On her feast day, we offer a few excerpts from the Autobiography which St. Margaret Mary Alacoque wrote in obedience to her superiors. Her flawless humility and obedience made her the perfect choice to reawaken devotion to Our Lord’s most Sacred Heart, and this extraordinary saint still inspires us with her devotion to serving Our Lord with mortifications and the most perfect obedience.
When you read the following words of this saint, do not get disheartened, but instead be thankful that we have Our Lady of the Rosary to keep us close to her Immaculate Heart. For she leads her children securely to the safety of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and we know that He has reserved a place for her children.
St. Margaret Mary’s heroic virtues seem to place her on a hopelessly high level, too far above us to even aspire towards, but she arrived there by love, and so we too, petition our Blessed Mother for the grace to ever love her Son more and more. We beg her for generous, sacrificial hearts. The following is a personal favorite; it’s useful to review from time to time to ward off self-indulgence and renew our resolution. In her own words . . .
Saint Margaret Mary’s Recipe for Success:
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee!† . He willed that I should receive everything as coming from Him without procuring anything for myself; that I should abandon all to Him without disposing of anything; and that I should thank Him for suffering as well as for enjoyment.
† . On the most painful and humiliating occasions I should consider that I not only deserved these, but even greater ones, and should offer the pain I experienced for the persons who afflicted me.
† . Further, I was always to speak of Him with great respect, of my neighbor with esteem and compassion, and of myself never, or, at least, briefly and with contempt, unless for His glory He should make me do otherwise.
† . I was ever to attribute all the good and the glory to His sovereign Greatness, and all the evil to myself; never to seek consolation out of Him, and even when He granted it to me, to renounce and offer it to Him.
† . I was to cling to nothing, to empty and despoil myself of everything, to love nothing but Him, in Him and for the love of Him, to see in all things naught but Him and the interests of His glory in complete forgetfulness of myself.
† . And though I was to do all my actions for Him, He willed that His Divine Heart should have a special part in each one. For example, when at recreation, I was to offer Him Its share by enduring sufferings, humiliations, mortifications and the rest, with which He would always provide me, and which on that account I was to accept willingly.
† . In like manner in the refectory I was to give up for Its satisfaction whatever was most to my taste, and so on with all my other exercises.
† . He likewise forbade me to judge, accuse or condemn anyone but myself.
† . He gave me many other instructions, and as I was astonished at their number, He told me to fear nothing, for He was a good Master, being as powerful to have His teaching carried into effect, as He was all-wise both to teach and to govern well.
† . Thus I can affirm that, whether I would or not, I was obliged to do what He wished in spite of my natural repugnance.
Note that Our Lord requires that Saint Margaret Mary consider herself deserving of painful humiliations, that she was to consider herself with contempt. This is a bit “off-putting” to modern ears, isn’t it? That is meant to show you how far we have strayed! We all tend to feel entitled to think well of ourselves and only desire to follow devotions that reassure our very sensitive natures with flattery and cloying platitudes. But Saint Margaret Mary, like Saint John of the Cross, understands that the only way forward is through “less of me, less of me and more of Thee, until all is Thee.”
THE PRAYER OF ST. MARGARET MARY
My God, I offer Thee Thy well-beloved Son, in thanksgiving for all the benefits I have received from Thee. I offer Him as my adoration, my petition, my oblation and my resolutions; I offer Him as my love and my all. Receive, O Eternal Father, this offering for whatever Thou willest of me, since I have nothing to offer which is not unworthy of Thee, except Jesus, my Saviour, Whom Thou hast given me with so much love. Amen.
CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS (Composed by St. Margaret Mary.)
O Sacred Heart of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O most merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited.
I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee. I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved on Thee, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen.
PRAYER TO ST. MARGARET MARY
O St. Margaret Mary, permitted by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to become partaker of Its divine treasures, obtain for us, we beseech thee, from that adorable Heart, the graces that we need. We ask for them with boundless confidence; may the divine Heart be willing to grant them to us through thy intercession, so that once again It may, through thee, be glorified and loved. Amen.
(St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary TAN Books. Kindle Edition.)
Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey: First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.