All our perfection consists in being conformed, united, and consecrated to Jesus Christ; and therefore the most perfect of all devotions is, without any doubt, that which the most perfectly conforms, unites, and consecrates us to Jesus Christ. Now, Mary being the most conformed of all creatures to Jesus Christ, it follows that, of all devotions, that which most consecrates and conforms the soul to our Lord is devotion to His holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more is it consecrated to Jesus.
Hence it comes to pass, that the most perfect consecration to Jesus Christ is nothing else but a perfect and entire consecration of ourselves to the Blessed Virgin, and this is the devotion which I teach; or in other words, a perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy Baptism.
This devotion consists, then, in giving ourselves entirely and altogether to our Lady, in order to belong entirely and altogether to Jesus by her. We must give her:
1. Our body, with all its senses and its members;
2. Our soul, with all its powers;
3. The exterior goods of fortune, whether present or to come;
4. Our interior and spiritual goods, which are our merits and our virtues, and our good works, past, present, and future.
In a word, we must give her all we have in the order of nature and in the order of grace, and all that may become ours in future in the orders of nature, grace, and glory; and this we must do without any reserve of so much as one farthing, one hair, or one least good action; and we must do it also for all eternity, and we must do it further without pretending to, or hoping for, any other recompense for our offering and service, except the honour of belonging to Jesus Christ by Mary and in Mary, even though that sweet Mistress were not, as she always is, the most generous and the most grateful of creatures.
The Blessed Virgin Mary’s prayer, after her Immaculate Conception in the womb of Saint Anne (from private revelation given to Venerable María de Ágreda):
“Most high God, Lord of my being, Soul of my life and Life of my soul, infinite in Thy attributes and perfections, incomprehensible, mighty and rich in mercies, my King and Sovereign: out of nothing hast Thou given me existence; without any merits of mine Thou hast enriched me with the treasures of Thy divine light and grace, in order that by them I may instantly perceive Thy immutable Being and divine perfections, and that thus Thou mightst be the first Object of my vision and love, not permitting me to seek any other than Thee, the highest Good and all my joy.
“Thou commandest me, my Lord, to issue forth and enter into the material light and converse with creatures. In Thy own Being, whence all things are reflected as in a most perfect mirror, I have discerned the dangerous state and the miseries of mortal life. If, on account of my natural weakness and debility, there is danger lest even in the least point I fail in Thy love and service, and if it is possible that I die here, let me die now, before I pass into a state where I may lose Thee. But if Thy holy Will, my Lord and Master, is to be fulfilled, and I am to embark on the tempestuous sea of this world, I beseech Thee, most high and mighty God of my soul, to govern my life, direct my steps and all my actions toward pleasing Thee.
“Order in me holy love (Song of Songs 2:4) that in the new use, which I am to make of creatures, and by Thy aid, it may continue to grow. I have perceived in Thee the ingratitude of many souls, and as I am of their nature, I fear with good reason, that perhaps I may become guilty of the same fault. In this narrow cavity of my mother’s womb I have enjoyed the infinite vastness of Thy Divinity: here I possessed all Good, Thee Thyself, my Beloved; and since here Thou alone art my portion and possession (Psalm 73:26), I know not, whether outside of this enclosure I may not lose it at the sight of the created light and in the use of my senses. If it were possible and appropriate to renounce the intercourse of approaching life, I would gladly renounce the intercourse of approaching life, I would gladly renounce and lose the experience of it; but let not my will, but Thine be done. Therefore since Thou wishest it, confer upon me Thy blessing and good will at my entrance into the world, and do not deprive me of Thy divine protection during the earthly course in which Thou placest me.”
Having thus poured forth her prayer, the most sweet child Mary received the benediction of the Most High and the command to issue forth into the light of the visible sun, at the same time being enlightened for the fulfillment of all His desires.