Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here
Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates
Catholic Spiritual Direction

CSD Book Club – 33 Days to Morning Glory (Week 2 of 7)

April 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

33 Days to Morning Glory

The “Surest and Quickest Way to Heaven”

Marian consecration basically means giving Mary our full permission (or as much permission as we can) to complete her motherly task in us, which is to form us into other Christs.  Thus, by consecrating ourselves to Mary, the-good-portion-pictureeach of us is saying to her:

Mary, I want to be a saint.  I know that you also want me to be a saint and that it’s your God-given mission to form me into one.  So, Mary, at this moment, on this day, I freely choose to give you my full permission to do your work in me, with your spouse, the Holy Spirit.

As soon as Mary hears us make such a decision, she flies to us and begins working a masterpiece of grace within our souls.  She continues this work for as long as we don’t deliberately choose to change our choice from a yes to a no, as long as we don’t take back our permission and leave her.  That being said, it’s always a good idea for us to strive to deepen our “yes” to Mary.  For the deeper our “yes” becomes, the more marvelously she can perform her works of grace in our souls.  

One of the greatest aspects of being consecrated to Mary is that she’s such a gentle mother.  She makes the lessons of the Cross into something sweet, and she pours her motherly love and solace into our every wound.  Going to her and giving her permission to do her job truly is the “surest, easiest, shortest and the most perfect means” to becoming a saint.  What joy it is to be consecrated to Jesus through Mary!  – 33 Days to Morning Glory, p. 26-27 (5th paragraph from the end of the Introduction)

In Mass the other day,  Father recommended the movie The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945 version – based on the book by Oscar Wilde).  He told us he watched it at the age of 14, and recognized at once the very precious nature of his soul, and need to take care of it every moment of his life.

Well, he didn’t have to recommend it twice.  I have a 14 year old son, and I set about looking for the movie that very afternoon!  Father was right.  My boys and I watched the movie last night and they said they couldn’t imagine a scarier movie.  The idea that the hideous damage done to one’s soul could be visible in a portrait was quite an eye-opener!

For those who haven’t seen the movie, it opens with an introduction to Dorian Gray, a beautiful and wealthy young man with a penchant for philanthropy.  But he is unwittingly tempted to pride – a feeling he’d never recognized before – and he becomes terrified of losing his beauty through the aging process.  Lost in thought, while staring at a large, recently painted portrait of himself, he makes a comment about how lovely it would be if  the portrait of him could age, while he remained the same, and that he would give anything to keep from losing his youth – even his very soul.

As you can imagine, through some sort of enchantment, his offhanded wish comes true.  Gradually, you see his decisions become fraught with selfishness and he loses all compassion for fellow human beings.  As a result of his heartless behavior, virtually everyone with whom he comes in contact suffers greatly, even unto death.

What’s unique about this movie is not that a man turns to sin.  We could have picked virtually any movie to witness human nature.  No, what grabbed us was that his soul – a part of our being that is often neglected in our day to day decisions –  was made visible for us.  After his first willful decision to commit evil, he notices that his portrait has changed.  Lines of evil have begun to appear around his eyes and his jaw is set in a cold manner.

Through the course of the movie, Dorian’s decisions lead him down a path of destruction.  He begins to realize that his portrait is actually a visible image of his very own soul.  It bears all the ugliness of his immoral life, while Dorian’s own appearance never changes.

I won’t spoil the end of the movie for you – but needless to say, I’m pretty sure neither of my sons will ever make a remark similar to Dorian’s  – even in jest.  And hopefully, they recognize the need to protect their souls from harm.

Today, my boys are at a one-day camp run by Doug Barry (of EWTN’s Life on the Rock).  It is my prayer that after the negative message of last night, they are inspired today to run for protection into the arms of Jesus and Mary!  For how can we be sure of our souls’ protection any other way?

Think about it.  Dorian Gray was really no different from you or me, or anyone else.  In fact, perhaps he was a much better person than I before being tempted.  So how can I be sure I won’t fall to a similar temptation?  Or one to which I am more susceptible?  Perhaps some other form of pride?  Or greed?  Lust?  Envy?  And any number more?!  I don’t have to make an outright pact with the devil!  Little by little I can invite him in until – before I know it – my life becomes a hideous reflection of the soul that I’ve destroyed.

