Conferences given at the MMP International Clergy Retreats
Fr. Francis Geremia , c.s.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (Part I)
I believe that it is very important to give an introduction to these two Conferences, because, as we speak about Mary and the Holy Spirit, we also speak about ourselves, consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. In these most difficult times for the Church and for each one of us, we mustn’t get discouraged, instead we must look to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, who is preparing a second Pentecost.
We, Religious and secular Priests, are all consecrated to the Lord. If we want to represent Jesus, we must follow Him very closely. Actually, we should put into practice what St. Paul said: “It is not I, but Christ who lives in me”.
The author Marko Rupnik said: “It is only through the Holy Spirit that the life in Christ, which we share, becomes accessible to us as we become part of Him. It is the Holy Spirit who makes us sons in the Son; it is through the Holy Spirit that I can offer myself in sacrifice and consequently experience the power of his Resurrection. The lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our spiritual life and in the religious formation, is probably the cause of all the series of errors and of grave deviations that brought the religious life to the present failure. A failure, because very often one experiences a fatigue, a spiritual dryness, an impossibility to live a common life, a aggravated individualism, if not a counter witness.”
We all come from different nations and we know how real this crisis is among the Religious and the Priests. This is the reason why the Blessed Mother started the MMP in 1973. She came to help us, and She spoke to us as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, not only to save us from the complete ruin of our consecrated life, but especially, to teach us the road to follow for an authentic spiritual renewal, which eventually will lead us to a second Pentecost. Let us listen to what She tells us: (#521 gh) “Come, Holy Spirit. Come by means of the powerful intercession of my Immaculate Heart. My hour is the hour of the Holy Spirit. The triumph of my Immaculate Heart will coincide with the great prodigy of the second Pentecost.”
(#521 d) A new and universal effusion of the Holy Spirit is necessary to arrive at the new times, so longed for. It is necessary that the second Pentecost come quickly. It can come to pass only in the spiritual cenacle of my Immaculate Heart. For this reason, I renew today the invitation to all the Church to enter into the cenacle which the heavenly Mother has prepared for you for the final times. You are able to enter through the act of consecration to my Immaculate Heart”.
For this reason, in many messages She insists that we must have confidence, because she knows the new times which are awaiting us, as foretold in the Book of Revelation:
(#198 abcd) “Do not let your heart be troubled. Have confidence in Jesus, risen and ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He has already prepared a place for each one of you. Beloved sons, have confidence also in your heavenly Mother. My plan is enclosed within the Heart of the Blessed Trinity.
I am the Virgin of Revelation… Through me, the great plan hidden in the very mystery of God is made manifest”.
Mary was formed as a new creature by the Holy Spirit. One author wrote: “Mary is formed by the Spirit as a new and unique creature. By descending upon her, the Holy Spirit begins a special “presence” of God among men, a new way of “inhabiting” the earth and of remaining in the midst of his people. Mary’s fruitful womb, by work of the Holy Spirit, becomes the first “seat” of this extraordinary presence which marks the passage from the Old Covenant to the New one, from the time of promises and expectations to the time of fulfillment. The Virgin Mary, the New Creature, thus becomes the Tent of Meeting, the holy Ark of the Covenant, God’s most pure Tabernacle, the Temple of his Presence, the true Jerusalem like a “city” inhabited by the Lord”. (Maria Chiara Cerulli).
On 8 September 1997, our Heavenly Mother said: (#599 bc) “… Round about my cradle, all Paradise gathers in exultation, because the Most Holy Trinity is receiving its greatest glory. The Heavenly Father contemplates with pleasure the masterpiece of his love, which from all eternity He had decreed in the plan of his divine wisdom. The Word rejoices because He can at last see that creature whom He Himself has prepared as Mother for his birth in time. The Holy Spirit exults, because I am possessed by Him as his sacred and inviolate temple for his divine plan.
