Chapter One: To Jesus Through Mary

mary potter statue

I

We live in perilous times. We are surrounded by dangers and temptations almost unparalleled in the history of the world. Throughout the church there is unusual distress of soul and body. You have wondered perhaps, when you have heard of the falling away from the Church of even the very good. Perhaps you have sorrowed over some sad instance, even in your own family or community, of some unhappy soul for whom the temptations of the age have proved too strong.

Yes, we have wondered at it.

But we are thoughtless and careless. We do not fear for others till we see them fall: we are not wise. Did not our dear Lord “fear” for us? We should be wiser if we did FEAR more and wonder less.

Why have I written this? Because forewarned is forearmed.

Before I answer that question let me ask you a question. At the time of our Lord’s passion, when the power of Satan was rampant in the world and ranged against the Son of God — at that memorable time, who were the faithful ones who continued with our Lord to the end? Who remained faithful, even in the most terrible hour of the Crucifixion? Who did not abandon their Lord, when even He seemed to be abandoned by His Heavenly Father? Who hoped and trusted in Him when others despaired? Who, though weeping, adored and loved, while others scoffed and mocked? Who were they, and where did their strength come from, to stand in the face of the Passion? Consider the answer well.
Those who remained in the company of Mary.

Where did they get the great grace to be faithful? From her powerful intercession. And as it was then, so shall it be again.

But you will say, haven’t we got devotion to Mary? Don’t we love her? If these are your thoughts, then consider this: Did not St. Peter love Mary? Did not the other apostles love Mary? Where were they at Calvary? Still you may reply, devotion to Mary is not new. It has always been in the Church. This is true. But, like devotion to the Sacred Heart, the devotion to Mary that God is now pressing for, was a devotion known and practised to the full by Saints, and those in all future ages who enter this PATH OF MARY and continue therein, will be saints, and eminent ones too. What then is this seemingly new devotion?

It is the devotion practised by our Lord himself.

II

All those who are serving God in his holy Church have devotion to our Lady, there can be no doubt about that, but it is not as God would have it to be. The Eternal Father, speaking from his high throne, said of Jesus: “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him.” (Lk.9:35). Our Lord Himself speaks to us to the end of time saying: “I have given you an example, that as I have done you should also do.” (Jn. 13:15) What is the first thing of which Jesus gives us an example that we may follow and imitate? It is the very devotion that I am now asking you to adopt, if you love your own soul, if you love the soul of others, if you love to please and give glory to God. To explain:

In the bosom of the Eternal Father, in the embrace of the Holy Spirit, the Word, the only Son of God, lived from all eternity in wonderful peace, tranquillity and blissful repose. From that haven of happiness and joy, the Eternal Word looked upon and loved above all his created works, the Immaculate virgin heart of Mary. The Son of God then gave Himself to Mary, and became her Son. He, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, drew his mortal life, his body and blood from the Heart of Mary, who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, from that time on, shone with the double lustre of Virgin and Mother. And the Son of God now Son of Mary, lay tranquil and happy in her peaceful womb, dependent wholly upon her, living by each breath she drew.

Here is the example for us. Here is what I would have you do. I would have you, after the example of Jesus, give yourself entirely to Mary. I would have you born again by her. I would have you, after a fitting preparation for so solemn an act, and with the advice of those who guide you, make an entire act of consecration to her, of all the spiritual and temporal possessions you now have, or may have in the future.

It may be said, without slightest hesitation, that if you do this, after the example of Jesus, she will in return, give you the power to give a new life to Jesus. He will be born and live within you, so that for ever after you may say: I live now, not I, but it is Christ who lives in me. The Eternal Word will be spiritually conceived in you, therefore, will God the Father, bending over you, encompass you with jubilee and pour forth upon you his Holy Spirit.

To understand this new spiritual birth, I would have you beg the light of the Holy Spirit, lest you be like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus and did not understand the instructions given him. What I would have you do is renew your spiritual birth made in Baptism, renew the vows you then made, and be born again in Mary. Make your vows with full consciousness of your own act, and be born into a new life of grace and holiness by Mary, for, as St. Grignon de Montfort points out:



“The first man that is born in Mary is the God Man, Jesus Christ. The second is a mere man, the child of God and Mary by adoption. If Jesus Christ, the head of humanity is born in her, the members of that Head ought also to be born in her by a necessary consequence.”

This devotion that I am advocating is a necessary consequence of this theological view. If our union with Mary is so close, by reason of our union with Jesus, let us correspond with the union thus formed by God Himself, and deliver ourselves to Mary, to depend upon her and live by her spirit. Let her thoughts and actions influence us, as the thoughts and actions of
a mother influence the child within her womb.

