day, perhaps not far away, you will lie on this same corpse bed… a sheet will cover your face that has become scary… and where will your soul be?
EXAMPLES. One day Jesus appeared to St. Matilda and said to her: If one sincerely desires that his every breath during the night be like an ardent act of love and praise, I will accept his wish as if it were reality. — If you want to sleep, think of me, talk to me.
The very benign Jesus himself said to St. Geltrude: Who will apply themselves to the corporal needs of drinking, eating and sleeping and others of this kind, with the disposition to offer me these needs and begging me to sanctify case for the glory of my Father and for the salvation of sinners, since I have done, being mortal on earth; whoever, I say, will satisfy you with the intention of my glory and for the sins of all men, it will be as a shield that will defend me against the insults and outrages I receive from sinners.
St. John Berkmans before bed was marked with theblessed water and put neck or around his hand the crown as a sign of his belonging to Our Lady, to be defended at night, and for having prepared the crown to say some Hail Mary, if she woke up at night.
One day the Servant of God, Sister Josephine Nicoli, Daughter of Charity, said to a very tempted girl: “The Lord wants a little penance from her: that every evening, when she is already well adjusted under the coltri and is about to fall asleep, get up to her butt, make the sign of the cross and say a Hail Mary”. And since she, who tried to console, smiled incredulously, she said: “Our Lady has made me aware that this mortification is very pleasing to her and that those who observe her will obtain the grace never todisreath gravely against chastity”.
WAKING UP AT NIGHT think of Jesus who is alone in the Tabernacle and send your Angel to lend him your ossequies. — Think of Mary SS. who is watching over you and extend an affectionate greeting to her. He thinks one day you’re going to wake up in eternity. — Think of so many dying people who are about to appear before God at the same time; recites some jaculatory. When you had some bad dream procure to wake you up completely, he makes the Sign of Cross, kisses the Medal, recites a Hail Mary, meaning you don’t want to please yourself at all and approve of what you may have done in the dream. If bad dreams have not been produced by bad voluntary thoughts or bad readings they are not guilty and therefore one can go to communion. However, we must be careful that it is often not sinful in the dream, but sins after waking up, complacent of the dream.
That’s why I advise you to wake up completely, and immediately recommend yourself to Our Lady and not stay in that sleep that is very dangerous. Sometimes to purify the imagination it is very useful to turn on the light and read a good thought in some book ofvote; In any case, it is good to do an act of pain.
MY LIFE WITH MARY
To go to Jesus I will call Mary.
My guide and support will be Mary.
I just want to think and please Mary.
At night my heart will throbbing with love for Mary.
My tongue at the dawn of the day will repeat: Mary.
And I will often write the sweet Name of Mary.
I will take my sollievi under Mary’s gaze.
My joy and happiness will be in Mary.
In afflictions I will offer my sighs to Mary.
At the sight of danger I will reject myself in Mary.
By shield I will take the maternal Heart of Mary.
In the middle of the pain I will call Mary.
To remedy my ills I do not want mary.
And my love refrain will be: Long live Mary!
Death will fall asleep in Mary’s arms.
On my grave you will read, for the honor of Mary:
A LITTLE SLAVE OF LOVE TO MARY.
PASSENGER YOU READ, LIVE AND HOPE FOR MARY.
If you welcome me, O Mary, under your mantus,
Not only will I be safe, but I will be holy.
 It must be considered that the book from which it is taken dates back to the first decades of the 1900s (and the writing may even be earlier) and certainly the moral level of the beaches was not that of today, which makes it more often than not prohibitive, for a Catholic, his attendance.