Monday, February 24, 2014

A Monday with our Lady

Last August, I began my Consecration to Jesus through our Lady using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration; it took me six years to begin that journey into our Mother's arms. Six years. What held me back?

1. Ignorance. I knew very few people who could answer my questions about what consecration was and how it worked. Could I still pray for people? Could I ask for intercession on my behalf? Was I opening myself up to untold suffering in order to atone for others' sins?

2. Fear. I was afraid that I could give nothing to our Mother that would warrant my receiving mercy or graces. I was afraid of trusting Mary with my everything; a priest once told me that my fear was a result of the relationship with my earthly mother which was quite accurate. I was also afraid that once I recognized Mary as perfection of motherhood that it would embitter my heart against my earthly mother (by the way complete anxiety on my part. If anything, it made me more compassionate to how much she did her best).

3. Lack of prayer. I was not devoting time to discernment about consecration to Mary.

What changed my heart then? It was a lovely mediator of a Women of Grace meeting that answered my questions and soothed my fears. She grabbed my hands, and she explained the practical aspects as well as gave me resources to read about the consecration. I had attempted to read Louis de Montford's book True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration, but it was cumbersome for me since I lacked the time to devote to his intensity. However, 33 days was the right speed for me, and it could be read and meditated upon during nap time. I was able to make my consecration on Sept. 15 on the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A week into the consecration, I was more aware of my growing devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows as well as a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. Months later, I feel the need to re-read de Montford and some other devotional literature about the Saints mentioned in 33 Days ( St. Maximillian Kolbe, Mother Theresa, and Pope Blessed John Paul II). This year has very much felt like an orientation to actually living my Consecration (if that makes sense). Spending my time groping around which prayers are beneficial to me, which mortifications are suited best, and just contemplating my spiritual status have given me a better idea of where I need to grow in my Spiritual relationship with Christ and my relationships with the world at large.

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