I Dare You

I have challenge for you. Consecrate yourself to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the way of St. Louis de Montfort. The graces, gifts and consolations attached to this “Perfect Devotion” are incredible. Not that that’s why we should consecrate ourselves through Mary, of course. We should consecrate ourselves through Mary in imitation of Christ, who humbled himself to come into the world through her, living in obedience with her. We should consecrate ourselves to her because in our devotion to her as our Mother, we recognize our common sonship with Christ. We should consecrate ourselves to Mary because Mary is beautiful. As the Spouse of the Holy Spirit she dispenses all graces to us, for she gave and gives us Christ, who is All Grace Incarnate. As Christ became Man through Mary, so we are moulded into the likeness of Christ through the same.

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It’s 33 days of prayer. Do it. Be a badass. You can request free Consecration materials right here, or snag the Consecration app. Join the Facebook group to ask questions, hear testimonies, and connect with other people doing the Consecration. Your life will never be the same.

If you’ve already done the Consecration, awesome. We’re siblings, you and I. So help me spread it? Convert some souls for Christ? I’ll give you a desktop background:

And some videos:

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And my prayers. Do with them what you will.

As Our Lord stated to Sister Lucia of Fatima:  “I want my whole Church to acknowledge that Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…so that it may…put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart”.

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  • http://www.recoveredcatholic.com/ The Recovered Catholic

    I’m kind of a new Catholic and VERY new at this Marian devotion business. I admit I’m skeptical still, but skeptical in a way that’s very “I trust the Church but haven’t worked out the specifics yet.” Okay, well enough about me. I’m going to check this stuff out!

    • Fisherman

      Keep calm and Mary on.

      • Brian Sullivan

        Keep calm and Marian.

      • Brian Sullivan

        Keep calm and Marian.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

      That is the best kind of skeptical = childlike faith!

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com/ Dan F.

      I’m in the same place. As a recovering Protestant the language of consecration is as foreign to me as French or German. I hear the words but the meaning often eludes me. Nevertheless, I count the conversion of my heart from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8th) when our Lord told me to pray to his Mother. I was received into the Church the following Easter still not understanding what exactly that meant but obeying anyway.

      So I ordered the materials and see if this is what the Lord is calling me to do now.

      • http://ourladyslamp.blogspot.com/ Brianna

        If you can, find a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament and do as much of the consecration there as you can. Ask Jesus to show you the beauty of this devotion. I had refused until I was in the chapel one day and was asking Jesus how to get closer to Him, and he told me to go through his Mother.

      • Momma’s Boy

        I was in the same place 4 years ago, having just come into the Church… I accepted all the Church taught to be true but Mary was just, well, elusive. I couldn’t wrap my mind around her… So one of my friends invited me to do the consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary according to St. Louis DeMontfort and let me tell you… What you should do is go into the chapel and as you begin the consecration each day simply ask Mary, with your whole heart, to reveal herself to you. And then trust that it will be done! The effects may be magnified if done in Eucharistic adoration. Be sure to read the small book that accompanies the consecration prayers. Ave Maria!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001837523704 Matt LaMar

    I’ll do it.

  • Jay E.

    Just about the smartest thing I ever did. Consecration to Jesus through Mary is probably the best devotion under the sun.

  • P.

    Anyone aware of a Total Consecration app for Android?

    • Jeremy Schwager

      iPieta has the preparation for total consecration and lots of other amazing prayers, catechisms, etc. I think it is 99cents at the Google Play store.

      • Marie

        I got my app free. It’s just called “Consecration” I think and it’s complete and good.

    • Gregg the Obscure

      At least for Kindle Fire, there’s a great FREE app called “Consecration to Mary” that’s by NetBrainer LLC. It mostly mirrors the materials available at http://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

    • Gregg the Obscure

      At least for Kindle Fire, there’s a great FREE app called “Consecration to Mary” that’s by NetBrainer LLC. It mostly mirrors the materials available at http://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html

  • Frosted Flakes

    What kind of things should one take into consideration before doing this? It seems it’s not an overnight-type decision, and I’m interested in knowing why that is. Can anyone help me?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

      This doesn’t fully answer your question by any means but I will say this. Most of your understanding of and desire for Marian consecration will grow as you progress through the 33 days or preparation. A lot of the readings are taken from Louis de Montfort’s theology of consecration and from the Gospels which illustrate a life of consecration. No one will ever fully understand and be ready BEFORE beginning consecration. This is why I’ve seen a lot of people, sadly, never actually get started, with the good intention of wanting to fully understand first.