This then is what I ask you to do: be born again — not this time in sin, but in innocence; not unconsciously, as you were re-generated in the wonder-working Sacrament of Baptism, but of your own free will, renewing the grace of that heavenly birth, by consciously repeating your Baptismal vows, and adding to them a fourth vow or offering, by which you deliver your body and soul, your earthly possessions, your spiritual treasures of time and eternity to Mary.

This is not a light thing I ask you to do. If, by the light of God’s holy Spirit you can see the beauty of this Path of Mary and enter it, you will not be surprised to find that I do not exaggerate when I use the words “a new birth”. It will cause a transformation in your soul. Strengthened by Mary, the Mother of Holy Hope, you will find yourself walking with an entirely new spirit. A spirit of love and liberty which you have imbibed from Mary, and you will find yourself walking along, singing ‘Magnificats’ on your way, praising God who has done such great things for you.

May she invite you to enter where she is so powerful where she is so mother-like, where we learn to love her more and more with the love of Jesus.

III

There are times in our life when, touched by the grace of God, we desire to make a new beginning, to cast away the past, and turn entirely to God.

No matter what has been in the past, no matter how sinful, beginning a new life in Mary, by following the Path of Mary, all is made new, for it is that Mother’s loving duty to free her children from the stains of their sins through her own sorrows over them. Her tears are the tears of perfect contrition, the work of the Precious Blood.

To Mary, the fount of life, is given the power to dispense the tears that purify the soul. It is Mary’s grand office to her children, a work the Immaculate Mother loves to do. Perfect contrition is what all should desire and pray for. Mary knows well how beautiful it makes the soul, and therefore desires and obtains that all her children should possess this great grace. Mary’s children are very happy in its possession. It fills them with a great peace, knowing as they do, that it is one of the greatest signs they can have that they are in the grace of God.

When, however, they are cleansed and purified, Mary knows well that her children have a need of a covering before the all holy God. What then does she do? She covers them with her own graces and virtues, and yet far more, with the merits of her Son. Again her children are happy, because they have learned from the Immaculate Mother such a hatred of sin and its malice that, with fallen Adam, they would be ready to hide themselves from the Presence of God if they had only their own justices wherewith to present themselves before Him, in whose sight even the heavens are not pure.

They, however, are clothed with the merits of Jesus and Mary. They are ever humble in the knowledge of their sins, and their own nothingness. They remember that what makes them pleasing to God is the manner in which they reflect the life of Jesus and Mary. This humility possessed by Mary’s own is especially dear to God, and they are cherished and caressed by God as the spoilt children of His love. Yes, they are the spoilt children of Divine Love. But, to use a paradox, they cannot be spoilt.

God, simply because He is God, desires to give. It is the nature of God to desire to give. Thus, there are many souls to whom He longs to give His precious gifts, and draw them nearer to Himself. But, He knows that by doing so He would be doing them positive harm. They have not sufficient humility to receive great gifts. They would think that there must be something particularly pleasing in their nature to induce God to favour them in this way. There would arise in them a great complacency in themselves, and the graces bestowed upon them would be carelessly guarded, and finally lost.

With Mary’s own, the case is very different. They are so settled in the knowledge of their own nothingness and unworthiness, that they are not anxious to think themselves worse than they are, as some mistakenly do. No, Mary’s own know it is not possible to think themselves worse than they are. They see the general corruption of mankind, and know they are the same sinful mass, and that the sins committed in this world make them know themselves. Every fresh crime they hear of, is for them a fresh increase of humility in the thought that—but for the grace of God— they would have committed the like.


With the thought that God knows them intimately, and knows the weakness of their souls, they hide themselves in the dispositions of Mary, who is all fair in the sight of God, and they present themselves to Jesus with her. They present themselves to the Eternal Father as Mary did, through the merits of Jesus. Thus, when they receive great gifts from God, they do not attempt to hide from themselves that they have received such gifts. No, they return to God what is God’s. They do this through Mary.

Turning to her with the ‘talent’ with which they have been entrusted, and knowing that left to themselves they would probably spoil the gift, or make bad use of it, or even lose it all together, they give it to Mary, and trust to her to show them how to use it. They deliver it to her keeping and thus they remain simple and humble, seeking nothing for themselves.

IV

From what has been said, you may have gained an insight into the effects produced in the soul that delivers itself to Mary in the way I have advocated. The soul has towards Jesus, the love, the devotion of Mary, and lives but for Him as she did. Towards Mary, the soul turns with the love of Jesus, with His own devotion to His Mother. With this mingled, double feeling, the soul offers its praise before the Most High God, renewing on earth again, the life of love and worship of Jesus and Mary. Perhaps you still do not understand what I mean. You probably will not, until you have entered this Path of Mary, which I ask you to do in a childlike spirit.

