33 Days to Morning Glory, Day 4

De Montfort's Consecration (Part Two)

Yesterday, I said that St. Louis gives two special emphases in his teaching on Marian consecration: (1) a renewal of our baptismal vows and (2) a particularly intimate gift of ourselves to Mary. We covered the first emphasis yesterday. Now let's look at the second, beginning by asking the question, "Why should we give ourselves to Mary?"

We should give ourselves to Mary in imitation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. After all, didn't Jesus give himself to Mary from the moment of the Incarnation? Yes, he did. And aren't we called to imitate Christ? Yes, we are. But isn't Mary a creature? Yes she is, but she's unique. Not only is Mary free from sin and totally conformed to God's will, but by God's will and good pleasure - as we learned from the introduction - Mary has a special role in our sanctification. Therefore, we should give ourselves to the Mother of God, so she can help form us into saints, into other Christs. We should give her our yes. But St. Louis takes all of this a step further. His yes to Mary is particularly deep, a profoundly intimate gift of himself to Mary:

This devotion consists, then, in giving ourselves entirely to Our Lady, in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her. We must give her (1) our body, with all its senses and its members; (2) our soul, with all its powers; (3) our exterior goods of fortune, whether present or to come; (4) our interior and spiritual goods, which are our merits and our virtues, and our good works, past, present, and future.

This fourth point is most interesting. By this aspect of our consecration to Mary - according to St. Louis - our gift of self to her goes even beyond what is required when people offer themselves to God through religious vows. For instance, by virtue of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, a religious sister does not give God the right to dispose of the grace of all her good works nor does she give up her merits. Allow me to bring into better focus just how radical a gift of oneself this Marian consecration really is.

First, in regard to others, if we give Mary the right to dispose of the graces of our good works, then this means we cannot unconditionally apply such graces to whomever we choose. So, for instance, if I make such an offering to Mary, I cannot insist that the graces from a sickness I am offering up go to the person I want them applied to. Second, in regard to ourselves, if we consecrate ourselves to Mary, then when we die, we won't get to appear before God clothed with the merits of our prayers and good works. In fact, we'll have to appear before God with empty hands, because we will have given all our merits to Mary.

If the radical nature of this offering has got you worried, don't be worried. Tomorrow, we'll see why this offering is not to be feared, and in fact, why it's incredibly beautiful and completely worth it. Until then, we can reflect on the second part of de Montfort's formula for Marian consecration, which speaks of this intimate gift of ourselves to Mary:

In the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose you this day for my Mother and Queen. I deliver and consecrate to you, as your 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 you the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to your good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and eternity.

Today's Prayer:
Come, Holy Spirit, living in Mary. Help me to give myself entirely to Jesus through Mary.


You might also like...

On March 25, the Marian Fathers joined Pope Francis and the world in the prayer of consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart.

On the Solemnity of the Annunciation, England's Catholics will consecrate themselves to Mary using Fr. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory.

The way of consecration to Jesus through Mary is a quick and easy way to holiness. And what is holiness?