In doing my research for writing this study, I have to admit: I was a little overwhelmed. There is SO MUCH to know and learn about our Mama Mary, and yet, I was having a really hard time coming up with eighteen whole study topics/days. I was having some tough struggles in my personal life, work was getting overwhelming, my classes were overwhelming me, and I had one of those instructors who just REFUSED to give full marks on any assignment. She’d take off points for the most subjective and petty things.
As a type-A control freak, I was really struggling. I had a very close family member who was facing potentially serious surgery, and on top of school and work stresses, I had forgotten one really awesome, amazing thing: our Mother Mary wants it all from us. She wants to take it off of us, and to help us carry our burdens. I went through the Heart of Mary Consecration group last August (what timing for this study, eh? Mary knows what she’s doing) and for me one of the most wonderful parts about the consecration is being able to cast all worries, stresses, and scares into Mary’s arms.
Since my consecration, one of the things I have to remind myself is to LET IT GO (cue Elsa). Heart of Mary has a beautiful phone lock screen that has almost become etched into my phone, I’ve kept it so long, with a quote from 1 Peter: "Be truly glad; there is wonderful joy ahead."
In discussing the wonderful peace I’ve been able to work towards with our Mother Mary, I hope to highly encourage you to check out consecration. Saint John Paul II describes consecration to Mary as having brought him to a turning point in his life. In fact, his consecration to Jesus through Mary was so important to him, he adopted as his papal motto, “Totus Tuus,” (totally yours). It’s been reported that the Pope recited the long version of the consecration prayer every day. Saint John Paul spoke so highly of the St. Louis de Montfort Consecration to Jesus through Mary, but he wasn’t the only one. Pope Pius XI stated that he practiced that form of prayer beginning in his youth. This form of prayer and devotion to our Holy Mother shouldn’t be taken lightly: it is truly a great and powerful gift.
In doing a consecration, we’re basically telling Mary that she has the rights to the merits of our prayers (graces) as she sees fit. Mary makes everything we give to her even more perfect. Our prayers are more powerful, and our devotions more grace-filled. Our prayers are strengthened through her magnificent grace. It’s like when you were a kid, and maybe you went to a sibling or a parent to ask for help in convincing another parent that you should be allowed to do something. Maybe if you get mom to help you ask dad for that (insert shiny object or cool adventure), he’ll be more likely to say yes.
When Mary was with Christ and John at the cross, He looked at his Mother, and said,
“Behold, your son,”
and to John, He said,
“Behold your mother.” Of course,
she isn’t our birth mother, but she IS our spiritual mother. Mary is the ultimate example of what the Lord can do with a freely-given YES!
Reflection Question 1: What do you struggle with the most in your prayer life? Is it remembering to pray regularly, outside of Mass? Is it praying mindfully, not just rattling off prayers?
Reflection Question 2: What small thing can you offer up to Mary today?
Act: Take five minutes to sit in prayer with our Mother Mary and get closer to her.