      • JMD

        Completely concur! I had no idea what to expect when I cracked open the Consecration book. But it got more and more awesome with each passing day. And now I’m renewing it for the 3rd year in a row – couldn’t imagine anything better. I just had to jump in and say, a little extra prayer never hurt anyone. :P

      • bearing

        Yes. This was my experience too.

    • ladycygnus

      Actually, there is a preparation period of at least 15 days that begins the consecration. When I first read about this I was unsure about it, so I just kept praying those prayers…for a year. Then, one day in confession the priest said I should do the consecration and my first response was “but I’m not holy enough yet.” He said I was holding off for the wrong reason, the consecration isn’t for holy people, it’s for the unholy to make them holy.

    • http://ourladyslamp.blogspot.com/ Brianna

      It’s not an overnight decision because you really and truly have to be willing to acknowledge your weaknesses, how you are in the world, and seek a full and beautiful union with our Mother through holy slavery. It’s not something that’s easy, and if you read True Devotion (the book Louis de Montfort uses to explain the consecration and why you should do it), he talks about how it’s not for those who are not willing to turn their lives around. You don’t have to be perfect, be “ready,” but you do have to be willing. And that’s the scary part. You are offering Mary everything and asking her to take what does not please Christ and get rid of it, to take what does please Christ and give it to him, and to give you everything you need to do whatever it is that you need.

      But really, if you feel God leading you this way, if you yearn for holiness, for a deeper, more effective relationship with God, do this. If you still have questions or such, pick up True Devotion and read it (or parts of it). St. Louis de Montfort is much better at explaining than I am.

  • Charisse M

    My two cents is to pick a Marian day that is particularly calling you. I chose Immaculate Conception (Dec 8) for many reasons, but the main one is because my patron saint is St. Bernadette and I love Our Lady of Lourdes.

    Good luck to those who are attempting this for the first time!

  • http://twitter.com/ONeillLaura Laura O’Neill

    what are your thoughts on starting on a day other that a “best day to start” or other than a feast day

    am i missing the forest for the trees? because every time this lands in my path i’m always all like ‘darn..gotta start this in two weeks’ and then i forget :(

    but I believe Mary is calling me to this

    • Denise

      Laura, when I did my consecration it didn’t land on a feast day for the same reason you’re encountering. The important thing is to just do it, especially if you feel you’re being called to do so. I have my kids say the shorter consecration prayer daily (my husband consecrated each child when I was pregnant with them), but I am going to go through the entire 33 days again, starting TODAY and it won’t end on a feast day. I find so much encouragement knowing that through the consecration I become a slave of the slave of the Lord and all things and all that I am are in her hands. It’s the best feeling of freedom and peace. I say you go girl! Hope this helps.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.escalona Nicholas Escalona

        What is this shorter consecration prayer, Denise?

        • Denise

          I, (Name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands 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 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, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and eternity.

          This is the heart of the Act of Consecration said at the end of the 33 days and can be found in St. Loius De Montfort’s True Devotion. I started saying it daily to remind myself of my act of consecration.

    • Marygirl

      Pick a feast day to complete your consecration on and then count back from there.

    • Marygirl

      Pick a feast day to complete your consecration on and then count back from there.

    • http://ourladyslamp.blogspot.com/ Brianna

      Every Saturday is dedicated to our Blessed Mother, the 13th of months between May and October are days she appeared to the children at Fatima (minus the one month she appeared on the 15th or something)…. one of the amazing things about being a daughter of Mary is that you will never not have some form of day for her. A first Saturday would be beautiful, a feast of her Son’s would also be appropriate.

      When I consecrated, I knew God was calling me to do it, and I started the very next day, and only then did I look at when it would fall. Incidentally, on my Mother’s birthday (a fitting tribute, I thought). However, a week or two later, I learned that the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes was just a few days after my mother’s birthday, so I extended my time of prayer to that day and consecrated.

      While it is nice to consecrate on a feast day, don’t worry so much about that. Mother understands. And the fact that you are too impatient to want to wait a few more weeks to give everything to her is something I’m pretty sure she’ll overlook ;)

      But do it. Your life really never will be the same. :) God bless you and Mary keep you, Laura!

  • Bre Werkmeister

    just found a Total Consecration app for Android! :) It doesn’t look as cool as the Iphone version but it’s the same idea! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netbrainer.consecration_for_catholics_01&hl=en

    • P.

      Thanks Bre, I just downloaded it. Looks pretty slick.
      Assumption of our Blessed Mother, here we come!

  • Jeremy Schwager

    Here is another useful resource for total consecration. It is especially good if you want to start a group of people who will consecrate themselves together. http://www.allheartsafire.org/
    You can also look for the book 33 Days to Morning Glory on Amazon and use it yourself.

  • remiw

    I just completely my Consecration to Jesus through Mary this past Saturday on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary -> AWESOME!!

    I highly recommend the consecration from the book “33 Days to Morning Glory.” The author, Fr. Gaitley MIC, combines the insights of Marian consecration from St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed John Paul II. Also, instead of having a large list of prayers and litanies to complete everyday, this consecration focuses more on a short reflection that is to be pondered throughout the day – this style may suit some people better.

    Check it out here: http://thedivinemercy.org/news/story.php?NID=4742

    Whether you do St Louis’s consecration or Fr. Gaitley’s, it doesn’t matter, as long as you do one!!

  • Geoffrey Miller

    Total Consecration to Mary means that you surrender your rights to all the graces you obtain through prayer and fasting. You cannot, for instance, apply any indulgences you acquire to either yourself or a deceased soul–instead, the merits of such actions are meted out to the Church and the whole world as Mary deems fit. The only exception is when an appropriate authority in the Church or another person asks you to pray for a certain intention; otherwise, you should entirely abandon praying for specific requests unless the Spirit inspires you, and accept all hardship and trials God sends to you to “[fill] up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24).

    This is not a decision to make lightly. You are potentially opening yourself to much suffering to help atone for the sins of the world. Certain graces may be taken from you and given to others, resulting in a longer stay in Purgatory. Furthermore, the nature of the consecration has the character of a religious vow, which means that if you don’t like what you get, you can’t take it back. You’re irrevocably surrendering any spiritual control you have over your life–and you do indeed have some.

    I have made the Consecration. The fact that I was born with arthrogryposis and am confined to a wheelchair could well be a result of my decision, since its effects extend beyond time into the past, present, and future. If you make the Consecration, you could be in for a similar trial that you otherwise would not have had. However, despite my circumstances, I believe that my life has actually been filled with blessings because of the Consecration, not hardships. My suspicion is that many graces are actually being diverted from others to me in a kind of spiritual welfare program until my soul matures. But when I do someday get off the divine dole, I expect to be tried and tested to the breaking point for the gifts I have received. I pray that God won’t put me to the test, of course, but I’ve surrendered my right to prevent him in any way. I will also be answerable for any graces received from others which I have abused.

    So, why should you undertake this Consecration? Because through it, you will ensure the best eternal outcome for yourselves and your loved ones. On your own, you might obtain a good outcome after a relatively easy life here on Earth, but with the Consecration, your life on Earth could very well become Hell-like in order to ensure a better Heaven. In the long run, the Consecration is the best path; there’s no guarantee in the short term. You are taking a huge and wonderful risk in making the Consecration. If you turn your back on it and renounce your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ when the trials come, you could potentially end up damned (but God is very merciful to the spiritual children of Mary). The real question to ask yourselves is, “How much do I trust God with my life?”

    Answer that question honestly.

    • Annjean56

      Wow, I never heard it explained this way before.

    • Escalonn

      “entirely abandon praying for specific requests”

      Is this so? I read the True Devotion – my understanding was that prayer for specific requests can no longer be done quite in the same way, but that it must be done with “but thy will be done” or feeling to that effect. Or to offer the graces or prayers to Mary, asking that she use them for a certain purpose but subordinating your purpose to what hers might be. In fact, there was a part which said that once you consecrate your whole self and everything you own, even your unconscious gestures, even each step you take is a prayer to Christ through Mary. Surely specific requests in prayer are swept up also – even if one forgets to explicitly subordinate one’s wishes, it seems to have been already done, with no violation except a willful one. If that makes sense.

