To be perfectly honest, these types of Marian devotions make me extremely uncomfortable. I was hoping someone could answer some specific questions for me about this concept of total consecration.
First of all, the name. I know the official name of this devotion is Total Consecration to Mary through Jesus, but most of the time it’s just referred to as Total Consecration to Mary, including what I assume is the most popular website for the devotion. The number one hit on Google which points to the calendar that you spoke about calls the devotional act “Total Consecration to Mary.” This is troubling, because if you totally consecrate yourself to Mary, where does that leave Jesus?
Next, there are several references on that site and in the writings of St. Louis de Montfort that seem to be incongruous with Catholic teaching in the Catechism. For example according to de Montfort, there are plenty of “secrets” that are revealed only to those who consecrate themselves to Mary and pray the Rosary. There’s a word for this in Catholicism–Gnosticism, and it’s a heresy. If you could explain to me how it’s not Gnosticism, I’d appreciate it.
Here are a few of the quotes from de Montfort that I find uncomfortable.
“The difficulty, then, is how to arrive at the true knowledge of the most holy Virgin and so find grace in abundance through her. God, as the absolute Master, can give directly what he ordinarily dispenses only through Mary, and it would be rash to deny that he sometimes does so. However, St Thomas assures us that, following the order established by his divine Wisdom, God ordinarily imparts his graces to men through Mary. Therefore, if we wish to go to him, seeking union with him, we must use the same means which he used in coming down from heaven to assume our human nature and to impart his graces to us. That means was a complete dependence on Mary his Mother, which is true devotion to her.”
So basically de Monfort is saying that we are never free to pray to Jesus–we need to pray to Jesus through Mary. Always. Here he is again:
“We must never go to our Lord except through Mary, using her intercession and good standing with him. We must never be without her when praying to Jesus.”
And finally, to me, the most disturbing quote of all:
“Chosen soul, this devotion consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through her, and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary.”
Nothing about that sounds even vaguely idolatrous to you? Even as a Catholic, I have a hard time stomaching that, and for Protestants we are trying to convince that we do not worship Mary, they will never be able to get over a quote like that from a canonized saint. The Catechism, by the way, has none of this, and certainly (as you correctly stated) does not require any devotional activity to ensure that God hears our prayers. In fact, all of these devotional activity seems to only have one source–de Montfort himself.
Can you please help me make sense of this? I do not ask these questions out of spite or ill-will, but with an honest heart searching for the truth in the Gospel.