How do we get to Heaven? How do we help our children and grandchildren to get there?
We know without doubt that our salvation comes through Jesus. Many of the saints, however, have preached the need to get close to the Blessed Virgin Mary so that she can bring us close to her Son, Jesus. Saint Louis Marie de Montfort has said that devotion to Mary is the surest, shortest, and most perfect way to approach Jesus.
Let’s step back a couple of thousand years to a small town called Cana in Galilee, where Jesus, Mary, and the first disciples were guests at a Jewish wedding feast. These Jewish feasts were steeped in tradition and rituals and generally lasted for about seven days while an exorbitant banquet of food and wine was continuously lavished upon guests throughout the festivities.
Imagine how shameful it would be for the bride and groom should they run out of wine for their honored guests. That’s exactly what happened at that wedding feast. Jesus’ Mother, Mary, did something about it. Being attentive to the needs of the bride and groom, not wanting them to be embarrassed, she made their needs known to her Son.
“They have no wine” (John 2:3). Jesus told His Mother that the time had not yet come for Him to begin His public ministry. What did Mary do? The holy Mother succinctly instructed the wine stewards, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). And Jesus provided an abundance of the best wine ever!
Saint John the Evangelist, writing his Gospel after a long life and inspired by the Holy Spirit, made sure that we would know that Mary’s presence was significant. Through his writings, we recognize that the Blessed Mother’s presence was worthy of attention in the carrying out of Jesus’ first public miracle. Mary was always involved in her Son’s ministry — she was there from the very beginning to the very end. As well, she is still working hard from Heaven!
The Blessed Mother always leads us to her Son. She desires that all of mankind would “do whatever he tells you.” She would like us all to be safely in Heaven one day. It was Jesus who gifted us with His Mother as He was dying on the Cross for our salvation. “Behold your mother” (John 19:27), He told His disciple John. Mary then became the Mother of the Church.
Since the Annunciation, and throughout salvation history, the Blessed Mother has always cooperated with the Holy Spirit and worked alongside her Son. She is our intercessor and our advocate. She is our Mother! Saint John Paul II stated, “Mary intensely and mysteriously unites her life with Christ’s sorrowful mission: she was to become her Son’s faithful coworker for the salvation of the human race.” Listening to and following the requests of our Mother in Heaven will lead us directly to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Mary is to be highly praised. Saint Bonaventure tells us that “all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: ‘Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God.’ They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, ‘Hail, Mary,’ while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests.” They long to serve her. We can strive to imitate the holy angels.
The revelations of the saints have taught us that God desires a greater devotion to His Blessed Mother. One saint in particular, Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, exuberantly proclaimed, “God wishes that His holy Mother should now be more known, more loved, more honored, than ever she has been.” And he added, “And this will no doubt come to pass, if the predestinate will enter, by the grace and light of the Holy Ghost, into the interior and particular practice which I will discover to them.”
This eighteenth-century French Roman Catholic priest and confessor was on fire with love and devotion to the Mother of God. He worked tirelessly to teach and preach. Clement XI made him a missionary apostolic in France so that he could fight against Jansenism, which was prevalent at that time. Saint Louis de Montfort’s prophetic writings and preaching had a remarkable influence on the Catholic Church and continue to do so.
Saint Louis believed that Jesus is not known enough because Mary is not known enough. The unstoppable saint had preached that when “the Blessed Virgin Mary, who brought Him [Jesus] into the world for the first time,” is more known, she will make “His second advent full of splendor.”
Back to those two questions I asked earlier, “How do we get to heaven?” and “How do we help our children and grandchildren to get there?” Well, I must tell you that I am deeply touched by Saint Faustina’s words. In her Diary, she explained one of her visions, in which she encountered a crowd of children about five to eleven years of age. They cried out to her, “Defend us from evil.” Saint Faustina then saw the Lord Jesus, who was distressed and told her, “You are to defend them from evil.” Saint Faustina said that from that moment she prayed for the children. She added, “But I feel that prayer alone is not enough.”
Helping children to be consecrated to Jesus through Mary will surely help to “defend them from evil” by greatly aiding their souls. It will be more than simply praying for them. Remember, Saint Faustina expressed that she believed that “prayer alone is not enough.” Your children’s consecrations will surely please Jesus and Mary too. It will certainly help pave the way to Heaven.
There is no better time than right now to seize the opportunity and help your family to consecrate their lives to Jesus through Mary. Your total consecration will be a perfect renewal of your baptismal vows, with Mary at your side and through her loving hands and Immaculate Heart.
This article is adapted from a chapter in Family Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, which is available from Sophia Institute Press.
Art for this post on Family Consecration: Cover and featured image used with permission.