IT EN ES

In Imitation of Christ

Consecration to Mary

Several aspects come to mind when considering my Total Consecration, now  made some 20 years ago. My relationship with Our Lady has been immensely important to my relationship with Jesus for as long as I can remember. I find myself saying  the great prayer from the medieval St. Bernard, the Memorare, several time throughout my day. Although Bernard was alive 8 centuries before St. Maxmilian Kolbe, his understanding of Our Lady, her role in salvation history, and in our own holiness was an important forerunner to St. Maxmilian. I would like to highlight a few parts of that prayer to emphasize how much it helps me understand consecration and why consecration is so important to the Christian.

The Memorare says that everyone who has ever gone to Our Lady for protection, help, or intercession did in fact receive her aid. Because her will is so perfectly aligned with God’s, her love for us perfectly mirrors the mercy of God and assists along the path to mercy when we need it. This is echoed when the prayer says that I stand before Our Lady “sinful and sorrowful.” The end of the prayer makes specific reference to the mercy of Our Lady. The role of Our Lady as our Mother of Mercy has always meant a lot to my own faith and confidence in Consecration, because as an extremely flawed person, her love and mercy have done much to keep me strong in my faith and especially in my hope.

I was consecrated to Our Lady as a child but today understand why I am consecrated better than ever. No true Christian would dispute the reality that the goal of the Christian is to live in imitation of Christ. Consider the manner in which Christ deemed to come to earth: he relied on the Virgin Mary for her protection, her holiness, and her wisdom. When Christ chose to make himself utterly vulnerable in terms of his humanity, he was safe because he entrusted himself to the sanctuary of her womb and then of her home. In this sense, total consecration is simply an imitation Christ. It is in this vulnerability and entrustment to Our Lady that the most perfect imitation of Christ can come to fruition in our own lives and spiritual journey. My consecration is understandable to me most in this context of imitation of Christ and I thank God for it.

 

John Neal Cooke

 

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John Neal Cooke shares how the Memorare prayer demonstrates the consecration to Mary and how the consecration leads to the imitation of Christ.

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