“It is through the most Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is through Her that He must reign in the world.”
– Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
Introduction to the ‘Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary’
I am now well into the Preparation Period before the renewal of the Consecration to Jesus through Mary, according to the formula of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.
This time of preparation is divided into several parts –
– an initial period of 12 days, asking for the grace to empty oneself of the spirit of the world
– one week, asking for the grace of obtain knowledge of self
– one week, asking for the grace to obtain knowledge of the Blessed Virgin
– one week, asking for the grace to obtain knowledge of Jesus Christ
– the day of Consecration itself.
My notebook is filling up with my thoughts and experiences on the process of preparation as I look forward to the Feast of Pentecost, and at intervals, I write down my resolutions and good intentions. All of this, I will read again in the years to come – God willing – and will make use of these notes to further renew the Consecration as the years go on.
Like the preparation for anything of importance, the process is hard work and it demands much prayer and thought. My practice is to read the designated readings for each day, followed by the Litanies to the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin, and the Ave Maris Stella. After this, I pray my Rosary while meditating on the points I have just read, asking for the grace I need to understand them, and also to live them out.
To look honestly and carefully within oneself, to seek to see ourselves at least in some way resembling the way the Lord sees us, is never an easy thing to do; only grace allows it to take place in the first instance, and that same grace supports us in bearing what we find there – little of which is to our liking! And yet, to properly enter into the spirit of this True Devotion, that process is both necessary and required. Thankfully, the Lord sees our will and our good intentions, and He supplies what is needed after that. I have come to realise how generous we can be in excusing ourselves from all sorts of faults and failings, from every conceivable sin and frailty and weakness; and yet I see clearly, too, how great the grace of God is, like the blazing fire into which we cast ourselves with all our imperfections, and where they are consumed to nothing, leaving only that blazing fire.
I am constantly astonished – as I was when I first made this Consecration – at how kind and generous the Blessed Virgin is; how She provides so thoughtfully and so gently for every moment and for every need. Without Her motherly kindness, none of this would be possible – and except for Her, it would be pointless.
“By Mary was the salvation of the world begun,
and by Mary it must be consummated..
God, then, wishes to reveal and make known Mary,
the masterpiece of His hands,
in these latter times.”
(True Devotion, 49,50)