I am currently in the 33 preparation period to do St. Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration. I’ve unfortunately been having some doubts…I really want to believe in all of it, but my itty-bitty human brain is getting in the way. Maybe you guys could help me.
I don’t entirely understand what it means to give all your graces to Mary. What does that mean in the practical sense?
My biggest issue is this (bear with me, it’s kinda complicated)----
So. I was reading about Medjegorje, and I understand that those apparitions haven’t been verified by the Church. I also read that there have been a lot of false Mary apparitions (of course, there are real ones too). So, I’ve been thinking to myself, “Perhaps Satan sometimes tries to pose as a false Mary to make us worship him.” What it boils down to is this: how do I be certain that my veneration of Mary is truly to Mary? I also might be over thinking this.
Although we aren’t doing St Louis de Montfort’s Consecration to Mary, our parish is preparing to do Father Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory, which is partially based on de Montfort’s method.
As one of the facilitator’s, I’m doing advanced preparation, and have been reading the book. Father Gaitley warns us, when we start the process of consecration, we will be spiritually attacked. Satan hates Mary, and especially, hates anyone who wants to consecrate themselves to her.
Father Gaitley advises us to ask for the Blessed Mother’s help. She will see us through safely.
Also, St Michael the Archangel is a powerful friend. The St Michael prayer, or/and chaplet are a strong defense.
Regarding visions of Mary, what good would the devil take from giving more devotion to God? The prayers are still directed to Mary even if these visions are not valid even though I believe many of them are. Only conversions and miracles have come from these apparitions and no work of the devil. By the way, we really aren’t supposed to talk about Medjugorje or other “reported” visions on the Forums. If you want to talk about any please email or PM me.
As it was explained to me, through this consecration we detach ourselves of our ownership of everything we think of as ours, our possessions, our prayers, our graces, everything. We give them to Mary. She will essentially keep them safe for us and magnify them for us. We give all our graces to Mary, basically for her safekeeping, for her to do with what she wills. Always remember that her will is perfectly in line with God’s will - so … the graces will be kept or used in accordance with God’s will.
You are probably over-thinking this. Satan hates Mary more than any other created thing and will try to make you doubt your love for her and your commitment to consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary.
False devotees to our Blessed Mother are defined in sections 92-104 and authentic devotion is defined in 105-110 of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St. Louis de Montfort. You should have a copy of the book if you’re doing the consecration. If not, let me know and I’ll type it all out when I’m more awake.
Frankly, regarding Marian apparitions, I (now - this is just me) stay away from all unapproved apparitions and their messages. When folks around me talk about Medjegorje or some other apparition I generally keep my mouth shut unless they say something I know to be contrary to Church teaching. If asked directly, I tell my friends that I prefer to wait for the Church to rule on the apparition before I get too involved.
I will start my preparation tomorrow, June 13 so that I can do my consecration on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
I suggest reading the treatise on True Devotion ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm
This will answer many, if not all, of your questions regarding Total Consecration.
For your issue, I suggest focusing on the approved apparition only. We should read to edify, not to put doubts in our mind. With the Church approval on the apparition, I think you can never go wrong.
I can sympathize with you… I went through a period of uncertainty as well. I would say the safest way to avoid disordered prayer is to pray directly to God and Jesus. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was a tremendous blessing for me personally. I prayed it daily… and the Lord showed me the way. Go to Christ, He will show you what to do. If you are uncomfortable with Total Consecration, I wouldn’t recommend forcing it. Devotion to Our Lady is voluntary; a personal devotion…
How do we know what is good devotion and what isn’t? Following people more learned and holier than us --like saints, theologians and certain popes – is a good start. Consider, do our devotions lead us to Jesus? To greater holiness? What does your spiritual director have to say about it?
I do believe that Satan can and will make appearances as Mary, but he would not do so in order to direct us closer to God. He would have us being disobedient to the Church, full of hatred, etc. His apparation as Mary would begin as a sweet lady, but the fruit of his visit would be nothing the Church would ever stand for.
Fatima and Lourdes were regarded as false apparitions by many before they were approved. I’m just saying that the devil cannot benefit from greater devotion extended to God and greater dedication of life to Jesus through Mary. I know some of these apparitions are false and some even teach false doctrines but many of these help people unite closer to Christ.