One Day at a Time

In a recent post I expressed the hope that no one would feel overwhelmed by the content of the daily preparation prayers and reflections.  It is very natural in our busy lives to feel that we cannot possibly squeeze one more thing in, so I thought I might just share with you a little bit of my own experience during my 33-day consecration preparation.

I wish I could say it was all bliss, but as a mom working outside the home, as well as doing some volunteer work, blogging and the usual myriad of chores to which we are all accustomed, I had to trade bliss for a, “Dear Mary, I hope you understand why I’m praying on the bus”, kind of schedule.  Granted, there were a number of days when I found myself alone at home, able to light a candle and sit quietly while reading my daily reflection once, perhaps twice, and then finishing the whole of the daily preparation/prayers in peace and solitude.  There were even some days when I was able to stop in at church on my way home, for twenty to thirty minutes of peaceful preparation time.

These days were few and far between though.  More typically (and the more I realized that it was perfectly alright, the oftener they happened) I found myself dividing the daily preparation into segments throughout the day.  This became much easier for me as the prayers and virtues were memorized and flowed more smoothly in my mind and heart.  I found myself absorbed in my preparation as I puttered around doing housework, or on the bus to work, in the line-up for coffee, waiting for the bus to go home, or while preparing dinner.

As a matter of fact, I grew very much to love all of these ways.  The times of solitude were heavenly, alone inside with a candle or out in the back yard with the birds and the wondrous flower-scents, or in the dim lighting of a late-afternoon church.  Just as much though, I began to love how, being pressed for time and always engaged in other responsibilities, my thoughts turned to Mary all throughout the day and evening, as I proceeded with the preparation prayers that had not yet been finished.  Day by day, my thoughts turned to Mary more and more frequently, more and more naturally.

So I hope that anyone who may have been unsure of his/her ability to actually do the 33-day consecration will take heart by hearing a little bit of my own “trial-and-error” method.  What is really important, moreso than getting everything perfect every day, is that this 33-day period is set aside as a time consecrated for you to grow closer to Mary, and Mary to you.  The daily preparation can be done with sincerity, reverence and love whether you are in solitude or trying to keep up with a demanding schedule.  What’s more, it becomes easier and easier everyday.  What in the beginning may have a certain tension to it in terms of , “I have to do this and get it right,” soon becomes a joy, something looked forward to each and every day.

“The Mother of God comes to us to lead us by the hand into the sanctification of our souls, to prepare our hearts to be presented to Jesus.  All that she requests of us is an open heart.”   [In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph; pg. 2]

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