The act of Consecration is not restricted, either as regards works, souls or duration.
It covers all works of satisfaction and impetration. It even surrenders works of merit that Mary may keep them for us and adorn them, just because they are essentially our own absolute and untransferable property. Everything then without exception.
It is applied to all souls, the living and the dead, the just and the unjust, for we leave to the Blessed Virgin the liberty of using our gift for whom she wills, ‘according to thy good pleasure.’
It covers time and eternity, life now and life to come. Blessed Louis bids us say, ‘I deliver and consecrate to thee…the actual value of my good actions, past, present, and future.’ He adds, ‘for time and eternity.’
These words refer in a clear and obvious way to the act of donation. We surrender ourselves entirely to Mary for the greater glory of God. Now the glory of God must be brought about not only in time but also in eternity. And it is just for this, to give God in eternity the greater glory, that we surrender everything to Mary, so that this donation may have its glorious effect for God throughout eternity. In Heaven, Jesus is still and ever will be the Son of Mary, thus giving eternal and infinite glory to the Father. By our gift as children and slaves, we imitate Him, and we desire by this act of dependence on Mary, to give to God, in company with His Blessed Son, an ever actual glory, since the glorified life is nothing but the consummated Christian life.
Note the difference which exists between this Consecration and that which usually takes place in a parish or a community at the close of a retreat, during a mission, on the occasion of a first Communion or of the reception of a child of Mary.
This traditional Consecration only requires of the participant certain acts, practices, and prayers. The Consecration of Holy Slavery implies that the donor hands over, ‘without reserve to Jesus and to Mary, all his thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings, now and for ever.’
The unconditional character of this gift is clearly expressed by the very title of Blessed de Montfort’s formula: The Consecration of oneself to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, by the hands of Mary,’ to Mary as the perfect means, Jesus as the only and final end.
(To be continued.)