Updated: May 22, 2020
My wife and I decided to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary using the 33 Days to Morning Glory by Michael E. Gaitly, MIC. We will be making the Act of Consecration on the Feast of the Visitation on May 31. In this blog, I am going to take a step back and instead my wife will share her journey to the decision of consecration. Before that, I know that the Catholic practice of consecration might be familiar to some of you and might be completely foreign to others, so let me take a brief minute to explain the devotion. What does it mean to consecrate? The Webster dictionary defines it as: The means to make or declare something sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose. For many of us we think of the consecrated life of Religious Sisters, Brothers, or Priests who take formal sacramental vows, but what is consecration for the lay person? As a lay person (or a religious), when we make “an act of consecration,” it is made ultimately to God with the understanding that our consecration is a serious commitment on our part to respond faithfully to God’s grace at work in our lives.” (DenverCatholic.org) There are several different types of consecration, some of the most popular ones are The Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to St. Joseph; you can also consecrate yourself individually or your family. Marian consecration is the declaration that one is entrusting him/herself, (mind, body, heart, soul) their family, possessions, work, and entire life to Jesus through the protection, guidance, and intercession of Our Lady. It’s declaring that your trust, your hopes, and your dreams are in Christ Jesus, and asks our Blessed Mother to help you live that declaration. So why have we chosen to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary? My wife, Katie, will share her story and stay tuned for the next newsletter where I will share my own story. Katie- Growing up I always had a strong faith and love for Mary. Like many young Catholic girls, I wanted to be her, beautiful and holy, finding favor with God. This lasted beyond the young years of pretending your blanket was a veil or wanting to play Mary in our school’s re-enactment of the Nativity or Passion—my love for Mary continued through college. After college, however; I found myself drifting away from our Mother Mary as my love for St. Joseph grew (not that you cannot love both), but for some reason, my relationship with Mary took a back seat. In college, I was a theatre major before switching to philosophy/religious studies. I spent almost all my free time working in ‘The Shop’ building sets for the various shows, and I also worked in a country furniture store building pieces of furniture. This connection to carpentry, and a memory of my 8th-grade teacher remarking that “St. Joseph is the most under-appreciated saint,” grew my love and connection to St. Joseph. I appreciated his values of hard work, humility, and service. Fast forward a couple of years: I was on a directed silent retreat while working with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I shared with a spiritual director how my connection to Mary had felt lost, that I felt connected to St. Joseph but not to Mary. She assured me that this was O.K. – there are different seasons in our prayer life and a connection to St. Joseph would lead me back to Mary. When John and I were expecting our first child. I remember thinking that my connection to Mary would be re-kindled, as I would connect to Mary on a personal motherly basis. It simply didn’t happen then, or for my second, or third-born. This past year, John and I started the consecration to Jesus through Mary but only got 4 or 5 days into it before we got “off schedule” and eventually gave up. A few months later, John suggested we consecrate ourselves to St. Joseph. It was my love for St. Joseph that gave him new insights and perspectives of this great saint that he had not considered before. So, of course, he knew that I would not turn down the formal consecration to St. Joseph. This past Lent we prayed together each night and on March 19th we each consecrated ourselves to St. Joseph. Now one of the graces of St. Joseph is that he will lead you to deepen your relationship with Jesus and Mary. This happened almost instantly for me. It was at the same time the COVID-19 shutdowns were starting to happen, school buildings were closed, and our Archdiocese’s New Evangelization Office started praying the rosary each night. I found myself longing to pray the rosary, to use this time in quarantine to re-prioritize and deepen my prayer life and relationship with Jesus and Mary. So now, after almost 12 years of feeling disconnected to Our Lady, my desire to re-establish my relationship with her and to grow ever closer to Jesus through Mary has started. When John suggested we do the consecration to Jesus through Mary. I was a little hesitant – we just finished the consecration to St. Joseph, and I wanted to give that one more time to take root in my life. However, I also know that I have the desire to grow in faith through these two wonderful examples who always point to Jesus. As a wife and mother, I cannot help but want to grow ever closer to the Holy Family and follow in their ways. I embrace Mary and St. Joseph as they lead us to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and help us grow in our vocation as husband, wife, and parents. John- I thank my wife for sharing her story. If you're struggling with feeling disconnected from Jesus or Mary, know that you're not alone and it's not uncommon! I would encourage you to consider consecration as a way to deepen your relationship with Christ. I have created a Private Facebook Group for those who wish to consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary. The group will start on Monday, May 18th and will be consecrated on June 20, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I invite you to prayerful consider this devotion and if you would like to join us please Click Here to join the Group. If you would like to learn more please feel free to contact me. Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us.