+Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary+

In last month’s blog on living in the spirit, Fr. Hagspiel’s work on devotion to the Holy Ghost and the realization of ourselves as His temple was emphasized. And of necessity of course, in this humble and unworthy temple dwells Our Lord, if we but invite Him in during our spiritual communions and pause during the day to acknowledge His presence. During the 19th century Fr. Frederick Faber and Fr. Jean-Pierre Caussade both emphasized the necessity of complete abandonment to God’s holy will and utmost confidence in His love and assistance. These are things we are in great need of today, when so many things assail us from without and our future seems fraught with danger and uncertainty. But the great master of becoming as a little child and loving God as a Father and our Redeemer was practically a mere child herself, having died in early adulthood, yet leaving a priceless legacy on the easiest way of all to keep ourselves in the presence of Our Lord.

As many will know, her name was St. Therese of the Child Jesus, and while some today have attempted to taint her simplistic way of holiness with the gall of Jansenistic rigorism, it takes nothing away from the sweetness and unfaltering confidence in God she teaches us in her Little Way. As Fr. Faber tells us, “Confidence is the only real worship… It is worth our while to have lived, if it were only to have known the delight of trusting in God… If we consider the results of confidence, we shall see how impossible it is to exaggerate its importance. Without it there can be no living faith, because living faith, in the religious sense of the word, must inevitably lead to trust.” Spiritual childhood was her hallmark and she ever thought of herself as a child resting in God’s loving arms, incapable of doing anything for herself without His help and support.

Fr. Caussade is thought to have played into the development of St. Therese’s Little Way. In the introduction to Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence, author John Beevers notes that while there has been no historical connection made between Caussade and St. Therese, theologians teaching at the time St. Therese lived had been profoundly affected by Caussade’s works, and this was bound to filter down to the spirituality of the lay people they influenced. He notes that St. Therese states no matter how small the task accomplished, if it is done for love of God and in obedience to His will this is testimony of our love for Him. He then quotes Caussade, who wrote: “To achieve the height of holiness, people must realize that all they count as trivial and worthless is what can make them holy. Consider your life and you will see it consists of countless trifling actions. Yet God is quite satisfied with them, for doing them as they should be done is the part we have to play in our striving for perfection.” And the sentiments are the same.

Living in the spirit, always realizing we are in the presence of the Blessed Trinity, is key to remembering the need to perform all of our daily acts worthily and as perfectly as possible. Without this realization, renewed throughout the day, our efforts will not be sanctified. All these little steps to God, so well known to St. Therese, lead us directly to Him. Accomplishing His will in all things, as Fr. Caussade instructs, is the surest road to heaven. While complex methods and rules to arrive at holiness may have been suited for those with access to the Sacraments and directors in previous times, they simply are not adaptable to our circumstances today, and Caussade acknowledges this. The best complement to living in the spirit, the simplest and easiest method for us today is the Little Way. Those who choose to follow it can go about their daily lives in God’s presence, loving Him with their frequent ejaculatory prayers and acts. What a wondrously simple and workable way to save our souls in the midst of daily trials and responsibilities!

Below are excerpts taken from two works outlining St. Therese’s Little Way. This first section is from Ida Friedereke Gorres’ The Hidden Face, 1959.

“The weaker we are the more suitable we are to love Jesus, to be the victim of His love. The mere desire to be His holocaust suffices, but we must consent to remain always poor and powerless. And you see, that is where the difficulty lies. For who will find the man truly poor in spirit? He must be sought far away, says the Imitation of Christ. It does not say that he is to be found among the great souls but far away, that is to say in lowness and nothingness. Let us stay far from everything that glitters; let us love our littleness; let us love feeling nothing and Jesus will come to fetch us, no matter how far away we may be and He will reshape us in the flames of love.

