Feeling Protestant in Marian Consecration

Sometimes thoughts in your head ricochet like bullets fired into a reinforced tin can. They are so active you can’t catch up with them, figure out how to stop them, or even see them clearly. Their attack is fast and furious. They pound relentlessly from every angle. Other times, thoughts are so overwhelming, there seems to be little in your head but heaviness, a dark weight you don’t understand and can’t escape.

Then there are times when God puts a thought in your head, but that thought is elusive. You know it’s there, like a childhood memory you want to remember and should remember, a memory everyone else celebrates, but you can’t grasp. Every time you think you might be on to something, that “something” slips from you like fog leaving only traces of moisture on your skin on a warm spring night.

I left the final meeting saying I wouldn’t make the Marian Consecration at the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes but that I would continue to read and research and ask a trusted friend. I hope I told her I’d pray about it too, but I’m not sure. I pray constantly but still lean heavily on my own reading and research. That emphasis on reading and research over prayer can build walls to Wisdom and understanding. It’s also that emphasis that God uses to lead me to people like Leila Miller, the trusted friend I could ask about Marian Consecration.

A Letter to Leila:

In the predawn hours of the next morning, I sat wrapped in a blanket on my couch with a hot cup of tea by my side and confusion in my head and poured my heart out in a long, babbling email. If you don’t know Leila, check out this mom of eight’s story. Leila is an outspoken Catholic currently working on a book about the wounds children of divorce carry as adults. She is a voice for voiceless victims of divorce, speaking for those who bear scars decades later and are brushed off by a society that tells them divorce is normal or necessary.

I knew Leila would understand. I knew she wouldn’t judge. I wrote to her of not wanting to betray my Lord by choosing to give myself to Mary. I wrote of seeing Love as only a one or the other situation. I wrote of being a child forced to choose between Mother and Father, as happens in every divorce to some extent. I wrote that because of being forced to choose I was unable to fully commit to either.

I wrote of confusion and darkness and of how we are told all good things come from God but through Consecration are asked to acknowledge Mary as the Mediatrix of all Graces.  I wrote of how uncomfortable I was about accepting the duties called for in Consecration. I wrote of my concern about giving all of myself to Mary when I know I should give all of myself only to God.

Loving Mary was one thing,

but Marian Consecration was going too far!

I wrote of feeling very Protestant in this Consecration.

For the past few weeks, when I thought of this Consecration, I saw myself as a child stuck on the path in the woods. Up ahead, I could see Mary and My Lord. Their arms were around one another. Their bodies side-by-side, touching so their robes hung together making it almost impossible for me to tell where one body began and the other ended. Their arms were around each other and also open welcoming me to them…if only I’d take the step. They were close enough to touch and so far I couldn’t reach them if I ran full speed for the rest of my life.

Wednesday morning before 6 AM, I hit SEND and waited.

I waited for Leila to send some hugely insightful, inspirational, message. I admired her and knew her faith was strong. If anyone could help me find my way out of this paper bag I’d sunk my head into, it would be Leila!

It seemed an eternity passed before Leila wrote back. I’d wrestled with this problem for almost five weeks and wanted her to solve it for me instantly!

Finally her response came in, and I eagerly opened her email right before bed Wednesday night. This is part of what she wrote…

I am going to give you the very easy, wonderful answer, that should put your mind at ease: Trust the Church. Lean not on your own understanding. The Church is here with the right theology, the right truths about our Lord and His mother Mary, and you can trust the Church. That is the beauty of it. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, nor second guess. You are to trust. This is a freedom and a luxury and a grace, and ENJOY the freedom of it. It frees you up to worry about HOLINESS, not doctrine. If you trust the Church is who she claims to be, then trust what she and her saints have always believed about Mary, who is part of the economy of salvation in a HUGE way, at Christ’s very command and design.
Be at peace and go forward! The devil would like you to doubt and wonder, especially about the Blessed Mother, because of course he hates her so.

I read Leila’s email.

I read it again.

And again.

Where was her Wisdom and insight? Her easy and wonderful answer wasn’t so easy and wonderful at all! And did she really say “ENJOY (her emphasis not mine!) the freedom”???

What freedom? I was stuck. Freedom was certainly not a word I’d associated with this feeling of being imprisoned on the path, unable to take a step toward My Lord and Mary.

I didn’t understand her or her words. Why was everyone getting it but me?

