Day #18: My Miseries
THE SOUL: At your feet, O Mary, I want to consider once again the miseries of my nothingness in order to appreciate better the solemn renunciation which I made in holy Baptism. My renunciation was not a concession, a gift which I made to God, rather it was a great grace which he conceded to me so that my renunciation of self is really equivalent to my liberation from all that lowers and dishonors me. With this renunciation I abandoned the mire for infinite richness and I raised myself to Jesus in order to become a living member of his body, I who was a poor cursed atom! …
O Mary, how good Jesus has been to me and how little I have recognized and appreciated him! The sacrifices which even now he asks of me are really only the great benefits of his love!
What am I? I am a mass of miseries! God only asks me to rid myself of these miseries and to me it seems an act of generosity not to give myself to him.
What am I? While I lift myself up to God I feel a force in me that presses me down into the most vile desires. God asks of me nothing other than to renounce this baseness.
I lose myself in so many castles in the air and in the whirlwind of my dreams. God only asks me to renounce these vain and tormenting dreams in order to breathe in reality.
The satisfactions of the flesh are so thorny … every gratification is in reality an abyss into which I fall, in the bottom of which I then become agitated and take pleasure. God only asks me to emerge from the abyss to live in the fragrant heights of the perennial spring of life. Yet, I?m so ungrateful to the Lord that every fleeting image throws me off balance and I flee further away from him, attracted by the gauche mirages of this world!
O Mary, break these chains which still bind me to myself and to the world, and, since God looks upon the renunciation of so many miseries as an act of generosity worthy of the eternal reward ? and because these attract me, make me generous with God, so that I may be less unworthy of your so many mercies.
Lord, my God, receive me as a holocaust, even though I am so miserable; I have nothing to give up to you but my misery, and I burn it on the altar of your divine will. You alone be my hope and my life.
ASPIRATION: O Mary, free me from ingratitude and from my miseries.
LITTLE WORK: Make an act of offering of yourselves to God and resolve to renew it every day.
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)