|This is the actual statue in my parish.|
My parish is a St. Mary’s parish. Each Sunday, I look up at Mary as she stands protective over her precious son in the tabernacle. Our choir sings a beautiful rendition of the Hail Mary at the end of communion each Sunday; it is beautiful and pulls me into such a peaceful place as I pray having just received the body and blood of my savior. For a little while now I had wanted to do something to help me along the path of devotion to Mary. I wanted her to show me that she is there for me as a mother. I have mother issues and I really just wanted to know that I can turn to her when I feel like I need to know a mother’s love.
In early November, the parish where I attend daily mass sponsored a spiritual exercise called Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. It is a 33-day self-guided retreat using one of two provided books throughout the thirty three days to prepare yourself to make an act of total consecration to Jesus through his mother Mary. I was anxious to participate in this exercise because of my recent desire to be closer to her.
The book we were given to use is by Fr. Hugh Gillespie, SMM which is the preparation according to St. Louise De Monfort. We had another option, but this one struck me immediately and I felt like it was the one I needed to use.
I went through each day’s reading with pretty regular devotion. (I think I only fell behind a couple days at one point, but I caught up). The date set up to make the consecration was on December 12th, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I prayerfully went through the thirty-three days in hopes that I would feel that my devotion to Mary was growing. The thing is I didn’t really feel like it was.
Through this time I was very drawn to praying the Hail, Holy Queen. For those of you who might not know it, here it is:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee we do cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up pour sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
I had met with the pastor for a few minutes earlier in the week and in the conversation had told him that I didn’t know if I was going to make the Act of Total Consecration because I didn’t feel I had made much progress towards Mary. He said to me that he thought that was pretty normal and at the time I was having him bless my new rosary, he said if I keep using these, it would come. He was right.
It took a little longer than the December 12th date, but I now have a much deeper devotion to Mary. I am still working on it, but over the last couple of weeks she has shown me how much she is there for me. I recently placed a request in her hands via praying the Memorare, and it became clear to me she is here for me. The Memorare if you don’t know it:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, That never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought they intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.
I continue in my search and want for a closer devotion to Mary, but I know now that I am on the right path. I look forward to all the times to come when she will show me that she is there for me, that she will intercede for me to her blessed son Jesus Christ.