Today (5th November) many people around the world will begin their preparation for Saint Louis Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, in anticipation of the 8th December. This devotion comes from the writings of St Louis, particularly his book True Devotion to Mary. He invites all Christian’s to consecrate themselves to Mary as way of being truly devoted to Jesus. Sometimes his language can make us feel uncomfortable about this devotion because he invites us to be “slaves of Mary” but we shouldn’t be discouraged.
Mary was the perfect disciple of Jesus. Her closeness to Him began at the moment of her Immaculate Conception when Jesus, through the merits of His cross, preserved her from sin in order to prepare for Himself a place among mankind. This was a singular act of mercy that united her to His grace such that we can call her “full of grace”. At the Annunciation, Mary’s “Be it done unto me according to thy word” was a consecration of her will to God. Through her life she lived out this consecration perfectly. As Jesus grew in her womb after the Holy Spirit had “come upon her” she was united to Him in her own body. Finally, she was united to Him in her heart because she was with Him at the foot of the cross and she suffered the pain of the Lord’s crucifixion when the sword pierced her heart too. So through grace her body, will and heart are all for Jesus.
Therefore Mary is closer to Jesus than any disciple, indeed she is perfectly united to Him and this is the crux of St Louis’ teaching. Because Mary is united to Jesus, devotion to her is really devotion to Him. To be a “slave to Mary” is a way of being a slave to Jesus because whatever she asks of us will be His will and from His heart, everything she has is His. She teaches us how to come closer to Him as when she told the servants in Cana, “do whatever He tells you!”
Finally as seminarians and priests it is particularly important to be close to Mary so that we can learn from her example and receive her love that comes straight from Jesus. She will guide us to discover His will for our lives in every moment of the day – we just have to ask her. I would encourage anyone trying to discern their vocation to reflect on Mary’s life in the Gospels and to ask her powerful intercession.
Diocese of Middlesbrough
3rd Year Seminarian