Marian Helper Magazine
By Fr. Joseph MIC
Marian Helper • Fall 2015 • marian.org
I ’m deeply concerned.
I’m troubled about what’s going on in our country and in the world.
I’m saddened by the daily reports of Christians being terrorized by ISIS in the Middle East, the growing persecution of Christians here at home, the unprecedented attacks on marriage and the family, and the dramatic increase in pornography addicts.
I’m disturbed by the rise of racism, the political pitting of rich against the poor, our exploding national debt, and degradation of the environment.
I’m frustrated that there are fewer and fewer Christians in America, that the culture war is all but lost, and that the culture of death seems here to stay.
Considering all this and more, things seem to be going from bad to worse to horrendous. So, yes, I’m concerned, really concerned. And I’ve been hearing from you, our Marian Helpers, that you’re concerned, too. Well, you should be.
Be concerned, but …
Yes, be concerned, but also be not afraid. After all, there’s hope, real hope. God has not abandoned us. In fact, I believe that the Lord has given us a secret weapon, a weapon that will make us into an army that is sure to win. But we still need to build that army. We need strong, dedicated, faith-filled recruits. We need people like you who are willing to take up the secret weapon and fight. So, let me put it this way: I want YOU to fight in this army! Will you help me?
Therefore, because things are so bad right now, God is offering even greater mercy. He’s giving us amazing grace. And you know what? This grace and mercy will soon be even more amazing. I say that because we’re not only living in “the time of mercy” right now, but soon (Dec. 8) we’ll be entering the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. So we’ll be getting a double portion of amazing mercy! But we need to prepare for it. We need to enter into that year of mercy properly. We need to get ready. But how?
Our Mother of Mercy
According to Pope Francis, it’s Mary who will prepare us for the Year of Mercy. For instance, in the document that establishes this extraordinary time of grace for the Church, he asked that “the sweetness of [Mary’s] countenance” might “watch over us in this Holy Year, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness.” Also, it’s interesting that Pope Francis decided that the Jubilee Year of Mercy should begin on Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This is the day when we remember and celebrate Mary’s greatest experience of God’s mercy: her being preserved, from the first moment of her conception, from all stain of original sin. This was an act of mercy she did nothing to deserve. Rather, it came as a totally free gift at the very moment when she came to be. Because Mary knows the free gift of God’s mercy more than any other creature, she wants us to know it, too. And she does that best by the secret weapon I’m about to share.
The Secret Weapon
Mary can best bring us into God’s mercy when we consecrate ourselves totally to Jesus through her. That’s the secret weapon that will help us tap into the great graces of the upcoming year of mercy. Why? Well, according to Pope John Paul II, the whole purpose of consecrating or entrusting ourselves to Mary is so that she can bring us to the pierced side of Jesus, which is the Fountain of Mercy. In other words, Mary’s whole role is to help us experience the mercy of God. And she does it best when we consecrate ourselves to her. This is why St. Louis de Montfort said that a total consecration to Jesus through Mary is the “quickest, easiest, surest, and most perfect” path to becoming a saint.
Begin on November 5
Now, maybe you’ve already consecrated yourself to Mary. Well, now is the perfect time to renew it, and I recommend that you use the most popular consecration book available today: 33 Days to Morning Glory (Marian Press) by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC. And don’t just renew it yourself; invite others to join you. (Learn more at AllHeartsAfire.org.) And for those of you who have never made the consecration, now is the best time ever! This really is a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to make the consecration in preparation for the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. (By the way, this is only the fourth “extraordinary Jubilee” in the whole history of the Church!) So, we’re inviting all of our Marian Helpers to consecrate themselves on Dec. 8. To do that, we’ll begin our 33 days of preparation on Nov. 5.
Here’s what to do
- For evangelization purposes, we’re offering a special on the consecration book 33 Days to Morning Glory. (Price: Your donation, plus $5.25 shipping. Offered until Nov. 5. Visit ShopMercy.org/33 or call 800-462-7426. One per household. U.S. only.)
- Do the consecration alone or as a group.(Visit AllHeartsAfire.org for more info). Parish Groups Contact Julie Musselman for bulk discounts: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Begin the consecration on Nov. 5 so that you can complete the consecration 33 days later, on Dec. 8 — the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the start of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy!
Why Consecrate to Jesus Through Mary?
(excerpted from 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC)
To properly understand the essence of total consecration to Jesus through Mary, we need to reflect on an important point: Jesus wants to include all of us in his work of salvation. In other words, he doesn’t just redeem us and then expect us to kick back and relax. On the contrary, he puts us to work. He wants all of us to labor in his Father’s vineyard in one way or another.
We all know that God uniquely blessed Mary by choosing her to conceive, bear, and nurture Jesus Christ, our Savior. But do we also realize that her blessed work didn’t end once Jesus left home and began his public ministry? After the three years of Mary’s hidden life during Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus brought her back into the picture of his work of salvation at its most crucial time: the “hour” of his Passion. At that hour, we might say he fully revealed Mary’s special task — the same task she had begun some 33 years before and that she still continues. Jesus fully revealed Mary’s special task shortly before his death. It happened when he looked down from the Cross and said to Mary as she stood with the Apostle John, “Woman, behold, your son” and to John, “Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:26-27).
At that moment, Jesus gave us one of his greatest gifts: his mother as our mother. Of course, Mary isn’t our natural mother. She’s our spiritual mother. In other words, just as it was once her task some 2,000 years ago to give birth to Christ, to feed and nurture him, and to help him grow and develop into a man, so also, from the time she first said yes to being the mother of Jesus until the end of time, Mary’s task is to give spiritual birth to Christians, to feed and nurture them with grace, and to help them grow to full stature in Christ. In short, Mary’s job is to help us grow in holiness.
It’s her mission to form us into saints.
For all the retreat materials for 33 Days CLICK HERE
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