Thursday, July 23, 2015

June 13 Consecration impacts Jacksonville woman

Candis Smith
Guest Post by Candis Smith
St Joseph Catholic Church
Jacksonville, FL

One Sunday an announcement was made at church about the 33 days to Morning Glory retreat - The Marian Consecration.  I immediately turned to my husband sitting next to me and said, "I have to do that!"  I had no clue what I was saying yes to, what I was committing to or how I was going to find time in my busy schedule to do this retreat.  All I knew I had to do it and be obedient to the Holy Spirit speaking to me. (John 2:5)

I attended the first retreat with no expectations having no idea of what the retreat entailed but I committed to doing it so I was open.  The concept of the retreat in my mind was quite simple - read daily, mediate, pray and meet weekly for small group discussions.  My mind though, was too limited to fully understand the drastic transformation this retreat would have on my life and my family.  I had no idea that something so simple in concept would take my spiritual walk to a whole new level.  As I reflect on the retreat now, it embodies our Holy Mother - humble, simple, loving, gracious, prayerful yet powerful in how she transforms our lives.  Key factor is you have to say YES to her and give her your all and like our Spiritual Mother Mary we are called to ponder the mysteries in our heart.  (Luke 2:51)  Since my consecration on June 13th 2015,  Mary is taking me deeper in her heart, in my thirst and longing to know and love her son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

The retreat is centered on the readings of four saints who dedicated their loves to the Marian Consecration. Before this retreat, I had a relationship with Mary and an understanding of her place in the church but this retreat challenged my total understanding.  Through the Holy Spirit living in Mary, the mysteries of our Holy Mother began to be revealed to me beyond the construct of my limited mind.  I received a revelation that if I am to develop a relationship with her son Jesus,  I must give her my all - body, soul, interior and exterior works.  In this way she can birth Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life and develop, nurture and mature me to be the instrument that God has called me to be for his glorification.  

During his last hour on the cross Jesus weak, broken and knowing his time was at hand gave us all an amazing blessing -  His Mother.  (John 19: 25-27)  Who better to teach us how to have a relationship with the Holy Trinity?  Who better to teach us how to be faithful and truly devoted to Jesus? It is simple - only our Holy Mother given to us by her son Jesus can.  All we have to do is say YES to her and allow her to transform our lives in ways we can't imagine.   I sit during mass in prayer and I'm in awe of her beauty as the rays of God's light shine through her in the stained glass in the Marian Center.  Take her into your heart and let God's light shine brighter in your life.  The next time you hear or read the announcement for the 33 days to Morning Glory, I pray that you listen to the Holy Spirit living in Mary and say YES.
parishioners from St Joseph Catholic Church Jacksonville, FL who consecrated June 13, 2015

Post Script~
Candis was so impacted by the consecration, that she decided to lead a group beginning August 6.

If you'd like to lead a group of your friends just contact me to help you get started
Julie Musselman

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