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33 Days to Morning Glory Wk 3 of 7

May 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

33 Days to Morning Glory Week 3 of 7

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The Power of Humility

We’ll close these reflections on the wonderful benefits of Marian consecration by letting St. Louis describe how this way is also a secure path, meaning that, as we walk it, we’re particularly protected from and defended against evil:

the-good-portion-pictureMary puts herself around [her true children], and accompanies them “like an army in battle array” (Cant. 6:3).
Shall a man who has an army of a hundred thousand soldiers around him fear his enemies? A faithful servant of Mary, surrounded by her protection…has still less to fear. This good Mother…would rather dispatch battalions of millions of angels to assist one of her servants than that it should ever be said that a faith servant of Mary, who trusted in her, had had to succumb to the malice, the number, and the vehemence of his enemies.
– 33 Days to Morning Glory, p. 46 (Last paragraphs of Day 7)

In a world where the Catholic Church is constantly accused of launching a war on women, of thrusting horrible and even inconceivable virtues upon them – such as meekness and humility – that are intended to do nothing but oppress them, of not encouraging strength and power among women, but rather, hoarding all the “good” stuff for men, I find it remarkably ironic that the Queen of all women – our Queen Mother – is at least as strong as “a hundred thousand soldiers.”

I know, I know. I shouldn’t get into a cat fight about “feminist mantra.” I’d lose anyway. I’m sure nothing I have to say would be taken seriously, as I fail to recognize the dire nature of the patriarchy to which I’m subjected by following the teachings of the Church.

All kidding aside, when you ponder the evidence, don’t they have a point? After all, we are called to imitate and honor a meek and humble Virgin. That woman who said nary a word in scripture but, “Be it done unto me according to Thy Word,” her Magnificat (in which she gave all the glory to God) and those famous words in Cana, “Do whatever He tells you?” That “follower” who never forged her own path!  Do I dare question the wisdom of the world on this issue?

But wait a minute. Who exactly is this Mary I’m called to imitate? Is she a meek and humble virgin? Or is she a powerful warrior?

Of course, she's both.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Mary’s power does not lie in her ability to “pull herself up by her own boot straps.” Nor does it lie in her drive and determination. No. Counterintuitive as it may be, Mary’s power actually lies in her perfect humility. One of the greatest paradoxes of our Faith is that in order to be powerful, we must first be weak. As Saint Paul tells us, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (1 Cor. 12:9-10).

With her Fiat, Mary, a lowly handmaid, lived this passage perfectly.

Responding to all the graces and treasures lavished upon her by her Father in heaven, she handed herself over completely; submitted herself to His Holy Will at all costs. In all piety, she gave herself completely and entirely to His plan. If only we would all do that – imagine how amazing this world would be!  Unfortunately, the chances of each of us completely surrendering our wills to God are slim, as we are all handicapped by something from which Mary was protected from her very conception – original sin. We are trapped in what de Montfort refers to as “earthen vessels.”

Due to our corrupt nature, we are ever in need of protection from the Blessed Virgin, for we do not possess that perfect humility with which she was blessed. De Montfort explains:

…The devils, who are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us. They watch day and night for the favorable moment. For that end they go round and about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one moment, by a sin, all the graces and merits we have gained for many years. Their malice, their experience, their stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily pillaged. Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness! Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of humility. They thought themselves capable of guarding their own treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace. It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves, though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be robbed by leaving them to themselves. Alas! If they…would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of justice on herself to preserve it for them.

The notion of “humility” being related to power in any way, shape or form is a foreign concept today, especially in America. But how’s the feminist philosophy been working for us? Rising divorce rates, historically high rates of poverty among women, objectification of women, even difficulty conceiving for women who wanted to “conquer the world” before “settling down.” The list goes on and on.

If we value our very souls, we must turn to Mary for protection. Heaven forbid we be left to our own devices! As we turn to her, perhaps we should imitate her as well. Her perfect “YES” to God has given her the power to move mountains. Despite having corrupt bodies and damaged souls, we can do the same. When we offer everything to her, she will take what we have and use it to mold each of us into the image of her Son. She will protect us from our enemies, through the power given her by God because of her perfect union with His Holy Will. And through her intercession, God’s supernatural grace will allow us to say Yes too. And who knows – we, too, may find ourselves wielding awesome power in our lifetimes.  The power to convert loved ones who have strayed, to unite our families under God and to inspire complete strangers to come to know Christ through His Holy Church – awesome power… born of our own meekness and humility.


For Discussion:

1. Do you have difficulty letting go of “worldly” thinking regarding the value of meekness and humility?  If so, what can you do about it?  If not, please share ideas that have helped you to release yourself from the world's clutches?

2. Open discussion: Feel free to comment on any topic from this past week's reading.

Reading Assignment:  Day 10-Day 16.  If possible, spend much time each day meditating on the reading.

NOTE:  Please join us for a webinar with Father Gaitley, scheduled for May 18!

We are asking for a small donation of $20.00 to provide a stipend for Fr. Gaitley as a thank you for the webinar and for all he does to bless and build up the Church.

Please register for Fr. Michael Gaitley “33 Days to Morning Glory” on Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM CDT  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at

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