“I have long believed that the Lord is more tender than a mother and I know more than one mother’s heart to the very bottom. I know that a mother is always ready to forgive trivial, involuntary misbehavior on the part of her child. Children are always giving trouble — falling down getting themselves dirty, breaking things. But all this does not shake their parents love for them. If through weakness I should chance to fall, may a glance from Your eyes straightaway cleanse my soul and consume all my imperfections as fire transforms all things into itself. We can never expect too much of God who is at once merciful and almighty. To surrender to love means to depend upon the omnipotence of God. I dare to gaze upon the Son of Love burning to take my flight to Him. I longed to fly and imitate the eagles, but all I can do is flutter my small wings. I am not strong enough to fly.

“We live in the age of inventions now and the wealthy no longer have to take the trouble to climb the stairs; they take a lift. That is what I must find — a lift to take me straight up to Jesus because I am too little to climb the steep stairway of perfection. So I searched the Scriptures for some hint of my desired lift until I came upon these words from the lips of Eternal Wisdom: “Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me… Your arms my Jesus are the lift which will take me up to heaven. Even poor people give a child everything it needs but when it grows up the father no longer wants to support it and says to it ‘You can stand on your own feet now, go out and work.’ Do you see, that is just what I never wanted to hear. That is why I never wanted to grow up since I felt myself incapable of earning my own livelihood, of earning eternal life by my own efforts. The innocents of heaven are not children; they only have the inexpressible charm of childhood. We imagine them as children only because we need images in order to understand invisible things.

Gorres writes: “Underlying Saint Therese’s examples of spiritual childhood is Jesus’ words: “Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven… Her doctrine is everywhere based on the Scriptures. St. Therese wrote: ‘It is enough to acknowledge our nothingness and like children surrender ourselves in the arms of God, leaving to great and lofty minds, to beautiful books which I cannot understand still less put into practice. I rejoice in my littleness because only little children and those who are like them shall be admitted to the heavenly banquet. To remain little means to recognize one’s own nothingness; to expect everything from God and not worry too much about one’s faults… not to wish to lay up treasures in heaven but to keep an untroubled heart. To be little also means not to ascribe to oneself the virtues one practices; is not to think of oneself as competent but to recognize that God places His treasure in the hand of His little child for it to use when it has need.

“Finally it means not to lose courage on account of one’s faults, for children often fall but they are too small to hurt themselves seriously. The little ones will be judged with the greatest leniency” (and here St. Therese paraphrases and explains a biblical passage from the book of Wisdom). “It is easy to please Jesus, to delight His heart,” she continues. “It is necessary only to love Him without paying too much attention to our own faults. A glance at Jesus’ recognition of our own wretchedness makes all well again. If only, my Jesus, I could tell all little souls about Your ineffable condescension. I feel that if supposing the impossible you could find a soul more weak than mine you would delight in lavishing upon it far more grace still, so long as it abandoned itself with boundless confidence to Your infinite mercy. But why this desire to tell others the secrets of Your love can You not yourself reveal to others what You have revealed to me? I know You can, and I beg you to do so. I implore You, cast Your eyes upon a multitude of little souls. Select in this world I beg of You a legion of little victims worthy of Your love.”

Gorres relates that “The great Cardinal Berulle, [whose confessor was St. Francis de Sales], and his possibly still greater disciple Condren, preached the spirit of childlikeness which was to be not so much the spirit of the Child Jesus as the spirit of one of the little ones whom Jesus let come unto Him. It consisted in the spirit of self-annihilation, detachment from all earthly things, mortification of self will and the inclinations to pride, which are flattered by accomplishments. Those who surrender themselves to such childhood must come to be guided by their self-will and let the spirit of Jesus Christ fill and impel them. They must cease to be self-belonging. Yet this attitude is not so much a tense, militant one whose object is violence towards the self. It is not a stifling of the self, not a negation, but the gentle, relaxed, peaceful abandonment of the child in its mother’s arms.

