What is a Marian Consecration?
Total Consecration Jesus is an absolutely beautiful exercise to increase your spirituality and ability to truly serve our Lord Jesus Christ. The basic premise set forth by St. Louis Marie de Montfort is simply that Jesus came into the world through Mary and that for us to always be assured of being close to Jesus, even closer than ever before, we should go through Mary.
A New Book
This is actually a 5th renewal of my original Consecration to Jesus through Mary made with my parish, using 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley, in 2013.
The first wonderful blessing of this particular Marian Consecration was receiving a new book from Sophia Institute Press with which to make this journey with. Disclaimer: I was sent the book from Sophia for a fair and honest review. I will allow the fact that I went ahead an purchased a copy as a gift and my hubby downloaded the eBook on his Kindle (meaning we bought the book AGAIN), as evidence to how I felt about Fr. Ed Broom's Total Consecration through the Mysteries of the Rosary.
The next blessing came when I convinced (strong armed with guilt and kindness) a newly minted Deacon, a dear friend and my hubby, to Consecrate themselves along with me! We'd meet once a week on Sunday afternoons and it quickly became my favorite part of the Summer!
Another favorite came from my decision to add more Eucharistic encounters to my 33 day preparation; attending many more Masses than usual as well as adding on a few extra Adoration hours! I discovered a rush of grace flowed from these sweet moments with my Lord. It helped tremendously with bringing peace during some struggles, losses and strains experienced this Summer.
Is Your Life not More than Food
Life with extreme Atopic Dermatits (aka hand eczema) continues in full swing! For the past year my hands swell, crack, hurt like the dickens, and molt like a snake. It has been incredibly humbling! In an effort to narrow down the root cause of this fun filled illness - I started to keep a food log. After hours of playing detective on the Internet, I removed all Sulfur-rich foods from my diet; along with already have eliminated Gluten and Dairy (which were originally eliminated for other successfully treating some other health issues).
While entering my thoughts from my reading each day, I also kept a food log. This may seem completely unrelated, however, the blessing came in finally having the grace to fast from some of my favorite foods and beverages. The list sadly and surprisingly included peanut butter, WINE (this is the saddest one to be honest), eggs, even watermelon and pineapple!! The fast became the center of my sacrifice and offering for this consecration - and the blessings magnified from there. Including learning about the 16:8 Intermittent Fast (more on this soon), which I have adopted as my new way of consuming calories each day.
“Why could we not drive it out?” And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”] ~ Mt 17:19-21
Prayed the Rosary WAY More than Usual
During the 33 day preparation, I learned a lot about myself. Those sins that still trip me up - HELLO Envy! The fears I continue to harbor - God are you real? The gifts I have to share - TALK much (hee hee). Growth in life and in faith both require an inward turning now and then to see where we are at and determine where we want (or are being called) to go. Fr. Broom's daily reflections challenged me, inspired me and never ever disappointed me. I particularly enjoyed the "Do This Now" portion of each chapter as I am a sucker for Spiritual Reading HOMEWORK!
Aside from the fact that I will absolutely never pray the Rosary the same again after mediating for 5 weeks on the mysteries in light of this Consecration, I am also overjoyed to have a reminder of the 7 Sorrows of Mary. Somewhere in my 'cool Catholic stuff' drawer is a special 7 decade long Rosary on which to pray the Sorrows. I am on hunt for it - St. Anthony, St. Anthony - I am open for your assistance!
The illustrations were also conducive to meditation and reflection. Next time I use Fr. Broom's book to renew my Consecration, I am also going to COLOR each illustration as I ponder the daily readings or conduct my colloquy!!
One rule I try to maintain in matters of faith - God is not an ATM nor is He a slot machine. The blessings He chooses to bestow are sweet because they are freely given by God, not because of what we do or say but out of a great love for us. Many difficult and challenges moments sprinkled themselves throughout the 5 week preparation for Consecration. Thankfully, an equal, if not more abundance, of blessings came as well. This is ONE OF MY most special, the surprise and honor of being chosen a speaker for the upcoming premiere ...
Mary, my Mother
For years, Mary was just a statue in the corner of my Church. Slowly, I am opening my heart to her and inviting her in. She is rearing me up in holiness according to the perfect model of her amazing Son, Jesus. St. Louis de Monfort said that Mary was the easiest, quickest and most sure way to Jesus! I have Ad/hd and tend to get LOST EASLY, therefore I am grateful for the truest compass and the most beautiful guide, Mary my Mother!