Lesson 25 (TD 183-200) – The Biblical Representation of this Perfect Devotion

Discover, with St. Louis de Montfort, the sublime meaning of the biblical story of Rebecca and Jacob and understand why this story is the representation of the reality lived between Mary Most Holy and her true devotees.

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Meditation and Prayers of the Day:

Litany of the Holy Spirit, Litany of the Blessed Virgin, Ave Maris Stella and St. Louis De Montfort’s Prayer to Mary

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Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Father, all powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us.
Holy Spirit, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Spirit, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Promise of God the Father,
Ray of heavenly light,
Author of all good,
Source of heavenly water,
Consuming Fire,
Ardent Charity,
Spiritual unction,
Spirit of love and truth,
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
Spirit of counsel and fortitude,
Spirit of knowledge and piety,
Spirit of the fear of the Lord,
Spirit of grace and prayer,
Spirit of peace and meekness,
Spirit of modesty and innocence,
Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier,
Holy Spirit, Who governest the Church,
Gift of God, the Most High Spirit of the adoption of the children of God,
Holy Spirit, inspire us with the horror of sin,
Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth,
Holy Spirit, shed Thy light in our souls,
Holy Spirit, engrave the law in our hearts,
Holy Spirit, inflame us with the flame of Thy love,
Holy Spirit, open to us the treasures of thy Graces,
Holy Spirit, teach us to pray well.
Holy Spirit, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.
Holy Spirit, lead us in the way of salvation.
Holy Spirit, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Spirit, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Spirit, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Spirit, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Spirit, be Thou our everlasting reward.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, send us Thy Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.

V/. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful.
R/. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Let us pray: Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit enlighten,
inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew
and make us fruitful in good works; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy
Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth
forever and ever. Amen.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honour,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning Star,
Health of the Sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of peace,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us.
O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V/. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Grant unto us, Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord
God, at all times to enjoy health of soul and body; and by the glorious.
intercession of Blessed Mary, ever virgin, when freed from the sorrows.
of this present life, to enter into that joy which hath no end.
Through Christ Our Lord. R/. Amen.
Hail, O Star of the ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav’nly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve’s name.

Break the sinners’ fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us.
meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one.

Amen.
Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father. Hail Mary,
admirable Mother of the Son. Hail Mary, faithful Spouse of the Holy
Ghost. Hail Mary, my Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign.
Hail, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul. Thou art all mine by mercy,
and I am thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently thine. I now give
myself wholly to thee without keeping anything back for myself or others.
If thou seest anything in me which does not belong to thee, I beseech thee
to take it and make thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine.
Destroy in me all that may displease God; root it up and bring it to
nought. Place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to thee. May
the light of thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind. May thy profound
humility take the place of my pride; may thy sublime contemplation check
the distractions of my wandering imagination. May the continuous sight
of God fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of thy
heart inflame the luke-warmness of mine. May thy virtues take the place
of my sins; may thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and
make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother,
grant if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but thine to know
Jesus, and His Divine Will; that I may have no other soul but thine to
praise and glorify God; that I may have no other heart but thine to love
God with a love as pure and ardent as thine.
I do not ask thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotions, or
spiritual pleasures. It is thy privilege to see God clearly, it is thy privilege
to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is thy privilege to triumph gloriously in heaven
at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men
and demons,
It is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest.
Such is, O heavenly Mary, the `best part’, which the Lord hast given thee,
and which shall never be taken away from thee—and this thought, fills
my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that
which was thine, to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures, to suffer
joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without
respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death, as the
humblest of thy servants. The only grace I beg thee, for me, is that every
moment of the day, and every moment of my life, I may say - «Amen, so
be it, to all that thou art doing in heaven. Amen; so be it, to all thou didst
do while on earth. Amen, so be it, to all thou art doing in my soul,» so that
thou alone mayest fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.

Recitation of the Rosary . . .
183. The Holy Spirit gives us in Sacred Scripture, a striking allegorical figure of all the truths I have been explaining concerning the Blessed Virgin and her children and servants. It is the story of Jacob who received the blessing of his father Isaac through the care and ingenuity of his mother Rebecca.