Round about my cradle, there gather all the heavenly spirits, because they contemplate in the little child just born, she who is destined to become their Queen. And they compose sweetest harmonies of songs and lights, which fill my soul with joy and cause my Heart to tremble, this Heart which has hardly begun to give forth its first throbs of love”.
The descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary, and the overshadowing of God’s power, make us recall the phenomenon of the luminous cloud which covered the tent of meeting when the people of Israel crossed the desert. “In this way, the Temple which is full of the Lord’s glory is an image of Mary’s womb which is inhabited by the Holy One, the Son of God. At the moment of the Incarnation, the Virgin Mary assumes the likeness of the new tent of meeting, God’s dwelling place among men”. (M.C.C.)
The Immaculate Heart, the masterpiece of the Holy Spirit
The Virgin Mary is a creature, of course, but she has never existed outside of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Spirit made Our mother’s entire life his own, right from her conception. Here lies a mystery: the mystery of the presence of a Divine Person in a creature who is totally enfolded within that Divine Person down to the very roots of His Divine nature, forever. On 30 June 1984 we read: (#290 bcd) “If you venerate my Heart, you give praise to the Most Holy Trinity, which receives its greatest glory in it, because it has made of this, my heavenly garden, the place of its divine delight.
In it the Father is reflected with joy, the Word is placed therein as in a precious cradle, and the Holy Spirit burns with the purest light of his divine love. If you venerate my Immaculate Heart, you also give praise to your heavenly Mother, because within it is enfolded the mystery of my predilection and of the privileges of grace with which I have been adorned by God. And thus you also venerate my singular privileges of the Immaculate Conception, of the divine motherhood, of the bodily assumption into heaven, of the fullness of grace and of perpetual virginity. Through the way of my Heart, enter in so that you may understand and delight in the divine masterpiece which is your heavenly Mother”.
More than anyone else, the Immaculate Mary reveals the Person of the Holy Spirit with her whole being, in her words, in her actions, in her entire life. The union between the Immaculate Mary and the Holy Spirit makes it obvious that she is the Spouse; Mary only wants to love God and everything that God loves; she feels she belongs to him, she totally abandons herself into his hands.
The Second Vatican Council said: “Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, Mary is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth” (Lumen Gentium, 53).
She wants to bring about in us the same relationship that she has with the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity: (#193 j-n) “I offer you to the glory of the Holy Spirit. He communicates Himself to you to bring you into the very heart of the divine life and to transform you into burning flames of love and zeal, in order to shed his most pure light everywhere. And seeing you in the motherly arms of his Spouse, who is reproducing her image in you, He is drawn to come down in fullness upon you and to communicate Himself to you just as He communicated Himself to her. Thus the Holy Spirit is being given to you increasingly as a gift by the Father and the Son. In the temple of my Immaculate Heart, I offer you all today to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
I offer you as a sign of reparation, as a sign of motherly supplication and as a sign of perfect glorification, that God may receive this poor straying humanity and, through the great power of his merciful love, come to the aid of the world, purified by your reparative offering. Thus, by the Spirit of the Lord, the whole face of the earth will be renewed”.
Spouse of the Holy Spirit in order to become the Mother of
God and to allow the Spirit to fall upon us too
(#521 lmn) “Come, Holy Spirit. Come at the voice of your well-beloved Spouse who calls You. I am the heavenly Spouse of the Holy Spirit. As, through a singular design of the Father, I have become true Mother of the Son, so also have I become true Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has given Himself to my soul by an interior and true spousal union, and of this has been born the divine fruit of the virginal conception of the Word in my most pure womb. The Spirit cannot resist the voice of the Spouse who calls to Him. And so unite yourselves, each and all, to me, my little children, in invoking today the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let your supplication become the prayer of these last times. Let your prayer be habitual, repeated frequently by you, because it has been taught to you and is being passionately demanded of you by your heavenly Mother: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.’”
