Remodel Your Home After Mary's Heart
Remodel Your Home After Mary's Heart
by Bernard J. LeFrois, S.V.D , + Imprimatur: 1952

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It's Time

It's time to remodel your home. Our Blessed Mother wants it. Not the home in which you are living; that may be beautiful enough. You are proud of it and you have a right to be. But what about your home in which God is living, the home of your heart?

"Do you not understand that you are God's temple, and that God's Spirit has His dwelling in you?

If anybody desecrates the temple of God, God will bring him to ruin.

It is a holy thing, this temple of God which is nothing other than your- selves." (1 Corinthians 3, 16-17)

Do I realize it? My heart is a home for God, His temple. It is a holy thing, this temple of God. If anyone desecrates God's temple, God will bring him to ruin!

These are the inspired words of Holy Scripture. How precious must the Temple of my heart be in God's sight!

Homes Destroyed

"God driven out. Satan welcomed." This is the sign over the entrance of many homes today. They have driven God from His home. They have let their heart be the camping ground of God's enemy. They have helped the enemy to destroy God's home and God's image within them.

"What is there in common between light and darkness?

What harmony between Christ and Belial?

How can a believer throw in his lot with an infidel?

How can the temple of God have any commerce with idols?

And you are the temple of the living God!" (2 Corinthians 6, 15-16)

Yes, how can a man be so ungrateful to his Lord and his God as to join sides with the enemy? How can a human heart turn traitor to the Savior?

Weigh it well! If anyone has destroyed the home of God in his heart, "God will bring him to ruin" (1 Cor. 3, 16). Eternal frustration, eternal ruin, such is the lot of the sinner. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10, 31).

A Vision of Hell

A horrible vision of Hell, that is what Mary showed the three children of Fatima.

"The Blessed Virgin opened her hands. The beam of light that was projected from them seemed to penetrate the earth. We saw, as it were, a great sea of flame into which were plunged, black and charred, devils and souls in human form, all having the appearance of glowing coals. They shrieked and howled with pain and despair, so as to strike terror and trembling into our hearts." The children never forgot the scene.

"You have had a view of Hell" said the Blessed Mother, "That is where the souls of many poor sinners go." . . . "More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason."

". . . the unquenchable fire of Hell! The worm which eats them there never dies, The fire is never quenched." (Mark 9, 44-45) "Go far from me, you that are accursed, into that eternal fire . . . Prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. 25, 41)

They have spurned the voice of the Good Shepherd whilst on earth, they have followed the suggestions of Satan. Now they are his slaves forever.

Impurity, the Royal Road to Hell

"More souls go to Hell because of the sins of the flesh than for any other reason." Mary's own word. It should impress us.

Sins of the flesh! Infidelity, divorce, adultery: marriage vows thrown to the winds! Birth control, the cancer eating its way into thousands of homes: marriage ideals trampled underfoot. "I will not serve" on their lips, the very words of Satan.

Sins of the flesh! Youth enmeshed in the habits of sin! Ridiculed is the upright and clean heart, despised is the lad who refuses to follow the crowd. Teen-agers drinking in vice out of filthy books and magazines; in shows and hang-outs.

"Make no mistake about it; it is not the debauched, the adulterous, the effeminate, the sinners against nature, the drunkards that will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6, 10)

Sins of the flesh! Children seduced and taught the abominable habits of lust at an early age by godless, lustful adults.

This is the stench that cries to Heaven and mightily provokes the wrath of God Almighty, All Holy.

Listen then to the agonizing appeal of Mary, the Mother of all these unfortunates, an appeal to sons and daughters who are speeding toward the abyss.

Mary to the Rescue

"In order to save these sinners, God wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established throughout the world."

That is Mary's last effort to prevent souls from rushing headlong into Hell.

When children are in need they go at once to their mother. But when children are in imminent danger themselves, and seem not to heed it, it is the mother who comes speedily to their rescue. That is what has happened!