How can I trust such a priceless treasure as my soul to my own devises?  To one who is corrupt?  Who is weak and fraught with faults and short-comings?!  I cannot!  I must run to Jesus, my savior, through Mary, my beautiful mother!  She will protect me!

Not only will she protect me and keep me from falling further, but with more skill than Michelangelo, she will take the hard marble stone that is my “self” and chisel away until every last remnant of coolness disappears and I become a likeness of her Son.  As Father Gaitley says, “it’s Mary’s great God-given task, in union with and by the power of the Holy Spirit, to form every human being into ‘another Christ’…”

And the beauty of it, according to de Montfort, is that consecration is the surest and quickest way to become a saint.  Gaitley even makes it sound easy – or at least “passive.”  He says, “…every human being is invited to rest in the womb of Mary and be transformed there, by the power of the Holy Spirit, more perfectly into Christ’s own image.”   What a beautiful word – rest.

When I compare my options, depending on my own devices versus handing everything over, I am so ready to formally consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary.  I say formally, because I’ve given my life and the lives of my family over to Mary several times; but I’m very excited about the contemplation and meditation surrounding that promise over the next few weeks!

 

For Discussion:

1. How do you feel about consecrating yourself to Jesus through Mary?  Any concerns?  Will this be a first for you, or are you renewing your consecration?

2. Open discussion: Feel free to comment on any topic from this past week’s reading.

Reading Assignment:  You should have begun Day One on Sunday, April 28.  If not, begin today, and plan to reach Day 9 by next Monday.  Spend much time each day meditating on that day’s material.

NOTE:  Please join us for a webinar with Father Gaitley, scheduled for May 18!

We are asking for a small donation of $20.00 to provide a stipend for Fr. Gaitley as a thank you for the webinar and for all he does to bless and build up the Church.

Please register for Fr. Michael Gaitley 33 Days to Morning Glory on Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM CDT  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

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

Print Friendly

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.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Robert Kraus

    This will be a first consecration for me, I think I’d like to do it for my Dec 8th birthday to double-honor God and Mary. :) I don’t really have any concerns, except I hope that my wife and family will be supportive of me going deeper like this. I just think I need Mary’s help in my life in a bad way to bring me to her Son.

    • GMarquez

      Sorry, Robert! I did not mean to “vote down”!!! Please disregard!!!

  • Patricia Budd

    I will be renewing my concercration to Jesus through Mary. I was concercrated through st. Fr. Kobe. The web seminar with Fr. Gaitley is on my birthday. I hope to register for it.

  • Camila

    Vicky, thank you for the great post.

    “Do we have a fire in our hearts as we begin this retreat? We should. Or at least we should strive for it. Desire and generosity are key ingredients to making a successful retreat.” (Day 1 Pg.33) I loved the imagery Fr. Gaitley gave of the Celtic warrior. A warrior! Hungry for victory and generously ready to lay down his life for his purpose!

    “Sadly, we all give in to Satan’s “pomps and works” and reject Christ, at least in little ways.” ( Day 3 Pg 36) So true. I loved how you brought Dorian Gray into this week’s readings! Yes Vicky, I’m ready to give myself to Mary – the one “Satan fears not only more than the angels and saints but in a sense, even more than God himself!” (Day 3 Pg 37)

    This is a re-consecration for me. If Almighty God trusted Mary with His only Son, then I too will do the same. I will trust myself completely into her “little and humble” hands.

    • Vicki

      Yes, really liked the image of the Celtic warrior too. What a gift to even be invited to lay down our lives for such a noble and holy purpose! Imagine if God had not given us the opportunity – could our lives possibly be as rewarding?! I think not. The gift we’ve been given to be able to “give” of ourselves entirely, without reservation is such an absolute amazing grace!

  • LizEst

    I’ve done this before. So, no concerns!