      I seem to remember a part that assured us that of course you cannot in this way diminish graces that others receive, for He knows our heart. Who could imagine that by trusting God more than oneself in one’s wishes, that they are less fulfilled? For that matter – “Certain graces may be taken from you and given to others, resulting in a longer stay in Purgatory.” Surely any grace offered in sacrifice is returned 30, 60, 100-fold? Of course, anyone too interested in that fact may not truly be offering those graces, but that’s aside.

      But please correct me if I do not understand rightly. I do not want to do violence to my own vows, or those of others.

    • Gam S.

      I actually agree with Escalonn’s point.

      True, we surrender everything to our Blessed Mother; but that does not prevent us from praying for specific intentions. We beseech her that she grant those petitions, so long as they are in accord with her will.

      But then again, the more we surrender ourselves to our Blessed Mother, the more our prayers also become attuned to her will. So in effect, we will end up praying for the things she wants, as well.

    • Anonymous Friend314

      I haven’t read the article so I’m just going by what what G. Miller said. I will admit, the demands of this Consecration kind of scare me, according to what he wrote. What is your source for this?

      Now, even though you surrender your rights for graces, why does that entail your earth will be hellish? Doesn’t the Consecration mean that you accept the graces that Mary/God wish to send upon you (trusting that they have better plans than you do) rather than receiving very little grace at all? And is the Consecration really irrevocable? Suppose that someone is at the area of their life where they really need petitions for themselves and their loved ones. This could be for discernment of their lifelong vocation, or protection against evil spirits, or for family or strength to overcome temptation. Are you saying this person cannot ask for help when doing these things, or am I misunderstanding you?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=144902595 Libby Marie Barnes

      Geoffrey your life of consecration sounds beautiful! I’m sure I’ve been on the receiving end of graces you’ve allowed Mary to distribute as she wills. But to everyone who’s been asking questions about Geoffrey’s explanation I’ll add a warning – don’t confuse Marian Consecration with offering yourself as a victim soul. As my Mariology professor, Dr. Miravalle, constantly drummed into us – victim souls are extraordinarily rare in the Church and a very, very special vocation. Consecrating yourself to Mary is not asking for a life of suffering but asking for a life of whatever she wants. Louis de Montfort writes that Mary gives the best gifts, crosses, to her most beloved servants. We desperately need crosses in our life, yes! But again, very very different from victim souls.

    • http://ourladyslamp.blogspot.com/ Brianna

      Yes, it is true that we offer everything to our Mother, but we do not sacrifice all the graces she could give. Instead, we do as Mary did and we say “let it be done to me according to the Will of the Lord.” We offer our lives, but because we do so, God is able to fill us with the graces necessary.

      And we can still offer Rosaries and Communions for a certain cause, but it is with the caveat that if God needs the merits elsewhere, they will be given elsewhere. But again, go back to the model of Mary. Because Mary gave her whole life totally and irrevocably to Christ, He honored her requests. He did not brush her aside at the Wedding of Cana, instead, He honored her request. Mary does the same thing. We give her everything, and because of that, when we ask ehr to care for a loved one, to bring a friend to Christ, she happily agrees because (and if) 1) it is in line with the Holy Will of God and 2) we are her children as well as her slaves. Just as we are both slave, friend, and children of God.

      As Libby pointed out, it’s rare that a soul is asked to be a victim soul like some of the visionaries were, and they are not deprived graces in that state, rather, they are given even MORE graces, because on their own they could never do it.

      However, we are sometimes asked to look outside of ourselves, to put ourselves on the line, and to go and spread the message of love Mary gives to us. And that may be hard. And we may have to sacrifice our wants for the glory of God, but that is entirely Christian, scriptural, and beautiful.