“It is in a sense rather, then, a conscious forgetfulness of self. It banishes all the toil and fret of spiritual ambiguities in order not to turn back to self and seek self in vanity, rancour, or sorrow over what has been done or said, over praise or blame received, over evils seen or heard… The childhood of Our Lord teaches us the annihilation of our ego, obedience to God, silence, innocence, without self-assertion, but with the tranquil yielding of a child to grace. The soul no longer asserts itself to attain anything but on the contrary, annihilates itself; lets itself be led in littleness and implicit simplicity with pure and trusting gaze. This loss of the self-will is still another peculiarity of Christian childlikeness. This symbol of it is the natural behavior of children who trouble about nothing, abandoning themselves entirely to the care which parents devote to them” (end of Ida Gorres quotes).

We now move on to the work, The Little Way of Spiritual Childhood by Rev. G. Martin, 1923, written before St. Therese was canonized. This book is available for free download at https://archive.org/details/littlewayofspiri00martuoft

Rev. Martin begins by explaining who may benefit from employing St. Therese’s Little Way.
“Let us… observe that this state is always possible at any age and in all positions in life. For, as Blessed Therese asserted: “It is quite possible to remain little even in filling the most important offices, and even on attaining extreme old age. As for me, she said, if I lived eighty years, having filled all the offices, I should, I feel certain, be quite as little at the time of my death as I am to-day.” So her simple method is for everyone, and was even then.

The Divine justice
Martin observes: “But, someone will again object, ‘in God there are other attributes besides Mercy, and some of them very formidable. There is Justice.’ The objection would certainly be grave if justice tended solely to severity. But it falls of itself when we consider that the property of justice is to render to each one that which is his due, and consequently to reward the good as well as to punish the evil. Moreover, justice, to be equitable, must take into account good intentions and also circumstances which lessen the responsibility no less than those which increase it. Now there is in man so much of natural weakness, and original sin has added thereto so much of corruption, that before chastising him for his misdeeds, God, through a sentiment of justice, begins always by considering his profound misery.

“But He cannot look upon that without being moved to pity, and so it comes about that His Justice itself excites His Mercy. This it is which explains the very different manner in which He dealt with sin in the Angels and in man, and how the same justice which in presence of the sin of the Angels immediately delved out the abysses of hell, in face of the sin of Adam began by opening abysses of love, in the Redemption. And so it is because He is just that the good God is compassionate and full of gentleness “slow to punish and abounding in mercy. For He knoweth our frailty; He remembereth that we are but dust.”

“Besides, since in redeeming us Jesus Christ has made grace to superabound where sin hath abounded, we have through Him an incontestable right to the Divine pity. Since He has paid, and far more than paid all our debts, it is no longer through mercy alone, but through justice that the good God grants us pardon.” (And here we might add that we in these times, being deprived of all other spiritual aids save those which God generously provides us, have a greater claim to that pity than ever before.)

“One can sin by excess of confidence or presumption; and he would sin by presumption who, while wishing to continue to live in sin or in tepidity, should consider himself nevertheless as assured of salvation, or of attaining to perfection, on condition of supplying for his bad will by the excess of his confidence. To act so would be to fall into a very grave practical heresy. And that is certainly not what we wish to say. On the contrary, we suppose a well-grounded good
will — and one of those souls of whom there are many — who, still far from perfection, unite to sincere desires of being all for God many imperfections and failures. It happens to them to fail in their resolutions and to yield to their faults; they fall; but deep down, their will to sanctify themselves perseveres, and they are always in the disposition to work at it seriously. It is to them we say that they may give free scope to their confidence.

“Such were the habitual thoughts of our Beata. Therefore, the justice of God no less than His other attributes appeared to her all radiant with love. She hoped no less from it than from His Mercy, and so it is, that this justice which frightens so many souls was for her a subject of joy and confidence. In God she saw above all a father. And from the supremely equitable justice of a father infinitely good, what may a child well expect who no doubt sometimes forgets himself, but who nevertheless tries to love as much as he can and who feels that he is tenderly and deeply loved? Severity or tenderness?

