Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we celebrate the New Year this week, we also celebrate a special feast day on January 1st in honor of our Blessed Mother – the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. It’s a Holy Day of Obligation where we have the opportunity to attend Mass during the week and remember that God shouldn’t just be relegated to Sunday. It’s also a beautiful way to begin our new year, entrusting ourselves to God’s care and asking for His grace and guidance that we may have a blessed year, entrusting ourselves to our Blessed Mother and asking her to intercede for us and aid us as we strive to grow like her in holiness.
There is a traditional devotion that I think can be of benefit as we enter this new beginning, and that is the Consecration to Jesus through Mary. While consecration to the Lord is something as old as our faith, St. Louis de Montfort, in the early 18th century, introduced this idea of consecrating ourselves to him through our Blessed Mother. He wrote of how she is the ultimate model and intercessor, and it is only when we come to know and love her, that we can follow her to her Son. She protects us, lifts us up, and speaks on our behalf in ways far better than we can on our own.
The devotion consists then in setting aside 33 days to prepare for a special consecration to Jesus through Mary on one of her feast days. And while the preparations can take many forms, one that has become very popular is contained in the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. Each day, there is an opportunity for some spiritual reading from a modern saint, followed by a series of prayers to help grow in an appreciation of Mary’s role in our lives. It does not require a great deal of time, but does help establish a habit of taking a few minutes to pray each day.
I say all this, because I would like to invite the entire parish to join me and in making this consecration at the beginning of the New Year. February 11th, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, is our feast day, and it seems like a beautiful moment to make this consecration. Counting back 33 days, we would then begin our preparations on January 9th. It’s something that can be done individually or in groups, and requires nothing more than a willingness to set aside a few moments for prayer each day. For those who are interested, you are invited to join us at either 9am (following the 8:30am Mass) or 7:30pm on January 9th in the Church. We will have a chance to discuss the devotion and begin the first day together. Even if you cannot come to these meetings you are still welcome to begin on your own. The parish will be ordering the books in bulk (we get a deal!), so if you are interested and would like a book please call the rectory and leave your name and phone number.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I wish everyone a Blessed New Year, and pray that all of us in this coming year may grow in a love and devotion to Our Lord through devotion to his Immaculate Mother.
Yours in Christ,