By Steve Whan
It’s been almost five years since I became Catholic. Shortly after my first Communion, I found that I had strong relationships with many people in my life, but didn’t feel close to Jesus. I wanted to love him, but didn’t know how.
At the Man Alive conference in October 2013, organizers were offering a free copy of the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. It was billed as a do-it-yourself retreat in preparation for Marian consecration.
On the back cover were two quotes that resonated with me: “This simple book reminds us of Mary’s desire to bring all of us into the merciful Heart of Jesus” and “... one of the surest ways to open wide the doors to Christ: entrusting oneself to Christ’s mother, the first one who opened her life and heart to Jesus.”
The process of total consecration to Mary was introduced by Saint Louis de Montfort in the early 18th century. The heart of de Montfort's classic work True Devotion to Mary is a formal act of consecration to Mary, so through her one can be consecrated to Christ.
I diligently worked my way through the four weeks of lessons. At the end of the process, if you are ready, you are supposed to make the total consecration. There are various flavours of the consecration prayer; this book had three of them.
Essentially, you say: “Mary, I give you my heart. Please set it on fire with love for Jesus.”
After consecration, some people will wear an outward sign like an iron chain, brown scapular, or Miraculous Medal. The whole point of consecration to Mary is not to exalt Mary to the level of deity or to place her in competition with Christ. True consecration to Mary leads to greater love and service for Christ.
So what happened with me? I didn’t feel ready at the time for a total consecration to Mary, but instead I regularly ask Mary to help me to have a deeper love for her son. Around my neck I have three reminders of the women in my life: a wedding band for my wife, a jade pendant for my daughters, and a Miraculous Medal for Mary.
How often in life do we turn to trusted family, friends, or co-workers for advice or assistance? Why wouldn’t we ask a mother to help us? She has a special relationship with her son. Does it work? Of course it does! These are tried and true prayers and methods that have helped Catholics for centuries.
Steve Whan is a member of Christ the Redeemer Parish.