Monday, November 2, 2015

Would you let me be your Mother? - Anticipation for Consecration

“Would you let me be your Mother?”

I invite you to consider begining the preparation for total consecration to Mary from Nov. 5th to Dec. 8th (the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This immensely powerful devotional lifestyle will transform your life.  Books such as Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Louis de Montfort or 33 Days to Morning Glory or My Ideal, Jesus Son of Mary include daily readings and prayers to prepare yourself for this great grace of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  Some helpful websites with podcasts and readings include Rosary Army and The Marian Faith Network
The absolute classic on Devotion to Our Lady remains "True Devotion to Mary" by St. Louis de Montfort.  If there is ever only one book you read on Mary this one is it. Our parish is selling copies of True Devotion to Mary in our narthex for $10.

At the heart of the lifestyle/spirituality of total consecration to Jesus through Mary is an acknowledgement of ourselves as sons and daughters of Our Lady.  It is a simple but heartfelt recognition of our relationship to her and being very intentional about that relationship on a daily basis.  It is letting her perform her motherly role in our lives as Christ’s brothers and sisters; His disciples.

Because of our baptism we have the life of Jesus Christ within us.  As St. Paul says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”  (Galatians 2:20) It is because of this reality – this new life in Christ – that we are able to call God “Our Father.”  (See John 20:17) We who have the Spirit of Jesus living within us are thus able to cry out (just as Jesus Himself does) “Abba, Father!” St. Paul refers to God’s plan of adopting us in Christ as His true children through “a Woman” when he says “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman…so that we might receive adoption.  As proof that you are children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:4-7) We can call God our Father because our life is now that of Christ’s life.  His Spirit in us cries out along with our spirits to “Our Father.”

That same Spirit of Jesus in us also addresses Our Lady as “Mother.”  (Note: we do not worship Mary. We love and honor our Mother Mary as Jesus does.) We share in Christ’s filial relationship with His Mother! This is why Jesus makes some of His final (and therefore some of His most important) words in reference to our relationship with the “Woman.” This is the Woman promised to us in the Garden of Eden in Genesis  3:15.  She is also spoken about in Galatians 4:4, at the Wedding Feast at Cana in John 2:4, at the Cross in John 19:26-27, and as the Ark of the New Covenant and the Mother of Christ’s disciples in Revelation 11:19-12:17.) From the Cross Jesus tells Our Lady to look upon her spiritual child who is standing next to her; the “Beloved Disciple.”  He says to Our Lady, the New Eve promised back in Genesis 3:15, “Woman, behold your son!” He then tells that “Beloved Disciple” (which is really each one of us, too!) to “Behold, your mother!”

The disciple of Jesus is one who is being conformed to Christ through His Sacraments and a life of intentional discipleship to Him.  To be a disciple of Jesus is to take on the very life of Jesus; to become more and more Christ-like.  As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  (John 3:30) If we are to grow in the life of Jesus then we must allow His life to increase in us and become very intentional about allowing the thoughts, sentiments, desires, and relationships of Jesus to take hold of our hearts.  We must love our neighbor because the love of Christ within us impels us towards compassion and mercy.  We must love the Father because the Spirit of Jesus within us cries out, “Abba, Father!” Also, we must love our Blessed Mother because Jesus’ own filial love for Mary lives with us.  We only have to allow that love Christ has for His Mother to take hold of our own hearts.  If Mary is our Mother then we must honor her as we ought to (Honor your Father and Mother is the 4th Commandment!) and we must allow the Heart of Jesus to love Our Blessed Mother with our very own heart!

Why all of this explanation? What does this have to do with total consecration to Mary? Everything! Again, at the heart of the lifestyle/spirituality of total consecration to Jesus through Mary is acknowledging ourselves as sons and daughters of Our Lady.  It is a simple recognition of our relationship to her and letting her be our mother. Consecration to Jesus through Mary (aka Consecration to Mary) is entrusting one’s entire life to the motherly care, protection, and intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary just as Christ did. Like any good mother she will be about her work of caring for her children whether we acknowledge her or not.  However, if we acknowledge Mary’s role in our lives and let her be our mother then the graces of living this personal relationship with her will be immense.  We would be foolish to ignore our Mother!

This intensely lived filial relationship with Mary is one of the “Secrets of the Saints.”  If you want to grow in holiness very quickly then you must devote yourself in a radical way to the Blessed Virgin Mary as your Mother.  Allow her to form Christ in you more and more.   Accept in a complete and total way the immense gift of Christ from the Cross when He reminds us to “Behold, your mother!” Be like the beloved disciple who, after being entrusted to Our Lady at the Cross, went and “took her [Mary] into his home.”  Take Our Lady into your heart, into your whole life, into the depths of your “home.”  Let Mary be your mother.  Entrust and consecrate, in a very intentional way, your whole self to this Woman.  Your life will never be the same and you will grow in your relationship with Christ by leaps and bounds. Accept all of His gifts (especially Mary!) and then you will spiritually grow very quickly. You will see.

“Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:27) Will you take Mary into your home today? “Will you let me be your Mother?”