Having spoken thus far of the necessity of devotion to the most holy Virgin, I must now show in what this devotion consists. This I will do, with God’s help, after I shall have first laid down some fundamental truths which shall throw light on that grand and solid devotion which I desire to disclose.
— First Truth —
Jesus Christ Is the Last End of Devotion to Mary
61. Jesus Christ our Savior, true God and true Man, ought to be the last end of all our other devotions, else they are false and delusive. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, (1) the beginning and the end, of all things. We labor not, as the Apostle says, except to render every man perfect in Jesus Christ; because it is in Him alone that the whole plenitude of the Divinity dwells together with all the other plenitudes of graces, virtues and perfections. It is in Him alone that we have been blessed with all spiritual benediction; and He is our only Master, who has to teach us; our only Lord on whom we ought to depend; our only Head to whom we must be united; our only Model to whom we should conform ourselves; our only Physician who can heal us; our only Shepherd who can feed us; our only Way who can lead us; our only Truth whom we must believe; our only Life who can animate us; and our only All in all things who can satisfy us. There has been no other name given under Heaven, except the name of Jesus, by which we can be saved. God has laid no other foundation of our salvation, our perfection or our glory, than Jesus Christ. Every building which is not built on that firm rock is founded upon the moving sand, and sooner or latter infallibly will fall.
Every one of the faithful who is not united to Him, as a branch to the stock of the vine, shall fall, shall wither, and shall be fit only to be cast into the fire. Outside of Him there exists nothing but error, falsehood, iniquity, futility, death and damnation. But if we are in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is in us, we have no condemnation to fear.
Neither the angels of Heaven nor the men of earth nor the devils of Hell nor any other creature can injure us; because they cannot separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, we can do all things; we can render all honor and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit; (2) we can become perfect ourselves, and be to our neighbor a good odor of eternal life (2 Cor. 2:15-16).
62. If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ, and to provide an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ. If devotion to Our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil; but so far from this being the case, devotion to Our Lady is, on the contrary, necessary for us—as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter—as a means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, of serving Him faithfully.
63. I here turn for one moment to You, O sweet Jesus, to complain lovingly to Your Divine Majesty that the greater part of Christians, even the most learned, do not know the necessary union there is between You and Your holy Mother. You, Lord, are always with Mary, and Mary is always with You, and she cannot be without You, else she would cease to be what she is. She is so transformed into You by grace that she lives no more, she is as though she were not. It is You only, my Jesus, who lives and reigns in her more perfectly than in all the angels and the blessed. Ah! If we knew the glory and the love which You receive in this admirable creature, we should have very different thoughts both of You and her from what we have now. She is so intimately united with You that it were easier to separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire; nay, it were easier to separate from You all the angels and the saints than the divine Mary, because she loves You more ardently and glorifies You more perfectly than all the other creatures put together.
64. After that, my sweet Master, is it not an astonishingly pitiable thing to see the ignorance and the darkness of all men here below in regard to Your holy Mother? I speak not so much of idolaters and pagans, who, knowing You not, care not to know her. I speak not even of heretics and schismatics, who care not to be devout to Your holy Mother, being separated as they are from You and Your holy Church; but I speak of Catholic Christians, and even of doctors among Catholics, (3) who make profession of teaching truths to others, and yet know not You nor Your holy Mother, except in a speculative, dry, barren and indifferent manner. These gentlemen speak but rarely of Your holy Mother and of the devotion we ought to have to her, because they fear, so they say, lest we should abuse it, and do some injury to You in honoring Your holy Mother too much. If they hear or see anyone devout to our Blessed Lady, speaking often of his devotion to that good Mother in a tender, strong and persuasive way, and as a secure means without delusion, as a short road without danger, as an immaculate way without imperfection, and as a wonderful secret for finding and loving You perfectly, they cry out against him, and give him a thousand false reasons by way of proving to him that he ought not to talk so much of our Blessed Lady; that there are great abuses in that devotion; and that we must direct our energies to destroy these abuses, and to speak of You, rather than to incline the people to devotion to our Blessed Lady, whom they already love sufficiently.
We hear them sometimes speak of devotion to our Blessed Lady, not for the purpose of establishing it and persuading men to embrace it, but to destroy the abuses which are made of it; and all the while these teachers are without piety or tender devotion toward Yourself, simply because they have none for Mary. They regard the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions proper for weak and ignorant minds, without which men can save themselves; and if there falls into their hands any poor client of Our Lady who says his Rosary, or has any other practice of devotion toward her, they soon change his spirit and his heart. Instead of the Rosary, they counsel him the seven Penitential Psalms. Instead of devotion to the holy Virgin, they counsel him devotion to Jesus Christ.