Spiritual Reading: Chapter 6: The Duties of Legionaries Towards Mary, Section 1; page 25-26

The honouring of the Legion devotion to Mary by serious meditation and zealous practice is placed on each member as a solemn trusteeship to the Legion. It is to be regarded as an essential part of legionary duty, ranking before any other obligation of membership. (See chapter 5, The Devotional Outlook of the Legion, and appendix 5, Confraternity of Mary Queen of All Hearts)

 

The Legion aims to bring Mary to the world as the infallible means of winning the world to Jesus. Manifestly, the legionary without Mary in his heart can play no part in this. He is divorced from the legionary purpose. He is an unarmed soldier, a broken link, or rather as a paralysed arm — attached to the body, it is true — but of what use for work!

 

The study of every army (and no less that of the Legion) must be to bind the individual soldier to the leader, so that the latter’s plan passes smoothly into concerted action. The army acts as one. To this end is all the elaborate machinery of drill and discipline directed. In addition, there is found in the soldiers of all the great armies of history a devotion of a passionate sort for their leader, intensifying their union with him, and rendering easy the sacrifices which the execution of his plan called for. Of this leader it could be said that he was the inspiration and soul of his soldiers, in their hearts, one with them, and so forth. These phrases describe the operation of his influence and in a measure express a truth.

 

But at best such unity is only an emotional or mechanical one. Not so the relation between the Christian soul and Mary its Mother. To say that Mary is in the soul of the faithful legionary would be to picture a union infinitely less effective than that which actually exists, the nature of which is summed up by the Church in such titles of Our Lady as: “Mother of Divine Grace,” “Mediatrix of all Graces.” In these titles is expressed a sway of Mary over the life of the soul, so complete that even the closest of earthly unions — the mother and the babe unborn—is inadequate to describe its intimacy. Other natural processes can help to make real to the mind this place of Mary in the operations of grace. The blood is not distributed except by the heart, the eyes are the necessary link with the world of vision, and the bird—despite the beating of its wings — cannot lift itself without the support of the air. So, the soul, according to the divinely established order, cannot without Mary lift itself to God or do God’s work.

 

Not being a creation either of the reason or of the emotions but a Divine arrangement, this dependence on Mary exists even though it is not adverted to. But it can be, and should be, immeasurably strengthened by a deliberate participation in it. In intensity of union with her, who is (as St. Bonaventure says) the dispenser of our Lord’s Blood, lie marvels of sanctification and an incredible source of power over the souls of others. Those whom the plain gold of the apostolate could not ransom from the captivity of sin are freed — everyone — when Mary studs that gold with the jewels of the Precious Blood which she has in her gift.

 

Allocutio: In this passage, we see just how essential Mary is to our Legionary devotion.  Without this devotion, our life and work as a Legionary is meaningless and useless.  We are far more dependent upon the Mary than we could ever guess.  St. Louis de Montfort describes her as “Sovereign of heaven and earth, General of His armies, Keeper of His wonders, Restorer of the human race, Mediatrix of men, Destroyer of the enemies of God, and loyal companion of His greatness and His Triumphs.”  (True Devotion, 28)   In another place, he describes her as having been made by God the Treasurer of all that he possesses, distributing graces and gifts to whoever she wishes.  Jesus, who is God, does not change the ways in which he acts.  If he came to the world by the prayers and yes of this lowly maiden, if he began his public ministry at the request of his mother, and if he sent his Holy Spirit to the world by her prayers, we can be sure that he continues to act through her in his dealings with the world.  She is his most perfect creation and is humanity’s single, solitary boast.  God has seen fit to bless the world through Mary in the Incarnation, the Cross, and many other ways.  We can be sure that God continues to bless the world through her in his graces and help to those who seek to follow Jesus Christ.  We can be sure that whether a Christian acknowledges this great influence of Mary in his or her soul or not, we will have an ever greater influence in the world insofar as we acknowledge and accept her gifts and graces. We do this by forming ourselves into her army, looking to her as our commander and guide.  She is more than just a commander.  She is our life support, the one who gives us absolutely everything we need.