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

Newsletter No. 75 June 14th, 2018

Dear Friends,

Greetings! In our last letter (December 1, 2017) we reprinted a part of Mgr. Calkins’ article, “The Venerable Louise Marguerite Claret de la Touche.” That part of the article sent to you was titled, “3. ‘Mother Louise’s Marian Teaching.” But that part of the article had been sent to you already in Newsletter 73 (August 1, 2017). I apologize for the mistake.

Here I reprint the fourth and last part of Mgr. Calkins’ article:

4. Her “Act of Consecration and Donation to Infinite Love”

While it is indisputable that Louise Marguerite had a very particular mission in the Church – and it was not that of being an explicit teacher of Marian consecration – nonetheless that element is present in her thought as it was in Saint Thérèse’s marvelous “Act of Oblation to Merciful Love” in which the Carmelite of Lisieux prayed: “I offer You, O Blessed Trinity the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You.” Like Thérèse, Louise Marguerite also composed a magnificent “Act of Consecration and Donation to Infinite Love”:

O Infinite Love, eternal God, Principle of life, Source of being, I adore Thee in Thy sovereign Unity and the Trinity of Thy Persons.

I adore Thee in the Father, omnipotent Creator Who has made all things. I adore Thee in the Son, eternal Wisdom, by Whom all things have been made, the Word of the Father, incarnate in time in the womb of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, Redeemer and King. I adore Thee in the Holy Spirit, substantial love of the Father and the Son, in Whom are light, strength and fruitfulness.

I adore Thee, Infinite Love, hidden in the mysteries of our Faith, shedding Thy beneficent rays in the Blessed Eucharist, overflowing on Calvary and giving life to the Holy Church by the channels of the Sacraments; I adore Thee throbbing in the Heart of Jesus, Thy ineffable tabernacle, and I consecrate myself to Thee.

I give myself to Thee without fear with the fullness of my will; take possession of my being, penetrate it entirely. I am but a nothing, powerless to serve Thee, it is true, but it is Thou, Infinite Love, Who hast given life to this nothing and Who dost draw it to Thee.

Behold me, then, O Jesus, come to do Thy work of love: to labor to the utmost of my capacity, in bringing to Thy priests and through them to the entire world, the knowledge of Thy Infinite mercies, and of the sublime and tender love of Thy Heart.

I wish to accomplish Thy will, whatever it may cost me; even to the shedding of my blood, if my blood be not unworthy to flow for Thy glory.

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin, whom Infinite Love has rendered fruitful, it is by thy virginal hands that I give and consecrate myself.

Obtain for me the grace to be humble and faithful, and to devote myself without reserve to the interests of Jesus Christ, Thy adorable Son, and to the glory of His Sacred Heart.

This act itself is worthy of prolonged meditation. It is a classic example of how all of the saints are theologians and only the saints are theologians. Mother Louise Marguerite composed this act in terms of the very specific mission that the Lord had given her: to be an apostle of the Infinite Love of God, to proclaim this Infinite Love “palpitating in the Heart of Jesus” and to be a mother and victim-soul for priests. As in Saint Thérèse’s “Act of Oblation to Merciful Love”, so also Louise Marguerite entrusted her entire act to Mary’s virginal hands. Here I would simply point out once again that every act of consecration to Mary is ultimately meant to lead us to Jesus. As Saint Louis de Montfort put it so concisely:

We consecrate ourselves at one and the same time to Mary and to Jesus. We give ourselves to Mary because Jesus chose her as the perfect means to unite himself to us and unite us to him. We give ourselves to Jesus because he is our last end. (The end)

Let us now add a few paragraphs from Mother Louise Marguerite autobiography for your prayerful consideration:

At the beginning of Lent our Mother showed her intention to take me with her to Italy after Easter. A Sister who was also to go with her, on learning of this, was suddenly seized by such a great aversion to it that she did everything to prevent it, doing me disservice in various ways and saying to me the most humiliating words. I really did not have any desire for this trip; but because the Sister who acted thus against me enjoyed my confidence and my affection perhaps more than anyone else, I suffered much in the intimacy of my heart on this occasion.

