Our Lady of Grace Monastery, 23715 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

Newsletter No. 73 August 8th, 2017

Dear Friends,

It’s time for another Work of Infinite Love newsletter. I have here for your instruction and enjoyment Section Three of Msgr. Arthur B. Calkins’ article, “The Venerable Louise Marguerite Claret de la Touche,” plus another installment of Mother Louise’s autobiography. Happy reading! God bless you all!

3. Her Marian Teaching

All of this serves as a necessary prelude to presenting her teaching about Mary, Marian consecration and Marian mediation. Let us listen first to a conference that she gave to her sisters in religion on 8 October 1909:

Since God decided to create the world for Christ in order that it might be the kingdom of the Word, who was to become incarnate, we can easily understand how, in the thoughts of God, our heavenly Mother, the Virgin Mary, had preceded the creation of the world. It is for that reason that the Church applies these words to Mary: “From the beginning and before the world, was I created” (Sirach 24:14 [NAB Sir 24:9]). It is indeed true that, in the order of time, she was not the first of creatures, since she was born many centuries after the creation of the world, but she may be said to have been created before the beginning of time, if not in fact, at least in the intention of God.

In the above text she shows herself to be fully in line with the teaching of Blessed Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus and with the Franciscan school of theology. Here is another of her sketches of Mary:

For her faithful cooperation with the loving designs of God, the Blessed Virgin, all pure and without stain, was inundated with grace. Jesus living in her, enriched her with his divine gifts; as Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, she surpasses all creatures in dignity, but she is, nevertheless, only one among them; every man can call her mother and cherish her as a sister; one same nature brings them together; one same love unites them in Jesus.

Louise Marguerite understood intuitively that in God’s perfect plan Jesus is our Mediator with the Father and Mary is our Mediatrix with Jesus. She began a conference to her sisters on 29 April 1910 with these words: “Since Jesus, our sweet Saviour has been given to us by means of Mary, it is also by means of Mary that we must go to Jesus.” Likewise she had already written on the Vigil of Christmas 1894:

On the eve of the feast of our holy Founder [St. Francis de Sales], the most amiable Father of my soul in a communication with which he favoured me, has, it seems to me, spoken these words to me: “My daughters should always approach the Divinity through the sacred humanity of Jesus; they should approach Jesus through Mary, and Mary through the faithful imitation of her virtues.”

She relates a similar experience that she had the following year on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady:

Yesterday, the fifteenth of August, during the High Mass, I tasted ineffable delights while suffering. Without allowing myself to stop at the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ, God made me see the Divine Word in the bosom of the Divinity, which, like a luminous fluid flowed from this bosom into that of the Virgin and renewed again this divine flowing onto the altar.

As Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces, the distributor of the graces flowing from the pierced Heart of Jesus, so in a similar way Louise Marguerite explains the analogy between Mary and the priest as a genuine mediator of grace:

The priest has not, it is true, the ideal whiteness of the Immaculate; his heart has not the sublime purity of the heart of the Virgin Mother; but he has only to draw from the graces of his priesthood; he will find there fountains of virginal tenderness and heroic devotedness ...

The mystery of the Visitation was not of a day. Like all the mysteries of Christ, it was to be prolonged to the end of the ages; it was to be reproduced for the profit of all generations; to be continued always vivified by Christ eternally living. As the Virgin on the day of the Incarnation had received in her womb the Word of God, so the priest, on the day of his ordination receives in his soul the same sacred deposit. And immediately that he has received it, he feels himself, like the Virgin, urged to communicate it, he cannot enjoy it egotistically; a new activity takes possession of him, makes him go out of himself and carries him towards the souls with whom he wishes to share his treasure.

And now a few paragraphs from Mother Louise’s autobiography: “On the 6th of June [18]96 Our Savior returned my soul to the hands of him whom he had chosen to lead me in his name. A profound peace followed the troubling uncertainties that often had agitated my soul during these last times. At Jesus’ orders and aided by his divine grace, I fully revealed to Father[1] all that was going on in me. I mentioned everything; my temptations, my anxieties and, something I had not dared to tell Fr. Toupin until that time, the infinite mercies of the Good Master towards my sinful soul. After that first confession made to Father, I felt relieved of an immense weight that was suffocating me. I felt that a firm hand had seized my soul and was keeping it from falling, and I understood that this prudent direction, enlightened by the very spirit of Jesus, would not make me leave the way of submission and filial respect in which I fully wanted to courageously walk.

