A Fire in Our Hearts: Consecration Day 1 - You're Invited!


Welcome to our 33 day Marian Consecration Retreat as we prayerfully anticipate the commencement of the Year of Mercy. Join us as we share the book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC.

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Today’s Reflection:

The idea for this 33 Day “Total Consecration” retreat at CatholicMom.com was “born” in mid-July. A group of our CatholicMom.com contributors had the great joy of sitting together at a breakfast at the annual Catholic Marketing Network conference. Our speaker that morning was Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. With his usual enthusiasm, Father lit up a room of coffee-chugging conventioneers as he spoke with infectious joy about the upcoming extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy proposed by Pope Francis, to highlight the Catholic Church’s “mission to be a witness of mercy.” How perfect it would be, Fr. Gaitley suggested, if all of us would participate simultaneously in a 33 day Marian consecration retreat! If we all began together on November 5th, our retreat would culminate with our consecration to Jesus through Mary on December 8th–the exact date when the Holy Year of Mercy will begin. As Pope Francis wrote:

The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. And so he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.

Today, we embark upon our retreat together! For each of the next 33 days, as we anticipate the joy of that December Marian solemnity, we will pray the consecration prayers as a CatholicMom.com family. Our writers are using the format provided in 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration (obtain the book here for a $1 donation) by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. But the consecration preparation prayers can be found online in other venues, so we invite you to simply join us using the resource of your choice. Each day, you will find a brief reflection, a question to ponder and discuss in the comments section, and a short prayer to use as a compliment to your retreat prayers for that day.

On this first day of our mutual preparation, it feels fitting for me to mention just a few words about Fr. Gaitley’s comments in the book for Day 1. After acquainting us with the spiritual giant responsible for this devotion, St. Louis de Montfort, Fr. Gaitley asks, “Do we have a fire in our hearts as we begin this retreat?” 

I have to admit that I laughed a bit when I read that line. My great intentions back in July got caught up in the usual rush of my life. So as I type this Day 1 reflection, my “fire” feels like the flame on one of those tiny little birthday cake candles… the kind that blows out if you even just breathe on it! I’ll spare you all of my excuses for not feeling “the zeal of a Celtic warrior” that Fr. Gaitley calls us to put on. Suffice it to say that the many reasons I feel too busy to participate in this consecration retreat are also the exact reasons I need this time of zealous preparation so deeply in my own life!

If you’re nodding in agreement, please know that I’m sending a little prayer for you today as I pray our Day 1 retreat prayer with you. I hope that this will be for all of us a time of mutual support, preparation, and–yes–even zeal!

To Ponder:

How do you feel about making a 33 day “retreat” in preparation for the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary in anticipation of the Year of Mercy? What obstacles concern you? Why is this experience worth striving for?

Let Us Pray:

Come Holy Spirit, light a fire of love in my heart! Help me to more fully give myself in love to Jesus through our Blessed Mother Mary. Clear my path to God and help me to make this holy retreat with joy and zeal.

Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey



About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. I’m all for short goals, so 33 days sounds great! Total consecration to Jesus? That would be nice. Even as I read this, I am concerned with the 20 minutes I have left before I need to walk out the door for a busy day at work. Scratch that – it’s now only 19 minutes. I look forward to a daily reminder to keep God in the forefront of all I do, and the love and prayers of our Blessed Mother to help me out.

  2. This is my 4th time praying through this 33-day preparation for consecration to Jesus through Mary. I love Fr. Gaitley’s invitation and how it ties in so beautifully with Pope Francis’ desire to bring us closer to God’s infinite love in this upcoming Year of Mercy. Who better to hold our hand and guide us through that “Holy Door” than Our Blessed Mother? Even though I was planning to do this, it still snuck up on me! My zeal is a little flame now, too, but at least it’s a flame! Like you, Lisa, what distracts me and pulls me from God is exactly why I need this more than ever!

  3. I love how God works. I actually attempted to click on the Small successes Thursday link but the screen scrolled in that moment and I found myself here instead…exactly where I think I need to be. Right now I feel as if I’m discerning a lot of options and ideas and I’m longing for someone to just tell me which direction to go. So, I’m doing my very best to be as open and flexible as possible to the movements of the Spirit. I believe that this is one of those moments, it just feels right. So I’m excited to begin. An obstacle for me will definitely be consistency. Discipline has always been a challenge for me so I’m sure this experience will be no different. But, i know I can do it. I am looking forward to some quality, intentional, daily time with our Lord in a more disciplined manner. And I’m looking forward to some lovely fellowship with you all who are walking with me.

    • Kate, I can relate to how your are feeling … I get so overwhelmed, and sometimes, I just want someone to tell me what to do! I am so glad you found this retreat and that you will be joining us. The readings are very short, and it really only takes a few minutes each day. I think you will find it surprisingly doable! God bless!

  4. Jean Schlueter on

    It could be a coincidence I just found my book last night. But I knew I needed to re-consecrate myself anyway. Did not know that today was the day, Providence has lit the fire it seems! Isn’t that how it goes sometimes, finding my book randomly, happening upon this page randomly…it seems nothing is random! So here I go on this journey with you!

  5. I’m ready for this Challenge! 💪 …er, I mean retreat 🙏. ツ I figure if I can go all in for a 30 or 90 day physical challenge I can TOTALLY dedicate 33 days to a retreat. With the zeal of a Celtic warrior I’ve got my game face on 😠 and with the help of the holy souls 😇 let’s do this!

  6. To quote Spongebob – I’m ready, I’m ready. Today is read both Lisa’s (I AM so there with you) reflection and Fr. Gaitley’s words in 33 Days to Morning Glory. I just had ONE thing to add at the end of his encouragement that we go out with Celtic warriors sans face-paint and screaming… but WITH clothes 😉 Onward Christian Soldiers!!

    • You know we mean business when we are quoting Sponge Bob! 😂 Ready and willing! Payers for all joining in this retreat.

  7. This is a GREAT and short journey that I think we all can do daily. I am going to take this on like a CELTIC warrior and read every morning and ponder throughout the day.

  8. Crazy busy never looked so good.
    Busy about my Father’s business; what could be better?
    Living on retreat.
    “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul.”
    What Glory; is He!!
    He is anew each morning, if we but pause.
    “Be still and know that He is God.”

  9. So know the “fire feels like a birthday candle flame” feeling. We do the total consecration –my husband and me, and right now, he holds more zeal than I do, and I have a sort of holy envy because wherever it is, my zeal seems to be missing. I will be following along, to try and add kindling to my meager flame. Thanks.

  10. I received this invitation from a dear sister in Christ yesterday, on my birthday! It was the best gift. I’ve been trying to do this consecration since last year with my parish and always miss the date because of my responsibilities at home.
    I will definitely journey through this one with all of you. Do we have to register somewhere formally for this?
    thank you and blessings,

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