In the rite of receiving Holy Baptism, we make three renunciations; one renounces the world, the flesh and the devil.
The first enemy of the soul is the world, that is, every set of the maxims and doctrines contrary to right reason and to the teachings of Jesus. The whole world is placed under the power of Satan and the three concupiscence dominate you: greed of riches, the pride of life and impurity.
Jesus Christ is the enemy of the world and in the last prayer He raised to the Divine Father before the Passion, He said: “I do not pray for the world!” (St. John, XVII, 9). Therefore, we must not love the world, nor the things that are in the world.
Let us contemplate the conduct of the worldly! They do not care about the soul, but only about the body and temporal things. They do not think of spiritual goods, of the treasures of future life, but they seek out pleasures and are always restless in heart, because they seek happiness and cannot find it. They are similar to feverish, thirsty, greedy for a drop of water and go from pleasure to pleasure.
The mundane persons being under the rule of impure demons, they run where they can caress the perfidious passions; the cinemas, the games, the meetings, the dances, the beaches, the strolls in immodest dress … all this is the end of their life.
Instead, Jesus Christ gently invites us to follow him: “If anyone wants to come behind me, deny himself, take up his cross and follow me! … What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and then loses his soul? » (St. Matthew, XVI, 24 …»
What, in fact, does it benefit to man if he gains the whole world and then loses his soul?
Our Lord promises Paradise, eternal happiness, but to those who make sacrifices, fighting against the attractions of the perverse world.
If the world is an enemy of Jesus, it is also of Our Lady, and whoever cultivates devotion to the Virgin must hate the conduct of the worldly. We cannot serve two masters, that is to live the Christian life and follow the path of the world. Unfortunately, there are those who delude themselves; but with God it is not a joking matter.
It is not uncommon to find a person in the church in the morning and then see her in the evening, in an indecent dress, in a ballroom, in the arms of mundane men. We find souls, who communicate in honor of Our Lady and in the evening cannot give up a show, where their purity of soul is so much in danger.
There are those who recite the Holy Rosary and sing the praises of the Virgin and then in a conversation with the mundane take foolishly part in their worldly speeches … that would make one blush. They would like to be devotees of Our Lady and at the same time follow the life of the world. Poor blind souls! They do not detach themselves from the world for fear of others’ criticism and they are not afraid of divine judgments!
The world loves the extras, the vanities, the shows; but whoever wishes to honor Mary must imitate Her in recollection and in humility; these are the Christian virtues very dear to Our Lady.
To succeed victorious over the world, it is necessary to despise worldly esteem and to win against human respect.
A soldier, by the name of Belsoggiorno, recited seven Pater and seven Hail Marys’ each day in honor of the seven joys and seven sorrows of Our Lady. If during the day he missed the time, he would do this prayer before going to bed. When he forgot it, if he remembered while he was resting, he would get up and give the Virgin the act of homage. Naturally the comrades laughed at him. Belsoggiorno laughed off at the criticism and loved the Madonna more than his companions.
One day in battle, our soldier was on the front line, awaiting the signal to attack. He remembered not having said the usual prayer; then he signed himself with the cross and, kneeling down, he recited the prayer, while the soldiers who were near him were laughing at him.
Eventually he went into battle, which was bloody. What was not the wonder of Belsoggiorno when, after the fight, he saw those who had mocked him for praying, were lying on the ground as dead corpses! Instead he remained unharmed; during the rest of the war the Madonna assisted him so that he never brought any wound back.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Destroy the bad books, the dangerous magazines and the immodest images that you have at home.
Prayer to Mary:
– Mother most pure, pray for us! (Mater purissima, ora pro nobis!)
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI