spilling swine glass

Hunger, Thirst, & Giving My Heart in Marian Consecration

spilling swine glassI was a child stuck on my path toward Marian Consecration. I could see Mary and the Lord so close on that path but unreachable miles from where my own thoughts had led me. Up ahead, they stood side by side, arms around one another and opened to welcome me. Long, flowing robes made it impossible for me to see where the Lord’s body ended and Mary’s began. Confusion and doubt made it impossible for me to take a step in any direction.

I was a child of divorce. I’d fought hard to trust God and embrace Joy. To give all of myself to someone, even God (or maybe it was especially God), hadn’t been easy. Marian Consecration asked me to give all of myself to Mary when I knew I could give all of myself only to God. By choosing Mary would I be choosing to impose the very betrayal of divorce I despise on My Creator, on My Savior?

Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s Call to Marian Consecration:

After Saints Louis DeMontfort and Maximilian Kolbe, came the call to Marian Consecration by the woman known around the world as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I’d grown up hearing of this amazing woman’s service and devotion to God. I remember sadness at her death compounded by hearing of her struggles and darkness. I remembered sadness and dismay when Saint Teresa’s faith was questioned because of her struggles. I too was struggling and feeling overwhelm, sadness, and doubt, but I believed in God with all I had and all I was. I guessed Mother Teresa did too.

I hadn’t known it at the beginning of the Consecration, when I’d had such longing, such emptiness, and such hunger, but Saint Teresa would reach me in another way too. This woman focused on Jesus’ words,

I Thirst.

I thirst. How did I not realize His two simple words were so close to my constant thought of, “I hunger!” Could His Thirst and my hunger have been another coincidence?

Saint Teresa told of Jesus giving His Mother Mary to his beloved disciple John at the Cross. Jesus could have made a blanket statement giving her to all of us at any time, but in that moment, in His last actions, Jesus gave Mary specifically to John to show that taking her in is an individualized thing. Each of us is to take Mary into our homes and our hearts, to love and care for her as our own sinless Mother. How difficult is this for those who have imperfect mothers? I thought of friends and how I wished they understood the Love their Mother Mary has for them!

Saint Teresa tells us Jesus’s words and His and his Mother’s relationship go beyond His giving Mary to us as a Church and to us as individuals. On the Cross, Jesus Thirsted.

The thirsting was not simply for wine to numb His pain. His thirst is for us. He so desperately wants our Love, not because He needs it, but because, even while He hung in unimaginable pain, Jesus wants Good for us. He wants us to submit to be lifted.

Jesus’ thirst was real and as painful as any of the scars on His back or nails through His limbs.

Mary, as Jesus’ Mother, wants to eliminate her Child’s suffering, as any compassionate mother does. She knows the best way to do that is to lead us to Him, to help us love Him better. My understanding became that the memory of His Thirst on the Cross left such a great impression on Mary that, even after her passing, she continues to work to quench His Thirst. The thought of this Mother continuing to care for her child in the next life is pure Beauty.

I appreciated this reassurance from God (notice it still wasn’t reassurance from Mary!) and kept going through the consecration..

Unfortunately, the reassurance didn’t last long. Saint Teresa wanted us to ask Mary to lend us her heart. She wanted us to ask Mary to take us into her own heart. I wanted to scream and cry out…

“I gave my heart to God. You can’t have it! It is His. “

Hearts are too personal. They are too easily led astray and too cheaply given away. They are too quickly used, broken, and tossed aside. I had worked long and hard to give my heart to the Lord. Now some long dead saints and the Virgin Mother of God were messing with it? Was I really thinking of taking Mary into space that should be God’s? It felt so wrong!

I eventually came to a different conclusion. In Mother Teresa’s call to consecration, she used two simple prayers,

Mary, help me to love with the perfect love of your Immaculate Heart.

Okay, I could do that. Mary’s heart was pure. I accepted that. It would be good for me to love as Mary Loved.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, keep me in your most pure Heart, so I may please Jesus through you, with you, and in you.

I thought of Mary’s heart and how closely it beat to the Baby in her womb. I thought of the miracle that was performed so close to her heart by her spouse, the Holy Spirit, in creating that Child.

A Mother loves her child differently from the way anyone else will love that child:  different from fatherly love, sibling love, friendly love, and spousal love. If Mary took me into her heart, I could learn to love Jesus better. More than just learning to love Jesus better, my heart would WANT to love Jesus better, to be close to Him. By loving Jesus as Mary does I would seek His Joy as any good mother does.

Obstacles Still Arise In Marian Consecration:

Saint Teresa said our duties in the Covenant of Consecration included total dependence on Mary and acceptance that all comes from Mary. That, I could not wrap my head around. I was totally dependent on God, not on Mary. All good things come from God, not from Mary.

I sent the director of our Marian Consecration an email thanking her for hosting the program and letting her know I wouldn’t be finishing it. The excuse of missing snow days and individual readings came in handy and was partly true.

She didn’t let me off the hook easily instead sending an email with four exclamation points. Her exact response was, “Please don’t drop out!!!!  That’s what the ‘other side’ wants….to discourage us!”

I’m a sucker for exclamation points, but I was in a dark place. Nothing was going right. Even things I’d had a tentative grip on were slipping through my fingers. I wanted to give up, not just on this consecration, but on a lot of things. I wanted to walk away from so much!

Consecration day was to take place on Saturday, February 11th, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We had one meeting left the Tuesday before, and I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to go. I was fairly positive I wouldn’t be making the consecration.

Tuesday night rolled around with another snowstorm. Was it a coincidence that, in this mild winter, all five Tuesdays meeting nights had bad weather? The storm cleared with just enough time to not cancel, but it seemed that God could have been flashing a neon sign from Heaven saying, “STAY HOME!”

The final meeting started at 7:00. At 7, I had hungry kids needing rides from basketball practice and other perfectly valid reasons for not going. The Church was 10 minutes away, and at 7 pm I was still in my kitchen, making dinner and watching the clock tick minutes away…

*Please don’t think this is all there is! If you’ve read this far, please read through my last post on Marian Consecration! 

God Bless…

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