Here is the story as the Holy Spirit tells it. I shall expound it further later on.

The Story of Jacob

184. Several years after Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob, Rebecca, their mother, who loved Jacob tenderly, secured this blessing for him by a holy stratagem full of mystery for us.

Isaac, realising that he was getting old, wished to bless his children before he died. He summoned Esau, who was his favourite son, and told him to go hunting and bring him something to eat, in order that he might then give him his blessing. Rebecca immediately told Jacob what was happening and sent him to fetch two small goats from the flock. When Jacob gave them to his mother, she cooked them in the way Isaac liked them. Then she dressed Jacob in Esau's clothes which she had in her keeping, and covered his hands and neck with the goat-skin. The father, who was blind, although hearing the voice of Jacob, would think that it was Esau when he touched the skin on his hands.

Isaac was of course surprised at the voice which he thought was Jacob's and told him to come closer. Isaac felt the hair on the skin covering Jacob's hands and said that the voice was really like Jacob's but the hands were Esau's. After he had eaten, Isaac kissed Jacob and smelt the fragrance of his scented clothes. He blessed him and called down on him the dew of heaven and the fruitfulness of earth. He made him master of all his brothers and concluded his blessing with these words, "Cursed be those who curse you and blessed be those who bless you."

Isaac had scarcely finished speaking when Esau came in, bringing what he had caught while out hunting. He wanted his father to bless him after he had eaten. The holy patriarch was shocked when he realised what had happened. But far from retracting what he had done, he confirmed it because he clearly saw the finger of God in it all. Then, as Holy Scripture relates, Esau began to protest loudly against the treachery of his brother. He then asked his father if he had only one blessing to give. In so doing, as the early Fathers point out, Esau was the symbol of those who are too ready to imagine that there is an alliance between God and the world, because they themselves are eager to enjoy, at one and the same time, the blessings of heaven and the blessings of the earth. Isaac was touched by Esau's cries and finally blessed him only with a blessing of the earth, and he subjected him to his brother. Because of this, Esau conceived such a venomous hatred for Jacob that he could hardly wait for his father's death to kill him. And Jacob would not have escaped death if his dear mother Rebecca had not saved him by her ingenuity and her good advice.

Interpretation of the story

185. Before explaining this beautiful story, let me remind you that, according to the early Fathers and the interpreters of Holy Scripture, Jacob is the type of our Lord and of souls who are saved, and Esau is the type of souls who are condemned. We have only to examine the actions and conduct of both in order to judge each one.

(1) Esau, the elder brother, was strong and robust, clever, and skilful with the bow and very successful at hunting.

(2) He seldom stayed at home and, relying only on his own strength and skill, worked out of doors.

(3) He never went out of his way to please his mother Rebecca, and did little or nothing for her.

(4) He was such a glutton and so fond of eating that he sold his birthright for a dish of lentils.

(5) Like Cain, he was extremely jealous of his brother and persecuted him relentlessly.

186. This is the usual conduct of sinners:

(1) They rely upon their own strength and skill in temporal affairs. They are very energetic, clever and well- informed about things of this world but very dull and ignorant about things of heaven.

187. (2) And they are never or very seldom at home, in their own house, that is, in their own interior, the inner, essential abode that God has given to every man to dwell in, after his own example, for God always abides within himself. Sinners have no liking for solitude or the spiritual life or interior devotion. They consider those who live an interior life, secluded from the world, and who work more interiorly than exteriorly, as narrow-minded, bigoted and uncivilized.

188. (3) Sinners care little or nothing about devotion to Mary, the Mother of the elect. It is true that they do not really hate her. Indeed they even speak well of her sometimes. They say they love her and they practise some devotion in her honour. Nevertheless, they cannot bear to see anyone love her tenderly, for they do not have for her any of the affection of Jacob; they find fault with the honour which her good children and servants faithfully pay her to win her affection. They think this kind of devotion is not necessary for salvation, and as long as they do not go as far as hating her or openly ridiculing devotion to her they believe they have done all they need to win her good graces. Because they recite or mumble a few prayers to her without any affection and without even thinking of amending their lives, they consider they are our Lady's servants.

