Day #13: Holy Baptism
MARY: The grace of God has enriched you from your birth. You came into the light crying. You were very tiny, but your soul had need of God. A humanly insurmountable barrier was interposed between you and God. You were a slave of the original fault. You were born with the curse that the first man passed on to you as a sad inheritance. This original fault deprived you of a great good: friendship and familiarity with God.
The Lord gave you back a new life, incorporating you into Jesus Christ, you, a creature of Adam, became a creature of the Redeemer, a child of the new Adam from whom you inherited the blessing.
The saving water of Baptism descended on your forehead … the heavens opened, the kiss of God’s mercy renewed you; you were thus purified and emerged holy and innocent because you found yourself united to Jesus the Redeemer, who with his Blood had washed away all sin. How many angels came around your crib to contemplate the sublime beauty of your soul made innocent and a little child of God!
Always remember with gratitude that grace which God conferred on you. You will be able to gauge it only in eternity.
With Baptism Jesus incorporated you into himself, but preserved intact your freedom and your state of being an exile and a pilgrim. For that reason you made promises to the Lord that were like the consecration of your freedom to God.
With Baptism you were elevated to a superior state and thus you renounced all that is low and vile that the world gathers together or offers as pasturage to your lower nature, and the demon. You renounced the world, the flesh and the devil and offered yourself to God, to the Redeemer and to the Holy Spirit whose living temple you became.
When you feel pulled toward the earth and hear the suggestions of the world, of the flesh and of the devil, remember your promises and do not further desecrate the grace of Baptism. Remember that you are a Christian and you must not dishonor this Baptismal character with a material and disordered life.
Because you are incorporated into Jesus Christ, you must glorify him in your life and being as his fragrance.
THE SOUL: O my Mother, how many bitter tears should I shed at the remembrance of my Baptism! I was beautiful and innocent; I was dear to God and yet I have degraded myself with so many sins! Lift up the weakness that so many wounds have caused and grant that I may wash away my sins with the tears of the most lively sorrow! How many times have I been ashamed even of being Christian and have lived completely immersed in the spirit of the world! How many times have I soiled the garment of my innocence! O Immaculate Heart of Mary, receive me into yourself and have pity on this poor little flower, so often broken, so many times stripped of its leaves by the hurricane of evil.
ASPIRATION: O Mary, make me truly Christian, make me faithful to the promises made in Holy Baptism.
LITTLE WORK: Reflect that the world is a deceiver and only knows how to give bitterness even when it promises pleasures and triumphs.
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)