Year of Faith Plenary Indulgence Opportunity: Is your parish hosting a mission this Lent? If so, it is a great opportunity to avail yourself of the Year of Faith plenary indulgence. “Each time the faithful attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location,” (USCCB) You don’t even have to go further than your own parish to make it happen. Don’t miss the opportunity! Click here for more info on the indulgence.
Many daily practices of devotion mark my days, so when it came time to examine my spiritual life and how to not miss the grace of this holy season and the opportunity to grow closer the Lord, I had to think long and hard.
After much prayer, I decided to renew my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I first made it about 20 years ago and have renewed a couple of times since. I distinctly remember the last time being rather unfruitful due to my own lack of discipline. But we all know, Lent is all about discipline.
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary comes to us from the great Marian saint, Saint Louis de Montfort (1673-1716), who explains that Total Consecration “consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through her, and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary” (The Secret of Mary, No. 28).
Blessed Pope John Paul II’s motto “Totus Tuus” meaning “Totally yours” originates in this devotion:
…reading St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary” marked a turning point in his life. Blessed John Paul II talked about this in an Oct. 2000 address to the 8th International Mariological Colloquium in Rome. Blessed John Paul II noted that he had read and reread de Montfort’s book. “Then I understood that I could not exclude the Lord’s Mother from my life without neglecting the will of God-Trinity,” he said, “who willed to begin and fulfill the great mysteries of the history of salvation with the responsible and faithful collaboration of the humble handmaid of Nazareth.” (source)
Further he said:
“Reading this book (St.Louis de Montfort’sTrue Devotion to Mary) was to be a turning point in my life…. This Marian devotion …has since remained a part of me. It is an integral part of my interior life and of my spiritual theology.” (source)
The Act of Consecration is a single act, but preparation for it takes time…in fact, 33 days. totalconsecration.ageofmary.com explains the devotion and consecration well:
The devotion, Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, has been practiced for centuries. It involves 33 days of preparatory devotions, with the Total Consecration made on the 34th day.
The day of Total Consecration (i.e. the 34th day) should be a Marian feast day. Schedules for the preparation and Total Consecration are included in the resource materials provided free through MyConsecration.org. There are more than 20 34-day schedules that fall throughout the year for those wishing to make the Total Consecration.
According to St. Louis de Montfort, the 33 days of preparation include 12 days of “emptying oneself of the spirit of the world” followed by 21 days of “imbuing oneself with the Spirit of Jesus through the Blessed Virgin.” The Total Consecration that follows this preparation is a perfect renewal of one’s baptismal vows.
The Total Consecration is divided into themes:
- Days 1-12: The Spirit of the World,
- Days 13-19: Knowledge of Self,
- Days 20-26: Knowledge of Mary,
- Days 27-33: Knowledge of Jesus,
- Day 34: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.
The final consecration should be made on a Marian feast day, the next one being the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, which means we’ve gotta get started! Preparation begins tomorrow on February 20th.
So…for the next 33 days, I will post the daily prayers for preparation, and on the 34th day, the prayers of consecration. If you’d like to have them emailed directly to you, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the blue button labeled “Follow blog via email” (on the lower right corner of this page).
I can say from my own experience, that I would be completely lost were it not for Our Lady. And this Lent, I need a to deepen my roots in her to remind myself about who she is, how she loves, and how she leads us to love her son more perfectly.
Won’t you join me?
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Anne