      We go to her just as she goes to the Lord: with childlike, whole hearted abandon and faith. She will hear our cries, and she knows what is on our hearts. And she will do what she can for her children. We just give up the right to say “Give all the merits of this rosary to my friend so she can pass her test” and instead say “if it’s not contrary to the will of God, give these merits to my friend, particularly for her test, but also for the betterment of her soul that she may better glorify God.” Giving up claim to the merits means that we don’t have to think we know what is best for the world but instead trust that our loving mother will do what is best for us and the Glory of her Son.

  • Wayne

    My Queen, my Mother,
    I give myself entirely to you
    and to show my devotion to you
    I consecrate to you this day
    my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart,
    my entire self without reserve,
    as I am your own, my good Mother,
    guard me and defend me
    as your property and possession.

  • Wayne

    My Queen, my Mother,
    I give myself entirely to you
    and to show my devotion to you
    I consecrate to you this day
    my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart,
    my entire self without reserve,
    as I am your own, my good Mother,
    guard me and defend me
    as your property and possession.

  • Paige

    Starting July 13!

  • musiciangirl591

    starting november 5! feast day of St. Elizabeth (my middle name), mother of John the Baptist and cousin of Our Lady!

  • Carpediem217218

    rock that chain!

  • D.

    I’m not ready, but I trust God will make me ready in his time.

  • Bridget Adams

    I made my Total Consecration to Jesus Christ through our Blessed Mother on the Feast of the Annunciation a few months ago. I am profoundly grateful for the preparation readings and the tools for making a general confession. I am now a slave of our Blessed Mother, and am eternally grateful for her motherly love and protection.

  • Angela Pea

    shall we skip straight to the triple dog dare? I’m in. As in today.

  • Mary

    I used St. Maximilian Kolbe’s method of Consecration a while ago, but I don’t think I did the required things ( Communion, Confession, preparation, etc.). Can I still do the St. Louis De Monfort consecration???

    • Anonymous Friend314

      A person can only do one?

  • Gkcgirl

    Challenge Accepted.

  • http://twitter.com/XLEntTheophilus Jeremy Dolph

    Challenge accepted.

  • Chel

    “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” – Saint Maximilian Kolbe

    Never fear, Mary keeps no honor for herself! Her soul MAGNIFIES the Lord. Everything we give her flows through her soul and straight to the source – Jesus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317999050 Kellee Leamy

    Dare accepted! Just went to the website you indicated to get the materials. Thanks

  • maria

    To echo what some have said: I’m in! I’ll actually be finishing my prep period on 27 June, the feastday of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and, although I’ve to figure out what it means exactly for daily life with the kids and husband, I’m down to find out :]

  • Phillip James Jedlovec

    Well said!

    May all of us echo St Louis de Montfort and the motto of Pope John Paul II’s papacy as we say, “Totus Tuus ego sum Maria, et omnia mea sunt tua.” (I am totally yours, Mary, and all that I have belongs to you)

  • KyPerson

    OK you’ve convinced me. I’ve sent off for the materials and am going to do it.

  • Lisa

    I was going to buy the iPad app, but saw it got a really bad review, because the prayers were not accurate. Some were missing text and others were on the wrong days or something like that. Anyone come across this? Has anyone checked the accuracy of the app lately? I would like to get it, but not if I have to proofread the whole thing…

    • Gam S.

      Hi Lisa,
      I would recommend that you just go ahead and get the book. The iPad app is still not accurate. It has not been updated since I wrote the review. It’s only good for meditating on some points from the book itself. From my own experience, the book is the best reference.

      • Lisa

        Thanks. I already ordered the free materials. I was just hoping to start sooner with the app! Oh well!

  • ElaineB

    This was by far the best thing I ever did for my spiritual life. I first made the devotion three years ago, and I was very nervous because though a cradle Catholic, I think the language of the devotion made me really acknowledge how much I was willing to trust the Church and trust Mary as my mother. I had the book for the devotion in my home but I didn’t understand it and wasn’t planning to do it with my Church group. On the day it was supposed to start, I was at the public library and I prayed sincerely to the Holy Spirit that I would find something that would help me grow in my spiritual life. I immediately found St. Louis De Montfort’s book explaining devotion to Mary. As a result, I started the devotion that day. Upon finishing it, I knew beyond a doubt that I was a daughter of Mary in a more profound way than I had been before. I have never regretted this devotion in the slightest, and it has been the turning point in my spiritual life. God has blessed me tremendously. If He should send sufferings, He is worth it after all. He knows what is best for us.

