Day #9: My Soul
THE SOUL: I must not only know God in order to love him, I must also know myself. The careful examination of my misery makes me annihilate myself in the sight of God and makes his compassionate mercy lower itself even to me. O Lord, how wretched I am! I’m always seeking myself, full of egotism, following my whims, full of defects and strange traits … I find myself worm ridden and I am ashamed. Tell me, Mary, my extreme wretchedness doesn’t obstruct the path of God’s goodness to me, does it?
MARY: Your misery does not separate you from the mercy of God when you recognize it and humble yourself: He never disdains a heart contrite and humbled! God even takes delight in his poor creature when it lifts its heart up to him and sheds tears full of confidence and love at his feet. Do not fear. Embrace the cross which you have; rest yourself on my motherly Heart, which is full of love and mercy, and never let yourself worry when you perceive your misery, but lift your voice to me so that I may present you before the throne of God!
THE SOUL: … Myself; here is the most treacherous enemy which I have! It is a hidden enemy because it comes out in the open seldom; it is a dangerous enemy because it lives with me and because I naturally resist fighting against it; it is an astute enemy because it deceives me with false illusions of good.
O Mary, is it not true that I always seek to excuse all of my wretchedness? … I get easily upset if someone points out one of my flaws; I seek praise and am pleased with it; I consider others worse than me when in reality no one is worse than me. I criticize; I react in anger … I am a heap of faults … and yet I can hardly recognize the nothing that I am, so great is my pride!
I beg you, O Mary, to have pity on me and to teach me a little of that holy humility which made you so great so that I may recognize myself for what I am and humble myself profoundly before God. Amen.
ASPIRATION: O Jesus, deliver my soul from the delusions of evil.
LITTLE WORK: Deprive yourself of something at table.
About the Meditations
The daily School of Mary meditations come from the book, A Month with Mary, written by a holy Italian priest Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Originally written as spiritual thoughts to his spiritual daughter, the work is comprised of thirty-one meditations for the month of May.
Father Dolindo wrote A Month with Mary on pocket-sized pages joined into small fascicles of 8 to 12 pages. He sent them to Laura de Rosis every two to three days and later transcribed them with some modifications in volume III of his autobiography: The Story of My Life in the Plan of the Great Mercy of God, pp. 1140ff (cf. Epistolario 1:212n, 218n). This work is from 1912: one of those years which passed in the life of Father Dolindo with the cadence of a ‘Way of the Cross’. But he, serene as ever, loved Christ the more, loved Our Lady the more and reflected on this love in these few pages to which he wished to give the significant title: A Profound Reform of Heart in the School of Mary. These meditations are written in the style of the Imitation of Christ. (90pp. laminated gloss, saddle stitch)