On Monday, March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, I renewed my consecration to Jesus through Mary in the manner according to Saint Louis de Montfort, deeply desiring that you walked with me for the 33-days of preparation.
I celebrated Mass early in the day, prayed my consecration prayer an hour later at a coffee shop while awaiting a business appointment (and using the email sent to me from the blog), and went confession that night, as it was offered by my parish during Holy Week. I don’t know if St. Louis envisioned it occurring in a piecemeal fashion like this, but nonetheless it did. I always say, “Do what you can; not what you can’t.” And, so, I followed my own sage advice.
My grandmother used to call it “nit-pickin'”. She’d say, “The ol’ boy is after you.” When I’d lament to my spiritual director, Fr. Howie McGraw, that the ol’ boy was after me, he’d reply, “Praise God! You must be doing the right things because he’d leave you alone if you weren’t!” How true!
Well…nit-picked I was. One thing after the other after the other after the other. We’ve all seen families that seem to get pummeled. This time, it was my turn. Quite honestly, I couldn’t believe it was my life!!! It’s never quite happened to me that way before, and all I could do was the next thing. I had great calm through most of it: “My Jesus, I trust in you.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help.” (Ps 121) Through it all, I knew I must continue my consecration. We fight “powers and principalities” (Eph 6:12), and I know who the enemy is.
A kiss from heaven awaited me when I returned home from a sales call on Monday afternoon.
My good friend, Sheila, has been in France visiting with her daughter who lives 30 minutes from the tomb of St. Louis de Montfort. I received a regular sized, yet bulky envelope in the mail. She wrote, “I have been following your blog posts: I hope your re-consecration has been fruitful this Lenten season… Enclosed for you is a medal from the Basilica that I touched to the tomb of St. Louis, accompanied by prayer for you. Also accompanied are some post cards from the Basilica.”
I cried. I knew these words were from Our Lady to comfort and console me. I was scooped up and loved by God through the generous love of my sister in Christ.
God uses us to spread his faith, hope, and love. This Lent has been a time of great suffering for me, yet tremendous peace and confidence in God. In my human nature, that confidence waxes and wanes. When I need it most, though, God touches my heart through his people. Thank you, Sheila, for responding to his call. You have no idea what it means to me.
I encourage you, if you hear the Holy Spirit prompting you to reach out to someone, do not hesitate; do not doubt; do not procrastinate. “In season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2), that person needs God’s mercy through you. Yes.. you!
As we pray this day, the day before the holiest of days in the Liturgical year, let us lay ourselves at the feet of Jesus, begging his mercy on the world: “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.”