The Secret of Mary
by St. Louis de Montfort
-------- Part I --------
THE SECRET OF MARY
DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SLAVERY
A Secret of Sanctity
1. Predestinate soul, here is a secret the Most High has taught me, which I have not been able to find in any book, old or new.  I confide it to you, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, on condition:
As I have not much time for writing, nor you for reading, I shall say everything as briefly as possible.
1. The holy slavery of Jesus in Mary was known, no doubt, before St. Louis De Montfort's time; yet he rightly calls this devotion a secret: first, because there lies in it, as in all things supernatural, a hidden treasure which grace alone can help us to find and utilize; secondly, because there are but few souls that enter into the spirit of this devotion and go beyond its exterior practices. Again, as no one had as yet thoroughly explained this devotion nor shaped it into a definite method of spiritual life, St. Louis De Montfort could say of a truth, "I have not been able to find this secret in any book, old or new."
2. These words show how highly St. Louis De Montfort esteemed this devotion. As there are professional secrets committed only to men who know how to appreciate and exploit them, so this secret of sanctity must be entrusted only to such souls as truly concern themselves with their perfection; and following the recommendation of Our Lord not to profane holy things [Matt. 7: 6], De Montfort preserves this secret with a holy jealousy that denotes respect for Divine things.
3. "This solemn warning of the Saint is an application of the Parable of the Talents reported in Matthew 25. The unfaithful servant buried the talent he received and was condemned by the Master for his culpable negligence and for his disdain for the gifts of God. It is also a condemnation of the passivity or inertia taught by the false spirituality of Quietism or semi-Quietism that existed in St. De Montfort's time and that was condemned by Rome. The Saint does not mean that one is obliged to follow his plan of spiritual life in order to be saved, for in his Treatise on the True Devotion to Mary, which is a development of the Secret of Mary, he explicitly says that we can attain Divine union by other roads, but that his method is an EASY, SHORT, PERFECT and SECURE WAY that leads us to union with Our Lord."
4. These words contain three important counsels: 1) This devotion must be practiced in the ordinary course of life as well as in the most important actions. 2) Only when we steadily persevere in it, and not merely try it for a few weeks, shall we be able to judge of its excellence and know its fruit. 3) It is necessary to remove all hindrances to this devotion, namely, sin and secret affection for that which is sinful.7. Let us not make light of this recommendation. It is an important one. If many persons do not become acquainted with the secret of this devotion, it is because they forget that in order to be allowed to enter this "Garden Enclosed," as Mary is called, they must entreat the Holy Ghost, "Who searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" [1 Cor. 2: 10], to grant them that favor. [See The Tree of Life and Prayer to Jesus.]
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