St. Maximilian Kolbe said: “Mary is Immaculate because She was to become the Mother of God; She became the Mother of God because She is Immaculate”. Being the Mother of God implies the personal presence of the Holy Spirit in her. In a very special way Mary received the appropriate abilities to carry out the task of being the Mother of God and the Church. Therefore, the Holy Spirit gives Mary, first of all, the ability to generate without human intervention. There is an abyss between her and her Son, but it is the Holy Spirit who fills this abyss.
The Holy Spirit formed Mary to be the Mother of Grace and therefore our Mother.
The Holy Spirit guided Mary on her journey next to her Son and prepared her for her mission. Mary, in the vision of the “sword which will pierce her soul”, – foretold by the old Simeon and inspired by the Holy Spirit – heard the announcement of a profound sorrow which will unite her intimately to the suffering of her Son. Perhaps in that moment she also heard the Spirit calling her to cooperate with Jesus in his sacrifice for humanity. Lastly, we find Mary along the road to Calvary and under the cross, ever so near to her dying Son.
If we read the messages which are given to us every year on Good Friday, we will better understand the role our Mother had in the work of Redemption. We need only quote the Message of 20 April 1984:
(#288 ef) “With an outburst of my mother’s heart, I would help Him to his feet, to succor Him with the force of my sorrow, to comfort Him with the strength of my presence, I caress Him with the moan of my prayer; I accompany Him with the anguish of a wounded mother; and upon my Immaculate Heart, now united with his in a single offering to the will of the Father, I lead Him towards the summit of Golgotha”.
“Jesus is at the same time a priest and the oblation with which the New Covenant is ratified. During the hours which are so decisive for the salvation of the world, the will of the Son and his Mother are joined in an offering without reserve. The two are one victim and one altar, and at that moment the hearts of Jesus and of the Virgin Mother formed the most pleasing and the most beautiful dwelling place which God has ever had on earth. Having been prepared by the Holy Spirit and moved by him, Mary, at the foot of the cross and united to the will of the Father, sacrifices in sorrow her only Son for the redemption of the world. And together with her Son, Mary offers herself to the Father, inspired by the same Spirit who, during those terrible hours, gives her the strength to accept God’s plan, which seems so puzzling to the human mind”. (M.C.C.)
And so, on Calvary the Holy Spirit worked in a powerful way and brought her to the highest degree of self-sacrifice. It was a very difficult trial for Mary, certainly more difficult than Abraham’s. But she remained faithful, without being rebellious, without running away and without saying no. Mary’s faith was unshakable. Such immense strength was given to her by the Holy Spirit.
It is at the foot of the cross that Mary became our Mother. However it was already from the beginning, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Her at the moment of the Annunciation, that She understood her role as co-redemptrix, next to the Servant of Yahweh.
In fact on 25 March 1980 She said: (#196jk) “And so my yes was also a complete assent to suffer, because at that moment I welcomed into my virginal womb all the suffering of the Son. With my soul I saw, even before He was born, the wounds in his hands and his little feet, and the horrible gash in the heart, even before I felt its beating. I saw Him stretched on the Cross, even before contemplating Him, newborn, in a crib”.
St. Maximilian Kolbe said: “If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother: the Father will not send the Son to him; the Son will not come down into his soul; the Holy Spirit will not make him a member of the mystical body through the gift of his grace; because all God’s marvels of grace take place in Mary Immaculate alone”.
The presence of the Holy Spirit and the Immaculate Heart in the souls of those consecrated to her
(#226jk) “Today I invite you all to enter into the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart in the expectation of receiving in fullness the Spirit of Love which is given to you as a gift by the Father and the Son. My Immaculate Heart is the golden doorway through which this divine Spirit passes to reach you. And so I invite you to repeat often: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.’”
Montfort wrote: “According to the explanation of some of the Fathers, the first man born of Mary is the God-man, Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ, the head of mankind, is born of her, the predestinate, those who are members of this head, must also as a necessary consequence be born of her. When Mary has taken root in a soul she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce; for she alone is the fruitful virgin who never had and never will have her equal in purity and fruitfulness. Together with the Holy Spirit Mary produced the greatest thing that ever was or ever will be: a God-man. She will consequently produce the marvels which will be seen in the latter times. The formation and the education of the great saints who will come at the end of the world are reserved to her, for only this singular and wondrous virgin can produce in union with the Holy Spirit singular and wondrous things.