On Easter the boarding school closed. To make up for the loss of income from that side, work had to be taken on. Our Mother put me in charge of that. Very sweet Providence helped us; we found stores that gave us some work, and individual persons who also ordered some things.

One day in the Novitiate, as I was pondering all alone how to increase our work, a postcard that had come on the day before caught my eye. It was a very ordinary card, costing perhaps two cents; a big very ugly flower in color was printed on it, whose pedals were made of small pieces of postage stamps. The idea came to me to also make postcards with pictures of people made in stamps. Father knows whether this idea was a success.

Eighteen months have passed since then. Ever since, Father has followed me almost day by day, either by his visits that have been frequent, or by his letters, or by the writings that I have given to him and he has been able to know not only all that goes on in my soul, but also even more the details of my exterior life.

Our Mother Marie Emmanuelle, to whom I have always revealed my heart with compete confidence, had long ago judged that it was the will of God that I be under Father’s direction. Endowed with a very firm judgment, a perfect rectitude of spirit, and free of those too ordinary little foibles of our sex, our Mother never wanted to keep for herself alone the care of my behavior, and I have always had all the more confidence in her as I have seen her more generous on this point. Fr. Toupin and Fr. Eydous, with perfect detachment always approved and encouraged my relationship with Father. Amid the sufferings of all sorts in these last years, this unity of direction has been my strength, my consolation and my peace.

Having written these pages almost without reflection and without coherence and going back in spirit over these last 38 years, I stop at one singularly striking thought. On the part of this little creature, whose life these years formed, what does he have? Innumerable faults, weaknesses, resistances and infidelities. On the part of God, what have I seen? Love! Yes, Love always and nothing but Love!

But how can you explain this Love? God is Love and Love is in God and Love overflows from God. And sometimes for no other reason than his own abundance, Infinite Love escaping from the Divine Being descends into a soul; it envelopes it, showers it, fills it to overflowing, without any good, any previous merit being able to attract it to that soul. These are mysteries of Love. . . .

As an infinitely tender father, the divine Master took me in his arms from my cradle; for a long time, he led me himself, protecting me in the midst of the perils of the world, instructing me interiorly and arranging things in such a way that events, the most contrary in appearance ended by leading to his divine plans. Then when my way became more difficult and more painful, when his more numerous and pressing graces could make me fear illusions, when temptations and trials shook my soul, my adorable Master sent me his Servant.

In his foresight full of wisdom, God gave me from the beginning of my life a necessary restraint on my ardent nature and by the inestimable gift of the Cross, which he had given to his own Son, He drew me to Himself and revealed his Love to me. I recognize that all these sufferings that it pleased God to send me were for me seeds of graces. Also, all the graces, all those ineffable marks of God’s tenderness, were for me the beginnings of sufferings. Ah, if only I had known always how to profit from the cross! If I had known how to receive it with joy and carry it with love!

But while knowing all the time that it was good and was coming from God, how many times I complained under its weight and rejected it. I bless my adorable Master for the incomparable privilege to suffer that he gave me. I bless and love all those who, in the hands of Jesus, were the instruments of my sufferings. If it happened that in the course of these pages I have used some words that resemble complaints, I take them back and I would like to erase them.

Oh Infinite Love, Principle of life, Source of grace, I recognize you in everything. I adore you in the ineffable mystery of your essence and the repose of your glory: I adore you in the sublime Unity that nothing divides, and in the Trinity of Persons. I adore you in your divine fruitfulness that is exercised in Yourself, and reproduces itself outside of you; I adore you in the manifestation of Your Wisdom, your Power, your Justice, and your Goodness! I annihilate myself before You as an atom and, while my eyes weep tears for having smudged by my innumerable faults the mirror in which You wished to be reflected in me, a hymn of acknowledgement and love escapes from my heart for the good things with which You have filled me. I surrender myself to You who have created me only for Yourself, and I offer myself to be consumed by your fires and to serve Your glory by my annihilation!

God be blessed.

November 19, 1905

This is the end of Mother Louise Marguerite’s autobiography. We have been translating it and sending it to you piece by piece for twenty-four years. We started with Newsletter No. 22 (November 21, 1994).

Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Rev. Vergil Heier, C.M.M.

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