Earlier this year I made the Act of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I had known about the total consecration for a few years through friends who had completed it. Someone had even given me the book Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Christ Through Mary. But I put the idea out of my mind. I was not interested.
Why did I need to consecrate myself? I had a daily prayer life, prayed the Rosary on most evenings with my family, went to Eucharistic Adoration regularly, and tried to get to Holy Mass on Saturday morning as well as on Sunday. Wasn’t that enough? But there was a longing and a restlessness inside me that I just couldn’t satisfy.
One day as I was looking for something at home, I came upon the total consecration book. Curious, I picked it up and started skimming through the pages. I became so engrossed I forgot what I was looking for in the first place.
“I think I’d like to make a total consecration to Jesus through Mary,” I announced to my spiritual director.
“Wonderful,” he replied. “I think it will be good for you.”
But I was still hesitant. Consecrating my life to Jesus through Mary meant entrusting Our Blessed Mother with my life and through her, abandoning myself to the Will of Our Lord. It was a scary prospect since I didn’t want to let go of whatever control I thought I had. Where would Jesus take me? What would He ask of me? What would happen to my plans?
Despite my trepidation, I felt compelled to begin. After checking in with my spiritual director for some final instructions and words of encouragement, I opened the book and began the month-long preparation for total consecration.
It was a beautiful experience. As each day began and ended, I eagerly completed the prayers and devoured the pages of instruction, inspiration, and catechesis. The restlessness and longing that had gnawed at me for so many months vanished.
“It is certain that growth in holiness is your vocation,” wrote St. Louis de Montfort—and I wanted it all: “the life of holiness to which we are called as a result of our belonging completely to Jesus Christ.”
When I had finished the month-long preparation and finally made my total consecration, it was almost anti-climactic. I imagined that the final Act of Total Consecration would feel like there were fireworks going off inside me. In fact, I prayed The Act of Total Consecration of Oneself one evening after Holy Mass and noticed how quiet the church was and how calm I was. It made sense. Like Mary, we are called to live our lives quietly in the Holy Spirit, seeking only the Will of the Father. There are no fireworks, no grand excitement, but instead a deep conviction to grow in holiness and sanctity by God’s grace and the care of our Mother. Our lives, like our Blessed Mother, ought to consist of constant prayer and good deeds and to do whatever God asks of us in whatever place and time He has placed us.
Does total consecration make you a living saint? Most definitely not. Abandoning yourself to Jesus through Mary does not guarantee a life that is free from temptations and sinfulness but “in turning to Our Lady and entrusting ourselves into her care we will find that we have already begun to act according to the spirit of Jesus Christ, the first to have trusted Himself into the care of Our Lady.”
When we make the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, what we are promising Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother is this: take my life and everything about it. Take my plans, my possessions, all that I love, all that I hate, all that I dream of, all that I have accomplished, all that I have failed. You are in control. I am nothing. You are everything. Do whatever You want with me. I know that in the good times and the bad, Your hand will guide, Your hand will save, Your Will be done.
Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt. I am all yours, and all that I have is Yours, O my dear Jesus, through Mary, Your holy Mother.
Source: Gillespie, H. Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Christ Through Mary According to St. Louis de Montfort. New York: Montfort Publications, 2011.