Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pondering Pages/True Devotion to Mary

Lara at Holy Mothering had the great idea to share a love for books in this weekly MEME format...

I have been considering consecrating myself to Mary through the intercession of St. Louis de Montfort. BothJamie and Lara have done this and written about it on their blogs. I have found their stories about the impact this has had on their lives to be fascinating and inspiring. Last year, before I even knew what total consecration was about, my sister Cindy and I attended a morning of prayer and reflection hosted by my very dear friend, Fr. Don. Just before the consecration, Fr. Don cautioned everyone not to come forward for the consecration unless they were well prepared and fully understood what they were undertaking. I gratefully stayed in my seat as I really had no idea what was going on. So, I thought I had better be prepared when Consecration day rolls around this October 17th. To help myself prepare, I read St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary. It was a sweet and sentimental book with a powerful message. In fact, the message was so powerful that I have decided to forgo consecration again this year.

After reading the True Devotion to Mary, I just couldn't drum up the fervor for consecration that I felt I should have if I were to follow through. I don't know what it will take to bring about that deep devotion for my beautiful Mother that I think I lack in my heart. But I trust that my desire for it will be fulfilled in God's time. In the meantime, I think I would be doing a grave disservice to Mary by consecrating myself to her just because other people have found joy in doing so. I have been recalling the words of Fr. Don when I was considering joining a religious order as a lay member. He told me that instead of looking outwards and wanting to do things that I found interesting and holy in other people's lives, I should really be looking inward, and go deeper into who I already am. With that in mind, I think that consecrating myself to Mary needs to be a desire deep within my heart, and until I am sure of that desire, I will wait for consecration. For now, I can live with this decision, and I hope that Mary can as well.

In the meantime, I would like to honor my beloved Blessed Mother on the feast of her birthday with my own words...

Radiant Mother,

prayerfully standing
clothed in blue
you are the image of pure beauty
but something is hidden underneath
your beauty
something I can't understand
despite my best efforts

there is a sword that pierces your heart
deep pain and sorrow surround you
but you don't complain
you remain silent
you ponder your world without a sound

your hands are constantly
folded in prayer and
you forever maintain
a slight smile on your face
as if you know a secret

perhaps your secret
is that your prayer of love
brings you joy
and you quietly reflect that
joy to the world
attracting us to the peace
that you have found

I love you, my beautiful Mother,
and I long to join you in that quiet,
reflective prayer
I want to draw peace from the
hole of emptiness
that is within my own heart

teach me your secret
dearest Mother
help me to hold the pain inside
hidden in silence,
and to only reveal
the joy that exists
within my heart
to the world around me


  1. Your prayer is very nice. I also feel the same way about the Consecration and Our Blessed Mother. I was not able to understand True Devotion the first 3 times I tried reading it, then one day I felt compelled to pick it up and it all made sense to me. Now I am reading The Secret of The Rosary for the 4th time. I don't expect the clouds to open and the seraphim to sing Hallelujah but I'd like to get that peaceful feeling that so many others describe when praying the Rosary. For now, I must be content with praying it and asking Our Mother to share her peace in her time not mine. (Sometimes I feel like Veruca from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory...I WANT IT NOW!..she was a bad egg though..I don't want to be a bad egg :)

  2. Oh Anne, what beautiful words you have written. In the last 20 years or so, I have come to appreciate something very special my mother gave me....the name of Mary. It is an honor to have that name.
    Our Blessed Mother is hailed with many titles. I think this is her way of allowing her to be called upon under any circumstance.

    Mary Catherine

  3. I did a consecration to Mary a few years ago. I have the book St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary.

    Check out www.familyland.org. They have the devotion to Mary; they also have family retreat/vacations and couple retreats.

    Thanks for all you wonderful posts! So very happy about your retreat!

  4. Anne,
    As you read in my post this morning, I too do not feel a great degree of devotion to Mary. I read the book you mention twice and felt very intimidated both times. It is a beautiful book and one worth rereading.
    Thanks for your comments this morning.
    I know Mary knows our hearts and will see the desire that is there.
    God Bless!