When the Holy Spirit, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to his spouse. One of the main reasons why the Holy Spirit does not work striking wonders in souls is that he fails to find in them a sufficiently close union with his faithful and inseparable spouse. I say “inseparable spouse”, for from the moment the substantial love of the Father and the Son espoused Mary to form Jesus, the head of the elect, and Jesus in the elect, he has never disowned her, for she has always been faithful and fruitful. Without a special grace (of the Holy Spirit) Mary could not make her dwelling-place in men as God the Father has ordered her to do, and she could not conceive them, nourish them, and bring them forth to eternal life as their mother. She could not have them for her inheritance and her possession and form them in Jesus and Jesus in them. She could not implant in their heart the roots of her virtues, nor be the inseparable associate of the Holy Spirit in all these works of grace”. (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin 32, 35, 36, 37).
And St. Maximilian Kolbe wrote: “The union between the Immaculate and the Holy Spirit is so inexpressible and perfect that the Holy Spirit acts uniquely through the Immaculate, His Spouse. Consequently, she is the Mediatrix of all the graces of the Holy Spirit. Given that every grace is a gift of God the Father through the Son and the Holy Ghost, therefore there exists no grace that does not belong to the Immaculate, given to Her, at Her free disposition.
Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and mankind; the Immaculate is the one mediatrix between Jesus and mankind and we will be the fortunate mediators between the Immaculate and souls”. Lastly, the Second Vatican Council: “In her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church” (Redemptoris Mater, 47). Therefore Mary is not only a role model to look up to and imitate, but she is the Mother who personally cooperates in generating God’s children. For this reason she is the perfect image of the Church who, nourished and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, is called to be full of grace like Mary; it must remain a virgin like her; it must receive Christ as a gift of the Holy Spirit and it must in turn give it to others, just as it must become a mother by continuing the incarnation of Jesus in time and incorporating Him visibly in the history of the world.
(#131 g-m) “The Holy Spirit is the only Gardener within my enclosure. He has overshadowed me with his light of love; He has filled me with all his gifts; He has embellished me with his grandeur and has made me his Spouse. In my Immaculate Heart this divine prodigy has taken place.
My garden is his exclusive property: it is the Holy Spirit who waters it and gives it light; it is He who causes the most beautiful flowers to spring up; it is He who gives them their color and fragrance; it is He who brings therein whom He wills. No one can enter unless He Himself opens to them: no one walks therein unless He leads them forward. If you but knew, my beloved sons, the gift you have received by consecrating yourselves to my Immaculate Heart! It is the Holy Spirit who has brought you into my garden. And through your heavenly Mother, He is now cultivating you, embellishing you with his gifts, and enriching you with all the virtues. This is how you are growing in holiness, becoming more and more priests according to my design, and moving forward that you may be introduced by Him into the depths of my Immaculate Heart, wherein shines brilliantly all the glory of the Most Holy Trinity”.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (Part I I)
The intimate union between the Immaculate Heart, Jesus and us, through the Holy Spirit
Montfort said: “Jesus is always and everywhere the fruit and Son of Mary and Mary is everywhere the genuine tree that bears that Fruit of life, the true Mother who bears that Son” (TD, 44). Mary is present in us in order to let us live Jesus, just as she lives him by work of the Holy Spirit. By our Baptism the Son came to live in each one of us, just as he made his dwelling place in Mary at the Incarnation.
(#131c-f) “The Son finds here his habitual dwelling place. My Heart is the house where the Word was formed in his human life; it is the refuge where Jesus withdrew to find aid and comfort. Here He also brought his first disciples, that they might be strengthened and receive, each and all, his very own imprint. In this garden they grew, little by little, according to his divine plan; they became more humble, purer, more generous, stronger. Here they were well cultivated until each one attained that resemblance to Jesus which He himself desired.
