My life is no longer my own. For the past 33 days, I made the commitment to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary’s intercession. This devotion has been adopted by many saints – St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. John Paul II, just to name a few.
There are several ways to approach this dedication, but the main purpose remains the same: to give up one’s life and give it to Jesus Christ, with the faith that Mary will take everything you offer to Jesus and use it to provide the most good for all humanity.
It seems a bit daunting – a tall order to release total control of your life. As I went through the consecration, my desire to give away my life grew stronger. My trust in Mary intensified because she gifted me with many affirmations, revealing that through this sacrifice, she would bless my life in return.
The 33-day devotion ended today. I had great expectations for it. For 33 days, I had been reading about the wondrous things Mary and Jesus would start to do in my life once I had made the vow to consecrate it to Jesus.
I should know by now that I should never have expected what I had been led to expect! At a glance, my day appeared pretty horrendous, not just for me, but for everyone involved throughout the course of it.
My day began with a special Mass of remembrance at my church where I sing in the choir. Our rehearsal started late because the conductor forgot her music. In the process of her hasty departure to go back home to get it, she ran over a choir member’s phone with her car. His phone had fallen out of a hole in his pocket, and he hadn’t noticed till it was too late. Needless to say, the sense of urgency and stress triggered by this incident set the tone for the rest of the day.
After Mass, I took the time to actually make my consecration. Unfortunately, my mind was already flooded with distractions, and I found myself focusing on all kinds of subjects, but not the consecration. I felt discouraged.
Here I was, seeking to surrender myself and my life to the Lord. Why was it so difficult? I should have simply retreated to my room and made the new beginning the following day. Instead, I had to go into Manhattan; I had even actively chosen to make the trip more difficult by going later in the day when more people are out and everything around NYC is more chaotic.
I should mention it was also the coldest day of the year so far. I did reach the city and headed off to meet a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. We were going to catch up. I was only blocks away from our meeting point when the the true struggle of the day occurred.
I was walking the streets of NYC when I heard a faint voice. “Could you help me?” If I hadn’t just finished the consecration, I would never have entertained this request. I stopped and inquired, “What do you need help with?” I assumed it would be a “normal” street request – directions to the subway, some money or some food. Not this time.
A woman and her sister had quite an elaborate story to share. They had traveled to the city from New Jersey and lost their cell phone on the cab ride. They had no money because their check was declined at their bank. All they wanted was formula for their children and enough money for the trip back to New Jersey. This was a significant request for me, considering how expensive formula is.
My mind started to become unhinged; I wanted to tell them I could not help, it was just too much money, but there was a voice inside my head reminding me that my life was no longer my own and I might be the person Mary had chosen to help these women.
I gave in; I could not say no to Mary and Jesus. Unfortunately, the quest to buy groceries was not easy. The store we went into did not carry their formula. They continued to suggest different resolutions, including walking to another baby store.
Of course, I did not have the time to accompany them. I was struggling with the uneasiness of the situation. I was running into roadblocks and became extremely conflicted. Were these roadblocks from Mary keeping me from making a mistake, or from Satan causing me to question my faith in Mary and ultimately in Jesus Christ?
I did eventually give these ladies some money so they could buy the formula and hopefully return to New Jersey, but I was still in a quandary. I did not have that sense of peace I am accustomed to after having responded to a call to help others.
It may have been the increased amount of time and money required – I have never been asked to give away so much money before. Regardless of what caused my lack of peace, I am left still questioning my decisions.
I have no choice but to return to Mary and place all this in her hands. Whether or not these women truly needed my help, or were just out to take advantage of an innocent person on the street, my intentions were pure.
If they did take advantage of me, they will answer to Jesus Christ on the day of their final judgment. In the meantime, I surrender those sisters and myself to Mary and her ever merciful Son, Jesus Christ. May they take this day and all that resulted from it and use it for the greater good of everyone involved.
I must adopt this attitude and find peace. If I truly believe in what I have vowed after undertaking this consecration, I have nothing to fear because Mary will make sure her Son will use what I have done the way He did at the marriage feast of Cana when she prompted Him to His first miracle. “Do whatever He tells you.” From now on, I will endeavor to follow these words.