“There is no room for doubt. If this father were ever so little unjust, ah, then the child would have reason to fear. From a father perfectly just, he may on the contrary hope all things. And when this father is God, the justice being infinite, confidence, too, ought to be without measure. Such are the true sources of supernatural hope. How, after that, could we restrict our confidence to the measure of merely human confidence? How could we set bounds to it?

Fears concerning the future
Numerous are the souls that trouble and torment themselves thinking of what shall happen and even of what shall never happen, and often they are all but crushed beneath the weight of sufferings fabricated by their imagination. Soeur Therese, more prudent and more wise, took refuge simply in confidence in God, and nothing could disturb the calm of her soul. For unalterable peace is one of the sweetest fruits of confidence. That is why the Psalmist says that “nothing shall move him who trusts in the mercy of the Most High.” Speaking of the possible sufferings of her malady and the last combats of the agony, our Beata avowed that she feared them not: The good God,” she said, “has always come to my assistance; He has helped me and led me by the hand from my earliest years . . I count on Him. My sufferings may reach their furthest limits, but I am sure that He will never abandon me.”

Yes, and so may ours reach their furthest limits, but He is ever with us. And we cannot fail in desiring to love Him if we put to use the excellent recommendations of St. Therese. Please download this work and use it as balm for the soul.

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Prayer Intention and checklist for June

Intention for the Month of June:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! (Raccolta, 300 days)

June 1 – St. Angela Merici
Wednesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 2 – Sts. Marcellinus and Companions
Thursday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 3 – St. Clotilda Queen, (FIRST FRIDAY)
Friday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary
🔲 Abstinence

June 4 – Vigil of Pentecost, St. Francis Carraciolo (FIRST SATURDAY)
Saturday
Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Spiritual Mass and Mortification for the intentions of the Society
🔲 Renew consecrations to SH and SIH to promote their interests and intentions
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 5 – Pentecost Sunday (St. Boniface)
Sunday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 6 – St. Norbert
Monday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 7 – St. Claude
Tuesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 8 – Ember Wednesday, fast and partial abstinence
Wednesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 9 – Sts. Primus and Felician
Thursday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 10 – St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland
Friday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary
🔲 Abstinence

June 11 – Ember Day, St. Barnabas
Saturday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Spiritual Mass and Mortification for the intentions of the Society
🔲 Renew consecrations to SH and SIH to promote their interests and intentions
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 12 – Trinity Sunday
Sunday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 13 – St. Anthony of Padua
Monday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary
🔲 Spiritual Mass and Mortification for the intentions of the Society
🔲 Renew consecrations to SH and SIH to promote their interests and intentions

June 14 – St. Basil the Great
Tuesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Berthe Petit’s Consecration
🔲 Devotion to the SIH with the intention to renew oneself in the spirit of the Society
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 15 – Sts. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia
Wednesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 16 – Feast of Corpus Christi
Thursday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 17 – Sts. Nicander amd Marcian
Friday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary
🔲 Abstinence

June 18 – St. Ephrem the Syrian, Deacon
Saturday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Spiritual Mass and Mortification for the intentions of the Society
🔲 Renew consecrations to SH and SIH to promote their interests and intentions
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 19 – Second Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 20 – St. Silverius
Monday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 21 – St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Tuesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 22 – St. Paulinus
Wednesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 23 – Vigil of Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Thursday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 24 – Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus –
(Renew Consecration of Family to the Sacred Heart)
Friday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary
🔲 Abstinence

June 25 – St. John the Baptist (transferred)
Saturday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Spiritual Mass and Mortification for the intentions of the Society
🔲 Renew consecrations to SH and SIH to promote their interests and intentions
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 26 – Third Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 27 – Our Mother of Perpetual Help (in some places)
Monday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 28 – St. Irenaeus
Tuesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 29 – Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles
Wednesday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

June 30 – Commemoration of St. Paul
Thursday
🔲 Morning Offering in reparation for sins
🔲 Consecration by Pope Pius XII
🔲 Devotion to the SIH
🔲 Holy Rosary

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