Through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary: the four ways the consecrated Marian devotees (by St. Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary) are called to live their lives. No longer do they have any claim to possessions, even their very body down to the last hair on their head belongs to her, and through her Christ. St. Montfort tells in his book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin that through the consecration, we become the voluntary slaves of Mary and Christ. He states that there are three types of slavery—natural slavery, enforced slavery, and voluntary slavery. We are all enslaved to God in the first sense, in belonging to Him as our creator. The devils and damned are slaves in the second sense, and the Saints in heaven and the just on Earth are slaves in the third sense. The De Montfort Marian consecrated have freely given of their own will their body, their possessions, their future, their ambitions, goals, jobs, emotions, etc– to Mary.
In surrendering totally to Mary, we receive benefits as well. We receive all of her graces in abundance as we walk down our path of holiness towards heaven—that path which through the consecration has become much less of a rocky road, and straighter than it was before. However—even with this benefit, we are gifted with greater crosses to bear, though not feeling the weight, because of the ardent love and grace of Our Mother which softens the heavy burdens upon our shoulders.
Needless to say, complete surrender of everything one owns, and does not own about oneself, complete abandonment to God through Mary, is a tough thing to understand.
There is gravity to it, a seriousness that I did not understand when I first consecrated back in November 2010. I was filled with love, grace, happiness, and overwhelming peace. It wasn’t until I began to live my life as a slave to Mary that I started to understand what I had done. It wasn’t even until just a couple weeks ago that I began to fully understand what it meant to give my entire life to Mary, and hold nothing back for myself. It meant that whenever something came up that I wanted to do, but it wasn’t necessarily in God’s will for me—I had to give that up, accept it willingly without distress or complaint. It is hard, and God knew it would be for me. He challenged me; first by showing me that I needed to move on from my ex-boyfriend, as he had moved on from me. Then, by taking away my dream summer job—working at my absolute favorite place on Earth, and a place that felt like home to me, a place I had gone to for 12 years of my life. But it was all for His glory. He was showing me that there is more to life than I was living. He wanted me, desired me, my full attention, not divided between Him, “the love of my life”, and “my home.” He desired that I see my home in Him. It was not easy to do, and I still am struggling. I understand it better though, after a night in which I turned away from Him, from Mary, and literally tried to force her outstretched hands away from me—I started to understand what I had given up on that day back in November of 2010. My life, freely given, just as He had done for me a little over 2,000 years ago—He was finally calling me to Him. To give every last bit of me that I was holding back, the last reserves of my heart that I was holding onto, to retain my identity in myself. He was calling me to give Him those reserves, to finally, completely discovery my true identity in Him, through Mary.
Thus, I ask for forgiveness, from Mary, from God, and from my best friend and sister, through whom I forced Mary’s hands away from me. It is easy to forgive others, and to receive forgiveness from others, but to forgive oneself and truly, absolutely, hold-nothing-back, accept the forgiveness of others–that is the hardest. So, through belonging to Mary, tonight, I take my first step towards forgiving myself of ripping myself from my Mother’s arms, and my first step towards running back to her in nothing but joy, love, and everlasting peace. The same feelings I felt the day that I gave myself to Mary and Christ as their slave. The same feelings that were granted to me by my Mother’s grace, given to me as I took the steps towards walking in her path of holiness towards her Son at the foot of the cross.
Through Mary. In Mary. With Mary. For Mary. The way that I have chosen to live my life. The way that I am called to start living. My identity, my life, freely given, to belong to Him.
“Love of My life, look deep in My eyes, there you will find what you need. Give Me your life, the lust and the lies, the past you’re afraid I might see, you’ve been running away from Me. You’re My beloved, lover I’m yours, death shall not part us, it’s you I died for. For better or worse, forever we’ll be, My Love it unites us and it binds you to Me. It’s a mystery.” – Beloved, Tenth Avenue North