I made a total consecration to Mary, using St. Louis de Montfort’s guide for doing so, in preparation for my priestly ordination (I timed it so that it would end on the day I was ordained). More recently, I’ve been thinking about doing that form of consecration again. In that regard, I came across these helpful words about distinguishing between “total” consecration and other forms. This comes from the book, Mary and the Priestly Ministry, pages 50-53:
It goes without saying that Mary is not the ultimate goal of consecration to her. God alone is our final goal. But actual practice demonstrates, and traditional teaching indicates that total consecration to Mary is the best way to attain our purpose in life.
We are speaking here of a true consecration. There are pious practices called “consecrations to Mary” which are more a self-seeking than a self-giving. One consecrates a child to Mary or one consecrates oneself to Mary at the time of First Communion or at the end of a parish mission, but it is for the purpose of getting her special protection. Father Zucchi’s well-known act of consecration to Mary is an example. After devoutly stating to the Blessed Virgin: “I consecrate to you my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my entire person,” the prayer concludes, “Because I belong to you, O my good Mother, guard me and defend me as your possession and your property.” It is a most legitimate request, one that pleases the Blessed Virgin and Our Lord, but it is not a donation properly speaking. It is more like a contract—Do ut des (I give so that you may give in return)—than a gratuitous gift. Properly speaking, consecration means giving oneself to Mary without any expectation of a return. It is made to please her and to further her interests above all.
Whatever form of total consecration one chooses, it is important that it be lived. This means that one no longer conducts oneself as proprietor and master of self, of what one has and of what one does, but as someone who belongs completely and irrevocably to Mary…. It means that one does what Mary wants one to do.
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Here is a good version of St. Louis de Montfort’s total consecration to Mary.