35 days ago I began to know my mother for the very first time. I was a bit hesitant to do so but as the days went on I realized that I needed to do it. And I found out that my mother is an awesome lady with so much love for her children that I was glad my friend introduced me to her. My mother is actually not my earthly mom (although she’s pretty awesome, too!) but my heavenly mom and I used Father Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration to consecrate myself to her.
What I found in doing so was a gentle way of easing my whole person into Mary’s heart. The book is broken into 33 days of readings and reflections from everyone to Maximillian Kobe to Mother Teresa – all of whom loved Mary so much that they gave themselves to Mary in hopes that their hearts would be set on fire with love for her son, Jesus. Each reading/reflection ended with several prayers that included the Litany of the Holy Ghost, Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Ave Maris Stella (as you get closer to consecrating yourself to Mary the prayers change some). Prior to getting started with the consecration, I felt overwhelmed but this book breaks it down so easily that it’s kind of impossible to not follow through with it as each day consists of probably no more than three pages worth of reflection.
But as the day got closer, I grew weary. Luckily, my friend warned me this would happen and I am grateful that she did otherwise I may have thrown in the towel. She warned me that as I got closer to Jesus that the devil would make some last pulls for me. No joke – she freaked me out in the beginning but she assured me that I would be fine as long as finished it through. She explained that everybody feels evil differently as they get closer to being consecrated and she mentioned that for me my sorrow in the midst of Joaquin’s passing may be even more overwhelming.
She was right. I consecrated myself on the December 8th and on December 2nd and 3rd I felt like I was going under in a really bad way. I was literally missing Joaquin so much that I felt like I was going insane. The despair that I felt those two days were scary and painful as I looked at myself in the mirror trying to figure out if I could bring myself out of the darkness. In the 8 weeks since Joaquin’s passing I had remained steadfast in my faith and extremely hopeful that I would one day see him again. But on those two days I could hardly see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I remembered what my friend told me and I continued with my consecration. And the darkness was lifted. Two to three days before my consecration I felt extremely tired. I had no energy or even desire to finish this journey. The night before I just wanted to sleep and put the book and prayers aside. But I remembered what my friend told me and I continued with my consecration. And I finished. The morning of my consecration I was joyful and excited that I had finally gotten to know our Lady so well that I was 100% hers. I felt different every time I saw her statue or a picture of her. I love her so much. And because Jesus felt even more love for His mother I know that she will protect and intercede for me and my family and that she would walk my prayers directly to God.
My friend mentioned that some of her friends wake up the day after their consecration expecting their lives to be different somehow and when they see that nothing has really changed they’re slightly disappointed. Not me. I know that I belong to her and love her so much that her graces will flow over to us. After all, I am 35 days closer to my Heavenly Mother than I ever have been and for that I am eternally grateful and will continue to pledge my heart to hers.