Consecration to Jesus Christ Through the Hands of Mary
On our final evening at Micklepage and at the end of our week-long fundamental retreat/ pilgrimage ~ we were presented with a beautiful opportunity to renew our Baptismal vows. I was however a little misplaced when we were expected without prior agreement or foreword (until the very last conference) to consecrate ourselves to Mary.
This is not something that someone does without deepest prior discernment.
We were all given a script to go away and read through. ~ We were also to contemplate which one of four special Baptismal symbols we were drawn most intimately to ~ as a symbol of the way ahead ~ and of our ever-deepening journey in Faith.
However the consecration vows that we were presented with ~ and were expected to take, were not the same prayer of consecration that we had prayed with all week ~ which I had thought was so very beautiful.
Instead we were given an alternative translation which held a completely weighted and different meaning for me. Having read through the vows and briefly raised my concerns with Fr Tom (at which point he reassured me), the bell then immediately rang out for our ‘Last Supper’.
As we said grace before the meal I felt a sudden lack of appetite ~ All I can explain to you is that there was this huge resistance welling up in my chest. Vows are so important, they are never to be undertaken lightly ~ and if we are uncomfortable with them ~ then they are definitely not to be taken at all. I have learnt the hard way ~ by not listening to, or discerning the movements of the Spirit within me before now.
I have an allegiance to Mary Magdalene & Mary of Bethany. I have absolutely no doubt that if Mary the Mother of Christ is the Mother of the Church, and to be the Mother of me, then she is absolutely also the Mother of the Mary’s. I had already spoken to Fr Tom about the Mother daughter relationship between Mary Magdalene/Mary of Bethany and Mother Mary. That of two women who walked everywhere with the Lord ~ Who stood together at the foot of The Cross ~ Who never abandoned The Lord ~ Who Loved one another ~ Who Loved Jesus ~ Who influenced and learnt wisdom, each from the other ~ Who intimately shared their Faith and lives in close companionship. Who were family ~ I had no problem choosing Mary as my Mother ~ just as Mary Magdalene had. Every blessing that Mary had received in friendship, Love, and as a beloved daughter, so did I pray for.
And through the beautiful prayer of the weeks Consecration Vows I had every hope that these prayers were to be answered and fulfilled ~ without even realising there were to be an official ceremony. But I could not consecrate myself through the alternative translation. Something in my soul absolutely jarred at the alternative vows.
After Supper I found Fr Tom and apologised ~ but offered to opt out for that part of the ceremony ~ so as not to ruin it for anybody else. We had looked together before dinner at the possibility of changing one of the words, else part of the sentence that I was struggling with ~ but over dinner I realised that I just couldn’t say the whole translation. It just was off my radar ~ I would only consecrate myself to Mary through the familiar beautiful version of the vows which I had so comfortably prayed all week. And whose words were so befitting to that of Mary. Just as I Love the Hail Mary.
I apologised and explained to Fr Tom that words were so very important to me ~ He asked me of course what the difficulty was with the translation. I feel so close to Christ already through my friendship with Mary Magdalene ~ I Love Him ~ Only He has ‘the entire and full right of disposing of me and all that belongs to me without exception’ ‘for the greater glory of God in time and eternity.’ ~ Nobody else at all. I found the translation unpoetical, bland, male and not feminine, and altogether wrong. I just didn’t agree with, nor understand the subtle nuances of meaning lost from that version of the French to English translation.
I apologised and said to Fr Tom that he looked so disappointed, and so I said if it were easier I would opt out all together ~ or I could quietly say the other vows on my own ~ But he heard my voice loud and clear, and he could see my resolute spirit ~ and he decided that we would all be Consecrated to Mary ~ but now with the beautiful poetic befitting version of vows.
And when I said them I meant them ~ each and every word ~ with my whole heart ~ and with a peace imbued blessed and joyous Spirit.
Thanks be to God and Mary and Mary.
We then all proceeded on to the meadow where a renewal of our baptismal vows through the inspiration of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montford began with a reading from the letter to the Ephesians 1: 3-6
Blessed be God
The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who has blessed us
With all the spiritual blessings of heaven
Thus he chose us in Christ
before the world was made
to be holy and faultless
before him in love,
marking us out for himself beforehand,
to be adopted sons,
through Jesus Christ.
Such was his purpose and good pleasure,
to the praise of the glory of his grace,
which he lavished upon us.
The Good News
Lord Jesus Christ, only and beloved Son of the Father,
I adore you and thank you
for taking our human condition in order to redeem us.
Refrain: I believe and confess that You are the Word of Truth that makes us free.
Refrain: You are the Wisdom which opens the way to true Happiness.
Refrain: You are the Life.
Refrain: You created us in the Holy Spirit through the waters of Baptism.
Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the history of salvation
Lord Jesus, through your incarnation, you accept to depend totally on Mary, your mother.
With her and through her I want to get to know you better and love you more deeply.
