Are you ready for the chains? It is easy to see that personal freedoms, even of conscience, are being undermined by the government and even taken away in our country, and across the world, today. It is easy to see the increasing occurrences of calamities across the globe: earthquakes, floods, famine, pestilence, random violence, etc. The ongoing erosion of our constitutional liberties presages despotism, tyranny. Disasters might lead one to thoughts of the “end times.”
So I repeat, are you ready for the chains? By that I mean the chains of holy slavery. The chains one accepts willingly when one makes his Marian consecration, “An Act of Perfect Consecration to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, through Holy Slavery to the Immaculate Heart of Mary according to the method of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.” It is the chains willingly accepted in that oblation of the will that I write to you about.
I know there are many of you who have made your consecration in this manner. But there are many who have been delaying it, or perhaps have never heard of it. Are you one of them? Is your spouse, relative, or friend one of them? Wouldn’t May, the month of Our Lady, be a good time to make, or to renew (often done annually), your consecration?
You will need thirty-three days to prepare, so pick a date and count backwards to see when you should begin. There are some special feasts often chosen for the consecration, e.g., Our Lady of Perpetual Help on June 27 (begin May 25), Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16 (begin June 13), the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven on August 15 (begin July 13), the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 22 (begin July 20), the Birth of Mary on September 8 (begin August 6), etc. There are at least eighteen universally celebrated feasts of Our Lady. Choose one, and then begin.
In such troubled times as these, you will find you have your Blessed Mother as your guide. She is the best “coach” you could ever have. After all, it is she who encouraged, taught, nourished, and watched over the Child Jesus as He grew up. We know that we are in a great struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil, which all combine to prevent us from following in Our Lord’s footsteps and saving our souls. Who is better equipped to guard and protect us, to show us the way, than the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Let me warn you. Be prepared for the devil to get in your way. Many have begun their consecration preparations and found that the easy path was impeded. Don’t let that challenge stop you. Don’t be discouraged. Pick yourself up if you fall off the track and continue on. Our Lady will help you. After all, is she not the Mediatrix of all Graces? Remember, you only need a little time each day devoted to reading and meditating, and at the end you will have the joy of signing your consecration form!
I should also point out that making your consecration is one of the prerequisites to joining the Third Order of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Be, then, truly devoted to Mary, be one of her spiritual children by making your consecration to her. Offer yourself totally to her. She hears you and will answer. She will never desert you. How could she? She is your mother, now and forever. Now, will you accept the chains?
Every sports team has a fight song. Every country has an anthem. Many cities have a special song dedicated to them. The Italian, the Irish, the French, the Polish, all have songs that speak to their ethnicity, their culture. And, of course, Our Lady has many hymns dedicated to Her. Well, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have a rousing song written by Father Feeney himself. It is entitled, ‘Tis for the Love of Mary. If you never heard it before, here it is. We sing it here at the Center during special times, e.g., the recent profession of the two sisters, on First Saturday when we have our regular Third Order monthly business meeting, when we end our school plays, programs, etc. We hope you will love it as we do. May God bless you and the Immaculate Heart of Mary always watch over and protect you!
Each heart becomes a slave
A heart that once was wary
Is through her love emboldened to be brave
Her banner is the only one to wave.
Remember, Virgin Mother,
That never was it known
One needing thy protection
And seeking it was ever left alone
You always come and take him for your own.
Despise not our petitions,
O gracious advocate,
And after this our exile,
And after all the years we still must wait
Take us unto your Heart Immaculate.
Email Brother John Marie Vianney at firstname.lastname@example.org.