25 March – Annunciation (Acies Mass)
"Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt.” According to John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae he borrowed the motto, Totus Tuus, from the Marian consecrating prayer as found in the book True Devotion to Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort. The late Pope took this for his apostolic motto. Upon reading the works of St Louis, John Paul recalled “"Then I understood that I could not exclude the Lord's Mother from my life without neglecting the will of God."
Today, and especially today for all Legionaries of Mary, we will be more familiar with the English consecration to our Blessed Queen and Mother: “We are all yours, our Queen, our Mother, and all that we have is yours”. We can approach this annual consecration to Mary, both individually and collectively, as merely an annual devotion which we have to do to stay an active member of the Legion of Mary, or we can see it for what it is: a complete and total life changing moment. There is no going back from this moment.
Consecration is very familiar to us. We know what it means, to dedicate ourselves solemnly and this is what we are doing. We are dedicating ourselves to Christ through Mary. To consecrate, however, also means to make holy, to make sacred, to hallow. This we are more familiar with in terms of consecrating people. We once talked of consecrating a Bishop, though now more correctly termed ordaining, we are familiar and admire those consecrated virgins amongst us and, of course, we consecrate the gifts to become the Body and Blood of Christ.
Here in lies the key to what we are about to undertake in both our individual and collective consecration. Like the body of Christ will never return to mere bread so we can never return to what we were before this Mass began. When we come forward and present ourselves, our total selves, then we will be given the great task that is ours alone. It is not, however, a task which is accomplished alone. No, it is accomplished with Mary and through this Legion which she patronises. Without the kind and gracious love of Mary, we are nothing. We have no meaning and there is no making holy, no consecrating of our lives. We are utterly dependent upon our Queen and Mother, and we are united through her to her beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
Today, of all days, we recall the single act which brought about the means of our salvation. Fiat. Let it be done according to your Word. For a single moment – allow yourself to imagine the world if Mary had said ‘no’. For a single second, perhaps, dwell upon how miserable would be our lives without Mary’s ‘yes’ and trust me when I say – you’d be running, nay sprinting, toward the Vexillum and screaming out in desperation your consecration. Yet our consecration has nothing to do with fear of the ‘what if’ and everything to do with love. We are compelled silently in reverence and awe to approach Mary and share in her eternal yes, yes, yes. I love you Jesus, my love above all things, and all that I have is yours. I am ready to give my life to you. Take me as I am, transform me, let your will be done and let me declare before you and your blessed mother that I will never be the same again from this moment forth!
If, after contemplating now the enormity and eternal act you are about to undertake in your own consecration or you doubt your ability or willingness to take this path, then place yourself into the heart of Mary and listen to the words of the Angel: “the Holy Spirit will come upon you”. You are not alone, be brave, trust in the Lord and say Yes. Totus Tuus.