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Catholic Spiritual Direction

CSD Book Club – 33 Days to Morning Glory (Week 1 of 7)

April 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

33 Days to Morning Glory by Father Michael Gaitley, MIC

Today, we begin a new adventure – surrendering our lives to Jesus through Mary.  For those of us who have never made a formal Act of Consecration, this could be a life-changing experience.  For the rest of us, a time to renew our vow with fresh insight, looking to the wisdom of St. Maximilian the-good-portion-pictureKolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Blessed John Paul II along with Saint Louis de Montfort for guidance.

As the book is entitled 33 Days… we are not going to speed the process, but will complete this “do-it-yourself” retreat on a day by day basis.  For those of you who tend to fall behind, this should be GREAT news!!  The introduction will require reading less than two pages per day, and over the 33 Days we’ll read around 15 pages per week, as per the book’s timeline.  This should leave plenty of time open for prayer and contemplation!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with 33 Days to Morning Glory, the following was taken from the back of the book:

“Behold, your mother.”  From the cross, our suffering Savior tenderly places each of us personally into the hands of His mother.  Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, reminds us that the heart and hands that nurtured the Christ are the same heart and hands that nurture us, forming us into “other Christs.”  

This do-it-yourself retreat touches on the inspiring life of St. Louis de Montfort and the personal journeys of outstanding modern-day Christian models like St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and the Blessed John Paul II.  It integrates the basic truths of our faith, such as our baptismal consecration to God and the Trinitarian aspects of our Christian way of life.  All in all, 33 Days to Morning Glory is a moving and transformative journey into the loving and maternal heart of Our Blessed Mother.  After reading this book, one can appreciate and understand more fully one’s own unique and unrepeatable relationship with her. – Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ (Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines)

This simple book reminds us of Mary’s desire to bring all of us into the merciful Heart of Jesus.  In these pages, I met the gentle Mother I have loved for so long, and I hope that you get the chance to meet her and come to rely on her as I do.  I fully recommend to you – one of the best books on Mary! – Immaculée Ilibagiza (Author, Left to Tell and Our Lady of Kibeho)

Accessible, vivid, even edgy -Fr. Gaitley’s 33 Days brings Marian devotion into the modern lives of everyone with enriching freshness.  Filled with insights and generously complemented by the saintly writings of Blessed John Paul II and others, this retreat guides the reader on one of the surest ways to “open wide doors to Christ”: entrusting oneself to Christ’s mother, the first who opened her life and heart to Jesus. – Carl Anderson (Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus)

Please join us on our journey as we pledge all that we have and all that we are, to Jesus through Mary, our Most Holy Mother.

Reading Assignment:  Introduction, p. 15-27

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

For More Information on the Book Club:  http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/csd-book-club

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages three to fifteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the CSD book club so she could embark with likeminded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. In addition to moderating the book club and managing family activities, Vicki also cooks, does laundry, cleans, does laundry, and, every once in a while, finds time to write and speak on topics such as marriage and spiritual reading - of course, these endeavors take place only between her many loads of laundry.

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  • Patricia Budd

    I am excited to read this book I read consoling the heart of Jesus and I love it.

    • Jeanette

      I’m looking forward to a re-consecration to Jesus through Mary through this do-it-yourself retreat. I also loved ‘Consoling the Heart of Jesus’ and it was a spiritually life-changing book for me.

      • LizEst

        A re-consecration for me, as well!

      • Patricia Budd

        as for me.

  • http://www.marythedefender.wordpress.com MariaGo

    Archbishop Ledesma from the Philippines? Wait the book is sold here?! If could get a copy sooner I could have joined your Consecration! :(

    • Charina

      Yes. It is available in the Philippines. A friend of mine bought a copy for me a couple of months ago at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Cagayan de Oro City which is being managed by the Marian Fathers. It is sold only for Php 150.

      • http://www.marythedefender.wordpress.com MariaGo

        P150 thats so much less than on amazon! I live in Quezon City though. Will check if the Marian Fathers sell it anywhere in Metro Manila as well. I should really check out that shrine next time I visit Cagayan de Oro. Daghang Salamat po! (Many Thanks)

  • Deacon Louie

    I have used this book in conjunction with the True Devotion To Mary, by St. Louis De Montfort, to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary. This has become a huge Devotion for many in our Diocese over the years. It has become so big that our parish Priest has devoted a special Mass for everyone who wishes to make their Consecration. Last year alone their were 75 – 80 people who made their Consecration, or Reconsecration, on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I was Blessed to have to have both books to guide me and the many people to support on my journey.

