In case you didn’t hear: On December 12, 2016, FOCUS was consecrated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the hope that she could help make our spiritual multiplication efforts even more fruitful in the year ahead. That year was to enable us to seriously consider what our Lady’s role should be in the apostolate.
After much discussion, research and prayer, we realized we were being called to consecrate FOCUS to Jesus through Mary, petitioning especially the graces offered at Fatima and Guadalupe.
This consecration will offer the whole of the apostolate to our Lady, perpetually entrusting it to her so that she in turn can entrust it to her Son. This consecration is very, very serious business — It offers us nothing less than a participation in the taking of life or the giving of life. It is a choice between the diabolical and the divine.
Let me explain.
For us, to consecrate is to set something aside for God, making it sacred — such as a simple wafer transubstantiated into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Persons and things can be consecrated, too — such as a bishop or a church being “dedicated.”
However, Catholics don’t have a monopoly on consecrations or dedications. Last year, I wrote about a 1487 ceremony where the Aztecs dedicated their new pyramid-temple to one of their deities: the Hummingbird Wizard, the Lover of Hearts and the Drinker of Blood (real name). That ceremony of dedication went on for four days and four nights, with more than eighty thousand men savagely sacrificed to a barbaric deity. Speaking of the Aztecs, Warren Carrol said that “Nowhere else in human history has Satan so formalized and institutionalized his worship with so many of his own actual titles and symbols.”
This is what it means to consecrate. When it comes right down to it, there are only two choices — Jesus Christ or Satan — and they are diametrically opposed. At some point, we must make our choice, as our Lord clearly taught: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Mt 12:30). As C.S. so clearly put it in Perelandra:
“As there is one Face above all worlds merely to see which is irrevocable joy, so at the bottom of all worlds that face is waiting whose sight alone is the misery from which none who beholds it can recover. And though there seemed to be, and indeed were, a thousand roads by which a man could walk through the world, there was not a single one which did not lead sooner or later either to the Beatific or the Miserific Vision.”
There is no middle ground, no room for compromise. You will be wholly for the Lamb of God or wholly for the father of lies. As George MacDonald said, “There is no heaven with a little of hell in it — no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather!”
As you ponder this, you might have already realized that the consecration of FOCUS is tied to your own commitment, too. The consecration will only be as effective as the participation of each individual. Our wholehearted choice for Jesus Christ will come with the promise of His Blessed Mother’s most gracious, tender and breathtakingly powerful intercession. At Fatima, she gave us a clear path into the heart of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Fatima expert, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., summarized those marching orders for us:
- Strive to live good Christian lives. We must obey God’s commandments and fulfil the duties of our state in life.
- Pray daily, especially the rosary. In all of her apparitions, the request made most frequently by our Lady was to pray the rosary every day.
- Observe the Five First Saturdays. To hasten the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, our Lord asked that we observe five first Saturdays more than once. On December 10, 1925, our Lady said to Sr. Lucia: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess [their sins], receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen [now 20] mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
- Make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and accept suffering patiently in reparation for our sins and those of others.
At Guadalupe, Mary also showed us how she could magnanimously bless the efforts of peer-to-peer evangelization, so call on her when you engage in efforts to spiritually multiply. We offer you a short prayer for this intention which you can easily commit to memory:
Personal Prayer for Spiritual Multiplication
O Lady of Guadalupe,
intercede for me, that, despite my imperfections,
my efforts will help multiply souls,
igniting a joyful and burning love
for Jesus Christ, His Church, and my neighbor
Think, pray and look further into this consecration with this infosheet. If you make the choice to participate in this consecration, make it with all your heart, soul and mind (cf. Mt 22:37), and talk to your spiritual director about how best to incorporate this into your day-to-day life.
When you have done your part, remember that it is only God who can make you His and make your work fruitful. Trust completely in Him!
Mary, Cause of our Joy, pray for us!