True Devotion to Jesus through Mary
Father Lance Harlow is continuing his efforts to assist in the conversion of the parishes he serves by teaching members about St. Louis De Montfort’s practice of the True Devotion to Jesus through Mary.
“It works,” said the pastor of Corpus Christ Parish based in St. Johnsbury and author of “The Echo Of God: A Commentary For Beginners On St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort’s True Devotion To Mary” who created related videos available on YouTube.
“Every pastor wants his parishioners to draw closer to Jesus,” he said, but programs designed to help them to do so often fade over time. “I learned years ago when I was first pastor in Bethel that devotion to Mary leads us to Jesus, and that is the goal. Her presence in a parish always leads to Jesus and clears away any evil spirits.”
This particular devotion goes back to the 18th century, but St. Monfort’s teaching draws from the lives of the saints from the time of Jesus.
“The goal of my teaching the True Devotion is for people to consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary by the formula of the consecration,” Father Harlow said. “It’s a lifestyle by which everything is given over to the Blessed Mother — dedication to Mary spiritually, physically, materially — in order that she may give it to Jesus.”
The effect, he continued, is the stripping away of pride, self will, careerism and other obstacles “so the Holy Spirit can come down on us and fill us with grace and holiness.”
As he has done in every parish he has served since his book was published in 2006, Father Harlow led people in the consecration/reconsecration to Mary March 25 at St. John the Evangelist Church in St. Johnsbury. Twenty-five participated.
Parishioner Paige Lindholm was among them. “I felt a calling to do it,” she said of her reconsecration.
Father Harlow preached about the devotion at four Saturday morning Masses, offering a kind of mini retreat about it.
The consecration should be renewed annually, he noted.
The fruits of consecration are greater zeal and fervor for the practice of the faith, to the Eucharist, to personal holiness and for evangelization. “There is also a sense of doctrinal stability rooted in the Gospel and the Catholic faith,” Father Harlow said. “We have Jesus, Mary and the Church. You can’t go wrong with that combination.”
Lindholm agreed that these are the fruits of the consecration, and she added that it also is a “confirmation I’m in the right place,” sharing a Marian devotion with her pastor. “It has brought me a lot of peace” and brought her closer to Jesus.
“People are tired of this ‘woke’ thing of not talking about religion or talking about religion in public,” Father Harlow said, “because the human heart is searching for God.”
To watch his video presentations, go to his YouTube channel. To order a copy of “The Echo of God,” call him at the rectory: 802-748-8129.