189. (4) Sinners sell their birthright, that is, the joys of paradise, for a dish of lentils, that is, the pleasures of this world. They laugh, they drink, they eat, they have a good time, they gamble, they dance and so forth, without taking any more trouble than Esau to make themselves worthy of their heavenly Father's blessing. Briefly, they think only of this world, love only the world, speak and act only for the world and its pleasures. For a passing moment of pleasure, for a fleeting wisp of honour, for a piece of hard earth, yellow or white, they barter away their baptismal grace, their robe of innocence and their heavenly inheritance.

190. (5) Finally, sinners continually hate and persecute the elect, openly and secretly. The elect are a burden to them. They despise them, criticise them, ridicule them, insult them, rob them, deceive them, impoverish them, hunt them down and trample them into the dust; while they themselves are making fortunes, enjoying themselves, getting good positions for themselves, enriching themselves, rising to power and living in comfort.

191. Jacob, the younger son, was of a frail constitution, gentle and peaceable and usually stayed at home to please his mother, whom he loved so much. If he did go out it was not through any personal desire of his, nor from any confidence in his own ability, but simply out of obedience to his mother.

192. He loved and honoured his mother. That is why he remained at home close to her. He was never happier than when he was in her presence. He avoided everything that might displease her, and did everything he thought would please her. This made Rebecca love him all the more.

193. He was submissive to his mother in all things. He obeyed her entirely in everything, promptly without delay and lovingly without complaint. At the least indication of her will, young Jacob hastened to comply with it. He accepted whatever she told him without questioning. For instance, when she told him to get two small goats and bring them to her so that she might prepare something for his father Isaac to eat, Jacob did not reply that one would be enough for one man, but without arguing he did exactly what she told him to do.

194. He had the utmost confidence in his mother. He did not rely on his own ability; he relied solely on his mother's care and protection. He went to her in all his needs and consulted her in all his doubts. For instance, when he asked her if his father, instead of blessing him, would curse him, he believed her and trusted her when she said she would take the curse upon herself.

195. Finally, he adopted, as much as he could, the virtues he saw in his mother. It seems that one of the reasons why he spent so much time at home was to imitate his dear mother, who was so virtuous, and to keep away from evil companions - who might lead him into sin. In this way, he made himself worthy to receive the double blessing of his beloved father.

196. It is in a similar manner that God's chosen ones usually act. They stay at home with their mother - that is, they have an esteem for quietness, love the interior life, and are assiduous in prayer. They always remain in the company of the Blessed Virgin, their Mother and Model, whose glory is wholly interior and who during her whole life dearly loved seclusion and prayer. It is true, at times they do venture out into the world, but only to fulfil the duties of their state of life, in obedience to the will of God and the will of their Mother.

No matter how great their accomplishments may appear to others, they attach far more importance to what they do within themselves in their interior life, in the company of the Blessed Virgin. For there they work at the great task of perfection, compared to which all other work is mere child's play. At times their brothers and sisters are working outside with great energy, skill and success, and win the praise and approbation of the world. But they know by the light of the Holy Spirit that there is far more good, more glory and more joy in remaining hidden and recollected with our Lord, in complete and perfect submission to Mary than there is in performing by themselves marvellous works of nature and grace in the world, like so many Esaus and sinners. Glory for God and riches for men are in her house.

Lord Jesus, how lovely is your dwelling-place! The sparrow has found a house to dwell in, and the turtle-dove a nest for her little ones! How happy is the man who dwells in the house of Mary, where you were the first to dwell! Here in this home of the elect, he draws from you alone the help he needs to climb the stairway of virtue he has built in his heart to the highest possible points of perfection while in this vale of tears. "How lovely is your dwelling-place, Lord, God of hosts!"

197. The elect have a great love for our Lady and honour her truly as their Mother and Queen. They love her mot merely in word but in deed. They honour her not just outwardly, but from the depths of their heart. Like Jacob, they avoid the least thing that might displease her, and eagerly do whatever they think might win her favour. Jacob brought Rebecca two young goats. They bring Mary their body and their soul, with all their faculties, symbolised by Jacob's two young goats, 1) so that she may accept them as her own; 2) that she may make them die to sin and self by divesting them of self-love, in order to please Jesus her Son, who wishes to have as friends and disciples only those who are dead to sin and self; 3) that she may clothe them according to their heavenly Father's taste and for his greater glory, which she knows better than any other creature; 4) that through her care and intercession, this body and soul of theirs, thoroughly cleansed from every stain, thoroughly dead to self, thoroughly stripped and well- prepared, may be pleasing to the heavenly Father and deserving of his blessing.

