On September 8 we celebrated the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was also the day my husband and I completed our consecration to Jesus through Mary. Many years ago, I had done a consecration, but I never really followed through with it and eventually I forgot about all about it. Odd that I forgot about it since I have had a devotion to Mary since I was a child. I can remember holding onto my rosary tightly at night, praying for protection and safety from whatever scared me, from bad dreams to shadows on the wall from the streetlights.
This time the consecration seemed truly planned out by the Holy Spirit. A friend asked me to come to a book group at the local coffee shop with a group of women. That didn’t take much thought on my part – book, coffee, friends, and talking about the faith-what could be bad? I didn’t even know the book until I said yes. We read St. Louis de Montefort’s book, True Devotion to Mary, and as I read I became convicted that I (and my husband) needed to do the consecration. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. I looked up possible dates to start and end to coincide with a Marian feast day and the closest date worked out for us to end on September 8, four days before his ordination to the permanent deaconate.
While praying the prayers and reading the devotions leading up to our actual consecration, I was prompted to make changes in my life. A few of these included giving up all online games like Bejeweled and Candy Crush, stop reading mindless fiction, and return to praying the rosary daily. There were also insights into what I needed to pray for myself and changes to make in my relationship with my husband. To say it was fruitful is an understatement.
On the day of consecration we were not able to go to Mass; instead we went to an Adoration chapel where Jesus is in the monstrance and there is a beautiful state of Mary. The Holy Spirit was again at work and provided a time for just the two of us to kneel and pray our prayers together aloud with no one else in the chapel. No one else came to the chapel until we were done and ready to leave.
The graces of this devotion are many and each day I learn more and more about what it means to offer my life in service to Jesus through Mary. I would encourage each of you to participate in this devotion and grow closer to Mary and through her, to Jesus.
As often happens, the Holy Spirit is providing you with just that opportunity. On November 5, 2015 we will begin the consecration as a community here at Catholic Mom. On each of the thirty three days there will be a brief post to go along with the day’s prayers/readings. We will use 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley to guide us until our consecration day on December 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I will pray that you join us!
PS: the image of Mary and Jesus is the one that hung in my childhood bedroom and is in my bedroom now.
Copyright 2015, Deanna Bartalini
Image: made in Canva with photo @D. Bartalini