Saint Louis is one of Holy Souls Hermitage heroes for autobiographical reasons of unrepeatable circumstances. I did the consecration as a seminarian… um… now quite a few years ago! That was really, really good for me. He caught me in a time of confusion and set me on the right path. But is this consecration good for others too?
In the post linked above, an apologia is offered for what contemporary Americana might consider to be over the top flowery language (typical French enthusiasm of the time) and exaggerated rhetoric (once considered one of the high sciences). He was instrumental in returning France to the faith by way of enormous “missions”, which many tens of thousands of people would attend, get back to the sacraments, and be put on the path to heaven once again.
Soon after this, the dark days of the Enlightenment would see Enlightenment child Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre personally see to the death of some 25,000 Conventual Franciscans, besides all the other priests and nuns laity murdered in this Catholic Holocaust which so many Frenchmen celebrate to this day. Don’t think it can’t happen here. Everything is already in place.
I could mention all those deeply affected by Saint Louis’ devotion to Mary, such as Blessed John Paul II, with the famous “Totus Tuus” in the Papal Coat of Arms, and wax poetic about why the consecration to Jesus through Mary is good for everyone, but I’ll let you read his words yourself.
Instead, I’m not going to try to convince anyone to make the consecration. Instead, I’m going to convince you why it’s not necessary, not in the least. And when I’m done, I think that you’ll be eager to learn as much as you can by ordering books providing you with the saint’s preparation for and exemplar of a consecration to Jesus through Mary so that you can make that total consecration to Jesus through Mary. Hah!
The only point I’m going to make concerns one of Jesus’ “words” on the cross:
“Jesus, then, seeing His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, said to the mother, ‘Woman! Behold! Your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold! Your Mother!’” (John 19,26-27).
Now, isn’t it true that such a consecration is merely secondary, and, if anything, merely an unneccesary confirmation on our part of what Jesus has already done for us in a primary way? Isn’t a consecration like this always a bit exterior to the reality of the situation? Isn’t becoming a “slave of Mary” as de Montfort puts it, absolutely nothing compared to what Jesus did in putting us right into the Holy Family, in making Mary our mother in the midst of His passion and death, in the midst of our Redemption? What can we do that can compare with that? Obviously Jesus wants us to be totally given over to His mother… our mother, the Immaculate Conception, just as He is given over to her as the greatest, most loving Son ever to be born of woman; so… are not our meager efforts almost insulting? Don’t we lower the standard He put before us by taking on such a lowly however total consecration? How can we be more directly put into the Holy Family than what Jesus has done for us.
We can’t do anything better than what Jesus has done for us, and we shouldn’t try! But… but… consider this:
Jesus, in redeeming us, in saving us, makes us, as Saint Paul says, members of His body, the Mystical Body of Christ. He, the Head of that Mystical Body, is born of Mary. As Saint Bernard asks, is she to be the mother of a monster, of a head only, and not also of the rest of the body? Exactly right. She is to give birth to the entire Son of God, Head and members. We are never God, but we go to the Father through, with and in Jesus, in the unity of the love of the Holy Spirit. We are brought into the life of the Most Holy Trinity, always and for eternity, through, with and in the Son of Mary.
She gives birth to us by way of her intercession for us as she stands under the cross, where that “hour” of Jesus became her “hour” of intercession (as we read at the wedding of Cana). Most precisely, it is when Jesus declares her to be our mother, at the moment when that intercession is perfect, her birth pangs for us, her heart, her immaculate heart being pierced through with sorrow, seeing with her clear vision exactly what we need, for she sees clearly all the hell vomited on her Son from the beginning of time to the end by simply seeing Him being tortured to death because of our sins on the Cross.
Jesus Himself wants to be entirely born, so to speak, and has this happen by way of His mother’s intercession for us. He is the only mediator between God and man; only He provides us with santifying grace, the life of the Most Holy Trinity within us, by way of uniting us with Himself, but, in justice, it is most appropriate that someone who is “merely” human, unlike Himself, make a perfect act of intercession for all that He was doing and is doing for us. That is most appropriate. And just as He came to us through Mary, so does He want to bring us to Himself through Mary. He wants us to be born of her. He wants us to be her children. He wants us to be one with Him in being her Son. Total consecration to Jesus through the intercession of Mary.
Having said all that, making this consecration of the great Saint Louis de Montfort is not second guessing Jesus, is not trying to outdo Him, is not something which will add something to what He has done for us, nor does it try to do this. It’s just that Jesus does appreciate the little we can do to show Him our eager enthusiasm at being the littlist of tiny children of Mary, like Himself, with Himself. He loves His mother, and wants us sharing that love with Him for her! Of course He does. Mary does nothing if not bring us straight to her Son. And He knows that too. Really, Jesus, and Mary, are just so good, just so kind.
Now, make that consecration!
P.S. Can anyone provide links to books and pamphlets that readers might order to this end? Often, this consecration is made on 25 March or some other Marian feast. It takes some weeks to prepare for, so let’s get a move on!
Check it out now. You’ll be impressed. Very cool!
Gregg the Obscure adds: There’s an Android app available that includes the book “The Secret of Mary”, which describes the consecration and it includes all the material necessary. It works on the Kindle Fire.
There’s a nifty bit more about the consecration here too. Turns out none of us are ever likely to have another year where the optimal day to start coincides with Ash Wednesday.