It was also the altar on which my Son was immolated; the chalice which received his blood, which opened itself to the moaning of his wounds, which was opened wide to the great gift of his dying Heart. He desired that this garden of his should also become yours; and so, He gave you his Mother”.
Even today, everyday, we can experience the joy of living in Jesus and in Mary, thanks to the maternal assistance of Mary and to the action of the Holy Spirit who works in us who believe. “Just as there are secrets of nature, explained St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, there are also secrets of grace… This “secret” consists in uniting ourselves completely to Mary because she and her Son are always united” (TD, 247). St. Maximilian Kolbe said: “We receive all things from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Immaculate. This is the only path all graces can follow. From experience we know that souls who consecrate themselves totally and unlimitedly to the Immaculate have a better knowledge of Jesus and the divine mysteries. In fact, Our Lady can lead souls to Jesus alone”.
The purifying action of the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart in us
In the Message of 26 December 1974 we read: (#65 abdef) “St Stephen was truly a little child. What candor illuminated his soul, what purity his unshakable faith in my Son and what strength his whole person… I knew that he had to be the first one to die, after my Son Jesus. And with what tenderness did I encourage him so that he would become stronger and stronger… You too Stefano are called to be a crown: the crown of my Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart.
As upon him, so also upon you I pour out the fullness of my Son’s love so that no one will be able to resist this grace. The Holy Spirit will sweep you along like a little feather on the wave of his fullness. Each of the priests of my Movement will be this crown of love for me. A crown of lilies, of roses and of cyclamens, all these little children of mine. But no one will be able to resist the power of the Spirit which I will obtain for them”. If we remain united to our Immaculate Mother, she also has the task of progressively allowing us to live Christ by setting us free from our sins.
“But above all, the gift of my Immaculate Heart will be the new Pentecost. Just as in the Cenacle of Jerusalem the apostles, reunited with me in prayer, prepared for the moment of the first Pentecost, so also, in the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart – and consequently in the cenacles where you are gathered in prayer – you apostles of these last times can, with your heavenly Mother, obtain a new effusion of the Holy Spirit.
It will be the Spirit of Love, with his powerful action of fire and of grace renewing the very foundations of the whole world. It will be He, the Spirit of Love, with his great force of holiness and of light, bringing my Church to new splendour, making it therefore humble and poor, evangelical and chaste, merciful and holy. It will be the Spirit of Love, through the fire of innumerable sufferings renewing all creation, that it may become that garden of God, that terrestrial paradise in which Jesus will always be with you, like a sun of light reflecting its rays everywhere”.
(#521 ij) “A new fire will come down from heaven and will purify all humanity, which has again become pagan. It will be like a judgment in miniature, and each one will see himself in the light of the very truth of God. Thus sinners will come back to grace and holiness; the straying, to the road of righteousness; those far away, to the house of the Father; the sick, to complete healing; and the proud, the impure, the wicked collaborators with Satan will be defeated and condemned for ever”.
(#426 hij) “The Holy Spirit has the task of forming your hearts to the perfection of love and thus burns away, within you, every form of egoism and purifies you in the crucible of innumerable sufferings. The Holy Spirit has the task of bringing the Church to its greatest splendour, that it may thus become all beautiful, without stain or wrinkle, in imitation of your heavenly Mother, and be able to spread the light of Christ to all the nations of the earth.
The Holy Spirit has the task of transforming all humanity and of renewing the face of the earth, that it may become a new terrestrial paradise in which God may be possessed, loved and glorified by all”.
The sanctifying action of the Immaculate Heart in us
(#178 h-k) “In these days, I want to enclose you and all my beloved sons in the refuge of my Heart, to give your filial hearts the same dimensions as mine, and thus to transform you into an ever more perfect image of your heavenly Mother.
The time has come when all of you must live, without doubts or reservations, the consecration which you have made to me.
