The following is a guest blog from Elizabeth Boyle-Contreras, member of the Catholic Women’s Conference Steering Committee
I am just finishing a Marian Consecration using the book written by Fr. Gaitley called 33 Days to Morning Glory. To sum up what this book is all about, I quote Fr. Gaitley: “to Mary…for the sake of Christ, for the sake of God, for the sake of the Trinity.” Anyone can deepen their relationship with Jesus through Mary, no matter where you are in your spiritual walk. If you can commit to 10-15 minutes/day for 5 weeks your life can and will be transformed through this amazing do-it-yourself retreat. I even was inspired to lead a group of 13 women from all over the United States (complete strangers) to do this as a small group online in the comfort of our own homes. What a blessing this was for me and the other 13 women to share, reflect, learn, and grow through our daily readings.
In this book Fr. Gaitley shares four “Marian experts”: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, & Blessed (soon to be Saint) John Paul II. Each week, one of these “experts” shared their devotions to our Lady and helped us to grow more in love with Mary’s Most Immaculate Heart. If you want to grow closer to Mary, this book will allow you to see with her eyes, hear with her ears, and love with her heart.
Here are my top quotes/passages from the book — a few snippets from each Marian expert, giving you a taste of this book.
“She (Mary) supports him with her power, she illuminates him with her light, she inflames him with her love…in a word, as that consecrated person is all Mary’s, so Mary is all his.” – St. Louis de Montfort
St. Maximilian Kolbe answers the question ‘How Do I Become a Saint?’ with a simple but powerful equation: W + w = S (W=God’s will, w=our will. When the two wills are united=Sanctity. He said, “I don’t just want to give God great glory but the greatest glory.”
“Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you—you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for him.” “Immaculate Heart of Mary, keep me in your most pure heart, so that I may please Jesus through you, in you, and with you.” – Blessed Mother Teresa
“Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the redemption: the power of merciful love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the Light of HOPE!” – John Paul II
The main message that has really struck a chord within me came from St. Maximilian Kolbe. He exclaims, “Teach others this way! Conquer more souls for the Immaculata!” It starts by first living out the consecration in my life but then I personally feel called to share it and bring it to others. Fr. Gaitley says, “If this is the quickest, easiest way to become a saint, then it’s also the quickest, easiest way to conquer the whole world for Christ, if ONLY we teach OTHERS about it.”
I feel moved by this message and feel a calling within to SHARE this book and the Hope that is waiting for you. I am leading another consecration group online this fall. We have 10 women already signed up but would love to add more women to the growing list. If you are interested in joining us please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Fr. Gaitley’s words sum up this consecration on how we can belong to Mary in an ever-perfect way, “by relying on her (Mary) powerful intercession, experiencing her tender care, speaking to her from our hearts, letting ourselves be led by her, having recourse to her in all things and trusting her completely.” My prayer for each and every one of you reading this is that you allow yourself the opportunity to grow closer to our Lady who will always lead you straight to Jesus!