Hail Mary Immaculate, living Tabernacle of the Divinity,
Queen of Heaven and earth, true refuge of sinners
Aware of my poverty, I want to be your child in order to belong more totally to Christ my Lord.
We then proceeded to the beautiful ivy adorned ~ candle lit ~ ancient chapel where we made the sign of The Cross with the Holy Water. It looked breath-taking.
Renewal of Baptismal Vows
Priest: Dear brothers and Sisters, let us renew our profession of faith to the living and true God and to his Son Jesus Christ.
Priest: Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
All: I do
Priest: Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
All: I do
Priest: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
All: I do
Priest: Do you believe in God, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
All: I do
Priest: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died and was buried,
rose from the dead,
and is now seated at the right hand of the father?
All: I do
Priest: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting?
All: I do
All: Our father who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not in to temptation
But deliver us from evil
For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
Now and forever
We then in our own time, one by one, were to go up to the altar and kneel before our God inspired one of four chosen baptismal symbols. We had contemplated over the four symbols earlier in the day. Our personal symbol chosen was to help us personally go deeper into this year in order to bear fruit. I had wondered which symbols the other retreatants might go for ~ For some reason I had hoped with all my heart that not one of them would choose the symbol that I had chosen as my own. I have no idea why I hoped no one else would choose my symbol ~ but I knew deeply inside that that symbol had my name on it, and drew me in ~ So deeply in ~ that there would be no turning back from it.
The choice was a Candle ~ a Bible ~ a White garment ~ or Holy oil
Light ~ Thanks to my Baptism ~ I am called to shine the light of Christ.
The Word of God ~ Thanks to my Baptism ~ I am called to savour the Scriptures so that they might change my life.
White Garment ~ Thanks to my Baptism ~ I am called to be pure in my body and in my heart so that the Lord may live in me.
Holy oils ~ Thanks to my Baptism ~ I am called to become more holy by the Lords strength.
I approached the Altar with the Truest of hearts ~ I knelt down before my Lord and before the Holy oil ~ the oil which I had been banished from seeing blessed at the Chrism Mass ~ The oil that Magdalene & Mary of Bethany was anointed to ‘My Lord’ with ~ made Holy at the foot of the temple. And I reached my hand up to the Altar ~ and I placed All my sorrow ~ All my Love ~ and All of who I Am through my finger tips upon the little jar of Sacred oil ~ and I gave thanks to My Lord and Mary Magdalene of Bethany for their Beloved friendship and example ~ and I prayed that their Mother would bless me by being my Heavenly Mother too. And then I prayed for my beloved and me ~ for Love.
Nobody before me or after me chose the Holy oil.
Then we were to go to The Cross to venerate it: ‘Thanks to my Baptism, I am called to bear witness to His love by the generous gift of myself.’
We then were to proceed back over to the beautiful red silk ~ floral and ivy adorned ~ candle lit conference barn for;
Priest: To be more faithful to our Baptismal vows and our confirmation, to make the life of the Holy Spirit grow in us, we turn to you Mary and say:
This was the Consecration Vows that I just could Not say ~ and had to refuse after our ‘Last Supper’
‘I choose you this day, O Mary, in the presence of the whole heavenly court, for my Mother and my Queen. I abandon and consecrate to you, in total submission and love, my body and soul, my goods both interior and exterior, and the very value of my good actions, past, present and future, leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to your good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and eternity. Amen.’
Only My Lord has this right ~ No one else.
These were the beautiful Consecration Vows that I chose to say ~ and by which we were all committed together ~ and I meant every word with all my heart.
In your presence, oh Mary,
I renew my Baptismal vows.
‘I choose you today, Mary, in the presence of the angels
and the Saints of Heaven, for my Mother and my Queen.
I consecrate to you in obedience and love,
all I am, all I have, and all the good I may do,
putting myself and all that belongs to me entirely at your service,
for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.’
Renewed by the Holy Spirit, we can now express our thankfulness through the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary my Mother, I trust you to help me mould Jesus in me and mould myself in him.
From now on I want to fulfil in me His work of liberation, grace and peace.
I want to let the Holy Spirit lead me on the ways to Holiness and Love.
My soul glorifies the Lord,
My spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
He looks on His servant in her lowliness;
Henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The almighty works marvels for me.
Holy is His name!
His Mercy is from age to age,
On those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
And scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts down the mighty from their thrones
And raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
Sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
Remembering His mercy,
The mercy promised to our fathers,
To Abraham and his sons for ever.
We finished this special of all special evenings in prayer, giving individual thanks for the individual Graces that we had received during this very special week. I gave thanks for the Grace of God meeting me at the very beginning of my retreat by way of Woodpecker upon my door. And for the continual Grace of the Invisible ~ being made Visible. And for Jesus so generously sharing His Mother with me ~ now my Mother ~ And lastly and most especially of all ~ for once again truly feeling a Fully welcome part of a community and for being so enveloped in Love.
Beautiful Mary Mother of God ~ Pray for us All