“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on, all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.'”Luke 1:46-49
Growing Closer to Mary
Because I’m a “cradle Catholic,” I’ve always loved Mary, but that love was often subconscious. I didn’t always intentionally love Mary and work on my relationship with her. It wasn’t until recently that my relationship with her became more genuine. It wasn’t until last year that I truly understood that she is my Heavenly Mother. Ever since then, I’ve been closer to her and I turn to her more often for help and to guide me to her Son.
Marian Consecration and Fiat 40
Last year, several girl friends of mine from the Newman Center completed the 33 Days to Morning Glory Marian Consecration. I did my best, but because of stress from school and my personal life, I couldn’t keep up with the daily readings. I opted to complete my consecration later. Although I didn’t complete my Marian Consecration, I don’t consider this a faith life failure. As I learned more about Mary, her role in the Church, and how so many Saints cherished her, I became inspired to turn to her more. I learned that the best way to reach Jesus is to go through Mary, so like children depend on their mothers, I became more dependent on Mary.
UPDATE: I made my Marian Consecration on January 1, 2020, the Feast Day of Mary, Mother of God! Read more about how my consecration changed me in A Glorious New Morning!
Last Lent, several ladies from the Newman Center and I participated in Fiat 40, a huge Lenten sacrifice which challenges women to glorify God in body, mind, and soul. As Lent progressed, Fiat became more and more difficult for me. I missed going on social media, I craved sugary Starbuck’s drinks, and I experienced something of a faith burnout. I was looking forward for Lent to be over not because I was excited for Easter, but because I wanted Fiat to be over. Although Fiat was definitely overwhelming for me, it wasn’t a complete failure. I still grew so much closer to Mary during this time. I understood the beauty of surrendering to God’s will and giving a complete “yes” to him without reserving anything.
The Most Perfect “Yes”
During Fiat, the Newman Center ladies and I did several Bible Studies and Lectio Divina sessions on the Annunciation and the Visitation. I remember us talking about the courage that she had to say “yes” to God’s plan for her, and how she did it so beautifully.
“And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.'”Luke 1:38
How vulnerable and how trusting she was to let God’s plan for her come to fruition. Her “yes” has allowed all generations to call her blessed, but she in her humility and grace always reflects the glory to her beloved Son.
Saying “yes” to becoming the mother of God lead to Mary enduring unfathomable joys and sorrows that we still meditate on today. We try to grasp these mysteries, and as we wrap our heads around them as much as we’re able, she gives us the grace to understand them and helps us to grow in holiness. She sees our desire to love her and her Son more, and she happily grants us this intention because that’s her mission and she does it perfectly.
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31-Day Rosary Challenge
Because October is Mary’s month, I’ve decided to do a 31 day rosary challenge! The rosary is the most powerful prayer in the Catholic Church, and our Blessed Mother loves to hear her children say a Hail Mary. I invite you to join me on this challenge and go to Jesus through Mary with me. Because this post was published a few days into October, I’m already a few days into the rosary challenge, but just pick up where you are if you want to start! Turn to Mama Mary with all of your joys, your sufferings, your fears, and your questions and she’ll embrace you and wrap you in her mantle. She longs to bring us closer to Jesus. She’s just waiting for you to say “Hail Mary…”
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