by Fr Richard Heilman | December 8, 2015 9:13 pm
I found this story very touching, so I need to share it. It just happened today, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception … the first day of the Year of Mercy.
A Facebook friend of mine, Debra, private messaged me that she was going through a bunch of stuff. To quote her, “Today officially kicked my butt.”
I didn’t hesitate to recommend that she do a Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Debra agreed immediately and started trying to calculate future dates she might start the 33 day preparation. I said, “You need it now! Do St. Maximilian Kolbe’s 9-Day preparation.” Debra replied, “Okay. I will go with it then” (insert smiley face here).
That was yesterday. Today I received this message from Debra, “I have a rose!! There’s a rose on my rose bush!! In December!! (That’s the rose Debra received, pictured above).
Debra explained that she lives in Louisiana and it never gets too cold or stays cold, but roses do not usually bloom there at that time of year. “Besides,” Debra said, “it’s a landscape rose bush, and I think that’s the best looking rose it’s ever produced. In fact, this was a rose bush the lawn crew unburied from weeds last week that I thought was basically dead. I was about to throw it out.”
I was joking with Debra as I said, “Ahem … what did *we* just start? How obedient were you when I told you to do it? hmmm? hmmm?” Debra went on to say, “Yes! I have been feeling so discouraged. Really *needed* that … really needed this!!”
How amazing is our God and our Lady?!?! Once Debra humbly submitted – gave her fiat – to doing something so very pleasing to our Lord and our Lady, Mary sent her approval and blessed assurance. WOW!
Debra, for whatever reason, was going through something where she felt, in essence, she was standing outside paradise, looking in. Her life was out of sync … she was feeling that darkness and chaos of a life of uncertainty and doubt. It was time to restore that original harmony; it was time to get her back in the garden again.
Three Cs to Living a Supernatural Life
I have become convinced that there are 3 significant ways to gain entrance to the paradise of that blessed assurance and harmony of being in God’s presence and care, along with Mary. I call these the “Three Cs to Living a Supernatural Life.”
But, before I highlight these three Cs, I want to say that the *key* that unlocks the gateway to paradise is *obedience.* Debra, like Mary, was obedient. When we adhere to the three Cs, we are *very obedient.* You want the paradise of the *original harmony?* Then, get *in sync* with God, as Mary demonstrated with some of her first words, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord … ” as well as her famous last words at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.”
Here are the Three Cs …
“The whole power of the Sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with Him in an intimate friendship.” St. Augustine tells us: “This very moment I may, if I desire, become the friend of God.” We must go *frequently!* Even if someone is not in a state of mortal sin, our little sins can weaken the armor of grace.
St. Peter Julian Eymard tells us to “hear Mass daily; it will prosper the whole day. All your duties will be performed the better for it, and your soul will be stronger to bear its daily cross. The Mass is the most holy act of religion; you can do nothing that can give greater glory to God or be more profitable for your soul than to hear Mass both frequently and devoutly. It is the favorite devotion of the saints.” But, we need to realize that receiving Communion means that we are properly disposed. So, it implies we are going to Confession frequently. The Bread of Life is available to anyone who says “yes” to God. 🙂
Consecration – Seals the Deal
Once St. Maximilian Kolbe learned about St. Louis de Montfort’s consecration to Mary, called the “surest, easiest, shortest, and the most perfect means” to becoming a saint, he called it a “secret weapon for the world,” a “shortcut to holiness.” St. Maximilian Kolbe would dedicate his life to bringing people to Jesus through Mary. This is the *extra effort* for seeking the Lord. This consecration has been approved by God in countless stories of people leaving aside a lukewarm religiosity and entering into a more *devout* relationship with God. There are also countless stories of people being released from addictions like pornography through this consecration. It is very powerful!!
Why I Prefer St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Preparation for Consecration Right Now
Don’t get me wrong, St. Louis de Montfort’s is the classic (and I believe the best) 33 day preparation for consecration. But it is very demanding for most people, which makes it perfect for spiritual veterans looking for a challenge. Fr. Michael Gaitley realized this made it inaccessible for most people, and so he created a very beautiful 33 day preparation for consecration that is simpler and more accessible for people. Fr. Gaitley’s wonderful efforts has opened the way for many more people (tens of thousands) to prepare for Marian consecration. But, Fr. Gaitley is not a saint (yet).
I have found *St.* Maximilian Kolbe’s 9 day preparation extremely powerful and very accessible, especially for so many in our times who are very busy. Our full and fast paced lifestyles have made us a bit more ADHD than our ancestors. Debra had even admitted (and I believe she is like most of us), “I’m just a completely ADHD basket case. Seriously. Anything I add long term has to be forcibly made a habit. Once it is routine. I can do it. Making it routine? … A challenge.”
Finally, Kolbe designed his shorter preparation period because he had a strong sense “something was coming,” and he knew he needed to get as many people consecrated as possible. It is said that hundreds of thousands were consecrated. This was in the 1930s in Poland (nuff said). Do you have a sense something is coming in our times? I do.
Get Ready for a Worldwide Kolbe 9 Day Preparation on January 25.
We are actually planning to do a world-wide 9 day Kolbe preparation for consecration on January 25 (Conversion of St. Paul) to February 2 (Feast of the Presentation). This comes just before Ash Wednesday (February 10). This will then be followed by a Lenten 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness, concluding on Divine Mercy Sunday (in the Year of Mercy). Stay tuned for details.
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