Allocutio: A Recollection – The Legionary Promise

I hope, my dear readers, that you have not been too worried about my silence in posting allocutios (and the fact that I’m posting this one late)! Exam season hit and so time to set aside for writing was very difficult to come by. Because of this, I fell back on using our former assistant spiritual directors summer allocutios for the past couple of weeks until I was able to sit down and write my own again. Somehow I managed to do it during the busyness of fall break! Short and sweet, I hope you enjoy:

Most Holy Spirit, I, (name of candidate), desiring to be enrolled this day as a legionary of Mary, yet knowing that of myself I cannot render worthy service, do ask of you to come upon me and fill me with yourself, so that my poor acts may be sustained by your power, and become an instrument of your mighty purposes.

But I know that you, who have come to regenerate the world in Jesus Christ, have not willed to do so except through Mary; that without her we cannot know or love you; that it is by her, and to whom she pleases, when she pleases, and in the quantity  and manner she pleases, that all your gifts and virtues and graces are administered; and I realize that he secret of a perfect legionary service consists in a complete union with her who is so completely united to you.

So, taking in my hand the legionary Standard which seeks to set before our eyes these things, I stand before you as her soldier and her child, and so I declare my entire dependence on her. She is the mother of my soul. Her heart and mine are one, and from that single heart she speaks again those words of old: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”; and once again you come by her to do great things.

Let your power overshadow me, and come into my soul with fire and love, and make it one with Mary’s love and Mary’s will to save the world; so that I may be pure in her who was made Immaculate by you; so that Christ my Lord may likewise grow in me through you; so that I with her, his Mother, may bring him to the world and to the souls who need him; so that they and I, the battle won, may reign with her for ever in the glory of the Blessed Trinity.

Confident that you will so receive me – and use me – and turn my weakness into strength this day, I take my place in the ranks of the Legion, and I venture to promise a faithful service. I will submit fully to its discipline, which binds me to my comrades, and shapes us to an army, and keeps our line as on we march with Mary, to work your will, to operate your miracles of grace, which will renew the face of the earth, and establish your reign, Most Holy Spirit, over all. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

(Legio Mariae, pg. 90-91)

I’ve been a tad bit hesitant to select the Legionary Promise as a spiritual reading without a significant purpose for it – there is just so much that can be reflected on in it! Therefore I doubt that this will be the first time we will return to this passage to examine the little facets of wisdom hidden within. For now, though, I want to call us to recollection, a remembrance of our profession of the Legionary Promise.

Fellow legionaries, it does us well to return to our Promise, to call to mind these words that have joined us to the heavenly army of the Blessed Virgin. They should continue to echo in our hearts, reminding us of our lowliness, of our dependence on the Spirit and His Spouse, of the exchange we have requested to be made: our uncompromised service in Mary’s army for the graces we need in order to perform our duties as her soldiers.

Remember that day when – uttering these words – we took the cool globe of the Standard in our hand and, with our soul’s eye gazing upon our Queen and her Divine Spouse, we gave ourselves as legionaries in the war being waged against mankind. Do you remember that joy, my brother(s) and sister(s), that joy and that certainty that, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance through Mary, we could bring about great things for the Glory of God’s Kingdom? Nothing has changed: we can still and will do these great things, for our Queen will continue to use us. We only need to perpetually be offering the service we have promised.

(For those of you who have not yet made the Legionary Promise, I truly hope that you will one day share in this beautiful experience. Nothing – aside from the Total Consecration – is quite like this surrender of self into Mary’s Legion. For those of you who have) let us strive to bring our Promise to mind daily as we go about our lives, to reflect on it frequently, and to let it shape our lives as legionaries, reminding us that we are soldiers and the battle wages on.

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