For this reason, I wish to put in the place of your little hearts, filled with sin, my Immaculate Heart, so as to give you my own capacity to love and thus transform the life of each one of you.
And finally I have wanted you here to give each of you my spirit, in such a way that I might truly live and work in you. The time has come when I wish to manifest myself through you to the whole Church, because the time of the triumph of my Immaculate Heart has come”.
The Holy Spirit is the author of all sanctification. And Mary, his Spouse and his Temple, accomplishes with him the mission which belongs to every mother: the mission of allowing her children to grow in age and grace, to the glory of God. It is She who maternally takes care to make every child of hers a saint! Every soul should be able to say together with Saint Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. It is Mary’s task to accomplish this plan in each one of us. It is her mission.
“You came up here and I saw your hearts, one by one: they are consumed with great aridity, closed in upon themselves and hardened by the trials in which you are living. And so, as a mother, I have drawn close to each one of you; I have taken your heart in my hands; I have placed it into the burning furnace of my motherly heart and I have brought it into the depths of the divine Heart of my Son Jesus… In here, as gold in the crucible, your hearts become continually transformed by the flame of an ardent charity, and thus you become ever more docile, humble, meek, merciful, good, little, pure”.
As soon as Mary has a soul at her disposal, she firsts empties it of all that is earthly; then she adds to it her virtues, her emotions, her own spirit and her life. She is only able to accomplish this work in souls who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. De Clorivière wrote: “Devotion to Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, is fundamental to Christianity: without it we cannot possess the Spirit and the emotions of Jesus, except in a very imperfect way”.
Venerable Van Chaminade said: “Whatever Mary bears in her womb can be only Jesus Christ or can live only the life of Jesus Christ. With inconceivable love Mary always bears us as little children in her chaste womb, until having formed in us the first traits of her Son, she brings us forth as she did Him. She unceasingly repeats to us the beautiful saying of St. Paul: “My dear children, with whom I am again in the pains of childbirth, until Christ is formed in you.”
The Holy Spirit and Mary, Mother of the Church
(#118 bc) “The Vicar of my Son Jesus has had a foreboding of this decisive hour of combat, and so he has solemnly proclaimed me to be Mother of the Church. As I am the true Mother of Jesus, so also am I the true Mother of the Church which is his Mystical Body. And as a Mother I look today upon this daughter of mine with apprehension and with a sorrow that is constantly growing”. In her motherhood Mary is the figure, that is, the perfect model of the Church.
The early Fathers of the Church said that the Church brings forth Christ in Christians. St. Ambrose said: “Every soul that believes – that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognizes his works”. Mary is Mother of the Church not only because she gave birth to Jesus, but because she believed in God’s Word. St. Augustine said: “She conceived Christ first in her heart before she conceived Him in her womb”. And John Paul II: “Mary is Mother of the Church because, on account of the Eternal Father’s ineffable choice and due to the Spirit of Love’s special action, she gave human life to the Son of God. Her Son explicitly extended his Mother’s maternity in a way that could easily be understood by every soul and every heart by designating, when he was raised on the Cross, his beloved disciple as her son…” (#432 cd) “The fruit of my co-redemption is my spiritual motherhood. Beneath the Cross, through the will of my Son Jesus, in the cradle of a very great suffering, I became your Mother, Mother of all the redeemed, Mother of the Church and of the entire human race. And I have carried out this maternal function by standing, as a true mother, at the side of all my children, during the earthly course of human history. I have not left anyone alone or abandoned; no one has ever been rejected or sent away from me. I have always been close to everyone, as a loving and sorrowful mother. I have carried in my heart the sufferings of all. I have carried in my heart the sufferings of the whole Church”.