Mary has come down to earth. She has shown us the horrors of Hell. She begs us to think of her Heart, that maternal Heart that bore us, and that loves us as no mother can ever hope to do.

"Listen to me, you that are my sons. . . . Listen to the teaching that makes you wise . . . . .

Blessed are they who listen to me. . . . The man who wins me . . . drinks deep of the Lord's favor. Who fails, fails at his own bitter cost; To be my enemy is to be in love with death." (Proverbs 8, 32-36)

What child of God will refuse to listen to this Blessed Mother and to the request of her Heart? What sinner will turn away? It is a mother's request. It cannot be refused.

Our Mother's Request

"Establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart." "I ask for the consecration of the whole world to my Immaculate Heart."

This is Our Mother's request. It is God's offer of the century to the sinner and to the world at large. It carries with it promises of eternal security and of global proportions: "Many souls will be saved." "There shall be peace in the world."

Has this request of our Blessed Mother been faithfully carried out? This question is meant for you.

"Do the reckless still court their own ruin?

Rash fools, will you never learn? . . . Fools, that grew weary of instruction, And would not fear the Lord. Well for them, if they had followed my counsel, If they had not spurned all the warnings I gave! Now they must eat of the harvest their own wickedness has reaped. . . . But let a man give heed to me, Peace undisturbed shall be his." (Prov. 1, 22-23, 29-33)

Is it too late? No, it is never too late. God is always the God of mercy. And even should He chastise us, it is the Divine Physician who wounds only in order to heal. The greatest of earthly chastisements are well worth the saving of our immortal souls!

Our Holy Father Takes the Initiative

Already in 1942 our Holy Father Pius XII consecrated the Church, the world, the human race to the Immaculate Heart:

"To you, to your Immaculate Heart, in this tragic hour of our history, we consign, we entrust, we consecrate Holy Church, the Mystical Body of your Son, Jesus, which is suffering and bleeding in so many places and afflicted in so many ways. And not only the Church, but all the world, rent asunder by deadly discord, aflame with the fires of hate, victim of its own iniquities. "

Six years later on May 1, 1948, the same Holy Father broadcast this plea to the entire world: "It is our will that wherever the opportunity presents itself, this consecration be made in various dioceses as well as in each parish and family. "

"My son, give me the gift of thy heart, Scan closely the path I show thee." (Prov. 23, 26)

Every parish! Every family! Every individual! That is the goal. And you are the individual Mary also has in mind. Have you done so?

"What Christian heart, no matter how lukewarm and thoughtless, could resist the voice of Mary?" (Pius XII)

The Challenge

Are we ashamed of openly practising devotion to Mary? Is it too much for pride, human respect or our "good fellow" reputation? What man is ashamed of his mother? And we are in all truth born spiritually of the Virgin Mother! Hear what the Lord says of those who are ashamed of Him:

"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I too will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven; And whoever disowns me before men, Before my Father in heaven I too will disown him." (Matt. 10, 32-33)

On the contrary, let us be proud of our parentage. This then is the challenge: See to it that our Mother's wish be carried out. Exert your influence that the consecration be made by your family, your relatives and friends, and push this project wherever you can. Think of the consequences for you and for all mankind.

In the words of our Holy Father: "Now is the time to take decisive steps and shake off this fatal lethargy" (Feb. 10, 1952). If you have not done anything in this line until now, do it today. Start now. If you have done something, do more. We will never overcome a habit of sin by a weak-hearted practice of religion. Mary wants nothing less than a consecration.

Genuine Consecration

But what is a consecration? Merely the reading off of a formula of prayer, the reciting of some set phrases?

Genuine consecration goes much deeper. When a man consecrates himself to something, he dedicates himself wholly to it. It absorbs his interest and his attention. He spends his energy on it and he belongs to that project whole-heartedly. Gradually it will bring about a transformation in him. It is like an interior remodeling of his heart.

The living of such an ideal influences our entire surroundings. The Communists are dedicated to an ideal. They wield influence everywhere. They have changed half the world.

