Today we honour the memory of the French priest, founder and Dominican tertiary Saint Louis de Montfort, who had an extraordinary devotion to Our Lady. His book The Secret of the Rosary, is still in print today, and read by many.
St. Louis considered Consecration to Our Lady as the most perfect way of renewing one’s baptismal promises. His spirituality has been followed by millions, including several popes.
Saint Louis was canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1947 and the cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is being pursued.
In yesterday’s Mass – in the first reading – we witnessed the controversy in the Early Church concerning whether converts to Christianity had to be circumcised and obliged to follow the Law of Moses. St. Paul was adamantly in favour of freedom from the Jewish Law. But he didn’t come to this conclusion on his own. He visited the Apostles in Jerusalem and consulted with St. Peter, the acknowledged head and leader of the Church.
The controversy over Mosaic Law and practice is no longer a concern to us. That problem has been settled once and for all; but the manner in which it was settled is of importance to us even today. St. Paul needed to know what the Church thought about the matter. Whether we like it or not, in the Catholic Church there is no private interpretation when it comes to Law and practice. To put it a bit more positively, God has revealed his truth, not to individuals, but to the Church. The Second Vatican Council, in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, declared that “it has pleased God to save men and to make them holy not as individuals without any mutual bonds, but by forming them into a single people” (Lumen Gentium, 9).
The Mass is the most perfect manifestation of the nature of the Church. We celebrate the Mass, not as individuals, but as one people united in faith with fellow Catholics throughout the world, and also back across the centuries to the time of the Apostles themselves.