The Holy Spirit and Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(#521 ef) “I request that this consecration, asked by me with such anxious insistence, be made by the bishops, the priests, the religious and the faithful. And let it be made by all in order to shorten the time of the great trial which has now arrived. The Holy Spirit will cause you to understand the times through which you are living. The Holy Spirit will be the light upon your way and will make you courageous witnesses of the Gospel in the dreadful hour of the great apostasy. The Holy Spirit will bring you to grasp that which I will make manifest to you concerning what is contained in the still sealed Book. The Holy Spirit will give his perfect witness to the Son, by preparing hearts and souls to receive Jesus who will return to you in glory”.
Living the consecration means belonging to the Immaculate Heart in the same way that she belongs to God, in order to live the Most Holy Trinity in the life of grace and glory. This is how our Heavenly Mother describes the joy of the Most Holy Trinity at the moment of her birth: (#333b) “Over my crib, with immense love of predilection, the Father bends down, as He contemplates his masterpiece of creation; the Word, in the expectation of placing Himself in my virginal and motherly womb; the Holy Spirit, who is already communicating Himself to my soul with the fullness of love. …”
The Immaculate was wanted by the Most Holy Trinity in order to accomplish our goal in the most simple and perfect way. Mary lived in the Most Holy Trinity: Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, Spouse of the Holy Spirit. United to her in our consecration, we also live our relationship with the divine Persons with her and like her.
(#290 bc) “If you venerate my Heart, you give praise to the Most Holy Trinity, which receives its greatest glory in it, because it has made of this, my heavenly garden, the place of its divine delight. In it the Father is reflected with joy, the Word is placed therein as in a precious cradle, and the Holy Spirit burns with the purest light of his divine love”.
Because our Mother leads us to the Trinity, we entrust our journey to her Immaculate Heart, by means of the Act of Consecration, which binds us to the Mother of Jesus with the same bond that binds our Mother to her Son.
Montfort said in this regard: “The elect have a great love for our Lady and honour her truly as their Mother and Queen. They love her not merely in word but in deed. They honour her not just outwardly, but from the depths of their heart. They avoid the least thing that might displease her, and eagerly do whatever they think might win her favour” (TD, 197). Consequently, in order to be valid, the consecration cannot be reduced to the mere reading of words, but instead it consists in a Christian way of life and in a solemn commitment to live it out under the special protection of a Mother who consoles them.
To the Trinity through the Immaculate Heart
“My powerful function as Mediatrix between you and my Son Jesus is exercised above all in obtaining for you in superabundance, from the Father and the Son, the Spirit of Love. By this divine fire, the Church must be renewed and transformed. By this fire of love, the whole world will be made new. At his powerful life-giving breath, new heavens and a new earth will at last be opened!
In the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart, dispose yourselves to receive this divine Spirit.
The Father gives Him to you to associate you intimately in his very own life and that the image of the Son, in whom He has made to repose all his pleasure, may shine forth in you ever more perfectly.
Jesus gives Him to you as the most precious fruit of his redemption, as witness of his Person and of his divine mission”.
Let us read the testimony of mystics who lived a profound
unity with the Most Holy Trinity precisely through Mary.
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote: “In the solitude of my cell which I call “my little Heaven”, because it is like Heaven where souls live on Him, I will unite my soul with the Blessed Virgin when the Father overshadowed her, the Son took flesh in her and the Holy Spirit descended to work the great mystery… Let us approach her, all-pure and all-luminous, so that she may lead us to Him, into the depths of whose heart she entered so profoundly…”.
And the Servant of God Sr. Angela Sorazu: “I came to know the Spirit and the virtues of the Most Holy Trinity and I assimilated them in the form Our Lady had taught me. In the consecration to the Triune God, in union with the Most Blessed Virgin, I received so much light and so many unique graces which lifted up my soul to the contemplation of the Divine Persons. The Most Holy Trinity made himself present to my soul in the company of Mary and I sank into their bosom in union with the Blessed Virgin”.
The Servant of God Sr. M. Bonaventura Fink: “I no longer exist; I have disappeared in Mary, Mary in Jesus, Jesus in the Father, all in the Most Holy Trinity. This work of grace took place in Mary, by means of the Holy Spirit”.