Is the mighty Mother of God less powerful to influence the world? Will she not change and transform it, if we cooperate with her project of an all-out consecration to that Immaculate Heart? But a world transformation will only come about when millions of individuals are aflame with this ideal.

I am the Mother of fair Love, "It is I that give birth to all noble living . . . From me comes all promise of life and vigor. . . . He who listens to me will never be disappointed, He who lives by me will do no wrong." (Ecclus. 24, 24-31)

I must remodel my heart!


Genuine consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary includes a change of life, a remodeling of your heart and your interior after the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

If I am genuinely devoted and dedicated to the Immaculate Heart, the great soul of Mary will gradually influence my thoughts, my desires, my way of thinking and acting, my inclinations and my habits.

You see, there is bound to be a good influence, even a powerful influence of the Woman who is the sworn enemy of Satan, the Woman whose Son, Jesus, has come to earth to undo what the devil has done.

"The man who lives sinfully takes his character from the devil; The devil was a sinner from the first. . . . If a man is born of God, he does not live sinfully, he is true to his parentage; He cannot be a sinner, if he is born of God." (1 John 3, 8-9)

As sons of God we are born of the Immaculate Mother of Jesus. We must be true to our parentage. We will not brook sin in our heart. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

I must remodel my heart. That is the true meaning of consecration. Mary will be satisfied with nothing less.

Model Home

Mary's Immaculate Heart is the Model Home for God on which I will remodel my home for God, the home of my heart. The Son of God prepared and beautified that Heart as only a Son can. He made it unique. By its unselfish cooperation with Divine Love it won His wholehearted approval. It is truly the Model Home for all the sons of God.

"Behold thy Mother" (John 19, 26). With these words Jesus Himself directs our gaze towards His holy Mother. He has given her to us as a Mother. In directing the gaze of the sons of God upon their Mother, Jesus shows us the simplest and yet the most sublime pattern of holiness: the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

It is not difficult to remodel the home of my heart, when I can look upon the Heart of my own Blessed Mother as the Model Home, and copy the traits that make it so.

"My son, do not undervalue the corrections the Lord sends thee,

Do not be unmanned when He reproves thy faults;

It is where He loves that He bestows correction,

Like a Father whose son is dear to Him." (Prov. 3, 11-12)

By remodeling my home, I repair it along the lines of Mary's. That is the "reparation" Mary wants from me.

Blueprints for the Model Home

Our Blessed Mother doesn't do things by halves. To remodel we need blueprints. But even the blueprints Mary has unfolded before us in this one word:

"Pray the Rosary devoutly every day." That is Mary's simple plan for us. But how can that be the blueprints? The Rosary prayed properly brings before the mind the most sacred scenes that earth has ever known. Those scenes show us the Immaculate Heart in action, with Christ as the center of its aspirations. Those scenes are the blueprints!

"Hail! Thou who art full of grace; The Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women. And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb." (Luke 1, 28; 42)

Three baneful tendencies are widespread today. First, distaste for a simple life of labor. Second, repugnance to suffering of any kind. Third, forgetfulness of the future life.

The first of these evils is offset by the fidelity and diligence of Jesus and Mary to the ordinary duties of life (Joyful Mysteries). The second is offset by the love and endurance of Jesus and Mary in bearing the greatest sufferings for our sakes (Sorrowful Mysteries). The third is offset by the constant reminder of Jesus and Mary in the glory of the life to come (Glorious Mysteries).

Daily Rosary Devoutly

If our Blessed Mother found no better remedy to offer the world than those three short words, we will not presume to discard them thoughtlessly.

Do you say the Rosary daily? Many say the Rosary as they commute to work and back. Others make it a habit at the noon hour. Try it for yourself. Some groups say it in common in several factories throughout the country. Others boost the Family Rosary or the Block Rosary. Football teams are known to say the Rosary before a game. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Do you say the Rosary properly? Do you let those sacred scenes influence your life? Stop for a moment before each decade and gather your thoughts. This is serious business. The peace of the world depends upon it. My own eternal security may be bound up with it. It may mean the grace for me to avoid a definite occasion of sin. It's remodel or ruin.

