“In regard to others, when we fully consecrate ourselves to Mary, we lose the unconditional right to distribute the value of our prayers and good actions to others. In other words, we give the right to the grace (merit) of our prayers to Mary.” – Fr. Michael Gaitley
As I read Father Michael’s words about consecration to Mary, I couldn’t help but think of consecration of another sort: marriage. His words about consecrating ourselves to Mary are similar, albeit in a different way, to what happens when we take marriage vows. When we consecrate ourselves to another in marriage, we trust them with the value of our lives, our prayers, and our good actions.
Father Michael goes on to write about how intimidating and scary this whole consecration to Mary can be. Who wants to give up their right to distribute their prayers, their time, and their grace to someone else, even if it is Mary? At first glance it would appear to be something crazy and counter-intuitive. But when we look deeper, consecration to Mary is a beautiful thing as we entrust our lives to her and are ourselves increased by her grace and goodness (Hail Mary, full of grace, remember?). The same should be said of the person we choose to marry. At first glance, surrendering some of our freedoms, time, and service to one person sounds insane. Perhaps that is why most folks these days don’t seem to stay married: they want their own freedom and don’t want to constantly be at the service of someone else. But when we look deeper, marriage is still a good and beautiful thing. When we marry someone we are effectively saying, “I love you so much that I entrust to you the good of my soul, my time, my service, and all of my graces.” Why isn’t that scary? Because in marriage we entrust these things to each other. Marriage isn’t a one-way street of giving away all that we have, it is about giving to each other, serving each other, and getting the other to Heaven. Marriage is about laying our lives down for the good of the other, which works best when the giving is mutual.
The beauty of a loving marriage is shown when the couple continually choose the other over themselves, when they know each other and sacrifice for each other in mutual harmony. What, at first glance, seems to be among the craziest things we can do is actually one of the most loving things we can do: give of ourselves to others, trusting that they will give to us in return, all in the hopes of one day attaining Heaven. That, my friends, is beauty.