Day #12: The Channels of Grace
MARY: In his mercy God did not want to make the flow of his grace to you difficult and he gave you a channel through which you can enrich yourself with it in the holy sacraments.
A sacrament is a sensible sign, instituted by Jesus Christ, through which grace is conferred. These sensible signs are like titles that give you a true right to the grace of God since he instituted them for this specific purpose. What treasure there is in the holy sacraments! How shortened the way of perfection remains because of them and how easily one attains to God!
Among the works of piety, always give the first place to the sacraments because the other works can yield the fruit of grace and mercy, while the sacraments certainly do so, being grounded on the merits of Jesus Christ.
You always complain about your spiritual weakness and yet you have in hand the most secure means to be purified and strengthened.
Without the sacraments the soul is abandoned to itself and cannot live the higher life which, you realize, flows from the Heart of Jesus.
THE SOUL: How many times, O Mary, have I not been lost in delusions of a false and superficial piety? I’ve been careless in receiving the holy sacraments because I haven’t appreciated their value. Confession and Holy Communion have become for me a rather bothersome routine while I have given myself to the caprice of so many sterile and empty practices of piety in which I sought my tastes and my satisfaction. I repent bitterly for having lost so much time and for having reduced myself to being like a barren fig tree, full of leaves, but without fruit.
You, who are the Mother of mercy and channel of every grace, obtain for me from Jesus forgiveness for so much ingratitude and the grace to appreciate the holy sacraments. Make me docile to grace when I receive them so that, like a humble little plant sprouting at the foot of the Cross, I may receive the vital fluid which flows from the Heart of Jesus.
ASPIRATION: O Jesus, give me the grace to receive the sacraments well in life and at the hour of my death.
LITTLE WORK: If you experience repugnance at performing some service at home, master yourself for the love of God without complaining and without showing others your discomfort.
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)