Slaves of Love! What does that mean? Do we understand this mystery and aspect of St. Louis de Montfort’s consecration? Slavery in modern times holds a negative connotation and I have found it is one of the reasons some resist doing St. Louis de Montfort’s total consecration to Mary because of his heavy use of the word “slave” or “slavery.”
Yet, if we take a look in the Gospel, we find that are only two options. One either serves God or serves mammon. The Apostles and saints have themselves referred to being slaves or servants of God. To be a slave means to serve, to belong to someone, and to obey that someone. Who better to serve than Love Himself?! Who better to belong to than Love Himself?! And who better to obey but Love Himself!? Deus Charitas Est! And to take that further, to slave away at something means to work very hard at it. Nothing in this world is worth giving all our effort to but God alone! Now, who on earth has done this already and done it perfectly? Mary the Immaculata!
Let us look at what St. Montfort himself says concerning slavery (237):
“Once there was nothing more infamous on Earth than the cross, and now that wood is the most glorious boast of Christianity. Let us say the same of the irons of slavery. There was nothing more ignominious among the ancients; nothing more shameful even now among the heathen. But among Christians there's nothing more illustrious then the chains of Jesus; for they unchain us, and preserve us from the infamous fetters of sin and the devil. They set us at liberty and chain us to Jesus and Mary not by compulsion and constraint like the galley slaves, but by charity and love like children. "I will draw them to Me," said God by the mouth of the prophet, "by the chains of love."”
Happy, then, happy a thousand times, are the illustrious slaves of Jesus!
Now delving deeper into what this slavery is, all we have to do is think back to our Baptism. The consecration is all about renewing our Baptismal Vows and really living them out. Today, the lack of morality and devotion to grace and Truth is due to the fact that souls forget their Baptismal vows and become once again ensnared into the chains of sin. St. Montfort himself says:
“I have said that this devotion could rightly be called a perfect renewal of the vows and promises of Holy Baptism. … By this consecration we give ourselves explicitly to Jesus through Mary’s hands and we include in our consecration the value of all our actions”
Think about it. In the realest way, we are to give ourselves with the intention “to Jesus Christ, in the quality of the slaves of love, by the hands of Mary, (231),” to be handcrafted by her Immaculate Hands! Handcrafted items always have a high quality, but it only becomes the best if it is done by a master artist. Thus, who better than Mary, to form and mold us, who formed the God-Man in her womb!
By becoming slaves of the Immaculata we are in reality becoming free like we have never been before. Why, because only the “Truth shall make you free.” And our uniting our heart with that of Mary, who is the closest to God because her heart is all Immaculate, all pure, all good and all holy, makes us ever closer to that Truth, which is Her Son!
It will only be by the help of Mary then that we will be able to be faithful slaves of Love. If we are to fulfill our Baptismal Promises: To renounce satan and all his evil works, pomps and attractions. To faithfully obey God in His Commandments to attain eternal life. We need Mary! If we leave the chains of sin and attach ourselves to the chains of Love, what a glorious joy will be ours! We would be slaves that are the freest and the richest!!!
There is no higher reward, for “Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are whom you obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience unto justice. But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but have obeyed from the heart, unto that form of doctrine, into which you have been delivered. Being then freed from sin, we have been made servants of justice…. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting,” (Romans 6:16-22).
By the hands of Mary then, we can become good slaves of Love to prove our Love to God. If we really desire to Love God and please Him, we need to be free from all sin and hate evil. Who but Mary is Immaculate and has done this in every aspect?!
No longer slaves of sin but, slaves of love (Vincula peccatorum aut vincula charitatis)!!! I end with the words of the consecration itself regarding this holy slavery.
“ I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave, in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee because Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave…. O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen,” (emphasis mine).