What will be your nourishment in the Path of Mary? What will be the food you will receive? What could it be, but the “Bread of Life”, formed of her substance, the Blessed Sacrament, given to us by God through Mary?

This will be your daily bread.

The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus. Those who live in union with Mary, have their thoughts naturally upon the Blessed Sacrament. It could not be otherwise. Were Mary’s thoughts ever away from Jesus? Through Mary, Jesus our Life first came to us. Through Mary He still loves to give Himself.

As the child hungers for its mother’s breast, the child of Mary turns at all times to her for its life and nourishment. O Mary, Mother! You are indeed to us like the Breasts of God from which we suck unutterable sweetness. Mother-like is our good God in His Love, feeding us with His own Substance. Mary’s own, like their mother, think and live by Jesus, and constandy turn to Him to receive fresh strength, and they know well that their dear Lord is more anxious to feed them than they are anxious for this heavenly food.

In temptations they turn immediately to receive spiritually this food, and without waiting to fight with temptation, they throw themselves into the arms of their Mother, and reclining on her breast ask for the fruit of her womb, and repeat to themselves: “May the Body of my Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to everlasting life.” Thus they are strong for whatever battle it is they have to fight. They have received a grace, the most powerful they could receive, after the grace of a Sacrament, and thus, freed from attachments to the world, they rest like a child on their Mother’s lap, and it is on that lap that all good things come to them. And in Mary’s lap they praise God for the great things He has done for them.

There, like St. Ambrose, they say: “ Let the soul of Mary be in each one of us, to glorify the Lord, let the spirit of Mary be in each of us to rejoice in God.” They sing their own Magnificat, the beautiful song sung with such love by Mary, in thanksgiving to the loving God who created her. With the exception of our Lord, no soul has ever experienced such joy as the soul of Mary.

Mary’s own enter into the joy of their Mother, and praise God with her spirit. They are the happiest souls on earth, though they may have crosses that would break a less strong spirit than the one they have obtained from Mary. But, they have been strengthened by her with the Bread of the strong, in a special manner, and the hour of trials find them prepared and trusting in her maternal care, so that they walk safely through dangerous places — or rather they feel carried, secure as a child in its mother’s arms, even if she were to carry it into the middle of a raging battle. They who thus rest in Mary have continued peace.

V

Another of the maternal offices of Mary, is to place her own in the position in which they may most glorify God.
If they do not know what their vocation is, they do not trouble, but wait patiently for God’s time to make it known to them. They are quite sure that they have fulfilled God’s will by entering the Path of Mary, and, in imitation of Jesus, they remain quietly in subjection to Mary. “And He remained subject to them.”

Having the wonderful example of Jesus remaining thirty years in retirement with Mary, before commencing the great work He was sent to do, they copy Jesus, and remain with her until God calls them to some particular state of life or to do some particular work for Him, and as the writings of holy people show us, when people have a wonderfully increased devotion to our Lady, the Holy Spirit, who by her produced his greatest work, Jesus Christ, will in the same manner produce by her, great saints, who will do wonders for God and His Church. Saints who will greatly glorify God, and be devoted to the work of saving souls, and who, by the means Mary will point out to them, will be most instrumental in the greatest of all works, the saving of souls.

Whatever may be the work appointed to them, its value is wonderfully increased, by having been done in union with Mary and offered through her, as St. Bernard points out: “When you want to offer anything to God, take care to offer it by the most agreeable and worthy hands of Mary, unless you wish to have it rejected.”

Thus, as our Lord gave as great a glory to his Father by remaining hidden, doing simple everyday actions in the company of Mary, as He did by working His greatest miracles, so too with those who live and work in the company of Mary, as they do their ordinary simple actions. They give glory to God, they do good to the souls of others far above those who work by themselves. Sometimes the works of the latter are rejected by God, as He rejected the sacrifices of the Jews on account of the selfishness with which they offered them. They sought their own will in what they did.

Those who have, by one great act of oblation to Mary, abandoned their own will, feel assured that their actions, prayers and sacrifices must be pleasing and acceptable to God, since, being at the disposal of Mary, they are sure to be disposed to His greatest honour and glory. Why does this practice give Jesus so much pleasure? One holy man
(St. Grignon de Montfort) does not hesitate to give his reasons. He says that the practice of offering all our actions, goods, prayers and sacrifices to Jesus through Mary, pleases God, because:

1. You abandon your own intentions and operations, although good and known, to lose yourself (so to speak) in the intentions of the Blessed Virgin. while these are unkown to you, they are so pure that she herself gives more glory to God by the least of her actions, than the heroic actions of all saints and martyrs.

