The devotional outlook of the Legion is reflected in its prayers. The Legion is built in the first place upon a profound faith in God and in the love he bears his children. He wills to draw great glory from our efforts, and he will purify them and render them fruitful and persevering.

We swing between the opposite extremes of apathy and feverish anxiety because we regard him as detached from our work. Instead, let us realise that we only have the good purpose because he has implanted it, and that we shall only bring it to fruition if he sustains us all the time. The success of the enterprise in hand is more by far to him than it is to us. Infinitely more than we, does he desire that conversion we are seeking. We wish to be saints. He yearns for it a million times more than we.

The legionaries’ essential mainstay must be this knowledge of the companionship of God, their good Father, in their twofold work of sanctifying themselves and serving their neighbour. Nothing can stand in the way of success except want of trust. If there be but faith enough, God will utilize us to conquer the world for him.

 “For whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.” (1 Jn 5:4)

  “To believe means ‘to abandon oneself’ to the truth of the word of the living God, knowing and humbly recognizing how unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways’ (Rom 11:33).

Mary, who by the eternal will of the Most-High stands, one may say, at the very centre of those ‘inscrutable ways’ and ‘unsearchable judgments’

of God, conforms herself to them in the dim light of faith, accepting fully and with a ready heart everything that is decreed in the divine

plan” (R Mat 14).

 

Spiritual Reading: Chapter 5: Part 1. God and Mary (page 18-19)

 

Under God, the Legion is built upon devotion to Mary, “that ineffable miracle of the Most High.” (Pope Pius IX) But what is the place of Mary herself in relation to God? It is that he brought her, as he did all the other children of earth, out of nothing; and though he has since then exalted her to a point of grace immense and inconceivable, nevertheless, in comparison to her Maker, she still remains as nothing. Indeed, she is — far more than any other — his creature, because he has wrought more in her than in any other of his creatures. The greater the things he does to her, the more she becomes the work of his hands.

 

Very great things he has done to her. From all eternity, the idea of her was present to his mind along with that of the Redeemer. He associated her to the intimacies of his plans of grace, making her the true mother of his Son and of those united to that Son. He did all these things because, in the first place, he would gain from Mary herself a return greater than he would from all other pure creatures together. In the second place, he thereby intended, in a way which our minds cannot adequately grasp, to enhance the glory which he would receive from ourselves also. Thus, the prayer and loving service, with which we recompense Mary, our mother and the helper of our salvation, can represent no loss to him who made her so. What is given to her goes none the less surely and fully to him. But there is question of more than undiminished transmission; there is question of increase. And Mary is more than a faithful messenger. She has been set by God to be a vital element in his gracious scheme, in such sort that both his glory and our grace are the greater by reason of her presence there.

 

As it is the pleasure of the Eternal Father so to receive through Mary the homages intended for him, so too he has been graciously pleased to appoint her to be the way by which shall pass to men the various outpourings of his munificent goodness and omnipotence, beginning with the cause of them all—the Second Divine Person made man, our true life, our only salvation.

 

“If I will to make myself dependent on the Mother, it is in order to become the slave of the Son. If I aspire to become her possession, it is in order to render more surely to God the homage of my subjection.” (St. Ildephonsus)

 

The Allocutio:

This chapter is entitled the Devotional Outlook of the Legion, meaning that it is explaining the major parts of the spirituality of the Legion.  One would expect for Frank Duff, the author of the handbook, to start with something like the Rosary or the Magnificat.  Instead, he focuses on something more basic.  What is the relation of Mary to God?  In Mary we see a soul entirely consumed by the Divine Love.  She is, as St. Louis de Montfort stresses, a creature.  Yet she is, according to Frank Duff, the most “creaturely creature” that God has ever created, meaning she was entirely the work of his hands because she was always open to his workings in her life and in her soul.  Mary, therefore, was drawn up into the divine plan in a way most incredible.  She was given (and accepted freely) the great task of being the Mother of God.  In this way, God has glorified himself through Mary his creature and receives much glory from her in and of herself.  But he also receives glory from us when we praise Mary’s merits and graces.  Nothing that she has came from her alone.  It all came from God- even her identity.  Consider this: how would we know of Mary if she hadn’t become the Mother of God?  Why would we praise Mary as the Immaculate Conception, if there was no Person it was preparing for?  Why would we praise her perpetual virginity if it was not miraculously preserved before, during, and after giving birth to the God-man?  Who is Mary the Mother of?  God- Jesus Christ.  Even her Assumption is the first fruit of Christ’s glorious Resurrection and a special privilege of Mary’s for having borne the Son of God.  Mary’s entire identity is wrapped up in the identity and mission of Jesus Christ.  There is no distinction, no competition for honor between Jesus and Mary when we praise and honor Mary.  It all goes to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.