Ecumenical Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

Ecumenical ‘Consecration to Jesus Through Mary’

 The “Crown” of the Catholic Church’s Marian Devotion in a Theologically Precise and Ecumenically Sensitive Format Which Should Be Unoffensive to Protestant Christians and Which May Draw Them (and Catholic Christians) Deeper into the Holy Mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Body of Christ the Church Through its Recognition of Mary’s Particular Role in the Whole Body of Christ and Kingdom of God of Which All Christians Are a Part

Background (From Who Is Mary In The Church?)

The Catholic Christian doctrines concerning Jesus’ mother Mary come from the loving reflection of many centuries upon the Mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus the Savior and all its consequences – from loving reflection upon the fact that Mary is the mother of God Incarnate, that is, of God the Eternal Son, Second Person of the Eternal Holy Trinity, made Man through Mary’s Virgin Birth at a particular point in time.  The Bible reveals that the Church is the Body of Christ, a mysterious extension of the Incarnation in us, the redeemed (including Mary) united to Christ, who mysteriously are members of Christ’s very Body (Ephesians 5:32).  We Christians are united to Christ Jesus as a Body to its Head (Colossians 1:18, 2:19, Ephesians 5:23), and so the human body through which Jesus physically reaches out in love to the world today (after His bodily Ascension) is us, the Church His Body.

Mary’s role in the Church is that of first member and model of the Body of Christ, the Church, by virtue of her being the mother of God Incarnate, of God-made-Man.  She is our mother in God’s adopted family the Church by virtue of being mother of Christ whose Body we are (as Jesus told “the beloved disciple” that Mary was his mother – John 19:27), but she is also the first believer in Jesus (who believed Gabriel’s message),and the first disciple of Jesus (who “pondered in her heart” what God had done in Jesus and who the Bible states was present during His ministry from His first miracle to His Cross to Pentecost).  She is the first member of the Body of Christ, who goes before us every place we go, such that what the Catholic Church believes about Mary is also true of all members of the Body, albeit in a different way since she is uniquely related to Jesus as His true mother and the human source of His truly human nature.  Still Mary is the first Christian saved, purified, glorified, and crowned by Christ (as the Bible reveals all Christians will be) and the first Christian Co-redeemer (Colossians 1:24) and Co-mediator with Christ as a member of His Body  – see Who Is Mary In the Church?

One doctrinal consequence of Mary’s position in the Body of Christ as first member is that both Eastern and Western Christian Tradition identifies her as the “neck” of the Body of Christ which joins Christ the Head to the other members of His Body the Church, she is the channel or Mediatrix of all the graces which the Holy Spirit distributes from Christ the Head into His Body the Church which is animated by the Holy Spirit (all members of the Church His Body likewise in the Holy Spirit mediating these graces out to the world).  The so-called “Marian doctrines” then ultimately are not about Mary, they are about the Incarnation and the Body of (Mary’s son) Christ, and about the relationships between the God-Man Jesus, His human mother, His Divine Father, and His human body the Church that the Mystery of the Body of Christ implies.  Thus Scriptural and theological reflections which are not prejudiced against Mary (as Protestant reflections are) lead to a much deeper and richer and more completely Scriptural understanding of the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, and the Church, which is the Body of God the Son Incarnate.

As a devout  (Eastern) Catholic Christian theologian, the following prayer is my own both personal and theological development of Saint Louis de Montfort’s Christian devotion of “consecration to Jesus through Mary” which was strongly promoted by Blessed Pope John Paul II, and which has been called the “Crown,” or the highest form, of the Catholic Church’s devotion to Mary (which in any form is often gravely misunderstood by Protestant Christians).  As a former Evangelical Protestant Christian I once shared all the typical Protestant misunderstandings and objections to the Marian doctrine and devotions of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and as these misunderstandings seem to be unnecessarily among the most visceral objections which divide Christians (allowing Satan more free hand in our society), I was motivated to write Who Is Mary In The Church? to help clear up the misunderstandings.  Mary’s importance in Catholic and Orthodox Christian doctrine is of course summed up in Blessed Mother Teresa’s simple explanation: “No Mary?  No Jesus!”  There is no God the Son Incarnate (enfleshed) in Jesus Christ for our salvation without Mary, His human mother who gave Jesus His true humanity, and thus Mariology (the study of Mary) is merely an appendix to Christology (the study of Jesus) – a very fruitful appendix for understanding the role not only of Mary but of all Christians who make up the Body of Christ the Church.  Thus my “Ecumenical” prayer inspired by Saint Louis de Montfort’s Consecration to Jesus through Mary incorporates a more theologically developed understanding of the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation (enfleshment) of God the Son in Jesus Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the “profound mystery” (see Ephesians 5:22-32) of the Body of Christ the Church, as described in much more detail in my book Who Is Mary In The Church?  It recognizes that Mary is in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (see Ch. 5 of my book) as the Prophesied Mother of the Promised Messianic King, and prefigured in the Biblical Queens of Israel who were always the mothers (never one of the multiple wives) of the reigning KingsThus “Mother of the King” and “Great Lady” (Hebrew Gebirah – often translated as “Queen” or “Queen Mother”) are synonymous terms in the Bible, and the Catholic Church’s identification of Mary as “Queen” of the Heavenly Kingdom Jesus reigns over as King is no later invention but merely a consequence of Mary’s son Jesus being Israel’s Messianic King sitting on “the throne of his father David” as the Angel Gabriel prophesied in Luke 1:32.  Mary’s Queenship because of the Kingship of her son Jesus was even recognized immediately by Elizabeth who, full of the Holy Spirit, called Mary “the Mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43),  a title essentially synonymous with Gebirah or “Queen,” and this queenly role in the Kingdom of Israel was typically one of intercession before the King, exactly the role ascribed to Mary by the early Christians of the early persecutions and preserved in today’s (Eastern and Western) Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, the common tradition of Christian East and West also calling Queen Mary “the neck” of the mystical Body of Christ the Church, as does this prayer.