Holy Mary, great Mother of God, Pray for us, sinners, Pray now, O Mother, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

By daily gazing on these blueprints, we learn how to build for eternity, to beautify with virtue that has real value in God's eyes, to decorate with the gold of divine and everlasting charity. Then our hearts are remodeled on Mary's own Heart.

Home Remodeled

One thing above all is learned from the Immaculate Heart of Mary: to avoid sin and abhor it. This is the cleansing of the home of our hearts. Mary is without sin. We are sinners, weak and changeable, prone to evil inclinations. But an honest effort to remodel after the Model Home will bring results. Mary will obtain the grace for us to turn away from sinful habits, and also the wonderful grace of constant love of her Divine Son, which keeps the interior of our home purified.

Yet that is only the first step. The home must also be adorned. Mary's great faith must blossom in our heart; her submission to God's will in all the details of an ordinary life, her compassionate suffering with the Savior; her love of prayer, her unquenchable charity that fed upon sacrifice. Each one of us can find the pattern he needs.

Such a heart, remodeled on Mary's Immaculate Heart, becomes a great power-house for good on earth, amid the sorrows and joys of daily life. Of such is the Legion that Mary is gathering around her to fight the great Dragon. Said God to Satan:

"She shall crush thy head And thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." (Gen. 3, 15)

What is there to fear from the side of hell and Satan, from persecution and death itself, if we are one with the great Mother of God, Mary, most holy?

Influence Your Surroundings

A prominent business man in a large manufacturing company makes the following avowal: "Throughout the 25 years of my business career, our Lord and His Blessed Mother were in the midst of our daily activities. I took the words of the Master to heart: 'Without Me you can do nothing.' He made no exceptions. Business was included too. So I made religion the basic solution for the manifold difficulties that turned up every other day.

"To one of the managers given to drink, I counselled a return to his religious convictions, promising that I would pray to our Blessed Mother for him. To a discouraged bookkeeper, on the verge of giving up her job, I briefly explained the Lord's Passion and the purpose of suffering. The results in both cases have proved the correctness of the procedure.

"Regularly I passed out Catholic papers and magazines to those interested. On Good Friday I granted a half-day to all employees who wanted to attend church services. In a hundred different ways, without ostentation, the hearts of our fellowmen can be directed towards Christ and His Mother. "

"You are the salt of the earth. If the salt loses its taste, What is there left to give taste to it? . . . You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hidden if it is built on a mountain top." (Matthew 5, 13-14)

You Can Change the World

Back in 1870 a little district in Italy had no parish priest. Ten mothers made up their minds to get together once a month to pray that God would give His Church more priests and religious. Only after they had kept that up for eleven years did they get their own parish priest. Did they stop praying then?

No, just the opposite took place. They kept on praying and got all the mothers of the district to join in. The result? Over 500 youths have gone forth from that little district as priests, brothers, sisters. What a transformation! How did it happen?

The secret is this: these mothers began to realize that if they wanted priests, they had to begin right by remodeling their own homes. Their lives became more like Mary's life, the atmosphere of their homes more like the atmosphere of Nazareth, and their children more like Mary's Son, Jesus.

That was the atmosphere in which ideal vocations sprouted. The children learned to appreciate real and lasting values. They wanted to become something worth while in life, something noble, godlike. They became priests, they became brothers, nuns; they became ideal Catholic parents who in turn planted the seed of vocation in their own children's hearts.

That is what happens when you have begun to remodel your heart after that of the Immaculate Heart. A change comes over you. You see how foul sin really is, how valuable is virtue. You begin to live your ideal of a son of God and a son of the Blessed Mother.

Now if that happens in a hundred souls, think of the influence on the surroundings. What if it happens in a thousand hearts scattered over the country? In a million? In 400,000,000 Catholics all over the world?

