Thursday, July 12, 2012

On The Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel.


"I took hold of him and would not let him go till I should bring him to the home of my mother." - Songs 3:4


Shortly before my departure from the Charterhouse in Vermont, after learning that I could not be received, one night during vigils, I imagined that I saw the Blessed Virgin as she is depicted at her sanctuary on Mt. Carmel.  It seemed to me she assured me that she would take me under her protection.  That is how I understand my total consecration to Our Lady, as well as its sign, the scapular.  This morning's first reading from Hosea reminded me of that incident, putting the words of the prophet upon the lips of Our Lady:
Yet it was I who taught you to walk, who take you in my arms; I will draw you with human cords... with bands of love... my heart is overwhelmed, my pity stirred...

I am the Mother of fair love, of fear, and of holy hope, in me is all grace of the way and of the truth - in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
That's my personal meditation of course - nothing more, but it sustained me through the months of my pilgrimage back then, and remains a sort of signal grace for me to this day.  Before that time, I wrestled spiritually with a longing for deeper intimacy with Our Lord in prayer - misunderstanding some of the counsel I received, to cultivate a sort of carnal love for Christ - a level of prayer one cannot attain by oneself.  Thus it was at that time, I understood that to arrive at some semblance of union or intimacy with Christ, it was necessary - for me at least - to do so within Our Lady.  "In my mother's house" is how the Song of Songs phrased it for me.  "For the virgin shall encompass the man." Thus signifying the chastity, the purity required for union with Christ.  As St. Louis-Marie DeMontfort says:
"I do not believe that anyone can acquire intimate union with Our Lord and perfect fidelity to the Holy Spirit without a very close union with the Blessed Virgin and an absolute dependence upon her support."

How crucial this true devotion to the Blessed Virgin is to save us from error and presumption may be understood when one considers the strange romanticism and eroticism which can taint our spiritual reflections on the Sacred Humanity of Christ, and even our experience of prayer and intimacy with the Lord.  Popular Catholic devotion sometimes encourages a sort of intemperance in private prayer and meditation, lacking the sobriety which is always present in liturgical-scriptural based/supported prayer - which incidentally forms part of my personal understanding  of the prayer of the rosary of Our Lady.  It seems to me that praying in the refuge of the Immaculate Heart is also a defense and a help to avoid the overly sentimental familiarity many pious people tend towards, sometimes innocently, and other times while seeking to display their intimacy with the Blessed Virgin and state of prayer, employing such terms as "ma" or "mom" - or calling the Father, "daddy", and so on.  

We can be very vain-glorious and deluded in our prayer life, falling into presumption - mistaking feelings and sentiments for fervor and devotion.

Anyway - I'm writing as if I know something about it, but I only know what I know from personal experience - and even in that I may be deluded.  So always check with your spiritual director or confessor for real direction on prayer and devotion to Our Lady. 

That said, pray the rosary every day and wear the scapular devoutly - these will bring you to your Mother's house... "This one and that were born in her."

John Paul II as a layman
wearing scapular.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:07 PM

    So beautiful!
    SF

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Especially, this part: "Yet it was I who taught you to walk, who take you in my arms; I will draw you with human cords... with bands of love... my heart is overwhelmed, my pity stirred...

    I am the Mother of fair love, of fear, and of holy hope, in me is all grace of the way and of the truth - in me is all hope of life and of virtue."
    Love it!
    SF

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe Our Lady has been given spiritual charge of me and mine.

    ReplyDelete

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