    • Vicki

      How beautiful! I should recommend this idea to our parish priest. He would probably jump on it! I would have never thought of doing this as a parish – thank you for sharing this.

      • Louise Karas

        Vicki
        My trip to Stockbridge was to help Fr. Gaitley and the Marians to bring this book and the program to parishes across the USA so that we can bring Jesus through Mary to everyone. The other reason why is so that we can help the Marains fundraise and help cover expenses for the new class of 38 seminarians that will joining. If interested in doing in pairshes I am one of the 13 who Fr. Gaitley & the Marians have asked to do this mission. It would be my pleasure to help and I ask for prayers for our team and mission.

        • Vicki

          Granted! What a wonderful mission! I will let you know if our parish is interested. Thank you!

  • Mary Anne

    I am looking forward to this book!

  • http://clinmarjo.blogspot.com/ Maryellen Jones

    I’m so looking forward to a new and loving relationship with Mary. This is the perfect time in my life to finally give my Yes to her and the Holy Spirit, asking for her to form me into the Saint I desire to be. I will be praying for all those coming into a deeper consecration to the Virgin Mother. To Jesus through Mary – what a beautiful concept.

  • Robert Kraus

    I’ve never been consecrated yet, though I often thought about it, especially as my birthday is December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception). I’ve never been sure, I was told on another Catholic forum that consecration was to help an already good Christian become excellent, and that I’m not to the good part yet, so I’ve held back. I hope rereading this book with you all will help me discern if I’m ready yet to take this step and draw closer to Jesus through Mary.

    • LizEst

      Your birthday is December 8th? You are blessed indeed. What an honor!

    • http://www.marythedefender.wordpress.com MariaGo

      Wonderful birthdate! Maybe you could do your consecration or re-consecration on that date. Like a birthday gift to Mama for giving you her feast day. :)

  • green55

    I am considering consecrating my whole family. Does anyone have any thought on this. How can I go about it?

    • Vicki

      I’d like to do the same. I think we’re going to do the readings together in the morning. I do know of other families who’ve done it.

  • GMarquez

    I went ahead and ordered the book today… but, can I admit that I did it with some trepidation?
    I hope no one gets upset, but I feel I need to share this. I came back to the Catholic Church two years ago, after being in an evangelical/charismatic church for almost 30 years. During this time, I got an MA in theology from a Protestant university, and my husband helped pastor a small congregation for close to 25 years.
    In the process of coming back (took about 2 years!), the role of Mary in the Church was a big concern for me. Finally, I felt peace about understanding and have grown to love her. However, I truly don’t understand the whole consecrating thing.
    I want to learn, and I want to grow closer to Jesus, to God my Father, to be filled by His Holy Spirit… I just don’t understand how devotion to Mary fits in.
    But… I am open to learning and growing, from the book and from all of you!
    Thank you!!!

    • LizEst

      Mary, being the mother of Jesus, the closest human being to Him that ever was or will be is the first and greatest of His disciples and the model for our Church. She who gave birth to and raised Jesus, can teach us how best to be like Him, how best to follow Him..in her example of humility, in her example of service to our God, in her example of service to others, in her example of devotion and dedication. She is the best teacher of how to get close the Lord. She is full of grace and has the ear of her Son and His eternal gratitude. We have no greater intercessor, no easier way, no quicker way to the Lord than through our Blessed Mother. The consecrating thing is to put ourselves at the service of her who always does the will of God and through her learn to be more like her Son.

      You know what helped me? I began to think often of how she was just a young girl when she accepted to be the Mother of God. That made her “seem” more approachable, though she has always been approachable. To Jesus through Mary is the secret of all the great saints. If you want to be a saint, and we should all want that, there is no more direct way to Jesus. Jesus, of course, is the way to the Father. But, the sure way to Jesus is through Mary.

      “All the splendors–divine filiation, participation in divine life, intimate relations with the Trinity–which grace produces in our souls are realized in Mary with a prominence, a force, a realism, wholly singular. If, for example, every soul in the state of grace is an adopted child of God and a temple of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin is so par excellence and in the most complete manner, because the Triune God communicated Himself to her in the highest degree possible for a simple creature, to such a degree that Mary’s dignity, according to St. Thomas, touches ‘the threshold of the infinite’ (cf Ia, q. 25, a. 6, ad 4)” (From “Divine Intimacy” by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, O.C.D.)

      • GMarquez

        Thank you, Liz… I’m hoping this study will help me understand!

