Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Guest Post by Singer/Songwriter Donna Cori Gibson

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Usually when 3 people tell me I should do the same thing, I take it as a hint from God.  But 10 PEOPLE?!?!?   So many are telling me that I need to read Michael E. Gaitley's book "33 Days to Morning Glory, A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration."   I hesitated at first because as many of you know, I had already made my consecration to Mary according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort 18 years ago.  I also joined Maximilian Kolbe's Militia Immaculata and on his feast day (the day before the feast of the Assumption) dreamt the song "Mother" with the titles of Our Lady from the Litany of Loretto.  I figured I was already pretty well consecrated and accepted.  HOWEVER...

I was browsing a Catholic book table and saw the book.  On a whim, or perhaps due to a kick from my guardian angel, I acquiesced and bought it.  I haven't even finished it yet and I'm still getting recommendations from new people to read it.  I have to tell you, it has brought so many things into clarity.

I am now understanding why during these last 18 years, and very much recently, things are happening the way they are.  I am being reminded of some very important points like the part of the consecration that says"leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity."  I had forgotten this and was recently wondering why Our Lady seemed to be pursuing me so generously, making her intercession so obvious.

A year and a half ago I was in a dire position (well, at least it seemed to me) and made a tearfully ardent  petition directly to Jesus.  I didn't mention Mary once.  Well, my deliverance started on  May 2nd (Mary's month), was financially helped by her (massive sale of rosaries) and culminated on Aug. 15th, the feast of the Assumption.  I was wondering why Our Lady found it necessary to make it so plain, that this help  came from her direct intercession and found the answer in the book "33 Days...".  I am reminded that I belong to HER.  Every prayer I utter and sacrifice I make is HERS to appropriate.  I can pray for people, but it is her right to apply wherever most needed - not my choice.  When I appear before the Lord, it will be completely empty handed, all of my good deeds and virtues having been donated to whatever cause of which Our Lady had need.  BUT, I will be there under her mantle.  St. Louis de Montfort says, "The most holy Virgin...who never lets herself be outdone in love and liberality, seeing that we give ourselves entirely to her...meets us in the same spirit. She also gives her whole self, and gives it in an unspeakable manner, to him who gives all to her.  She causes him to be engulfed in the abyss of her graces.  She adorns him with her merits; she supports him with her power; she illuminates him with her light; she inflames him with her love; she communicates to him her virtues: her humility, her faith, her purity, and the rest....In a word, as that consecrated person is all Mary's, so Mary is all his."  And since she sits so closely to Jesus, I'm not in such a bad position after all.

So, it's my turn now to highly recommend to you to also consider making a full consecration of yourself to Jesus through Mary in the method of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, recommended so highly and practiced by Pope St. John Paul II and made easy with the book "33 Days to Morning Glory."  Don't delay!

Keep praying.  Keep singing.


SING OF MARY CD almost finished and to be available in October.
Help to push it to the finish line here: CO-PRODUCERS
Golden Arrow Music, P.O. Box 828, Snohomish, WA 98291 USA

St. Petersburg, FLA parish has successful consecration August 15

A great group of people recently participated in Fr. Michael Gaitley's Marian Consecration retreat, 33 Days to Morning Glory. Although many groups take a "vacation" from bible studies or other church group, during the summer months, this amazing group from St. Raphael Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, FL dodged vacation schedules and other plans so as to commit themselves to learning more about our Lady and consecrating to Jesus through her.

Frank and Lisette Shields and Raul and Kelly Bermudez agreed to open their homes for the group to meet. The summer weather allowed for small discussion groups to break out both inside and on the back porch.

Co-leader Kelly Bermudez said "Leading a 33 days group has been a gift!  As a convert to the Catholic faith,  Mary can be a roadblock, but more often it is just a misunderstanding of her importance and role in our Christian walk.  When I said "yes" to leading, I knew very little about Mary and had no real devotion to her.  I didn't know there was a need for this devotion.  But as Jesus taught me to know His mother through my 33 day retreat, I began to feel the peace and love of the Father more than I had ever felt before in my life.  I can truly say that this consecration has changed everything!  Mary is my "heavenly spiritual director" who will always lead me down the right path - the path to Jesus.  She is just waiting for us to ask for her help and intercession."  

Host Lisette Shields said "This is my third time doing the 33 day retreat, but the first time in small group with DVD and podcast.  It really came to life for me this time.  The small group discussion and podcast helped me through the difficult pages, really made me see Mary in a new light.: CLICK HERE for podcast

Photographer and group member Jane Winstead chronicled the group with pictures and the morning sky on August 15, Mary's Assumption into Heaven, did not disappoint!
Fr. Kevin Mackin, associate pastor of St. Raphaels, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 8 am Saturday morning August 15. After the mass, he led the group through the consecration prayer.

The group then traveled to Panera Bread for coffee and conversation of the wonderful retreat they had completed.
Co-leader Cary Lennereth said "doing the 33 Day Consecration was one of the highlights of my summer. I loved learning about Mary, opening my heart and growing in my love for her with each passing day. Our Consecration day was very special and such a huge milestone in my spiritual growth. Thank you for the daily podcasts which really helped me piece all of the pieces together."

 Marybeth Finster who participated in this group, has led several groups prior and contributed to the podcast. Marybeth commented  "I have had so much fun just watching and hearing all the amazing stories of how our Blessed Mother has worked in the lives of the my group-I just love hearing the stories!!"

Anyone can lead a group- to get started, just contact me:
Julie Musselman

I'd be glad to help you and your friends, neighbors and fellow parishioners get started!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Vermont Parish offering Consoling the Heart of Jesus retreat this fall

The wonderful folks at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Vermont have recently consecrated to Jesus through Mary using 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley. They are now embarking on their next study~ Consoling the Heart of Jesus.

Leader Ann McLean has created a daily study syllabus for her group. CLICK HERE to see it.
Ann created this syllabus so that members could study a little each and not get overwhelmed by weekly reading.

If you would like to lead a group of Consoling the Heart of Jesus. CLICK here to order your coordinator kit. Parishes, call me for bulk pricing on the book!

Julie Musselman