In the past few days, we have seen our Holy Father, Pope Benedict on pilgrimage to Fatima. It is in Fatima, that Our Lady requested consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart She promised that through this consecration would come it’s conversion and her eventual triumph.
Many Catholics, especially priests have become weary of the word “consecration” and would prefer to use the word “entrustment”. When we began a Marian Cenacle in one of my former parishes, the priests were all upset with the word “consecration”, they wanted nothing to do with it and did not want anyone else to use the word. “Those days are gone”, they said. This is a Vatican II Church.
So what is consecration and why do we need it? We must begin by saying, that consecration is not something we asked for, it was a direct request from the Mother of God. She said that is is for the sake and for the world’s salvation. Consecration is not an outdated theology in the life of the Catholic Church. Bishops, priests and religious are still considered consecrated!
Let’s first look at entrustment. Entrustment means that someone is to assigned a responsibility, they have something to do. A parent will entrust, or assign one of the children to take out the trash, to mow the lawn, or to fulfill a certain task. The act of consecration on the other hand is much different and does not even resemble entrustment. Of course we can and should entrust ourselves to Our Lady’s care, but she has requested consecration!
The word consecration comes from the Latin consecrat, which means dedicated or devoted as sacred. Marian consecration is in essence the renewal and deepening of Baptismal vows. On the day of our baptism, we were set apart! At the opening of a new church, the bishop will consecrate it. Stone altars are consecrated. Consecration sets a person, place or thing apart, it changes the purpose of for it’s being. A church is consecrated, set apart for divine worship. The altar is reserved for sacrifice. A chalice is consecrated for a holy use. Things that are consecrated, may not be used for the mundane. A chalice may never be used for anything but the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – it has been set apart for the blood of Jesus Christ.
At baptism, we were set apart for God. We were changed forever and configured to Christ Himself. Once something is consecrated, there is no turning back. The consecrated soul belongs to God for all eternity. Whether we are faithful or not, we belong to the Almighty.
Marian consecration helps us to deepen our baptismal consecration. It is not consecration to Mary so that we are her’s alone. Consecration to Mary is Consecration to Christ. When we are consecrated to Mary, we enter into her school, we become disciples, so that she may help to form us into the image of her Son. As the perfect disciple of our Lord, Our Lady’s one desire for all of God’s children is for them to become perfect disciples of her Son. Our Lady leads us to Christ, she helps us to overcome our sins and impels us to continue the new evangelization.
Today, consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is imperative. Like in the times of Noah, we must enter into the Arc of the New Covenant, we must enter into the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For she is our sure refuge in these times of trial. Those who entered the arc with Noah were saved from the deluge. We who enter into the safe refuge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will be saved from the deluge of sin and evil. Lead by Our Lady, we will be formed according to the Heart of Christ, go forward with a forceful proclamation of the Gospel for the New Evangelization and enter into the time of peace she has promised and we all so long for.
Let us daily cry out to our heavenly mother in the words of our late Holy Father: “Totus tuus, ego sum Maria!” I am totally yours Oh Mary!