Saturday 28th February 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Book Review… The Most Secure Way To Sanctity

August 24, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY

Totus Tuus Maria: Personal Consecration to Our Lady Following the Spiritual Teaching of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, by Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus (Gracewing Publishing, 168 pages, $14.91, www.gracewing.co.uk; also available at amazon.com).

The author is a priest of the Diocese of Regensburg in Germany. He works in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican, and has taken Pope St. John Paul II’s Marian motto, Totus Tuus, Maria, “Totally yours Mary” as the theme for this book, which is a companion to the Marian consecration program of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort.
The book comprises chapters with material for twelve days of preparation for the Montfortian consecration to our Lady. The author starts with the contention that we are all supposed to be striving for sanctity, and that the world needs saints.
This idea, however, is for most people somewhat off-putting, and that includes most Catholics. But as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) said, in a letter to her sister, “By the way, it is my conviction that it is not necessary for a saint to renounce all wishes and hopes of the world. Quite the opposite: Man is in this world to live, and he is supposed to accept all the beautiful things that are given to him with gratitude.”
So perhaps the task is not as impossible as we might imagine.
St. Louis certainly didn’t think so, and for him it was a question of living the grace of Baptism following the guidance of our Lady, our spiritual mother: that is, saints are formed in Mary, since all graces come through her mediation. And Pope Benedict did say: “Being Catholic means being Marian.”
The author denies that Consecration to Mary is “Catholic Kitsch” or a “questionable form of piety,” but rather insists that it is the “imitation of Christ through the hands of His mother, who safely guides anyone who entrusts himself to her.”
Msgr. Kolfhaus has reduced the usual thirty-three day preparation for the Montfortian consecration to a more manageable twelve days, and after an initial period of preparation, lasting three days, each day of the “novena” leading up to the consecration is partly devoted to prayer and partly to readings.
The first three days are devoted successively to an examination of our lives in relation to God, our neighbor, and ourselves, and each day, after a Scripture passage, there are “thoughts for contemplation,” which are certainly very thought-provoking. For example on the second day, in relation to love of neighbor, we are told, “It is about dedicating ourselves and giving ourselves in service to others,” and also that, “True Christian charity is always the fruit of a true love of God.”
The author recommends a thorough Confession at the end of this period, and he provides examinations of conscience to this end. As he says, “The firm will to repent and concrete resolutions for the spiritual life are the fruit of the first three days.”
At the start of the novena proper, Msgr. Kolfhaus counsels that, following the forgiveness of our sins and a new beginning, “It is ever more important to begin our ‘new’ life with magnanimity, without any compromises or half-measures,” and that is actually the purpose of the novena. To this end he recommends that some small sacrifice should be made each day.
The prayer sections of each novena chapter, for each day, have traditional Marian prayers including the rosary, while the readings include a Scripture passage, followed by a reflection, and then a section from St. Louis’ True Devotion to Mary. This is followed by some biographical information about a saint associated in one way or another with our Lady, including individuals such as St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. John Bosco, St. Bernadette, and St. Louis himself. These mini-biographies are a very useful way of illustrating the points made by St. Louis, and show how the saints became devoted to Mary in practice.
What also comes out is that they had a far from easy time, and it is astonishing to be reminded about how much they actually accomplished in the face of the obstacles they had to surmount, sometimes due to poor health, but often, sadly, due to their fellow Christians. As St. Bernadette said, the only thing she feared was bad Catholics.
What also comes across in this book is the author’s own deep devotion to our Lady, expressed particularly in his reflections on the grandeur of her role in the economy of salvation, as in this example: “Mary only desires to bring Jesus to all men. Whoever calls to Mary for help, honoring her and consecrating himself to her, can be sure that she will draw him closer to Christ. Mary and Jesus are inseparable! Where the Mother is there too is the Son!”
Or in another passage, in a commentary on the text about the marriage feast at Cana, he writes: “We call upon Mary when we have run out of wine, that is when we have a lack of strength to do good, or of true love and joy, because then we have only to offer our murky water, and she will ask her Son to change it into excellent wine.”
It is also good to see that in concluding the ninth day of the novena, which is entitled, “Mary — Queen of Heaven,” Msgr. Kolfhaus focuses on Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima, and the importance of this Marian apparition for the Church. He makes the point that they were not beatified just because they had seen our Lady, but because they allowed themselves to be formed by the Blessed Virgin in her school of sanctity.
As the author says: “Fatima is the urgent appeal of heaven for everyone to generously answer the call to holiness and to follow the steep path that leads to life, step by step, day by day, in the hands of Mary.”
The book ends with the Consecration prayer of St. Louis, and a final section stressing the importance of the daily rosary.