2. In this practice, the soul counts as nothing whatever it thinks or does of itself, and only puts its trust and takes its pleasure in the dispositions of Mary when it approaches Jesus or even speaks to Him. Thus, it practises humility far more than the souls who act of themselves, and lean with however small a complacency, on their own dispositions. If the soul acts humbly, it glorifies God highly, and He is only perfectly glorified by the humble and those that are little and lowly in heart.

3. Because our Lady, wishing by her great charity to receive the present of our actions in her virginal hands, gives them a wonderful beauty and splendour. So here too is our Lord more glorified by them than if we offered them with our own sullied hands.

4. Finally, because you can never think of Mary, without Mary, in your place, thinking about God. Elizabeth praised Mary and called her blessed. Mary the faithful echo of God at once intoned: “My soul glorifies the Lord.” To those who truly love God, the thought that all they do is entirely devoted to His greatest honour and glory is a happy thought. Further, they are doing the most they can for the good of their neighbour, by giving to our Lady all they can give of their spiritual goods, to be allocated as she pleases for the good of others.

Besides these things, by the practice of this devotion, loving God above all things and their neighbours as themselves, those who have given of all their good works and prayers to our Lady benefit themselves in another way. To give you an example:

We often commence some good work with a companion whom we may think intended by God to assist us; consequently we pray most earnestly for this companion, and beg graces for him or her. If we have given our prayers, etc., to our Lady, to dispose of as she pleases and to whom she pleases, when our companion fails us, as is so often the case, our Lady who knew all along how the case would be, has taken care to give our prayers to the person intended by God to be associated with us in our undertaking. To quote again from that devoted servant of our Lady, Grignon de Montfort:

“We do even more than is done in a religious order. In religious orders, we give God the goods of fortune by the vow of poverty, the goods of the body by the vow of chastity and our own will by the vow of obedience, and sometimes the liberty of the body by the vow of the cloister (enclosure). But, we do not, by these vows give Him the right to dispose of the value of our good works; and we do not strip ourselves, as far as a Christian person can do, of that which is most precious to him or her—namely, the satisfaction and capacity to plead for and on another’s behalf.”

To end with the word of this saintly man. He speaks of it as a secret known to a few, and writes: “As there are secrets of nature, to do in a short time, at little cost, and with ease, natural operations, so also there are secrets in the order of grace, to do in a short time, with sweetness and ease, supernatural operations, such as emptying ourselves of self, filling ourselves with God and becoming perfect. As the essence of this devotion belongs to the interior, which it ought to form, it will not be equally understood
by everybody.

“Some will enter into its inward spirit, but they will only mount one step. Who will mount to the second step? Who will get as far as the third? Lastly, who will advance so as to make this devotion their habitual state? Those alone to whom the spirit of Jesus shall have revealed the secret, the faultlessly faithful souls He shall conduct from grace to grace, from light to light, until they become Christ-like, receiving abundant grace on earth and glory in heaven.”

My writings will have been well expended if this little work, falling into the hands of a soul of good dispositions, born of Jesus and Mary, should unfold to him or her by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the wonder and the price of true and solid devotion to Mary, our Blessed Mother.

May you be induced to adopt this devotion from pure love to Mary. If you knew how full her sweet Maternal heart is with love for you, you would return her love better. It is because you do not believe in that burning love, next in its intensity to Divine Love, that you are not yourself filled with an ardent desire of making some return. But those who do dearly love our holy Mother, and who think they can never do enough to honour her whom the King delights to honour, look at the way they may succeed.


Next to the possession of God Himself, the greatest happiness God can give Mary is to give her the souls for whom Jesus shed his precious blood and died. Therefore, offer yourself to her. Practice faithfully the devotion I have but poorly explained, and which as I have said, is God’s devotion to Mary. Put yourself into the hands of Mary as Jesus did, and by doing this you will be most perfectly imitating the conduct of God and corresponding to His Holy Will, the Will of his Holy Spirit, desiring again to make use of Mary to form copies of Jesus on earth.

Give yourself to Mary, whose great Mother-heart longs to possess you entirely, that you may be to her as another Jesus, and that she may perform to Him again (in performing them to you) the loving offices of His infancy — yes of His whole life. Give yourself to Mary with all your goods and works, and by doing this you will fulfil the command of our Lord: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man has, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

You will, by this devotion, fulfil this command, because you will have given your life into the hands of our Lady, to be disposed of for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls, so that you may be so entirely at her disposal, that if the sacrifice of your life would save a soul, you are quite willing it should be sacrificed, and that Mary may offer you, as she did Jesus. By this devotion you ensure the salvation of your own soul, but also ensure its sanctification, in so far as you present yourself a living sacrifice, wholly pleasing to God.

Chapter Two: After The Example of Jesus

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