My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: The Almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his Name.
Portion of the Magnificat, Lk 1:46-49
What on Earth is a Marian Consecration? That is what I thought to myself when I read some fellow Catholic bloggers mentioning the subject. I felt like such a bad Catholic having never heard of it (it didn’t help when I asked my parents about it, and they both said they knew all about it and had both done Marian Consecrations themselves!) So I did some research on it, and bought myself this book:
A Marian Consecration, apparently, is a do-it-yourself retreat, in which you read daily 5-10 minute devotions for 33 days, finishing it up with Confession, Mass, and a Consecration prayer entrusting yourself into Mary’s tender care. The idea is, that in strengthening your love for Mary, you will in turn strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Because no person on Earth loved Jesus more perfectly than his Blessed Mother.
This idea of consecrating yourself to Mary was first introduced by St. Louis de Montfort, a French priest who lived during the 18th century. His book on Marian Consecration is here:
I plan on doing his consecration next, but I am glad that I started with the 33 Days, which is a more modern take on it. The book explains in layman’s terms what a Marian Consecration means and introduces you to the writings about Mary from four saintly Catholics: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe (who died in Auschwitz), Blessed Mother Teresa, and Pope Saint John Paul II.
In these turbulent times, I figured we need all of the spiritual help we can get. St. Maximilian Kolbe, who lived in Poland during the Nazi invasion and was eventually imprisoned in a concentration camp (where he volunteered to die in the place of a prisoner who had a family and was accordingly executed by the Nazi guards) also lived during some pretty dang turbulent times. His inspiring notion was that the evil seen around the world was not due to a earthly battle, but rather a spiritual one. So, the battle must be waged for people’s souls, with Mary (she who crushes the head of the serpent) as our inspiration.
I was going through a very troubling time when I began 33 Days to Morning Glory. I was struggling with not obsessing over the negative things in my life and letting them consume me. Personally, this consecration was a game changer. I am becoming more and more successful at letting peace reign in my heart rather than turmoil. The Paris attacks threw me for another loop, of course, toward the end of my 33 days, but the consecration really helped me refocus and trust in God.
I found one passage on a homily from Pope Saint John Paul II that really seemed to speak directly to what was troubling me:
The homily’s context is the widespread, ‘almost apocalyptic’ evil of our time, an evil that ‘menaces,’ that is ‘spreading,’ and that gathers ‘like a dark cloud over mankind.’ The Pope confesses that this evil causes ‘trepidation’ in his heart. Despite this, he finds hope in ‘a Love more powerful than evil’ which no ‘sin of the world can ever overcome.’ This Love he identifies as ‘merciful Love.’
–33 Days to Morning Glory, by Michael E. Gaitley
The monsters of this world can take everything away from us that we hold dear, except for one thing: our Faith.
Featured image: The Madonna of the Lilies by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
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