Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Birthday, Our Lady of Sorrows, And Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

Statue of Mary--which I do not worship--from Legion of Mary.
This year, I gave myself an extra-special gift for my birthday.  It wasn't a trip to Europe, though that's still on the list of things I'd like to do. It wasn't a pair of those magical jeans they sell at Macy's that are supposed to actually fit my 48-year-old butt. Not Your Daughter's Jeans, I think they're called. It didn't even involve chocolate.

After reading and following 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, I consecrated myself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I'd already performed a hurried version two years ago--the moment I learned my hubby was in the hospital waiting to undergo brain surgery for injuries obtained in a fall at work.  I'm certain she helped me handle that stressful situation without mind-numbing fear and with, yes, joy.

This time, it was a thoughtful, deliberate, formal act, one that said, "I'm not in crisis now, but I'm still willing to do this."  Because it's easy to pray to Jesus or ask His Mother's intercession when we're scared stiff, but offering everything up when things are going well?  Not so easy.

As an added bonus, my birthday fell on the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows. Pretty cool, huh? What could be more humanly powerful than the sorrows Mary endured for God--the sorrow predicted in the temple--that a sword would pierce her heart, her sorrow when she met Jesus as he carried his cross, and her sorrow at the foot of the Cross. The sorrows that arose from her "yes" to God.

What does my consecration mean? 

That every spiritual grace I receive from God will go to Mary for her dispensation as she sees fit. There may be someone on the other side of the world who is dying in despair, without Jesus, and she will use my graces to bring them to Christ (or, more correctly, the Christ.)  I don't know how, but I know that her entire role as a creature of God and the Mother of Jesus has been to point us to her Son.  She's the perfect vessel that brought Him into this world, and to be molded into her image is to achieve the perfection that Jesus wants for us--the uniting of our will with His will.

It's an act of humility.

I'm not so great at humility, but with my consecration, Mary will help me develop that virtue, because she's just frantic with humility. She'll guide me, with the Holy Spirit, to be a saint. What more could I ask for on my birthday? (Me in the Heaven Store: "Oooh. Sainthood. I'll take one of those!)

Does that mean I worship Mary? 

I only worship God. Mary would smack me upside the head if I tried to worship her, though I'm sure she'd do it nicely. I venerate, or honor, Mary for her role in Jesus' life, for her Fiat to God. It's a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary's Immaculate Heart. When we say the Hail Mary, the words are pray for us sinners.  We're asking her to pray for us, just like we'd ask our relatives to do the same. And for the record, I don't worship her statue either, though it's a very nice statue.

Does the consecration put a barrier between me and Jesus?

HAHAHAHA! (wiping tears from my eyes)   That would be a big no.

When I'm doing my meditations, I always imagine Mary present along with Jesus, and that's right on the money. Anywhere Jesus is, you'll find Mary. In Exposition. At Mass. In prayer.  The Father is there, too, and the Holy Spirit, but I personally have an easier time imagining Mary and Jesus.

Yes, I'm aware that Louis de Montfort, the man who wrote True Devotion to Mary, believed we should always approach Jesus through His mother as an act of humility. Jesus is our only intercessor to the Father, and Mary is our strongest intercessor to her Son. Does that mean I can't say an Our Father directly to God? Nope. Does that mean I shouldn't pray to Jesus? No way. It means she makes my prayers more perfect for her Son.

It's a very cool thing.

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