Montfort and the act of offering to the merciful love of Thérèse of Lisieux

The day you commissioned me to do it, it seemed to me that he would dissipate my heart by taking care of me, but then Jesus made me feel that obeying with simplicity is how I would most please him; on the other hand I will not do anything other than: Begin to sing what I have to repeat eternally: The Mercies of the Lord !!!!. Before taking up the pen, I knelt before the image of Mary (the one who has given so many proofs of the maternal preferences that the Queen of heaven has for our family), begging her to want to guide my hand so as not to write a single one line that is not to your liking.

This is how Teresa of Lisieux begins her manuscripts, the constant presence of Mary in them, although she is not named in many moments, is the result, as she herself says, of the maternal preferences that the Queen of Heaven had with her family. . This family devotion to the Virgin in his family must be traced to the influence that Montfort and his missionaries from the company of Mary had in the region of Normandy where they gave so many missions, beginning with Montfort, their hometown, and the expansion that had their apostolate throughout the region.

Father François Mª Léthel, ocd, says that the Story of a soul, like the Treatise on True Devotion, are wonderful books of life and doctrine, which end with a prayer of Consecration to Jesus by Mary. In Historia de un alma this consecration is the act of offering to Merciful Love. Two books that are two “beacons” to illuminate the path of holiness to which we are all called.

In the Act of offering to Merciful love, the most beautiful expression of the Trinitarian Christocentrism of Teresa of Lisieux, after the invocation to the Father, who has given his Only Son, Jesus, in the mystery of the Eucharist, of his Passion, of her Face and of her Heart, and to the Holy Spirit as “Fire of Love” and “waves of infinite tenderness”, Teresa offers herself as a “holocaust” to the Fire of the Holy Spirit and in that Fire she offers herself to Jesus in the Church, his wife. She offers herself, in a baptismal offering, to the entire Trinity whose center is always Jesus.

But in this Act there is a special reference to Mary: Teresa: she offers the love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother, to whom I entrust my offering, asking her to present it to you (to Jesus). This brief reference to Mary undoubtedly leads us to the Consecration of St. Louis Mª Grignion de Montfort, which makes Mary, as in Teresa of Lisieux, the bearer of the same to Jesus, makes us slaves of Jesus through Mary. It is through her and in her that the Father has given us her Son through the action of the Holy Spirit and Montfort illuminates this unique role of Mary in the downward movement of the Incarnation and in the upward movement of our divinization. In a more explicit way Montfort places his consecration in the baptismal perspective and, like Teresa, he refers to the Eucharist. His symbolic bondage of love corresponds exactly to that of the holocaust of love. As Fr. François Mª Léthel, ocd, says, these two strong biblical expressions also refer to the sacrifice of the cross of the one who “has assumed the condition of slave for our love”.