Embracing Mary’s Mantle

For a while now, I’ve wanted to consecrate myself to the Blessed Mother. I’ve talked to others about it, written articles about it, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, that my husband and I were invited to pray and study Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, preparation for the consecration of Jesus through Mary that I got serious.  We met last week for the first time with 8 others, watched the DVD, were given our books and workbooks, chatted a bit and sent on our way to do the daily personal retreat and meet for 6 weeks until our consecration date.

I was so excited. I have statues of Mary in the house, pray my rosary daily, have a Mary Garden and just imagined that I would immediately feel a closer bond with her. The readings take just a few minutes and there are questions to ponder all day.

Only a couple of days into it, I almost quit—three times. 
 Not only did I have trouble absorbing and bringing this new teaching to my heart, but it seemed as if nearly everything went wrong. Our dryer ducting collapsed in pieces for no reason on the basement floor, and with it, fiberglass insulation scattered in surprising places. There were additional unexpected financial issues that sent me reeling, work problems, and serious issues with a dear friend and a couple of family members tore my heart from Mary’s to focusing on damage duty. 
Thankfully, we were warned that once we committed to growing closer to Jesus through Mary that we would be under some spiritual attack. The enemy does not like Mary, in fact, he hates her, so we figured there’d be a little upset here and there. We had no idea that we would be hit by a typhoon of calamities all at once! I prayed anyway. 
When our group met this morning, I broke. As we discussed our week and difficulty with the teaching, tears collected in the corners of my eyes until I wept openly, for so many reasons. But I finally understood. I knew how and why we consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary. After all He chose her to be His mother. I pictured her weeping as she watched Jesus on the Cross and felt the sword pierce my heart in a similar manner as I struggle with the trials of one of my offspring. Helpless, agonizing and gripping pain seared from my heart to all my extremities until I could no longer walk or talk; until the tears became parched like the sand and I returned to the desert from which I came. 
But there in the desert she was there, standing off in the distance…..her pale blue Mantle over her shoulders, rogue strands of chestnut hair floated from her hood. Arms outstretched, she gazed upon me, and her love drew me near until I was folded in her arms. It felt like home. She seemed to absorb my worries and prayers into her heart until I felt whole, once again. 
I did not wish to leave. 
Now I understand. Now, I can go on. 
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