Day #14: The Spirit of the World
MARY: You live in the world and you cannot withdraw yourself from it materially, but you must be there
without living in its spirit. What a turbulent whirlwind is the world! It lives on egotism because it lives with a fixation on pleasure. No ideal lifts it up beyond that of the material and even when it seems to have an ideal, it seeks only itself in vainglory and applause, in other words in the sensory satisfaction of a passion. From whence is born duplicity, fraud, lies, injustice, showing off, pride, impurity … Hence the world is like a sea during a storm, which knows no peace; he who falls into this sea feels all of the cold of its waves and is knocked around by its swirling motion until it gets smashed against the reefs of sin!
Everything in the world is vile and full of anguish; everything degrades man and makes him a slave, drying up in him the most beautiful life which is the life of the soul: fashions, make-up, vanity, infatuations, entertainments are thorns that prick and miseries that degrade! Here is the one whom you renounced in Baptism. Does it not seem to you a great grace to trample on all the rottenness of the world and to be propelled into the simplicity and peace that lead to God?
It is not a sacrifice for you to renounce the world, but a joy!
To renounce the world you don’t have to enclose yourself in a hermitage, you must only be truly Christian and live as the branch united to the vine, in the intimacy of union with Jesus Christ, into whom you have been incorporated by holy Baptism.
Look at the glorious army of the saints, that is to say those who have renounced the world. You will find them in every condition: there are faithful spouses, upright mothers, innocent virgins, young people who lived in the fresh innocence of their age; there are the little, the humble and also kings and the great. Look at the glory with which they are clothed …
At the same time, look from on high at the world with its lies, its delusions, its forms of slavery, its complications, its struggles and consider how it is for you a great good and a noble thing to renounce the world and to cleave to the truth and to God! … This renunciation is not a sacrifice for you; it is a grace.
ASPIRATION: O Jesus, grant that I may live in you and fly the delusions of the world.
LITTLE WORK: If you encounter some attachment in your life to the trifles of the world, to its fashions, to its vanities, break it immediately and energetically as unworthy of you who are Christians.
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)