    • Vicki

      Dear Friend, I know exactly how you feel! As a convert, I had a problem with Mary when I first entered the Church, to the point that I pretty much ignored her. After a while, I began reading about her just to figure out what all the “fuss” was about. One book that was particularly helpful was Mary, the Second Eve, by St. John Newman. It’s a tiny little book that packs a big punch. Once I understood the Church’s teaching on Mary, I acknowledged her, but it still took many years for me to love her as my own Mother.

      Regarding consecration, I’m sure this book will help you to understand why a devotion to Mary is so important. And there is also True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort – a beautiful treatise on Marian devotion. But if you are anything like me, you like to start small. What first helped me to understand Marian devotion – and not just to understand, but to be excited about it – was a children’s book by Mary Fabyan Windeatt called St. Louis de Montfort. It reads like a novel, but offers great Catechesis, while telling the story of de Montfort’s life and Marian theology. Reading it made me very excited to read True Devotion to Mary. 33 Days will require little reading each day – I would love to recommend that you read Windeatt’s book in tandem. It’s a lovely story and an “easy” read. Her books read at an 8th grade level, and are promoted for ages 9 to 99 (I would recommend all 20 of her books, by the way – as a wonderful way to learn the lives of many great saints.).

      I would love to know your thoughts as we continue reading 33 Days…! God bless you! In Christ, Vicki

      • GMarquez

        Vicki, I just ordered both Windeatt’s and St. John Newman’s books.
        I will try to keep up with the readings better this time around… looking forward to it, though I must admit… with just a little trepidation! God bless you too. Thank you!

      • LizEst

        These look like great recommendations. Thanks Vicki. I’m sure many will benefit from them.

  • Charina

    I feel truly blessed to have stumbled on this site. I am glad that the book club is featuring Fr. Gaitley’s book as I am on Day 15 right now. My consecration day will fall on May 13, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima. (Actually, this is the second time I am doing this. I felt the need to do the consecration all over again because of the many distractions I had when I went through it the first time.)

    Since my conversion several years back, it was our Blessed Mother’s loving presence and guidance that kept me going despite all doubts, uncertainties, and personal trials that included depression. My journey to healing was through the Blessed Mother that also led me to a deeper relationship with her son, Jesus. Over the years, I found myself reciting the rosary and the Chaplet everyday, going to weekly confession (if possible), attend daily mass, spending as much time in the Adoration Chapel, go to Marian cenacles, and observe first Saturday devotions. As soon as I wake up, I pray the Brown Scapular “Morning Offering.” I bring with me a little statue of the “Our Lady of Lourdes” whenever I travel. I joined a Marian group that is very much into healing and deliverance. By God’s grace, I was able to see many happenings in my own life and in my family, and in the world around me, in the context of spiritual warfare. I also saw how my own sufferings are very much linked to the bondage that is brought about by sin, including ancestral patterns of
    occult practices (which was and still is prevalent in the Third World country
    where I live) and sexual sins. There is no way that we could win the warfare without the Blessed Mother. And it is by consecrating our selves that She can make use of us to be part of her spiritual army.

    For me, “33 Days,” including the Marians of the Immaculate Conception apps (“Divine Mercy” and “Mary”), were such a big help in my prayer life. The book and the apps were able to simplify (without sacrificing depth) Marian dogma that was distilled from the Church’s teachings including those of the great Marian saints. These also gave me a deeper understanding of what the “external acts of piety” such as reciting the rosary mean.

    I really look forward to the exchanges in this book club in the coming weeks. Thank you, Mama Mary, for leading me to this site.

    • http://www.marythedefender.wordpress.com MariaGo

      Welcome! I am so glad to have you join us! It’s great to have another Filipina on the site! What province are you from?
      The Divine Mercy devotion has also had a great impact on my prayer life. Have you heard of the Divine Mercy channel? Its a local cable channel that promotes the Divine Mercy message, and the reason for my devotion. But they dont broadcast in my current cable subscription, so I haven’t seen it in a while.

      • Guest

        Hi Mary. I’m from Davao. I just sent a friend request to your FB.

        • LizEst

          It is so beautiful to see both of you connecting here!

        • LizEst

          Look above! There is yet another Filipina (stanzimarini) who is joining.

      • LizEst

        Mary – look above! There is yet another Filipina (stanzimarini) who is joining.

  • Scott Kallal

    I’m so pumped that we’re going to be pursuing Mary for the month of May. Thanks for this great gift Vicki. I’m looking forward to whatever insights you may have regarding our Mother and how we can grow in our relationship with her…

    God bless,

    Fr. Scott, AVI
    Apostles of the Interior Life

  • Elaine

    I am looking forward to this book. Years ago my family did the “Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary for Families”. It was an awesome experience but very hard to keep up with all the readings. This book looks like I will be able to read and contemplate the message it has for me. What a blessing to reconsecrate myself to Jesus through Mary. Hopefully I will be able to include my family.