Father Edward Poppe: “I ask her for the great favour of understanding that true devotion to the Trinity and to Jesus is Marian devotion and that this is the whole life of our spirit. By passing through Jesus, the influence of our Heavenly Father becomes human; by passing through Mary the human and divine influence of Jesus becomes maternal. Oh Mother, hide me in yourself! Oh Mary, I adore the Most Holy Trinity in you, because you are full of grace”.
The Servant of God Brother Leonard: “To love you tenderly, oh my Queen: I cannot ask for a more precious favour because in you I find my God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whose radiance shines upon me and whose Love enraptures me. The “Three of them” are in Jesus; Jesus lives in Mary. All I need is to find Mary. Yes, because Mary is “Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity”, entirely related to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Once I am united with you, I will be united at every moment with each of the Three Divine Persons”.
The Motherhood of Mary, in the Holy Spirit, is a motherhood of love
“Look to my Immaculate Heart, and within you, like a gushing fount, will flow forth a spirit of joy and consolation.
Why do you doubt? Why are you sad? I am at your side at all times; I never leave you. I am Mother, and I am drawn close to you by the weight of the great difficulties in which you are living today.
From my Heart there comes a ray of light: it is the light of your Mother, faithful Virgin…”
Her love for us, tender and strong, gentle and merciful, makes us, who are sinners, into “new copies of Jesus”, by making us resemble her Son, for the praise, glory and consolation of the Father who, by looking at us, can see in us the image of his beloved Son and his Holy Mother.
“How great is my mother’s love! It embraces all and each one in particular; it follows each one along his road; it participates in difficulties, shares in your sufferings, helps you in all your necessities; it assists you in dangers, keeps vigil in decisive moments. No one is ever abandoned or forgotten. Penetrate into the secret of my maternal love and you will always be consoled”.
“Their consecration to me will be the means which will allow them to enter ever more deeply into the depths of my Immaculate Heart and I will cause them to experience a sweetness which only a mother can bring her own children to experience”.
Montfort wrote: “Mary is the Queen of Heaven and earth by grace, as Jesus is King by nature and by conquest. But as the kingdom of Jesus Christ exists primarily in the heart or interior of man, according to the words of the Gospel, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Lk 17:21), so the kingdom of the Blessed Virgin is principally in the interior of man, that is, in his soul. It is principally in souls that she is glorified with her Son more than in any visible creature. So we may call her, as the saints do, ‘Queen of our hearts’” (TD, 38).
“Walk in the joy and in the consolation of feeling that you are loved and led by me to become purer, better, more loving, holier, more beautiful. Your souls must return from this mountain more luminous and renewed by the grace of Jesus, while the Father bends down over them with a love of predilection and my divine Spouse, the Holy Spirit, transforms them into perfect copies of my Son.
You came up here, and I saw your hearts, one by one: they are consumed with great aridity, closed in upon themselves and hardened by the trials in which you are living. And so, as Mother, I have drawn close to each one of you; I have taken your heart in my hands; I have placed it into the burning furnace of my motherly Heart, and I have brought it into the depths of the divine Heart of my Son Jesus. Look at this Heart: it has been pierced for you! Enter into the wound of the Heart of Jesus, and allow yourselves to be transformed each day by the burning fire of his divine love. This Heart is a sea of infinite love, and it gathers in every human weakness, burns up every sin and calls to an ever greater charity, because Love must be loved, and every gift demands its own response…”
One author wrote: “The most beautiful gift that Jesus can give to a soul is his Mother. The greatest grace that Jesus can grant to souls is to make Our Lady known to them and to make them understand that she is their Mother, their true mother. It is a special grace, a great grace which is obtained by prayer and by a special devotion to the Holy Spirit… Therefore I can also say about myself: “What was born of Mary is the work of the Holy Spirit”. The love which I receive from Mary and which has made me her child, is consecrated and somehow divinized by the Paraclete. Such is the importance of the gift of my Heavenly Mother!” (Ragazzini).