NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE TRUE DEVOTION
I. Nature of the True Devotion: Consecration.
Here are once more the words of Blessed de Montfort which announce the essence of what he calls the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
‘It consists in abandoning oneself utterly and in the capacity of a slave to Mary, and through her to Jesus, so that everything we do, we do through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary.
And the holy writer adds: ‘I will explain these words.’
Père Lhoumeau has clearly understood the meaning of what Montfort proposes, and in a few words he explains it. I am glad to be able to quote him.
He says: ‘We must carefully distinguish two things in this devotion.
(1) An act of total and absolute consecration to Jesus through Mary.
(2) A state of consecration consisting in a permanent disposition causing us to live an act habitually in dependence upon Mary, that we may be united to Jesus. That is the spirit of this devotion.’
Its, practice, which embraces all our life, seems at first glance so simple and so unimportant that Blessed de Montfort has justly compared it to the grain of mustard-seed, since we only appreciate its vital energy and its marvelous effects when it has grown strong in us through persevering application.
Blessed de Montfort first describes the Act of Consecration. To express it completely, it is difficult to use any terms but his own.
‘We must,’ he says, ‘choose some special day on which to give ourselves, and consecrate ourselves, sacrificing voluntarily through love, without constraint and without reservation of any kind, our body and soul, our exterior goods, such as house, family, income; our interior goods of the soul, our merits, graces, virtues and works of satisfaction.’
We shall explain further on among exterior practices, the manner of making this Consecration of oneself to Jesus through Mary, according to the method laid down by Montfort in his Treatise of the True Devotion.
(To be continued.)