  • Gabyleblancme

    You switched from consecration *through* Mary to consecration *to* Mary half way through the article. Was this intentional or accidental? I did the Consecration 11 years ago and my only regret is not renewing it yearly as one ought. But I can’t help thinking that a Protestant reading this will freak. We don’t consecrate ourselves to MARY; we consecrate ourselves to JESUS THROUGH Mary.

    • Jay E.

      Well, reading True Devotion, Louis de Montfort addresses that distinction. He says, for the sake of clarity for confused readers, that he prefers to call it consecration to Jesus through Mary. But really to say it is consecration to Jesus or consecration to Mary or through Mary, he remarks, amounts the same thing. For we do indeed consecrate ourselves to Mary, we become her spritual slaves depending upon her for absolutely everything. We are her possessions, and we belong entirely to her. The reason we do this, obviously, is to go to Christ. But it is just as accurate to say consecration TO Mary and consecration THROUGH Mary. They are really one and the same.

  • Therese

    I’ve been kind of passively looking at this consecration ever since I read about Venerable Matt Talbot, and his consecration to Jesus Through Mary. And I was praying about it a little and then you wrote this article about it. But I still don’t know. Should I get the material now and read about it more then decide later? or should I just keep praying about it? And there’s so many devotions in the Church so how do I know which one God is asking me to follow?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000746593780 Ann Nameth

      I would go ahead and get the material and start reading. During the 33 day prep you will do a lot of praying, which will be very focused on consecration. If at the end of the 33 days you don’t feel ready, that’s ok. I can’t imaging Our Lady wanting anyone who wasn’t totally comfortable with consecration to do it.
      As for knowing which devotions to follow– look for ones that seem to draw you in. Some will be very interesting to you and almost seem to be calling you, and some you will be indifferent to. We can’t all follow every devotion. If it feels like a chore, that’s not the one for you.

  • http://ammitchell.wordpress.com/ Amanda

    I haven’t gone through RCIA yet (I start this fall), so a lot of this goes over my head. But I just have to say that your passion is infectious. I’m surrounded by several Catholics who are gifted at explaining and expressing Christ’s love and sacrifice, who have been instrumental in my decision to convert, but one of the best things any of them has ever done for me is turn me on to this blog.

  • http://anabellehazard.blogspot.com/ Belletoledo

    Oh thank you for posting this! I have been wondering when hip popular Catholic bloggers would say something about it and get others to consecrate to Our Lady.

  • Nat

    I’mma do it!

  • http://veritasviralprotest.blogspot.com/2012/06/beware-we-are-catholic.html Misfitmentor

    Perfect idea and timing for the Fortnight for Freedom. Cool.

    Speaking of which, may I suggest…

  • Jared

    I’m seriously considering this. I’d like to also invite you to consider a form of Catholic badassery. Marc, are you a Knight of Columbus? ;)

  • Carlotta

    Help me out here, Marc. I know this is a devotion many Catholics find great value in, but as someone who has been deeply wounded by pornography in my family and who found healing and hope through the language of Theology of the Body that speaks of us as persons, never things, created to be loved, never used, the idea that I would be anyone’s “possession” or “slave” just renews that hurt and makes me want to cry and run away. Is this particular devotion just forever closed off to me? Is the slave and possession terminology optional? Am I just misunderstanding it? I’m lost.

    • Marco

      Hi Carlotta, I too have done and renewed this special devotion and have a wonderful admiration for the great St. Louis de Montfort. The language that is confusing and seems harsh has a very different meaning than what you are associating it with through past experiences. Forgiveness and healing, peace, confidence, and joy pour forth in abundance through this consecration. The terms are meant to emphasize a greater loving devotion coupled with holy abandonment to God’s will for us, in Jesus through Mary. Mary’s response to Gabriel’s message from God, her fiat, is the perfect mold we are to be made in to, like her, with her, through her, recreate Jesus, Our Lord. Heartfelt prayer is our action for protection, healing, strength, and understanding. God is with you.

