Monday, April 8, 2013

An article about my spirituality

I've taken a week off from this blog to put together an article I'm writing for wikipedia, concerning the spirituality I follow. There are articles on Jesuit spirituality, Dominican, Carmelite, Franciscan, and Benedictine, but so far as I can tell, there are no articles on my spirituality.
Now keep in mind, this is all a rough version of the final article, and I'm still making improvements, but here's what I have so far:

                                                    Montfort Spirituality
Montfort spirituality is an 18th century spirituality based on the writings of St Louis De Montfort and influenced by the French school of spirituality. Like all Catholic spiritual schools, it bases itself on the Catholic faith and the Gospels, but places greater emphasis in the Virgin Mary’s role in salvation through Jesus. Considered the forerunner to Roman Catholic Mariology, it has influenced the spiritual outlook of many Catholic figures, including Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Montfort Spirituality can be summarized with the phrases “To God Alone, by Christ Wisdom, in the Spirit, in communion with Mary, for the reign of God,” or “God Alone” and “In Jesus, through Mary.”  
Montfort Spirituality can be divided into two categories: internal and external. Each together brings about in the soul knowledge and contempt of self; participation in Mary’s faith; deliverance from cares, fears and scruples; great confidence in God and Mary; communication of the soul and spirit of Mary; transformation of the faithful soul by Mary into the likeness of Jesus Christ; and the greater glory of God.

According to Montfort’s work True Devotion to Mary, followers of this spirituality are to imitate the following virtues of the Virgin Mary:
-Lively faith
-blind obedience
-continual mental prayer
Emphasis on the Incarnation- unlike many other spiritualties, Montfort spirituality places more emphasis on the Word taking flesh, and becoming man. Hence, the spirituality puts great importance on the Annunciation, which commemorates Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb. Various prayers and litanies to the Incarnation are greatly encouraged.
Devotion to the Rosary- Influenced by the Dominican Order (which he belonged to), Montfort teaches daily prayer of the Rosary and even composed five special ways of saying the Rosary (and later meditations on the Rosary Mysteries).
Frequent recitation of the Ave Maria, the Magnificat, and a saying to remind us of our devotion- St Montfort writes about the importance of saying the Hail Mary often as possible:
            “it is the most perfect compliment you can give to Mary, because it is a compliment which the Most High sent her by an archangel, in order to win her heart; and it was so powerful over her heart by the secret charms of which it was so full, that in spite of her profound humility she gave her consent to the Incarnation of the Word.”

He says this about the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55):
It is the only prayer, the only work, which the Holy Virgin composed, or rather, which Jesus composed in her; for He spoke by her mouth. It is the greatest sacrifice of praise which God ever received from a pure creature in the law of grace.

Montfort even penned a special saying each follower is to say at least once a day:
“I am thine and all I have is thine, oh most loving Jesus, through Mary, Your most Holy Mother.”

Wearing of the Scapular, Miraculous Medal and “little chains”- Montfort teaches that those who follow this devotion are to wear the scapular and the Miraculous Medal as well as a symbol for their new holy slavery to Mary (see below) for “[wearing little chains] reminds the Christian of the vows of baptism”…”shows the world we are not ashamed of the servitude and slavery of Jesus Christ” and “to protect ourselves against the slavery of sin and the Devil.” However, it should be noted a simple light chain and even a ring (like one made by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) will suffice.
Reciting the Little Crown of Mary- Consisting of three Our Fathers and 12 Hail Marys, and also known as the "Triple Crown of the Twelve Stars of the Blessed Virgin" because it is based on St. John the Divine's vision in from Rev 11 and 12, the Little Crown honors Mary as symbolizing her motherhood and queen-ship over all Israel, the twelve stars representing the 12 Tribes and the 12 Apostles. Though not written by Montfort himself, he did add additional praises to Mary in between the Hail Mary’s and a special litany format (link here)
A spiritual parallel to Jacob and Rebecca (Gen 27) –St Montfort reminds us of the story of Jacob, who with the help of his mother Rebecca, achieves the blessing of his father Isaac.  This coincides with his teaching of always depending on our spiritual mother to gain blessings from our spiritual father.
Angelus/Regia Coli- Montfort encourages these two prayers, both said at noon but at different times of year, as reminders of the role Mary played in salvation through Jesus.
The concept of “holy slavery”- Going several steps beyond regular dependence on God, St. Montfort views the spirituality as being slaves to God and therefore love. “It is easily seen, then, that he who is a slave by constraint is rigorously dependent on his master.  Strictly speaking, a man must be dependent in that sense only on his Creator.”
Special method of receiving Communion- Before Holy Communion, Montfort wants those following his spirituality to humble themselves and ask the Virgin Mary for her heart to better receive Jesus. “I take thee for my all. Give me your heart, oh Mary.” During Communion but before receiving it, one is to say “Lord, I am not worthy” to each of the members of the Holy Trinity, and ask to behold Mary, to see Mary coming into your house and life, and to have all confidence in Mary to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit respectively. After receiving Communion, he recommends various suggestions, all revolving around uniting the hearts of Jesus and Mary within yourself. 
33 day consecration- once a year, those following Montfort spirituality take a 33 day length consecration to Mary,  composed of special litanies, prayers, readings from the Bible, The Imitation of Christ, various Montfort writings, and different exercises depending on the teaching emphasized. Upon completion, the follower is to choose a day significant to Marian theology (such as the Annunciation or Christmas) to make final vows and promises to the Virgin Mary.


  1. This is a very nice article. I feel spirituality is a difficult subject subject to understand for anybody. Many people take it for granted and never try to explore more about it.

    Henry Jordan
    The Equation Game

    1. For more information check out Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.