by Katie Hartfiel
What if I told you that we live in the most spiritually significant age in human history since the Incarnation of Christ?
The Lord of the Universe could have placed you at any moment in his story, but here you are. You are living in the time that theologians have dubbed “The Age of Mary.” God has not gone silent for the past two-thousands years. On the contrary, he has been sending his most trusted disciple to speak directly to his faithful.
Since 1830, the Blessed Mother has been appearing regularly around the world. Mary has come with a message for the faithful and she is repeating it with increasing urgency and passion. She is boldly calling Christians to run to Jesus and to allow her to run alongside us.
One of the most powerful ways the Blessed Mother has asked us to do this is through a practice called Marian consecration. The word consecrate means “to set aside for something holy.” Through this act of Marian consecration, we devote ourselves fully to the Lord through Mary. We give every love, struggle, victory, and decision of our lives to the Blessed Mother and ask her to bring them to her Son.
It might sound extreme to talk about trusting Mary with our lives. However, if we want to be like Jesus, we must start here. It’s almost inconceivable that the way Jesus chose to come into world was to make himself wholly dependent on Mary as a helpless baby. The Lord wants us to go back to him in the very same way he came to us—through his mother.
So how do we do this? In order to prepare for an act of consecration, most people will spend thirty-three days getting ready. These days of prayer and reflection are meant to strengthen our spiritual muscles in ways that are both challenging and rewarding. Mary will be your trainer to help ensure that every prayer, reflection, and examination is done in the most refined way possible. Just as the best Olympian has a coach to help tweak and perfect their skills, we ask the Blessed Mother to mold us for thirty-three days in preparation for the moment of a lifetime!
After the thirty-third day, an intentional prayer acts as a declaration of Marian consecration. For my husband, myself, and hundreds of friends and teens, this moment has been one of the most defining in our stories. Many people I have met can measure their lives in a way that pivots on life before and after their Marian consecration. Even St. John Paul II testified that his consecration “was a decisive turning-point in my life. . . this ‘perfect devotion’ is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself without reserve to Christ and to the work of redemption.”
This is because the Blessed Mother promises that if you give her your heart, she will replace it with hers. We no longer have to love Jesus with our imperfect and sinful heart alone but we can love him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This conscious decision of consecration will keep our faith from being another extracurricular activity and instead let our relationship with the Lord be the center of our lives. With Mary as our spiritual guide, she teaches us to say “Yes” to God’s will at all times. Then, like her, we will bring Jesus into the world that needs him so desperately.
Download this article as a PDF here.
Katie Hartfiel is a Catholic writer and speaker. She served as a youth minister for seven years in Houston. She is the coauthor of Totus Tuus: 33 Days to Marian Consecration for Teens.
Books to Consider
Based on Your Reading
|Opening the Door to Mary by Rev. James Phalan, C.S.C.||A Tender Strength by Timothy P. O’Malley||Devotion to Mary Is Rooted in the Bible by Rev. Edward Looney||Why Mary Matters by Sonja Corbitt|