Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Several years ago, a reader asked me: "What is consecration? Why would someone want to consecrate themselves to Mary?" How do I go about doing it?"
Since this is the time of year that I try to renew my Consecration to Jesus through Mary, I think this is a good time to discuss Marian consecration.
Consecrate comes from the Latin word consecrare: "to dedicate, to set aside for a holy purpose." Consecration to Jesus through Mary is a formal and total act of self-surrender and self-giving which doesn't stop at Mary, but which is actually directed toward Christ. Consecration to Mary is consecration to the "perfect means" which Jesus chose to unite Himself with us and vice versa. Consecration to Mary heightens the depth and truth of our commitment to Christ. Love for Mary always leads us to a greater love for Jesus, as she points the way to His heart.
When we consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary we promise to become dependent on Mary in all things: to offer all our prayers and sacrifices to Jesus through Mary, and to seek every gift from Jesus through Mary. And we do this with the utmost confidence. As our Mother, she knows our every need much better than we do; and since she is Queen of Heaven, she has immediate access to the infinite treasury of graces in the Kingdom of her Divine Son.
Here are some of the reasons for consecration:
1. To emulate the sanctity of Pope St. John Paul II, who selected the de Montfort Consecration (True Devotion) for his own Marian Spirituality
2. To provide the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation
3. To obtain Our Lady's help in bringing us from our own unworthiness to the level of conversion, holiness, and perfection in our lives needed to enable us to become saintly
4. To turn our lives over completely and without reservation in service to Jesus through Mary to reflect our love and our trust in them now and for all eternity
5. To obtain special graces and protection under Our Lady's sheltering mantle
6. To help bring others to Jesus through Mary for their conversion, holiness, and perfection through this total consecration devotion
7. To hasten the day of the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and the day when Mary and Jesus will reign in all hearts
8. To fulfill Our Lady's request for individual consecration of our lives to her Immaculate Heart, as given to us through Sister Lucia during the Fatima apparitions
9. To become an effective counter-force to the legion of evil so prevalent in the world by offering up our prayers, sacrifices, and sufferings to Jesus through Mary
10. To renew our Baptismal promises and to evangelize the world to Jesus through Mary
How is it Done?
Marian consecration can be done online, in the privacy of your home, or with a group. Consecration consists of a 33-day period of prayerful preparation followed by the actual act of consecration itself. The 33-day preparation includes a preliminary period of twelve days during which we endeavor “to free ourselves from the spirit of the world.” This initial 12 days is followed by a second period of three weeks. The first of these three weeks is devoted to the knowledge of ourselves, the second to that of the Blessed Virgin, and the third to that of Jesus Christ.
1. To learn more about Marian consecration, visit The New Evangelizers website, which offers a podcast and recommends a book.
2. Watch the youtube videos by Father Nathan Cromly,CSJ, here for an Introduction to Marian consecration.
3. Watch the live-streaming youtube videos here by Father Nathan Cromly,CSJ, whom I highly recommend. I renewed my consecration with Fr. Cromly with a group several years ago and he is an excellent spiritual director.
4. Fr. Nathan Cromly is the editor of a beautiful book, entitled Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which is not just a step-by-step preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary - it's a work of art for both the eye and the Christian soul. The FULL COLOR edition offers 5 weeks of contemplative preparation, aimed at helping you deepen your baptismal vows.
5. Fr, Michael Gaitley, MIC, has a wonderful book entitled 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration.
6. The original book for making Marian consecration, True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration is a great classic, but I would not recommend reading it on your own, without the guidance of a spiritual director.
7. The Militia of the Immaculata also offer Marian consecration. Marytown in Libertyville, Illinois has a schedule of events at this website.