Thirty Three Days

As Catholics, we honor our Blessed Mother with many devotions. In fact, there are seventeen days in the Church year dedicated to Mary. I would like to invite you to consider consecrating your life to Jesus through our Blessed Mother. This is a beautiful act of faith that draws us closer to the one who always leads us to Jesus. The essence of this beautiful act of faith is that we are consecrating our lives to Jesus through Mary. For the next 33 days, you can draw closer to our Lord and His Mother through a beautiful gift of yourself.

I am writing this column on November 5. This is the day I will begin my 33 day consecration to Mary. I originally consecrated my life to our Blessed Mother nearly ten years ago. This act of faith followed a deep spiritual conversion. Using Father Michael Gaitley’s wonderful book entitled, 33 Days to Morning Glory, I embarked on a journey of learning more about Mary, praying a daily devotion and reflecting on the act of consecrating my life to Jesus through the Blessed Mother. My actual consecration (it is renewed annually) will happen on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

So what does this mean? Why is it important? Why should I consider doing this?

If you have ever set a goal for yourself, you know that it takes work, dedication and focus to achieve that goal. If the goal of your life is to be holy, then consecrating your life to Jesus through Mary is indeed a laudable goal! In offering our lives to Jesus through Mary, we open the door to a tremendous flow of grace for our lives. We do something else that is quite amazing, as a result of this act. We allow our Blessed Mother to use the graces we receive each day for the good of the world. We entrust the grace to Mary to use as she sees fit.

There are many paths to holiness. The most important thing that you and I do each week, or each day, is to participate in the Mass. This is the source and summit of our worship, which always brings us so close to our Lord. Many of us pray the rosary, novenas, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and other prayers and devotions. These are good things that also spread the love of Christ throughout the world. However, what if we gave it all? What if you and I offered our lives to the Lord in an act of total consecration through the heart of our Blessed Mother?

Each year at this time, I return to Father Gaitley’s marvelous book that is literally a do-it-yourself retreat designed to prepare us for Marian consecration. This 33 day journey ends with our consecration day, the day when we entrust ourselves completely to our Blessed Mother. On day 33, I go to Mass, make a good confession and I offer my prayer of consecration to the Blessed Mother.

If you are wondering who else has undertaken this act of consecration, you will find that you are in good company with people like St. John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Louis de Montfort and St. Teresa of Calcutta. Our beloved John Paul II had a great devotion to our Blessed Mother. John Paul taught that we should place our total trust in Mary who walks with us, along with Jesus, through the trials and challenges of our lives. As we take her into our heart, she leads us, gently and patiently, to Jesus.

An outward sign of our consecration is the wearing of the Miraculous Medal. The image on this medal was struck after Mother Mary appeared to a French nun in Paris in 1830. St. Catherine Laboure was given the mission to spread the devotion to this medal throughout the world.   In 1832, the first medals were cast, and very quickly the power of the medal was soon felt throughout the world as many cures and healings were attributed to it. Hence, it is rightly called the Miraculous Medal.

I am excited to begin this 33 day journey of faith that leads me to a deeper devotion to our Lord and Savior through the heart of Mother Mary. There are several books available that provide the process for making the consecration. The Miraculous Medal is widely available from any religious store or through an online source.

Perhaps the Lord is calling you to a deeper conversion of heart. Maybe you have always wondered about developing a deeper devotion to our Blessed Mother. Are you wondering what one person can do to change the world? If these are the questions on your heart, I would encourage you to explore this act of total consecration. I believe that a heart fully consecrated to our Lord through Mary can indeed change the world.

In devotion to Jesus through Mary,

Deacon Tim

 

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