I went to bed that night feeling more lost and alone. I was still on my path, only this time there was no where else to turn. Leila, my last hope, didn’t bring hope. She didn’t understand.

I thought back to my reason for starting this whole Consecration. I realized, this was not a nice Consecration at all. I was under spiritual attack and wanted to quit.

I felt as though I’d been climbing a mountain for the last several weeks. I’d expected a pleasant journey and instead was met with rough terrain.

What I didn’t know was that those five weeks were not the mountain at all. They were nothing more than the path which took me to the foot of the mountain. My climb had not even begun. The darkness I felt as I climbed into bed was caused by more than the lateness of hour.

The next morning, the real work would begin, and Consecration day would be only about 48 hours away…

Today, Saturday, February 25th 2017, is two weeks after the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the day of the Marian Consecration. I will release two more posts on Consecration, one Sunday and one Saturday three weeks after the Consecration date (I’d meant to publish these earlier – thanks to the severe storms that blew out my internet! Grrr… 😉 ). Sunday’s post deals with the Wisdom behind Leila’s words, Wisdom I was too blind to see, Saturday’s post will talk about what Consecration day.

Please stick with me!  🙂

God Bless…

Other Posts About My Marian Consecration:

God Bless…

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4 Comments

  1. Manny on February 25, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    So is there a particular theological reason why you feel uncomfortable? You can review why we Catholics revere our Blessed Mother so much. Scott Hahn has a great lecture on it which really put it all together for me. I paid a few bucks for the CD but I found it on youtube for free. Here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o48-Jo2p9wM

    Now, when I said the other week I have qualms that we go too far with our venation of Mary, it had nothing to do with theology. I believe in the theology and doctrine. It had to do with the fact that we have only so much time in the day to pray then why not go straight to Jesus. Why waste time with His mother or the saints? But that all depends on what is an individual’s best method of being devout. Some feel the immediacy with Jesus is too difficult, too powerful, and so we use an intermediary. I went straight to Jesus when I was younger, but I found the notion of “Jesus is your buddy” too irreverent over time, too Protestant. Jesus is not your buddy; He’s there to judge the living and the dead, and so I do appeal to His mother and the saints more now. I have a particular devotion to St. Catherine of Siena; not sure if I’ve mentioned that to you. My mother’s cousin is a priest (retired now) with the Marian Order. He lost his mother at a young age and grew attached to our Blessed Mother. Everyone is different and we Catholics are blessed to a range of options.

    Now if you still have qualms about consecrating yourself to Mary then perhaps you should hold off until you fully discern this one way or the other. But it is a beautiful thing. You have to decide if it’s a thing for you.



    • Manny on February 25, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      I forgot to mention which part of the Marian theology made me completely revere Jesus’s blessed mother. Scott Hahn mentions it. The fact that in ancient Israel, the queen of the country was not the wife of the king, it was the mother of the king led to seeing Mary as Queen of Heaven. If Christ is King and Lord, the His mother was the queen-mother. Once I knew that, then Mary’s queen-ship was without doubt. Our Marian doctrine is very sound. Don’t distrust it. Listen to the entire Scott Hahn lecture.



  2. Roxane B. Salonen on February 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Strahlen I wish I could keep up with all your posts because I am missing pieces of the story, but I had some struggles too on the way to Consecration. Things finally made sense at some point with something I read that brought it all together for me. I’m interested in how things may have come together for you. When Ann and I met you in Philly, it was the 1st anniversary of our Consecration, which happened on the Feast Day of Our lady of Sorrows. That very day we said goodbye in the hotel, just a short time later, we said the Consecration prayer together at a Marian statue at the Polish shrine. 🙂 So I feel connected in this way to your journey. I’ll try to go back and read everything when I can. XOXO



    • Strahlen on February 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Oh my gosh Roxane! I have NEVER felt this need to write so much on one topic! I feel I am leaving out so much that went on in my head in this struggle and still overwhelming people! I SO completely understand why nonCatholics, and even Catholics like myself, don’t get the devotion to Mary! I hope by acknowledging the struggles I had, others will see I did not take this lightly and will look into it for themselves too.

      Hopefully, I’ll have the final piece (Other than a follow up I’ll post at some later day – maybe for the Assumption?) posted tonight! I don’t think I knew you had done the Consecration then! I’d love to talk with you about it!



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