Is this not what those chosen souls do who, to prove to Jesus and Mary how effective and courageous is their love, live and esteem the perfect consecration to Jesus through Mary which we are now teaching them?

Sinners may say that they love Jesus, that they love and honour Mary, but they do not do so with their whole heart and soul. Unlike the elect, they do not love Jesus and Mary enough to consecrate them their body with its senses and their soul with its passions.

198. They are subject and obedient to our Lady, their good Mother, and here they are simply following the example set by our Lord himself, who spent thirty of the thirty-three years he lived on earth glorifying God his Father in perfect and entire submission to his holy Mother. They obey her, following her advice to the letter, just as Jacob followed that of Rebecca, when she said to him, "My son, follow my advice"; or like the stewards at the wedding in Cana, to whom our Lady said, "Do whatever he tells you."

Through obedience to his mother, Jacob received the blessing almost by a miracle, because in the natural course of events he should not have received it. As a reward for following the advice of our Lady, the stewards at the wedding in Cana were honoured with the first of our Lord's miracles when, at her request he changed water into wine. In the same way, until the end of time, all who are to receive the blessing of our heavenly Father and who are to be honoured with his wondrous graces will receive them only as a result of their perfect obedience to Mary. On the other hand, the "Esaus" will lose their blessing because of their lack of submission to the Blessed Virgin.

199. They have great confidence in the goodness and power of the Blessed Virgin, their dear Mother, and incessantly implore her help. They take her for their pole-star to lead them safely into harbour. They open their hearts to her and tell her their troubles and their needs. They rely on her mercy and kindness to obtain forgiveness for their sins through her intercession and to experience her motherly comfort in their troubles and anxieties. They even cast themselves into her virginal bosom, hide and lose themselves there in a wonderful manner. There they are filled with pure love, they are purified from the least stain of sin, and they find Jesus in all his fullness. For he reigns in Mary as if on the most glorious of thrones. What incomparable happiness! Abbot Guerric says, "Do not imagine there is more joy in dwelling in Abraham's bosom than in Mary's, for it is in her that our Lord placed his throne."

Sinners, on the other hand, put all their confidence in themselves. Like the prodigal son, they eat with the swine. Like toads they feed on earth. Like all worldlings, they love only visible and external things. They do not know the sweetness of Mary's bosom. They do not have that reliance and confidence which the elect have for the Blessed Virgin, their Mother. Deplorably they choose to satisfy their hunger elsewhere, as St. Gregory says, because they do not want to taste the sweetness already prepared within themselves and within Jesus and Mary.

200. Finally, chosen souls keep to the ways of the Blessed Virgin, their loving Mother - that is, they imitate her and so are sincerely happy and devout and bear the infallible sign of God's chosen ones. This loving Mother says to them "Happy are those who keep my ways", which means, happy are those who practise my virtues and who, with the help of God's grace, follow the path of my life. They are happy in this world because of the abundance of grace and sweetness I impart to them out of my fullness, and which they receive more abundantly than others who do not imitate me so closely. They are happy at the hour of death, which is sweet and peaceful for I am usually there myself to lead them home to everlasting joy. Finally, they will be happy for all eternity, because no servant of mine who imitated my virtues during life has ever been lost.

On the other hand, sinners are unhappy during their life, at their death, and throughout eternity, because they do not imitate the virtues of our Lady. They are satisfied with going no further than joining her confraternities, reciting a few prayers in her honour, or performing other exterior devotional exercises.

O Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother, how happy are those who faithfully keep your ways, your counsels and your commands; who never allow themselves to be led astray by a false devotion to you! But how unhappy and accursed are those who abuse devotion to you by not keeping the commandments of your Son! "They are accursed who stray from your commandments."

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