To read Part 1 of this series, please click here.
The richness of this personal pilgrimage is beyond words. I’ve decided that to pack it all in two essays is really not enough.
I will continue my writing on the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary with a total of twelve articles. I thought of the twelve apostles, and the twelve stars encircling Mary’s head as a crown. After all, like a diet, this act of consecration has to be a lifestyle change, not a short term fitness emergency. Also by doing this, I continue this pilgrimage. Like a good book, I don’t want it to end.
By dividing 33 days by twelve, I can cover about three days of devotion in each writing piece. My writing is purely experiential, describing how this process affected me. This is not a summary about St. Louis De Monfort’s spirituality or a theological rundown of why this pilgrimage is regarded as perfectly in line with catechetical documents or validated by Holy Scripture. The book that I used as a my guide is a Monfort Publication titled, Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, According to St. Louis De Montfort.
I’ll start with the beginning, July 13, 2015.
My life is totally overwhelming. I feel the weight of my crosses. St. Augustine said that God gives us what is best for us, even when we don’t recognize our sufferings and circumstances as such. I’ve never known of a Christian to choose his or her crosses. God chooses them for us. It is Jesus who places the cross upon my shoulder. With this realization, I need more grace. I can’t heave these crosses up the hill on my own. I need a Simon, a Cyrene. I am hoping that Mary is my Simon.
Often I picture swimming in the ocean as a way of making sense of my struggles. I saw this sign on Pinterest: “When a wave comes—go deep.”
As an awkward teenager, when I began competitive swimming, I found solace underwater. During these first twelve days of consecration, St. Louis De Monfort encourages the seeker to empty oneself of the spirit of the world, as this spirit is opposed to Jesus.
It is in the ocean of Christ’s mercy that I must plunge.
Mercy begins with Mary. So I start at the beginning when the angel Gabriel visited Mary, heralding the good news Gospel of Jesus. I can relate to this as a mother myself. The difference here is that Mary’s baby would not just influence her family, but the entire world.
It is because she was immaculately conceived herself, ordained by God the Father from the strict reverent lineage of the Essenes, that I can rely on her to guide me, to pray with and for me.
Day 2 :July 14, 2015
I’m supposed to give something up; an act of sacrifice similar to Lent. It must be felt. Give up Facebook? I’ll give myself another day to pray about it and be decisive and deliberate. It would certainly be felt.
Day 3: July 15, 2015
Well, I got my answer regarding giving up Facebook. I’d posted a comment on a friend’s post, agreeing with her about the tragic actions of the Supreme Court forcing a particular order of nuns to provide contraception as a service to those they serve. Another person added to the thread and not only disagreed with my comment, but accused me of being a hater and a hypocrite. I wish I had thicker skin. I wanted to argue back and defend myself. Then maybe it was the Holy Spirit breezed in my ear, “Mary wouldn’t do that.” It was time to unplug and back away slowly.
This situation clearly illustrated to me that the spirit of this world IS antithetical to a life of faith.
I was ready to dive under the waves and go deep—deep into this consecration to Jesus, through Mary.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful—
And enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Lord, send forth your Spirit.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
For the next article, I will delve further into renouncing the spirit of the world.