    To that end, I share this from “Divine Intimacy” by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, O.C.D.: “Yes, O Mary, lead me by the short route of complete confidence in God. You who are blessed because you have believed, increase my faith; give me a strong unshakable, invincible faith. We are indebted to your faith for the accomplishment of God’s promises; therefore, help me to share your faith, making me believe in Him, in His words, promises, and invitations, without any shadow of doubt, hesitation, or uncertainty…Make me believe so that I shall be able to face storms with courage, abandon myself entirely to God’s actions, and advance with confidence along the road to sanctity. If you are with me, O Mary, I shall have no fear. The strength of your faith will be the support and refuge of mine, so weak and languid” (from the Colloquy of #177 “Mary’s Faith”).

    Our Blessed Mother, daughter of God the Father, mother of God the Son, and spouse of the Holy Spirit, is the shortest, quickest and surest way to Jesus, who is, of course, the only way to the Father and the everlasting life of happiness in heaven with the Holy Trinity, one God. The Blessed Virgin Mary is already there body and soul. She is where we someday hope to be. Not only is she Christ’s mother, she was His first and most faithful disciple. She is the number one guide to Jesus.

  • Alexandra Arias

    I have also consecrated myself to Mary, but like Fr. Gaitley points out, it’s good to strive to deepen our “yes” to Mary. The more we give ourselves to Her, the more beautiful the work she will do in our soul, and the more intimate our relationship will be with Her Son. She’s the gift that keeps on giving!

  • Scott Kallal

    I’m excited to be renewing my consecration to Mary. Like John Paul II, my first consecration to Mary was when I was trying to figure out what God wanted me to do with my life. Who knew what He would have in store for me? Massive happiness! If we want the fullness of life, let’s give our lives to Mary who gave her whole life to God in order to give the life of God to men…

    God bless,

    Fr. Scott, AVI
    Apostles of the Interior Life

  • BeckitaMaria

    I’m delighted to be engaged in the ever-deepening process of renewing my consecration to Mother Mary. Resting in the womb of our Mother with confident docility is actually a very dynamic process… a gift of pure love from Love Himself.

    I gratefully immerse in the gift of resting in our Mother’s womb, day by day, year after year, echoing Her FIAT as She shapes yet another little soul to look more and more like Her Jesus that as I continue to approach our Abba for the sake of souls He will see more and more of Jesus rather than me. For many years now, I have asked our Mother for just a speck of Her “full-of-grace-ness” that I will ever want what God wants. Oh how I decidedly NEED Mary’s maternal influence!

    To be sure I’m a sinner with flaws and defects, yet, with our Mother Most Pure, I can rise, again and again, to seek virtue. I see me as this ever-infant person making baby steps with Jesus holding one hand and Blessed Mother holding the other. Each day I rise anew as a beginner and I sit upon our Mama’s lap three times throughout the day asking for just a sip of the Divine Will.

    What a Mother we have!!! She never ever disappoints! Prayers ascending for ALL as we make this journey.

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

      This is beautiful! I hope I can grow that humble and close to our Mother too!

      • BeckitaMaria

        Mary the Defender, your desire is powerful. Our Mother knows you and you’ve proclaimed your holy desire right here. You’re hoping and praying in God’s Perfect Will. This prayer will be answered!!! I join you in hoping I can grow ever more humble and closer to our Mother.

        By the way, the baby steps, especially, were images that came easily as I accompany my granddaughter who will be one tomorrow and she has such confidence in walking while holding Nana’s hands. Praised be Jesus and Mary!

    • Camila

      “She never ever disappoints!”

      SO true! I ditto you a thousand times! She’s amazing!

      • BeckitaMaria

        Amen. Alleluia!

    • Vicki

      You share a beautiful image! Thank you.

  • Mary Anne

    At this point, I am feeling very good and positive about the consecration. As I posted earlier in last weeks comments, when I first began, I was bombarded with doubts, fears, and anxiety about this process. I have been praying my rosary every day, not only for myself, but for all those who are going through the consecration process now, and the negative thoughts and feelings have been greatly diminished. I hope that going through this process with other people on same journey will help me stay strong in my commitment to follow through with the consecration. I ask for your prayers, and I assure you that I am praying for all of you, too.

    • Vicki

      Yeah! I’m glad to hear it! And I’ll offer my prayers for your intentions this evening. God bless!