  5. You do not necessarily have to have devotion to her, BUT LOVE. You have plenty of that, darling girl!!
    I am consecrated to Jesus through Mary . . . I heard a talk given at our old parish a few years ago and it just struck a chord! I reconsecrate annually and I pray the little crown prayer daily (haven't actually prayed the L.C. since moving to HI 'cos I can't find my book that it's in . . . need to keep digging through the remaining boxes).
    With Mary it is about love. Just love her and trust her . . . and I think you do. And, you are right to wait and see if this devotion is for you, as it is a commitment. I was a bit worried to, like, I have to read this book and say those prayers every year? That's what made me think about it - this is the Mother of God we're talking about, not some socialite club.

    God bless you and your journey.

  6. I was lucky enough to reconsecrate myself to Mary with my now hubby back when we were dating at Steubenville. I have laways felt such a great love for Mary, and it's even stronger now that I am a mother.

    Just remember that God doesn't call the qualified...He qualifies the called.

  7. Hmmm. Anne, sometimes pretty odd things happen to me. This is one of them. Mary wants you to know that she has covered you with Her Immaculate Mantle. Waves and waves of the Holy Spirit are flooding me as I write this. I am to assure you of this.

  8. Why? Because you love her Son so much. In case you were wondering.

  9. You might also think about St. Maximilian Kolbe's consecration to the Immaculata. They are both beautiful consecrations, but they each have a unique charism.

    You can learn more about St. Maximilian's at http://consecration.com/default.aspx?id=10 and http://www.marytown.com/Default.aspx?id=60. It is very focused on winning the world back to Jesus through Mary.

    I'm sure Our Lady is very pleased with your desire to be more devoted to her, and that she'll let you know the best way for YOU to do that.

    God Bless! :)

  10. This reminds me so much of my experience with the Carmelite Order.
    My brother is a Third Order Secular Carmelite Discalced...and I am very very contemplative by nature.There is SO MUCH I love about the Carmelite charism and philosophy...and so many times, people say to me "Why don't you take vows"? But somehow...I always pull back upon hearing that...for a long time I thought that it was because I feared not being able to live up to the devotions/prayer/mass obligations, meetings, etc...
    But now I realize that God just isn't calling me there...for my CARMEL is here in my home with all of these children He has given me to teach...it's no less a calling...and no less a devotion...it is contemplative in nature...and shares in the same graces of Baptism as those who take final vows in an Order.
    My point: Don't be too hard on yourself in thinking that you don't have enough devotion to Our Lady...perhaps it is just that you are called to devotion to her in another way...no less beautiful...just different.

  11. Wow, what a beautiful prayer!

    I felt drawn to the Consecration in early 2008 and almost didn't do it as well because I wasn't sure if I was ready to live it to the fullest, but my husband strongly encouraged me to do it anyway, pointing out that I would receive graces through the process to help me live it out. That turned out to be so true: rarely have I seen an outpouring of grace like when I was doing the daily De Montfort prayers and in the weeks afterward. I was in an totally different frame of mind afterward than before.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, and thanks for that beautiful prayer!

  12. Dear Anne,

    Thank you for your blog.

    I consecrated myself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary years before I was even Catholic. I had found the holy card and recited the prayer on the back of it.

    My consecration to the Blessed Virgin means a great deal to me. While I often fail to live up to my promises, I can tell that you my love for Our Blessed Mother has only grown greater as a result. Indeed, I can see her hand in everything that I do and all that I undertake.

    Continue praying to Our Lady and tell her to draw you to closer to Our Lord. The time for Total Consecration will come some day.

    God bless in your discernment,

    Brother Juniper

  13. You are getting a very clear message from God! I am a Catholic convert, and really from the beginning, always just wanted to focus on Jesus--My God and My All. I remember when I got married and we placed roses under the Mary statue and prayed for our new union and future family, I felt very little. It was very foreign to me.

    I'm really not sure what made that little spark happen that I got interested in Mary--probably reading a lot about JPII and his devotion.

    Then, when I became a mother, I had to end my relationship with my own mother (due to long-time child abuse issues and her continued behavior that was starting to infect my children), I felt very alone. I started praying the 'Mary, Mother of God, Be a Mother to me' prayer and a connection sparked.

    I also can relate to your looking outward for a lay ministry to "get into"--I do that a lot! And most every time, it is because God is asking me to address something within ME.