Have you ever wanted to deepen your spiritual life or learn how to grow closer to God?
Have you ever wanted to more clearly see the hand of God working in your life or to find the miracles in His Providence for you?
These amazing things can and do happen, and I have discovered the sweet and beautiful secret how.
When you place yourself into the loving hands of Our Blessed Mother, consecrating all your works to her, she works through the everyday to bring you to discoveries and places that you had never imagined.
Consecration to Mary
The first part of consecrating yourself to Our Blessed Mother is to undertake a time of preparation. St. Louis De Montfort describes it in True Devotion to Mary as “ridding themselves of the spirit of the world” and “filling themselves with Jesus Christ by the Holy Virgin.”
The preparatory process, using De Montfort’s formula, takes 33 days, which are filled with many beautiful prayers, as well as personal reflection. De Montfort reminds us in his writing that the preparations for consecration are not compulsory, but if completed, they will “assure its great efficacy because of the purity and other dispositions which they tend to develop in our souls.”
That being said, not everyone has the desire to undertake De Montfort’s formula, which can seem intimidating by its length.
If, like me, you fall into this category, there are shorter versions of the preparation. I personally use 33 Days to Morning Glory by Michael E. Gaitley. It is still filled with wonderful reflections and prayers, but in much shorter segments each day.
Entering into the Sacraments
The second part of the process involves going to confession, attending Mass, and reciting a prayer of consecration. Either book that I have mentioned has prepared prayers you may recite, or you can say a prayer of consecration in your own words.
It is wonderful if your consecration day falls on a Marian feast day. In Fr. Gaitley’s book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, he includes a chart that shows when to start your preparation in order to have your consecration day fall on a desired feast day. Then it is accomplished.
Your life and your works are now consecrated to Jesus through Mary. You place everything you have into her hands so that she may use them as she wills, bringing you and others ever nearer to Christ.
I can attest to how gently and beautifully Mary has worked in my life. She seems continually to introduce me to ideas that are outside of my comfort level. But the miracle that happens each time she guides me to another new challenge is that I am showered with the graces I need to successfully navigate through each experience with peace.
Going to World Youth Day
Some examples of her guidance in my life are attending World Youth Day in Spain, becoming a homeschooling mother to four children, and leading our family through my husband’s job loss.
Each of these examples challenged me in ways far beyond my own capabilities. Each of them was something that made me extremely uncomfortable, and yet each adventure brought with it the joy of seeing Our Lady work in my life in ways I never imagined.
Attending World Youth Day during that time in my life seemed ludicrous to me. When I knew that I had been called by Our Lady to attend this event in Spain I was expecting our third child. I never imagined that my husband would agree to stay home from his job to watch what would be three young children for me to go on a pilgrimage.
But after much prayer and thought I approached my husband with the idea and he said yes right away. He figured that if I felt called, then he would do what he could to make it happen. The many small miracles of funding such a trip took place (it is always amusing and amazing to see how God works).
Eventually I was on a plane with the other pilgrims saying “see you soon” to my husband, 8 month old daughter, and two and three year old sons. It was a very painful and difficult detachment for me, as most people in our group can attest to. Yet even though the separation was painful, it was such a grace filled time of learning to rely on God more than myself or my husband.
It was a time of healing of wounds I had forgotten were even there, and it was a time to fall in love with Our Lord in a new way, a much deeper and personal way. I would never have chosen this time in my life to travel away from my family, but with Our Lady’s promptings and guidance, I grew in my trust in God, and my love and awe for God grew more firmly rooted in my heart.
The Adventure of Homeschooling
Another feat Our Lady performed in my life, and continues to perform, is the adventure of homeschooling. Our family is now blessed with four children, ages 2, 4, 6, and 8.
I had heard of homeschooling before I started, but it was never something I had imagined doing. I was content to send our children to our local Catholic school and assumed they would go through the system just like most other children. Our Blessed Mother had other plans for us.
Shortly after my husband and I began a preparation for consecration to Our Lady, she put on my heart a strong desire to look into home education. I was shocked, but went with the call, and began asking questions. As things became clearer that this was what I was called to do, I jumped right in and we began homeschooling that very year.
It has been challenging and has forced me to grow in so many areas that I lack, including patience, trust, and confidence in what God calls me to do.
However, in pursuing homeschooling, I have been rewarded with a peace that only He can provide and a confidence that in whatever God asks of me, I will have the graces I need to excel.
Losing A Job
Another example of the beauty of Consecration is when trials arise. When my husband suddenly came back home only a couple hours after leaving for work one day, I knew it could only mean one thing. For five years the threat of my husband losing his job to layoffs had loomed over us.
After seventeen years of employment it finally became a reality. Thankfully, Mary never fails in her tender love for her children, and she made her presence known to us through a time that felt frightening and precarious. When we turned to her in prayer she sent peace and an acceptance of the will of God in our lives.
Even through the tears and difficulties that the past year has brought with job loss, contract work, and finally a permanent position, Mary has given us the grace to be more patient with God’s timing and to have faith that things will turn out exactly as God wills them to be.
A Time of Miracles
Each of these experiences has enabled us to grow in our love, trust and awe of God. This is what happens when you put yourself, and your works, into the loving hands of Mary.
Miracles happen, God’s will for you is made clear, and you find the graces you need to get through this pilgrimage of life safely into the arms of Our Heavenly Father. Mary takes the gifts of sacrifice and love that you entrust to her care and presents them to God in a more beautiful and perfect way.
Suddenly any small act, given in love, becomes a gift given to Him by the Queen of Heaven on your behalf.
Consecrating yourself and your family to Our Blessed Mother will change your life.
You will find what God is calling you to and you will see miracles happen in the every day.