    • http://ourladyslamp.blogspot.com/ Brianna

      True freedom consists of giving of one’s self. We do this when we love another person, when a couple brings life into the world, when we choose to give our lives to God and live in a way pleasing to him – avoiding pornography, living a chaste life, and choosing to use our freedom withing the bonds of love.

      Paul tells us that we are to be slaves of Christ, for if we do not bind ourselves to Christ, we are still free for the devil to take. This, I believe, is the mentality St. Louis de Montfort is coming from. We give ourselves, as Mary did, in our entirety – our minds, our hearts, our wills, our loves, our passions, our weaknesses, our failings, our pasts, presents, and futures. We bind ourselves as slaves – taking that lowest position and praying that our lives may be found worthy in the sight of God. We take the position of slave, offering ourselves to the Blessed Mother – and through her to her Son – so that we can be part of her train, part of her court, and an offering to the heavenly Father. I like to think of the imagery in Psalm 45:9-15. We are the handmaids of the handmaiden. We will enter behind her into the court of heaven, and because of her status, we will be accepted by the King. We will enter into the deepest, most private chambers because we are bound to the Queen who has access to all areas. We will come closer to the Prince, to the King, than we could ever come on our own, and we will get there faster.

      This devotion is a devotion of love. It is something we give just as Mary gave her life. Yes, we bind ourselves as slaves, and that is really the crux of the devotion, but it is not a devotion of fear, power, or subjugation. It is a willing offering of love. As a daughter offers herself to the tending of her aging mother, as a husband slaves away to provide for his family, as a mother offers herself for her child, so too do we offer love and service to our Blessed Mother and her Son. When we bind ourselves to the Mother, she too binds herself to us. She takes us under her mantle, as she told Juan Diego. She takes our pasts, takes the bitterness of our lives, and she offers them up. We are not simply selling ourselves because we must but because we know she is a better stewardess of our lives than we are and because we know that through her we will get to her Son while we can lead ourselves astray or take the long way in.

      I would encourage you to read True Devotion of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Louis de Montfort and the World’s First Love by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Read what the holy saints have to say about consecration to our Blessed Lady. And spend time with the Sorrowful Mother, for she holds most closely to her heart those who have been hurt, for she knows the price at which their redemption was bought, and she knows the bitterness of life.

      • Carlotta

        Thank you so, so much. Your words really spoke to my heart and I will be praying on this tonight.

    • Geoffrey Miller

      @Carlotta: The slave and possession terminology is optional and had a much different connotation in earlier ages. Instead, just promise to be Mary’s child, to belong to her fully and to listen to her and love her always. Do this, and you will do well.

      • Carlotta

        If that is true that the slave and possession terminology is optional then I could do it. I understand promises, vows, binding oneself to another, consecrating oneself, making a covenant, making a gift of self. None of those ideas are dehumanizing to me, they are very beautiful. Thank you. I’m still not sure if I could make it through the book without shutting down every time I read the slave/possession terminology but since I we actually have True Devotion to Mary in the house I suppose I could pick it up and try again. Last time, about ten years ago, it was so hard to get through and I could not engage my heart with it.

  • Marie

    I’m on the 14th day of Consecration and I’m scared and thinking of backing out. I just talked to a priest about it yesterday in spiritual direction but I still am not sure what to do. I’m planning to complete the preparation but skip the act of consecration if I have reservations like I have now. I’m also a new Catholic, but I’ve been praying the rosary a long time. My priest said to ask Jesus to introduce me to His mother, since cradle Catholics usually do it the other way around, and that method will be more comfortable for us. I could not trust my mother. I have an issue, obviously.. but logically, I know consecration is the best way to grow in holiness.

    • http://ourladyslamp.blogspot.com/ Brianna

      I had this same problem! Go to the blessed Sacrament and just ask him to show you.

  • Loreto

    Thank you so much for this post. Because of it, my family and I consecrated ourselves to Mary on the Feast of Her Queenship. We have already begun to see the fruits of this consecration and I can only imagine how each of our relationships with God will continue to grow because of it. Thank you again for this post! It
    has truly been a blessing for my family and me.

  • Raffy

    This blogpost was the first spark that eventually led to myself and about 19 of my friends Consecrating ourselves over this past summer. Thanks a ton, my man!