Marian Consecration and Spiritual Maternity
Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S.
Marian Consecration is a covenant of love that results in the union of our hearts with Mary’s. Various saints and the tradition of the Church tell us that this is the surest pathway to Jesus. Our new unity with Mary draws us into her mission on earth. What is Mary’s mission? To birth Jesus on earth. God formed Mary to bring Jesus into the world, made her the Mother of the Eternal High Priest, and then made her the Mother of all priests.
While Mary’s spiritual motherhood of all the faithful began at the Incarnation, it was at the foot of the Cross that her expiring Son Jesus commissioned her to behold John the Beloved as her son. Jesus made evident the primacy of Mary’s maternity of priests when, with some of his last dying breaths, he labored to say from the Cross, “Behold, your son.” John became the icon of Jesus for Mary, and Mary became the Mother of all priests. She would serve him as she served Jesus. John is the continuation of the mission of the Eternal High Priest. Mary beholds the beloved apostle as her own son. She gives the firstfruits of her maternal heart to John, Peter, and every priest down through the ages.
At the foot of the Cross was also Mary Magdalene. Was she not also consecrated to Jesus through Mary since she had wholeheartedly converted and was always close to the Lord and His Mother? It seems logical that Mary of Nazareth formed the holy women of the early Church to assist her in her spiritual support of priests. Women like Mary Magdalene would have been Mary’s first spiritual daughters.
Now, many centuries later, there exists a spiritual army of women who place themselves at Mary’s disposal. Marian Consecration has formed this army, which is also a sisterhood. Mary’s daughters are her pupils in the art of spiritual maternity of priests. Humble but mighty in the Spirit, they are flower buds being cultivated in the rich soil of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These daughters are desirous of living a life of poverty of spirit, humility, silence, prayer, mortification, and charity. They now come forth to defend the faith and uphold the priests on the front lines of a spiritual war.
Mary teaches us not only how to pray for priests but also how to serve them according to God’s will. Spiritual mothers of priests carry them to the immaculate womb of Mary, where they are formed anew by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary teaches us how to offer humble and hidden acts of reparation and sacrifice. She positions her daughters like spiritual hedges of protection around her priest-sons. She sends her well-schooled daughters to make prayer vigils on the watchtower of the Cross. She dresses her daughters in the supple spiritual armor of her mantle of grace. This army of Marian women form a fulcrum of spiritual sanctity to help press Mary’s heel onto the head of the serpent, who, above all, attacks the shepherds in order to scatter the sheep.
God ordained that Mary protect priests with her maternal grace. He also ordained that Mary have her retinue of daughters to work with her in the service of the priesthood. What are the firstfruits of being a woman consecrated to Jesus through Mary? Spiritual maternity of priests. God asks spiritual daughters of Mary to behold her priest-sons.
What is the urgency? The anguished cry of the Church is a unified, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Consecration to Mary and spiritual maternity of priests will help bring about a renewed, illuminated, humbler, stronger, poorer, yet resplendent Church at the threshold of a New Pentecost, waiting in joyful expectation for the Eucharistic reign of Jesus.
(Excerpted from Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization)