Sunday, February 11, 2018

Book Review: "Total Consecration Through the Mysteries of the Rosary"

Hard for me to pass up a title like Total Consecration Through the Mysteries of the Rosary. Father Ed Broom, O.M.V. (Oblates of the Virgin Mary), has crafted a series of meditations meant to prepare one to make an act of personal consecration to Jesus, though Mary. This practice, which has grown since the early centuries, was of course given fresh impetus by St. Louis Marie de Montfort and a number of subsequent saints influenced by him (e.g. Maximilian Kolbe, John Paul II). De Montfort recommended thirty-three days of preparation before making such an act. I renew my consecration each November, using a book of meditations assembled by the Montfort Fathers; but this year I thought I would try Fr. Broom's method.

Father Broom's method is an ingenious one - one that I feel sure would meet with St. Louis' approval. Rather than thirty-three days, Fr. Broom suggests thirty-five; each day is given to meditating upon one of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary or one of Mary's seven sorrows. The meditations are very well crafted, seeking to view each event in salvation history through our Mother's eyes and Immaculate Heart. Father has obviously spent a great deal of time in prayer, and he does a wonderful job communicating the fruits he has gathered. I appreciated the inclusion of a gorgeous sketch and the actual scriptural text for each mystery before Father's reflections. I also liked Father's tips at the beginning of the book for practicing Christian meditation.

One thing that I noticed Father occasionally doing, as I have saints, but is different from my own practice, is to ask Mary directly for a certain grace. Sensitive as I am to our Protestant brothers' and sisters' misunderstanding about Mary's role in the Church - a misunderstanding I used to share - I tend to be as theologically precise as possible, even in my devotional language. I ask our Lady to intercede for a particular grace, rather than to grant it. When I read Fr. Broom or, as I said saints, doing otherwise; I realize that they are simply using a devotional shorthand - asking Mary to obtain that grace for them through her infallible intersession. I bring it up here simply to make you aware.

I think that Fr. Broom's Total Consecration Through the Mysteries of the Rosary is a beautiful and effective way for someone to prepare to renew his or her baptismal promises to Jesus, in union with Mary. I must admit that I missed my book from the Montfort Fathers with its readings and daily litanies (which have been such a powerful tool in my own life), but that is simply a matter of personal preference. I am glad that I tried Fr. Broom's method, and I think you will be too.

Oh, and if you would like more information about consecration, here is one of my past posts.