I am still taking in the effects of daily rosary and other prayers, marvelling at the transformation that has been occurring within my heart. When I first began, I did not *feel* much. I would say some prayers and then right afterwards say I can't possibly mean that because I don't want to. But as the days went on, I found myself meaning the words I said. I think this is true for me in so many areas of my life, whether it's doing the household work or writing. I'm often unenthusiastic about sitting down to revise a particularly difficult chapter or washing all the lettuce, but once I begin, there is joy in the tasks. And so it is with faith. I am reluctant, but it grows nonetheless as I pray, sometimes mechanically, sometimes with fervor, sometimes with tears.
I almost didn't get to make my consecration. I was determined to do it on Sunday, March 25th, even though this year the Church moved the Feast of Annunciation to the 26th since last Sunday was Passiontide. Anyway, after getting some fresh air after choir practice, I went up to the loft to read and pray. The bells rang. Mass started. But my daughter and her two friends were still not there. When we were praying the Kyrie, I heard the clomping of one girl up the steps. Not my daughter. But her friend. "My sister is hurt," she whispered. I went to the parish hall across the street thinking it must just be a little scratch, but instead she had bloody knees and elbows and scratches on her hands and ankles. We cleaned her as best we could and raided the first aid kit. She was so brave. I knew the water stung, as did my words about them going to the loft at the first sound of the bells, instead of waiting till the last minute and then rushing about ... Not my finest moment, I can assure you.
I didn't realize how much time had passed. When we entered the sanctuary, Father was giving his homily. I could barely concentrate. It was during the Offertory while the priest prays and offers once again the perfect Sacrifice that I began to offer myself wholly, body and soul, to do with me as He pleases. And this is exactly what total consecration is about. We do it through Mary because He came to us through her and so we go to Him through her. This is why we kneel every time we proclaim the Incarnation. I find that these physical movements, though they are external, direct the interior.
Try this. Next time you are feeling a bit blue, hop or skip. It is impossible to have a long face while you skip. In fact, you will be merry.
I have a happy ending. After Holy Communion, I made my consecration with my whole heart, my body and my soul. I know I will fail and fall in many, many ways, but I will get up and reach out to Mary and Jesus. They are with me. I had the pleasure of going to Mass again on the 26th, to properly celebrate the Annunciation.
God bless you.