Happy Feast of the Assumption of Mary, y'all! Today has been a beautiful day so far, and it has to do with the BIG NEWS that I consecrated myself to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the first time today!
Sadly, I had never heard of Marian Consecration until a little over a year ago, when the book 33 Days to Morning Glory was offered at our parish in Kansas City. I picked it up and read along, but it was the first time I was learning about it, and I really struggled to wrap my brain around it. Could I really turn everything over to Mary? Shouldn't I be talking to God, Jesus, and the saints too?
I picked up the book again several weeks ago and decided I'd give it another go in time to consecrate myself on the Feast of the Assumption. I made it through, although not perfectly. I didn't pack it for our canoe trip, so I had some catching up to do when I got back to civilization. But, page by page, I made it through, and my heart was opened to the idea a little more each day. Some of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time (St. Mother Teresa and St. John Paul II) consecrated themselves to Mary... couldn't I do the same and just try to live up to it? About 10 days ago, I knew I'd go through with it, and I even bought my very first veil, thinking that I would wear it in front of the Blessed Sacrament during consecration and during Adoration in the future, as mini-renewal of my promise to Mary.
Thankfully, I read ahead a little in the book several nights ago and learned that Mass and confession was recommended before consecration. (Had I just followed along day-by-day, I would have learned the morning of consecration at best!) This helped me plan ahead, further prepare my heart, and get excited. One of the recommendation was to get a Miraculous Medal, but I didn't have time to arrange for that ahead of time, but I will look into securing one.
I woke up this morning, super excited to give my heart to Mary! That's how I knew for sure that I was ready and this was right for me. The feeling reminded me of the day that I quit smoking 7+ years ago. I had read a book to prepare me for that big change too, and when I had made it through the book, I couldn't wait to make it official and just quit. Today, I woke up and couldn't wait to make it official with Mary.
I had a wonderful confession with a priest who was so very supportive of my consecration and really took the time to offer a little spiritual guidance with each major sin/issue. Then, Mass was great. KK took his lunch break to join me. He converted to the Catholic faith just over 2 years ago, so Holy Days of Obligation and the special role of Mary are still tough for him, but he goes anyway, and I really appreciate that and admire that in him.
Then, after the church had cleared out, I went into the side chapel where there is 24 hour Eucharist Adoration takes place, donned my veil for the first time, and started my consecration. I prayed several consecration prayers: the one Fr. Michael Gaitley wrote in the book, and the prayers of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and one that I wrote myself. My prayer isn't complete, but it was from my heart, so I prayed it and will pray it again and again.
The book continues after consecration and finally explains a few things, including answers to a few questions I had the entire time, like 1) What if I forget to remember Mary at times, and 2) Can I still pray to God and Jesus directly? (The answers were very comforting. It's OK to no remember Mary at all times; the consecration allows for that. Also, yes! You can still pray directly to God, Jesus, any Saint!) I really wish the book had tackled these at the very beginning. I think it would have enriched my experience, but that's OK. I just recommend that anyone who is thinking about using the book to guide them to Marian Consecration read the consecration portion at the beginning instead of waiting for it to come up in order.
So... yep! My heart is Mary's and she's given me hers! I feel like we've traded BFF necklaces, and it feels great.
Dear Mary, today I ask you to accept my entire heart to bring glory to God and strengthen my relationship with Jesus. My heart isn't perfect; it needs some work. But it is genuine in its desire to be a better person that is more pleasing to God. Please accept me as a friend, someone that you will happily support through the trials of life. I also entrust my good works, prayers, and intentions to you to do with what you will. I trust that your grace will fall on me and on others in the most beautiful way to glorify God.
In return, I accept your entire heart to bring glory to God and strengthen my relationship with Jesus. With you as a friend, by my side, I know I will be stronger and able to align my heart and my actions closer to what Jesus desires for me. Help me to remember how God has acted through you to bring the greatest good into the world: Jesus Christ. Through you today and in the future, God will continue to bring good to the world, and I pray that I receive even the smallest portion of that good.
As we trade these spiritual BFF necklaces today, I pledge my love to your son, Christ Jesus, your spouse, the Holy Spirit, and also to God, our heavenly father. Let's promise to stick together through thick and thin, good and bad, tears and laughter.
Your faithful friend, Chella