Preparing for Consecration
Week 2, Day 2: Secret of Mary, Nos. 23-24
Knowledge of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom: "there being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."
Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our Mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof.
De Montfort urges us to put ourselves in the position of "slave" to Mary. Is this not harsh, overreaching perhaps? What does this slavery entail? This voluntary slavery places us at the mercy of the master, or mistress in this case, having no personal possessions, doing her bidding without question. Indeed, this is a significantly greater devotion than we may have considered when we embarked on this journey! But why not? To choose to be placed in such a position can only be an inspired act, the act of a predestinate. Did not God place Jesus in that very position? Who are we to be any less abandoned to Our Lady, to the Mother of Jesus, than He who chose to take on the form of a slave, to take on our humanity, so that He could walk among us and redeem us in the act of love in which He died on the cross for our salvation! – Bernadette Harmon
True Devotion to Our Blessed Lady
23. If we would go up to God, and be united with Him, we must use the same means He used to come down to us to be made Man and to impart His graces to us. This means is a true devotion to our Blessed Lady.
24-27. There are several true devotions to our Lady: here I do not speak of those which are false. The first consists in fulfilling our Christian duties, avoiding mortal sin, acting more out of love than with fear, praying to our Lady now and then, honoring her as the Mother of God, yet without having any special devotion to her. The second consists in entertaining for our Lady more perfect feelings of esteem and love, of confidence and veneration. It leads us to join the Confraternities of the Holy Rosary and of the Scapular, to recite the five or the fifteen [now twenty]* decades of the Holy Rosary, to honor Mary's images and altars, to publish her praises and to enroll ourselves in her modalities. This devotion is good, holy and praiseworthy if we keep ourselves free from sin. But it is not so perfect as the next, nor so efficient in severing our soul from creatures, in detaching ourselves in order to be united with Jesus Christ. The third devotion to our Lady, known and practiced by very few persons, is this I am about to disclose to you, predestinate soul.
28-29. It consists in giving one's self entirely and as a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through Mary, and after that, to do all that we do, through Mary, with Mary in Mary and for Mary We should choose a special feast day on which we give, consecrate and sacrifice to Mary voluntarily lovingly and without constraint, entirely and without reserve: our body and soul, our exterior property such as house, family and income, and also our interior and spiritual possessions: namely, our merits, graces, virtues, and satisfactions.
* At the time of this writing, the Luminous mysteries had not been written. It is appropriate to assume these mysteries would have been included in de Montfort's count had they been known at the time.