An Excellent Read

A slight criticism is that the English translation contains some spelling errors and a few typos, and at times the style comes across as an overly literal translation from the German. But having said that, the freshness and urgency which the author manages to impart to the text mean that these points do not, in any significant way, detract from the very positive aspects of the book.
In sum, it is an excellent read, and bound to be of great spiritual benefit for anyone who reads it slowly and prayerfully.
And as the author says: “It has no other goal in mind than consecration to Our Lady according to St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort: namely the quickest and most secure way to sanctity.”

+    +    +

(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related website at www.theoto
kos.org.uk.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the…Continue Reading

Oil company hit man has Archbishop Cordileone in his sights

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 27, 2015 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Sam Singer’s public relations firm spun a Chevron oil refinery disaster in California and fought back a legal ruling in Ecuador that could have awarded billions of dollars to…Continue Reading

What about Henry VIII?

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35). It is true that Jesus did…Continue Reading

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical…Continue Reading

Imagine: A Catholic Archbishop!

If it weren’t so predictable, it would be infuriating, but because of that, it is infuriating to thinking people. It’s happening again as San Francisco drops the hammer – again – on the Catholic Church and especially Archbishop Cordileone. He’s…Continue Reading

As storm brews, San Fran archbishop strikes back at school guideline critics

San Francisco, Calif., Feb 20, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Politicians have targeted San Francisco Catholic schools’ teacher standards, but Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says they are a matter of Catholic mission and common sense. “Would you hire a campaign…Continue Reading

University of Scranton to end all abortion coverage

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – The University of Scranton plans to end employee health care coverage for abortions in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life of the mother. The Times-Tribune of Scranton (http://bit.ly/1JstU9i ) reports Thursday that the…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Scandals under Fr. Jenkins Are Rooted in Diminished Catholic Faculty, Alumni Say

February 20, 2015, at 11:02 AM  |  By Kimberly Scharfenberger  | Following the election of University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. to his third term, Notre Dame alumni spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to share their…Continue Reading

Cardinal Napier: African Bishops Have Higher Priorities Than Communion for Divorced and Remarried

by CNA/EWTN NEWS 02/19/2015 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier speaks at the Vatican Press Office on Oct. 14, 2014. – Bohumil Petrik/CNA ROME — A leading African cardinal says the continent’s bishops want the upcoming Vatican synod to zero in on strengthening…Continue Reading

LGBT Catholic group gets special seating during Pope’s weekly address

(CNN)Members of New Ways Ministry — an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics — have made three pilgrimages to the Vatican, under three different popes. But only once have they been treated like VIPs. That’s the treatment…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl attacks “brother bishops” as “dissenters”

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Donald Cardinal Wuerl has effectively banned Raymond Cardinal Burke from entering the Archdiocese of Washington.  Several sources have confirmed this to Rorate over the years, stemming from Wuerl’s disdain for any priest…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis at the close of the Spiritual Exercises – With a piece of Elijah’s mantle

2015-02-27 L’Osservatore Romano The meditations this morning, Friday 27 February, in Ariccia were the last of the Spiritual Exercises in which the Pontiff and members of the Roman Curia participated. Meditations were led by Carmelite, Fr Bruno Secondin, in the chapel of the House of Divin Maesto belonging to the Pauline Fathers. At the end of his reflection Friday morning, Pope Francis wanted to thank the preacher. “On behalf of everyone, myself included,” the Pope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis returns to Vatican after Lenten retreat