Hearken, then, to the recent plea of our Holy Father: "The root of modern evils . . . is lethargy of the spirit, weakness of the will and coldness of the heart . . . .

"Your Shepherd and Father charges you today to launch a mighty re-awakening of thought and action. This re-awakening is a duty for everyone without exception--clergy and people, those in authority, families, groups, individuals--along the entire front of the complete renewal of Christian life.

"Having had recourse once again to the goodness of God and the mercy of Mary, each one of the faithful and every man of good will must re-examine with a courage worthy of the great moments of human history, what he can and must do personally as his own contribution to the saving power of God, in order to help a world which is started on the road to ruin.

"We sincerely hope . . . that Our eyes shall see not only cities, but nations, continents, the entire human race return to Christ" (Pius XII, Feb. 10, 1952).

Program of Action

1. For all times: Determine to keep far from your heart and home objects used for sinful purposes, reading matter and pictures unfit for God's chosen ones, company displeasing to the Immaculate Heart. Determine, moreover, not to be enslaved and dominated by the goods of this world, be they food or drink, radio or television, money or sports; but to use all such things with moderation as our Blessed Mother taught us while on earth. These things are means to our eternal happiness in Heaven. Show that you are your own master, or rather, Mary is the mistress.

As a loyal son of Mary, let the crucifix and the Catholic Bible have a prominent place in your home. Remember: remodel or ruin. A glance at the crucifix and a paragraph from the Word of God will give you greater light and peace and strength than hours of merely arguing over politics or of television programs.

2. Annually: set aside a day in the year on which you make a solemn consecration of yourself, your home and family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and draw up a plan now to remodel your home. Prepare for this solemn consecration by a sincere Confession and a devout Holy Communion. Repeat this annually on the same day, or even more frequently. Our Lady's feast days are fitting occasions for this renewal, especially the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (August 22), or any First Saturday.

3. Monthly: Make a special effort, even though it costs, to keep the First Saturdays. Mary's wonderful promise to those who keep the first Saturday five times in succession, is the greatest insurance policy for eternal life ever heard of. Your conditions are simple: Confession, Communion, the Rosary, keeping Mary company for fifteen minutes while meditating on those sacred mysteries, in the spirit of reparation for all the sins committed against that Immaculate Heart. Let this be your monthly checking of account books. How did things go last month? Have I kept the home of my heart in line with the Model Home? How about this new month?

4. Weekly: Nothing is more important and more pleasing to Mary than that you carry out faithfully your Sunday obligations. The Mass is the great sacrifice of Mary's Son for the sins and the needs of yourself and your family. If you can help it, don't let anything come between you and the Mass. Learn more about the Mass and encourage your family to do likewise. It only needs a bit more effort to receive our Lord weekly in Communion. The immense treasure of God Himself is at your disposal.

5. Daily: A short morning offering through Mary's Heart of all that you are and all that you have. The daily Rosary. A short renewal of your consecration before retiring.

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Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(St. Louis de Montfort's Consecration)

"I. N., a faithless sinner--renew and ratify today in thy hands, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

"In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity. Amen."


Morning offering of the Apostleship of Prayer: O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, for all the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates and in particular for the intention recommended this month.

Short Personal Consecration: O my Queen, O my Mother, I give myself entirely to thee, and to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve. Wherefore good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me as thy property and possession.

Short renewal: O my Queen, O my Mother, remember that I am thine own. Keep me, guard me as thy property and possession. Or: I am all thine, O Mary, and all that I have is thine.

Memorare: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before Thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

After each Decade of the Rosary: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.

Reparation: O my God, I believe in Thee, I adore Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.

In temptation: Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. My God, I love Thee! All for Thee, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation. Jesus, Mary, help!

Perfect contrition: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good and deserving of all my love. (Be sure to say this before retiring each night. Add three Hail Marys for purity, with the ejaculation: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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