Honor Thy Mother- Marian Consecration

Our Sisters at Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine
As Catholics we do some pretty weird things.  We have been accused of cannibalism.  We venerate the body parts of Holy people.   We walk around one day a year with ashes on our foreheads.
But the thing that most non-Catholics do not get is our love for Mary.  Now I have to be completely honest, until entering this community I didn’t have much of a relationship with Mary.  A few months ago I had a conversation with someone at Samaritan House, the thrift store we run, about Mary.  This man isn’t Catholic and thinks we worship her.  He kept saying “I honor her, I just don’t worship her.”  While trying to explain that we do the same thing I asked him how he honors her.  He couldn’t answer this. 
I left that store that day upset, but recognizing something important: there was a deep love for Mary in my heart.  That love hasn’t always been there so I knew that the Lord had worked some grace without me even realizing it!  After this incident there was heaviness in my heart and I realized it was because I needed to ask myself the same thing: how do I honor Mary?  If I really love her and know how important she is, how do I show that?  I knew the answer almost immediately: entrust myself to her.
Sr. Magdala Marie praying before Our Lady
Today we celebrate St. Louis de Montfort, who is primarily known for popularizing Marian consecration. Montfort boldly claims that Mary is the easiest and best way to Christ.  Therefore he says that we should consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary.  Consecrating ourselves to her simply means placing ourselves in her hands so she can bring us to Jesus.  How did Jesus come into the world? Through Mary.  Just as Jesus came into the world through Mary, God wants the world to come to Jesus through Mary.  
Consecrating one’s self to Mary is simply listening to Jesus’s words from the cross: “Behold your mother. (John 19: 27) Jesus has given us Mary as a mother.  Like John, we are called to take her into our homes, into the home of our hearts, into our inner lives.

In our community we take this call very seriously.  This passage from John 19 inspired our spirituality of being with Mary at the foot of the cross.  We renew our consecration to Jesus through Mary as a community on the Immaculate Conception each year. 

"We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son." --Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
-Sr. Magdala Marie Clarizio, novice

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