  • frtrue75@att.net

    This is my first consecration. I don’t have any concerns at this time,but that may be because I don’t know exactly what I’m letting myself in for. I don’t question our Blessed Mother’s love as I experience that every day when I say the rosary and at Adoration each Friday. Right now I am praying for the grace of discipline in my prayer life.

    • angeldia

      Does the consecration consist more than the prayers of consecration at the end of the book or is there something more that you do? This is my first consecration as well. However, through a Divine Mercy meeting in our Parish, a woman there had the book of 33 days of Morning Glory and showed me the book. I knew then (in February) that I had to start reading the book and I finished the book by March 25. Yet, I’m not really sure if that’s all I had to do for consecration is following the prayers at the back of the book. Since I finished by the start of Holy Week, I took advantage of each day to pray, meditate and go to Adoration and Benediction. I said all prayers of consecration at the back of the book with sincerity and devotion. Not sure that it was enough, I even said my own consecration prayer from the heart to Mary before the Blessed Sacrament. I’m still learning about this though and need a lot of spiritual direction about this so that’s why I thought I would follow this here online and in this way be more enriching! :D

      • LizEst

        The consecration prayer is enough. But, I would suggest to you to go back to the chapter on consecration (page 123) in “33 Days to Morning Glory”. There you will learn what you can do to strength your consecration. The rosary is the preeminent Marian prayer. So, that would be something good for you to do, if you do not already do so.

        I would recommend, if you don’t already do so already, that you add to your morning prayers, before you pray or do anything else in the day, the morning offering, “Oh Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings…” This is a short prayer that assures you are offering everything to Jesus through Mary. There are many versions of it. You can find one here: http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/morning2.htm The beauty of this prayer is that nothing in your day is wasted and everything gets purified through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

        See if those things help…and God bless you, angeldia!

      • LizEst

        In addition to my response to you, below, this article lists 12 other forms of Marian besides the rosary that may be of assistance: http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2013/05/19/twelve-other-forms-of-marian-piety/

  • Jennifer Woo

    I first made my consecration about 7 years ago. I realize the good that can come from offering everything to our Blessed Mother and asking her to perfect it. I do have one concern though (which should have occurred to me long ago…)

    I have had a devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory for more than 10 years. Back then I read a small book that encouraged the reader to make an offering of all ones’s indulgences and graces for the Holy Souls. I gladly made a promise to the Lord at that time that any merit I gained should be merited to the Holy Souls. So a tiny part of me feels like I am going back on a previous promise when I now offer everything to the Blessed Mother. I realize of course, that she loves the souls in Purgatory more than I ever could and would not leave them without help.

    Please help my scrupulousity and let me know I am doing the right thing!

    • Becky Ward

      Jennifer, I encountered a similar concern when making another type of consecration. It was explained to me that 1. The “Treasury of the Church” is utilized by God as He sees fit to use it. All of our prayers and sufferings kind of go into one big pot, if you will, and are then allocated as needed. The Blessed Mother, being in perfect accord with the will of God, dispenses grace and uses everything we give her in the best possible way.
      2. If you have a desire in your heart to offer indulgences for the souls in purgatory, it came from God. Our Lady and the Most Holy Trinity are working in unison toward the same end. Put your scruples to rest knowing that what ever you offer will be used where it is most needed.
      Blessings!

  • Burns227

    If I can offer one brief & simple comment about the 1st week of our journey together, from Pg. 44 of Fr. Gaitley’s book: ‘And what is holiness? Dying to self.’

  • GMarquez

    I am a bit hesitant about the consecration… struggling with it a bit. But I will continue reading the book. I’m especially enjoying reading about the two amazing, holy men we’ve met so far. It may be that this is not the right time for me. I am still learning about my relationship with Mary. I do honor her and venerate her… I’m just growing, and learning so much from all of you! Thank you.

  • Pamela Bell Houk

    I’ve made the consecration at least twice but have never completely understood it as Fr Michael Gaitley explains it. For quite some time I have given all of my graces and merits to our Blessed Mother; guess I got that from the previous consecrations. I didn’t realize it until I started 33 Days to Morning Glory. Two dear friends read it. I had to start it after hearing their conversation on it.