"Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.
Today Sister shares with us the Devotion Saint Louis Grignon Marie de Montfort introduced of the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart. Monday is the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and ends the 33 day consecration cycle between St. Louis' feast day on April 28 and the Visitation. Sister lists other cycle days throughout the year in case you missed the former as she encourages all to take up the consecration, to commit ourselves totally just as the Holy Father has Totus Tuus in her column this week entitled Wrap yourselves in Our Lady's Mantle!
Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.
WRAP YOURSELVES IN OUR LADY'S MANTLE!
Frequently, Our Blessed Mother, in her various reported apparitions including Fatima and Medjugorje, has
requested that we, her children, consecrate ourselves to her. As a matter of fact, with regard to those who
have a special worry or concern about the unfaithful living of their children, for example, Our Lady of Medjugorje
has said: "Consecrate your children to me and then don't worry about them." I am confident she did not mean that one is not to have a future care, but I always make a distinction between WORRY and CONCERN. I think that when people WORRY, they expend a great deal of energy which is wasted...something like a car spinning its
wheels on ice. The vehicle is using gas and the engine's rpm's is exceeding the normal range for the car to
move....and yet it goes nowhere. CHRISTIAN CONCERN, however, is LOVE that moves one to prayer and
faith-filled reasonable action, but it is also mixed with a realization that we must trust that God, Who is All-Good
and faithful to His promises will give to each of His children all the graces they need to come to Him. And so,
while continuing to pray out of CONCERN, one also avoids WORRY, which lacks trust in God and wastes time
What is CONSECRATION and why does Our Blessed Mother treasure the act of consecrating ourselves to her?
First of all, Webster's New World Dictionary defines consecration as the act of setting something aside as holy
and for sacred and serious use. This general definition bears out the various kinds of consecration. Of course,
the holiest of all is that which takes place at every Mass when the priest prays the words: TAKE AND EAT...
Thereby ordinary bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Savior and Lord, Jesus. There is then, as
well, the special consecration of priests and religious men and women who of their own free will set themselves
aside to work and pray all of their lives for the work of their own sanctification and that of others. But Our Lady
is asking the laity to consecrate themselves, too. And perhaps no one has better assisted people to an
understanding of the importance of consecrating themselves to Our Lady and assisting them with a FORM of
doing so than St. Louis Marie de Monfort.
St. Louis not only advocated strongly that everyone should consecrate themselves to Our Lady, but he taught
earnestly that this consecration should not be taken lightly and that people should make a serious preparation for
it. Although a preparation for a consecration can vary according to a person's needs and circumstances, St.
Louis recommended a preparation that consisted of 12 days in which a person endeavors to rid himself/herself
of the spirit of the world as opposed to the Spirit of Our Lord. This preparation is followed by 3 weeks of prayer
and meditation in which a person strives to acquire a better knowledge of self (1st week),... of Our Lady (2nd
week),... and of Jesus (3rd week). This preparation takes 33 days.
The Monfort Fathers have assembled in one booklet the various prayers to aid people in the total consecration.
This booklet is entitled PREPARATION FOR TOTAL CONSECRATION ACCORDING TO SAINT LOUIS MARIE
de MONFORT. Local Catholic bookstores should have it and if not, I encourage you to contact me. This booklet
even has a chart of suggested schedules for consecration to help make it easier to keep track of the preparation
days. The remaining suggested beginning dates for the rest of this year are: April 28th...(ending May 31st); July
13th...(ending August 15th); and Nov. 5th...(ending December 8th).
Why does Our Lady treasure the act of consecrating ourselves to her? First of all, the act of consecration
according to its very definition, means that a person wants to be set aside for God and His service. The
implication is that a person wants to be saved, wants to be pleasing to God, wants to do God's Will. What good
mother doesn't want her child to be good? What good mother doesn't want to help her child to be good and do
good? Our Blessed Mother, the perfect Mother, the Mother of God...our Mother, does not and cannot refuse a
child who says in effect..."Mother, I want to be set aside for God and I want to do His Will?"
Consecrating ourselves to Our Lady is the fastest way to place ourselves under the shelter of Our Lady's
Mantle. We know from Scripture that Our dear Blessed Lady will crush the head of satan. (Can't come too soon
for me! I'm getting very tired of the evil work he is clearly sowing in our world today.) The evil one cannot harm
Our Lady in any way...cannot come close to her. The safest haven for us is under her Mantle. Those who ARE
under her Mantle...in other words, those who have consecrated themselves to her are "safe"... are "set aside"
In case, you dear reader, have not as yet consecrated yourself to Our Lady, or would like to make a TOTAL
consecration, I truly encourage you to do so....SOON. Time is not to be wasted. God love you and bless you!