Brief Catechism About the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Here is an extract from the book Brief Catechism on Fatima, published by Kolbe Publications. It offers 33 questions and answers divided in four chapter: The Apparitions at Fatima, The Secret of Fatima, The Third Secret & the Crisis in the Church, and Practicing Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
Why is Devotion to Mary necessary for every Baptized person?
Devotion to Mary is necessary for the Baptized because by Baptism we become members of Jesus Christ and we must imitate Him. But Christ honored Mary, obeyed her as His Mother and made her Queen over His Kingdom. Therefore, we too must honor her, obey her as our Mother and serve her as our Queen.
How do we practice reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
We practice this devotion chiefly by the practice of the Five First Saturdays, by saying the Rosary every day and by wearing the Scapular, and by having the intention to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart in all our undertakings and sufferings.
In what does the Devotion of the Five First Saturdays consist?
The 5 first Saturdays consists in 4 things:
Confession within 8 days,
Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday
Recitation of the 5 Mysteries of the Rosary,
Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary by keeping Our Lady company for 15 minutes.
It must be remembered that this devotion is accompanied by the incredible promise of Our Lady to Sr. Lucia: “I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul.”
How does the 5 first Saturdays make reparation to the Immaculate Heart?
The Five First Saturdays were requested by Our Lady to make reparation for 5 sins against her Immaculate Heart:
For blasphemies committed against her Immaculate Conception.
For blasphemies committed against her perpetual Virginity.
For blasphemies committed against her Divine Maternity.
For blasphemies of those who seek to sow indifference, scorn or hatred of Mary in the hearts of children.
For blasphemies committed by those who outrage her in her images.
How does saying the Rosary daily make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Saying the Rosary daily makes reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary because at Fatima she requested the Church to say the Rosary daily for the salvation of souls. Thus, it is an act of obedience to Mary. Furthermore, by praying the Rosary devoutly, we learn to hate and overcome our sins, and to love and imitate Christ.
What is signified by wearing the Scapular?
By wearing the Scapular we show the world a sign of our Catholic Faith, we show God a sign of our devotion to Our Lady, and it is a sacramental of her promise to help us now and at the hour of our death. We should also remember the Scapular promise that no one wearing the Scapular at the hour of death will be allowed to perish eternally in the fires of hell. By Mary’s intercession, the soul will receive the succor of Grace to make the acts of Faith, Hope and Charity necessary to salvation.
Are there any other special acts of reparatory Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
While any act of Devotion done with the intention of making Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is an act of reparatory devotion to Mary, there are two of greater importance:
Consecration of the Home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Total Consecration of oneself to Jesus Christ through Mary as her slave according to the method of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort.
How do we consecrate our homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
The Consecration of the home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotion promoted by 4 Popes of the XXth century and consists in asking a Priest to preside over the Ceremony of Consecration in one’s home. The Ceremony should be prepared by 3 days of prayer and involves the enthronement of the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in one’s home.
In what does the total consecration consist?
The consecration consists in a complete gift of self to Mary with the goal of serving Our Lord Jesus Christ to the best of one’s ability for the greater honor and glory to God. This gift of self is so complete that we say one is a slave of Mary, for one is entirely submitted to her, becoming her property, to use as she pleases for the greater glory of her Divine Son. It is also a renewal of our baptismal promises, in order to offer ourselves more perfectly to Jesus Christ, our Savior and King.
What else can we do to prepare for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
To prepare for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we must pray very much for the pope, for the ultimate solution to the present crisis in the Church, the conversion of Russia and world peace, depend on the pope. Our Lady asked only the pope to consecrate Russia, in union with all the bishops of the world, to her Immaculate Heart.
“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Self-examination is and always has been a part of being a part of Israel.
Specific disciplines arose very early in monastic life, becoming a part of the regular daily exercises of the monks and nuns. St. Ignatius Loyola perfected the techniques in the 16th c., writing of them in his "Spiritual Exercises." His method for a General Examination of Conscience: o Give thanks to God for all benefits. o Ask grace to know your sins and cast them out. o Ask account of your soul from the hour that you rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts. o Ask pardon of God for the sins you committed during the day. o Purpose amendment with His grace (in other words, find remedies so that those sins aren't repeated in the future). o It is traditional to end the nightly examination of conscience with a Pater (the Our Father prayer). If the sins we've uncovered involve grave matter -- and most definitely if they were done with full consent and knowledge -- we receive the Sacrament of Penance as soon as possible and do not receive the Eucharist until we have done so.
When examining oneself, it is important to go more deeply than merely "counting sins." You should try to develop a true and profound sense of humility, becoming able to recognize your individual failings in particular circumstances so that you figure out when, where, who you tend to be with, etc., when you stumble so you can avoid near occasions of sin in the future. You should also try as fully as possible to see your general propensity for evil and your need of Christ to save you from it. You have to "face your shadow," as they say. Try to ascertain what sorts of things roil around in your unconscious, the sorts of defense mechanisms you use, the truths you find difficult to face, or are unwilling to face -- especially hard truths about yourself, and ones that drive your motivations. Look in the mirror and stare until your persona -- the "face" you present to the world so that people will like you -- dissolves and there is no one looking back but you.
What do you see? What do you really, truly see? Do you lie to yourself? Do you lie to others? How do you plan on being honest with yourself and with others in the future? We all engage in some degree of "persona-making": what sort do you engage in? Does your way of doing things make you feel weak, fraudulent, ashamed, or contemptible? What petty little thoughts crossed your mind today? Where did they come from? What little vicious passive aggressive acts did you engage in? What or whom do you resent? Why? Is your resentment just or is it really your own envy, perhaps the result of your own failures? If the latter, what is preventing you from doing something about your situation to make things right? Fear? What are your fears? Is your "niceness" actually cowardice? What other possible vices are posing as virtues in you? With whom are you angry? Is your anger justified? How should you deal with it? How have you failed to deal with it properly? Whom, if anyone, do you need to forgive? Why haven't you forgiven them? How will you become more virtuous and pleasing to God?
Lamentations 3:40 "Let us search our ways, and seek, and return to the Lord."