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia have returned to the Vatican at the conclusion of their  5-day Lenten retreat held in the town of Ariccia near Rome. The spiritual exercises began last Sunday (February 22nd) and took place in the Casa Divin Maestro centre in Ariccia. In brief remarks at the conclusion of the retreat the Pope thanked Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin for leading the spiritual exercises with them. Please find…Continue Reading

Charles Rice RIP

charlie rice

Word reached  us today that longtime Catholic activist and legal scholar Charles E. Rice died during the night of February 25. We ask our readers to pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and many friends and associates. An ardent crusader and defender of the Catholic faith, his presence will be missed. Joseph Matt, President, The Wanderer

Pope, Curia reflect on superficial religiosity

  (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and the Roman Curia are in the middle of their weeklong Spiritual Exercises in Ariccia, outside Rome. According to L’Osservatore Romano, the retreat master, Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, has shared reflections with the Curia on the prophet Elias. In his reflection, Fr Secondin compared the worship of the false idols in Elias’ time with a modern-day religiosity that is interested in the superficial and in measures of faith “according to…Continue Reading

What If The Government Fears Freedom?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.? What if Reagan knew and respected the history of…Continue Reading

Our Lady And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This article will look at the importance of the modern Marian apparitions, and particularly Fatima, and in this regard, this is what the Church, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 67) says about private revelation: “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which…Continue Reading

Hanging Rudy Out To Dry

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Back in 1987, this writer was invited by friends to advise them on a press conference they had called to oppose President Reagan’s signing of an INF treaty to remove all nuclear missiles from Europe. My advice: Deplore the treaty; do not attack the president. The next day, Howard Phillips declared…Continue Reading

Darfur: Hell Without The Cameras

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS — In recent years, there has been a dearth of media coverage of Darfur’s humanitarian crisis. What had once been a focus for both diplomatic and high-profile celebrity efforts to detail human rights abuses during more than a decade of inter-ethnic conflict in Sudan’s troubled western region, has now…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Should Serodiscordant Couples Be Permitted To Use Condoms?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book The Case Against Condoms, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + There are times when priests, ministers, and pro-life activists encounter what might be called the “ultimate hard…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. As a longtime subscriber to The Wanderer, I am puzzled that your writers don’t hesitate to criticize and disagree with bishops and cardinals on particular issues, but when it comes to the Pope you automatically close shop, yet he is human just like the bishops and cardinals. There is no teaching in our Church that says one cannot disagree…Continue Reading

God’s “Foolishness” Is Wisdom

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for March 8, 2015 Third Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: Exodus 20:1-17 1 Cor. 1:22-25 John 2:13-25 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about our Lord cleansing the Temple because the people had turned God’s house into a marketplace. The people, naturally, were appalled at this action because the buying and selling…Continue Reading

Pope’s Message For 30th World Youth Day . . . “Blessed Are The Pure In Heart. . . .”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s message for this year’s World Youth Day, which will be held on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015, at the diocesan level. ZENIT News Agency published the text on February 17; all rights reserved. + + + Dear Young Friends, We continue our spiritual pilgrimage toward Krakow, where…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Lent: Season For Deeper Conversion From Death To Life

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Italians, when the subject of marriage and therefore also of children comes up, are quick to say, “Due è basta,” meaning, “Two children are enough.” Young people decide long before they even meet the person they will marry that it will be thus also for them. If you’ve learned to love Italy and the Italians…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

By CAROLE BRESLIN Christianity has never been warmly welcomed by the authorities in China, but that did not stop the missionaries over the centuries who have gone there to save souls. Christianity has existed in various forms since the Tang Dynasty (eighth century). The first reports of Catholic priests going to China go back to the 13th century. John of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Jacinta Marto

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic classic Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, we learn that wisdom is to be valued much more than knowledge. There is an entire book of the Old Testament called the Book of Wisdom. While holiness does not equal happiness, we can be sure that joy comes only from God. Little Jacinta Marto, the…Continue Reading