  • idaloren

    Hi! I’ve long been wanting to join in the discussions in the CSD from the start, but sadly I haven’t been able to. I feel compelled to start now since the new book just started (I’m just a sad that I’ve missed the previous ones). A perfect one, too, since I think it would be good time for me to deepen my devotion to our Blessed Mother. Can I buy this book locally? I’m from the Philippines, and I see some Filipinas from the comments below. I live in Metro Manila by the way. Thanks!

    • http://www.marythedefender.wordpress.com MariaGo

      Hi! I am from Quezon City. Immaculata says you can buy them in Cagayan de Oro. But that is pretty far from us. However, They also have an address in the Metro. The Marians have a formation house at 45 Jose Abad Santos Street Heroes Hills Quezon City. They might also sell there. I have not been able to visit yet, so I’m not sure.

  • BeckitaMaria

    I renewed my de Monfort consecration last December 8th utilizing the rich material in 33 Days to Morning Glory. I didn’t want the prep to end because of the content of this book. It will be a joy to renew again and, this time, with the Book Club!!!

  • Alexandra Arias

    It’s going to be a beautiful journey – deepening my relationship with my Blessed Mother! I’m so looking forward to it! — God bless your journey’s to the Heart of Mary!

  • Burns227

    Right away I am faced with my limitations. On Page 26 there is a beautiful prayer that starts, “Mary, I want to be a saint.” I’m not sure I really want to be a saint. I don’t think I’m ready for the self-denial & sacrifice that it requires. I’ll start my preparation for Consecration by asking the Blessed Mother for the grace to desire to be a saint.

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Love your honesty – and courage to continue anyway.

    • LizEst

      We have the great example of the Saints who are canonized. These canonized Saints are examples to us for their lives of heroic sanctity, heroic witness to Christ, martyrdom, etc. They are called to exemplary virtue.

      Then, there are all those saints the Church has never canonized and will never canonize. That’s most of the rest of us. Even if we are unable to reach heroic sanctity, we are still called to holiness. And, it is this life of holiness that is the path to simple sainthood and our everlasting life with God. Everyone can lead this life of holiness (and, this still means we should be the best little saint we can be). But, we cannot do it on our own. This is the grace we need. Think of it as the grace to get to heaven. To this end, the Blessed Mother is the quickest, surest road to Jesus. And, Jesus is the gate through which we enter eternal life with the Blessed Trinity, saints among the Saints.

      You know, being a little saint isn’t such a bad deal. The canonized Saints still have a lot more “work” to do interceding on behalf of others!! God bless them…and thanks to them. Little saints still have to intercede for others but they don’t have tons of folks calling on them for special intercession and they get to spend the rest of their “time” in eternity in praise and adoration of God. I imagine that that is one of the ways that the littlest ones, the least, are the greatest in heaven!!

    • Vicki

      That’s a wonderful thing to ask!

  • Peggy

    This is truly an eyeopener of a book if one really wants to walk with Christ and His Blessed Mother. I now know why, we as humans don’t do a lot of things because of fear, but yet, really when we are surrounded and held in the hands of Mary, who will take us to Christ, we really should not be afraid. However that being said, the responsibility of all this can be overwhelming and awesome.

  • Mary Anne

    Has anyone else been experiencing spiritual attacks during this process? I have begun the consecration process
    a few times now, and every time I start, I have terrible bouts of
    anxiety and scruples over this. At first I
    took this as a sign from the Holy Spirit that this was not meant for
    me, but now that I have learned more about discernment of spirits, I
    think I know where the anxiety and scruples come from, and it is NOT
    from the HS. I just began the consecration process once again this past
    week, planning on making my consecration on May 31, the Feast of the
    Visitation, and once again, the anxiety and scruples are raising their
    ugly head. This time, I am not going to give up (God willing and with
    lots of grace), and I’m learning to ignore the feelings and dark
    thoughts that pop into my head. It may also help that I am doing this
    with an online group so there will be a lot of support during the
    process. All I can figure is that this must be a very powerful
    spiritual consecration if the Devil is attacking so many of us when we
    are preparing for the consecration.

    • Alexandra Arias

      Give those attacks to Jesus, He’ll take care of it!

  • Liz Estler

    Michael – Satan hates our Blessed Mother. So, it’s common for the evil one to tempt people to give up their quest of consecration… and he has many different ways of doing so. Stay the course! It will be worth it. She is the surest way to Jesus.