Friday, March 26, 2010

Consecration to Mary

We recently finished a weekend of Recollection with Fr. Cihak. And by recently, I mean about a month ago.

Perhaps the most prominent thing I took away from the time of conference and prayer was the importance of Mary in the life of a priest. We need to take her into our homes, into our hearts, and let her teach us how to live a life of chastity, of celibacy in a fruitful life-giving way. We cannot be cold and bitter men of God but ones who are alive because we have given our sexuality, consecrated it to God and so we now live it out as Mary did, loving everyone but in a chaste way.

I recently finished the 33 day preparation for Consecration to Mary on the Annunciation. I had never done it before. It's a first. And I had been waiting. I never really felt quite ready or quite called until a little over a month ago, at the end of my class on Mariology. I realized it was so necessary for me to have Mary in my life in this unique and beautiful way.

Any man (or woman), especially any man discerning the priesthood or currently a seminarian, needs Mary in his life. He needs her to intercede for him, to show him how to live this life, and to guide him into a fruitful ministry as a priest.

St. Louis De Montfort, the great promoter of Marian devotion and Marian consecration wrote: "...this devotion consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through her, and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary".

There are so many temptations that come, especially for those who answer the call to the priesthood. The devil hates priests because they are so often working directly against his cause. He fights tooth and nail. Mary protects us. Fr. Cihak told the story of sitting in on a exorcism here in Rome and watching as the priest spoke prayers over the possessed man who was doctor. He was writhing, cursing, and going on. At one point he turned to Fr. Cihak and a number of other priests who were there to learn and in an octave lower than his normal voice said, "She's protecting you." Mary, the one person in all the world, who has never been a friend to the devil. We have all been his friends in some way through our sinfulness but she has never never surrendered over. So she acts as a great and perfect intercessor for us. The devil hates her because he knows he cannot win against her.

So anyways, hopefully that encourages your own relationship to our Blessed Mother. It's been a great joy for me to realize this relationship in my life.


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