‘We must note,’ writes de Montfort, ‘that there are three kinds of slavery.
The first is the slavery of nature; all men, both good and bad, are the slaves of God in this sense.’
The only sufficient explanation to give of these words is that God is our Creator and our Master, our Providence and our Preserver. Without Him, we should neither have being, nor existence, nor movement, nor substance.
‘For in Him we live and move and are.’ Without Him we should be nothing; we should have nothing; He has absolute command of our life and our death. And by His very essence He cannot but own us; He made us free but dependent, and He expects us at the Judgment to give an account of our acts. And this dependence upon God, inevitable, perpetual, necessary, is surely the most complete slavery that can be imagined. But God, Who is a Father, does not make us feel its hardships and humiliations. He raises us to the rank of children, having created us in His image and in His semblance and wishing to take us into His celestial Family. He would have us serve not by fear and as slaves, but by willing, reasonable and supernatural love and as children.
‘The second is the slavery of constraint; in the way that the devils and the rejected are slaves of God.’
The devils and the rejected revolted against Him. God keeps them in His power by force; He has sent them to Hell and keeps them there. Slaves as they are of their passions and of sin, they will remain eternally the slaves of God, in fear, constraint and punishment.
‘The third is the slavery of love and of will; and it is by this slavery, as being the most perfect way in which a creature can give Himself to his Creator, that we should consecrate ourselves to God through Mary.’
It is that we may go to Jesus and give ourselves to Him that we go to Mary and give ourselves to her, as slaves of love and of will.
(To be continued.)