“In spite of the difficulties that troubled me, i.e. the little unity of thought between Fr. Toupin and our Mother regarding me and the so painfully opposing sentiments of the latter towards me, Our Lord, in sending me his servant, did not want thereby to end my sufferings and my trials. On the contrary, he was going to double them. The cross was going to weigh more heavily on me. All the pains of body, heart and soul would come to me and wrap me in their waves. But a mysterious force would also sustain me. And peace, the peace that the world does not know how to give and which is Jesus’ gift, peace was going to radiate into my soul in the midst of the most furious storms and Infinite Love would guide me like a bright beacon to port!

After 1896

“In September I made a first retreat under Father’s direction, and that at the express order of Fr. Chaplain. I saw you again in May 97 and, in September or October of the same year, I saw you for a second retreat. At the end of that retreat I divested myself of all the papers I had written and turned all of them over to our Mother.

“In November I left the novitiate as professed novice, but I remained as assistant. From that moment on I passed under the direct and absolute authority of our Mother. At the beginning of January 1898 Fr. Toupin ordered me to go to Communion every day. I felt profoundly unworthy of this grace but I had just as great a need of Jesus! Nevertheless, expecting resistance on the part of our Mother and wishing to spare her a new occasion of pain, I earnestly besought Fr. Toupin not to grant me this good. He remained firm in his wish and he commanded me to tell our Mother for him that he wanted me to go to Holy Communion every day. Our Mother showed me a strong dissatisfaction about this and, from that moment on, still more frequent and painful trials followed one another for me. It was also from that moment on that Our Mother did not allow me to go to confession to Father. Two and a half years passed before I could see you again.

“Those two years were filled with intimate sufferings of soul and heart, and with very frequent illnesses. In spite of the natural energy that the habit of suffering gave me, I would not have been able, without a very special grace of Our Savior, to carry such a heavy cross as it pleased the Good Master to give me at that time. Jesus was there to sustain and encourage me and his graces during that time were frequent. Even so, sometimes I felt my courage fail and at prayer, at the feet of my adorable and only Friend, I poured out my tears, along with my heart, before him.

“Father Chaplain demanded that I render him an account of all that went on in my soul. Our Mother, who wanted to keep the absolute monopoly of my interior direction, did not want it. Good Jesus permitted that their views were ordinarily very opposed to one another, so that my poor soul found itself continually pulled in two different directions and between two different obediences. It is impossible for me to express the intimate sufferings that came to me from this state of affairs, and all the more in that I could not open to anyone, not even to Fr. Chaplain, for, in speaking to him about what I had to suffer, I feared to influence him against Our Mother and to create difficulties between them, something I wanted to avoid at all costs.

“In the spring of 1900, nevertheless, Our Mother allowed me to see Father once in the confessional. That was for my soul, after the two and a half years, a total heavenly peace, joy, and rest. Several days later at prayer Our Savior gave me a particular view of the soul of my Father. All this has been noted in the papers of that time, so I pass over it quickly. After this grace I began to suffer again.

“In the month of December Fr. Toupin became ill and had to end completely his ministry with us. Fr. Vernet took his place. However much esteem I had for his piety and virtue, once I knew that he could not continue to take care of our souls I did not want to tell him anything. In the spring of 1901 my interior sufferings were intense. Fr. Toupin was going to die. Our Mother M. Aloysia was going to leave office and move to Valence and, although I had suffered a genuine martyrdom under her direction for nearly eight years, I did not fail to value very much her virtue and to love her filially. I suffered extreme pain at the thought of being obliged to uncover my soul to a new Mother and a new confessor.

“At the end of Lent I had the interior knowledge that Father was going to come (I have always known interiorly when he came). I went to beseech our Mother to let me see him. I asked for this grace on my knees, with joined hands and with tears, I had such a need then of his help! Our Mother was unbending and did not allow me to. I adored the will of God and continued to climb my Calvary alone.

“In May Sister M. Emmanuel was elected. I thanked God for this grace. Our Mother Emmanuel knew my soul from way back. Not being able to take care of the Novitiate, she put me in charge, while retaining the title of Directress, with the result that my position in regard to the Community as well as in regard to the novices was phony. I was, in fact, only assistant and I had to fulfill all the functions of Mistress. Many small embarrassments and small sufferings resulted from this.

“At the end of September I received a letter from Father, the first one, quite short and quite sad. He was going into exile, without saying where he was going and not even giving an address where he could be answered. Everything, therefore, was now broken off between our souls, whom Jesus, nevertheless, had so providentially united! I abandoned myself to my divine Master and I asked permission from our new Chaplain to make perpetual and definitive the vow of abandon, which until then I had renewed from feast day to feast day.” (To be continued, DV.)

Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Rev. Vergil Heier, C.M.M.
for the Work of Infinite Love

1 Father Charier, whom she addresses in the polite third person.

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Lady of Grace Monastery,
23715 Ann Arbor Trail,
Dearborn Heights,
MI 48127
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