I recommend this prayer at least at first be prayed entire, but afterwards the theological clarifications (in parentheses) may be omitted as long as they are understood.  I do not expect Protestant Christians to be entirely comfortable actually praying this prayer before reading Who Is Mary In The Church? which deals quite thoroughly with all their typical misunderstandings and objections to Marian devotion, but at least in reading it they should be able to understand that consecration to Jesus through Mary is as high as Marian devotion gets in the Catholic Church, and it still takes into account their many concerns, while actually leading Catholic Christians who pray it themselves into a higher dynamic participation with Jesus the Head as members of His Body towards the salvation of the world.  Catholic or Orthodox Christians who wish to deepen their Marian devotion by this prayer can do so in a way that helps them to when necessary explain the Marian element of their Christian faith in a way which does not promote the typical misunderstandings which promote disunity in the Church over Mary.  For any questions see Who Is Mary In The Church?:

Mary, my mother and Queen, and ‘neck’ of the Body; Jesus, my brother and King, and Head of the Body; Great High Father of Jesus the Only-Begotten Son: In the Holy Spirit whose indwelling  makes me also a member of the Body of Christ I consecrate myself to you – I offer you all my life, all my love, all my service, all my suffering, and any small merit that is mine for freely cooperating with the empowering Grace of the Holy Spirit who indwells me

(that Holy Spirit who is “spouse” of you, Mary my mother and Queen, who overshadowed you who then bore Jesus and who are now the first merely human member of the Body to live fully (body and soul) in Heaven the life of the Holy Spirit; that Holy Spirit of You, Jesus my human and Divine Lord and King, who overshadowed Your human mother to make You human while remaining Divine; that Holy Spirit of You, my Divine Father, who is the love proceeding between You and Your Divine Son in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity of Love – that same Holy Spirit of supernatural adoption [Romans 8:15,  Galatians 4:6] who proceeds from the Father [John 15:26], who indwells me and makes me a child of God the Father [John 1:12-13]).

 I pray that you (Mary my Queen, Jesus my King, Great High Father of Love) through the Holy Spirit whose life you share and who also indwells me, will lovingly guide and guard my life which I offer to you; I know that you will accept all my love which I offer to you and return it beyond my ability to contain – may it overflow from me out to others; I pray you will clearly direct my service to you as my Queen, my King, and my High Father; I thank you that all my suffering which I offer to you is not wasted or meaningless but, since I am a member of the Body of Christ together with Mary the ‘Neck’ and Christ the Head, my suffering participates in the sufferings of Christ the Head for the redemption of the world, “making up in my body what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church” (Colossians 1:24); I ask you Mary, as Mediatrix of All Graces because you are the ‘neck’ of the Body of Christ and interceding Queen of the Kingdom (as the Queens of Israel interceded for the subjects of the Kingdom with the Kings their sons), on behalf of Jesus your Son and your King and Head of the Body, and through Him on behalf of His High Father, to take any small merit of mine (for, as a member of the Body, freely cooperating with the Grace of the Holy Spirit which enlivens the Body [1]), and distribute it throughout the Body of Christ and the world beyond as your Son and King and His Father direct you, wherever you and your Son and His Father see it has the most need of further Graces.

 In the Name of the Father of Love, the Son of Love, and the Holy Spirit of Love, AMEN.

Please note that “consecration to Jesus through Mary” is the highest form or “crown” of all Catholic Christian Marian devotion, but it is not about Mary in any way that interferes with a Christian’s relationship with Jesus as Protestant Christians worry about.  Rather, by including Mary in this prayer together with God, because of her pivotal role in the Church as the first member of the Body of Christ, the central Christian mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation are remembered and clarified and our important role as individual members of that one Body of Christ is emphasizedOur participation in that Body which includes Mary the ‘neck’ and Jesus the Head, our participation with Mary the first merely human member of that one Body of Christ, Head and Members, which lives, loves, and suffers for the redemption of the world (see Colossians 1:24), is emphasized.

© 2005, 2012 Peter William John Baptiste SFO, excerpts from Who is Mary in the Church? © 2005, 2009

 [1] We indeed merit when we use our restored free will in Christ to cooperate with His empowering Holy Spirit (as “God’s co-workers – 1 Cor. 3:9) when we still could easily resist His Grace, as we prove every time we sin.  Still, as Blessed Pope John XXIII said, “My merit – His mercy” since the power to successfully do good comes from God our “co-worker” who empowers us when we cooperate with Him.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church further teaches “We can have merit in God’s sight only because of God’s free plan to associate man with the work of his grace. Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man’s collaboration.  Man’s merit is due to God” (CCC 2025).  Consecration to Jesus through Mary involves giving even what small merit we members of the Body have for freely cooperating with God’s empowering Holy Spirit back to God through Mary “the neck” of the Body, offering our small merits through our free cooperation with Grace back to the (Divine and human) King through the (merely human but glorified) Queen.